It’s cheering news that the Greek Islands will be rated individually by the Global Travel Taskforce – and highly likely Corfu and all of our other favourite Greek destinations will get the green light for travel this summer. As well as being relatively easy to reach by direct flight, Corfu offers all the must-have ingredients for a sensational holiday, whether you’re travelling as a couple, a family, or a large group. Here, you’ll discover lush landscapes and a choice of beautiful beaches, from quiet and isolated little coves to more bustling stretches of sand offering watersports and buzzing tavernas and bars.
The best beaches in CorfuDepending on where you are staying, and how far you want to drive, there is a vast choice of beaches on the island. A few we have visited include Agios Gordios beach on the west coast, a sandy cove named after the church in the centre of the beach. Further north on the west coast is another little find, Porto Timoni beach, slightly hidden away as it can only be reached on foot, a 20-minute walk from the village of Afionas or by boat. There are, in fact, two small beaches here, separated by a short strip of land. Just a little further south is Agios Georgios Pagon beach, with its sandy coves. And further south still, is popular Paleokastritsa Bay, with a choice of six sandy and pebble beaches. In the north of the island, you’ll find the pretty villages and beaches of Agios Stefanos and Kassiopi. On the eastern side of the island, we recommend, Barbati, Nissaki (also popular for scuba diving). Kontokali and Dassia, to the north of Corfu Town, also close to some of our villas to rent here.
While many will be happy just to relax in the sunshine by the sea, there are also plenty of things to do for those more active. The countryside is popular for hiking, with many old footpaths crossing the island, leading to secluded beaches, mountain villages, and historic Venetian castles. Hilary Whitton-Paipeti’s, A Complete Book of Corfu Walks, provides many great options for walks leading to historic castles, villages, olive groves, and secluded beaches. Another popular activity, which can be organized on the island is diving, which is particularly good in the north of the island, near Nissaki Bay and Paleokastritsa. The seabed of Corfu offers impressive reefs, underwater caves, and old shipwrecks. If you have time, we also recommend a day tour cruise to Paxos, Anti Paxos and Blue Caves.
Tours for history buffsCorfu has much evidence of past Venetian, French and British influence, in terms of both architecture and monuments, as well as its picturesque villages, and also its cuisine. Corfu Town itself is rich in history, including the Old Venetian Fortress of Angelokastro, and the Church of Saint Spyridon, a 16th-century Greek Orthodox Church with a bell tower. These, and other important sights, including the Achilleion Palace, the Monastery of Paleokastritsa, the beautiful Liston with its arcades, built by the French in the 19th century, and the Neoclassical palace of Mon Repos, the birthplace of the Duke of Edinburgh in 1921. Visitors to Corfu town can enjoy walking and exploring the old town independently, with its architecture, impressive monuments, character-filled alleyways, and a good choice of restaurants, bars, and shops or, for those who prefer a more detailed and organized tour, we recommend a three- hour history and culture walking tour.
Food and wine in CorfuLike the rest of the Ionian islands, Corfu is known for its traditional cuisine and excellent restaurants, strongly influenced by the island’s 400 years-long Venetian occupation. A wide variety of flavours, fresh local ingredients, including olive oil, spices, local vegetables, fish, meat and pasta are a combination of a modern Mediterranean character with historic Venetian influence. There are also some good wineries, including Theotoky Estate, a family estate just 17 km from Corfu Town, which produces organic red, white and rosé wines, and olive oil. It’s open to visit and enjoy tastings from Monday to Saturday from 10am-3pm.
Situated in an elevated position with beautiful sea views, the 5- bedroom Villa Nissaki is just a 5-minute walk from secluded beaches, coves, a supermarket, and tavernas. The main beach at Nissaki, just a 4-minute drive, has watersports activities, including boat hire and scuba diving. With a spacious terrace and garden, the property is also very suitable for special events, including weddings, with poolside dining for up to 45 people, and ample space for a separate bar.
Situated just a 15-minute drive from Corfu Town on the east coast, the 4-bedroom Villa Kira Chrisikou is set within beautiful gardens with an L-shaped heated swimming pool, and benefits from sensational sea views. The beautiful west coast sandy beaches of Palaiokastritsa and Glyfada are around 20 minutes drive. The villa is situated close to another of our 4 bedroom villas, Villa Kontokali, so the two villas could be rented together for larger groups.
Villa Korakiana is a beautiful 4-bedroom property in a secluded location on a hillside, just minutes away from the village of Agios Markos, and also close to the beaches of Ipsos (3 km) and Dassia (4 km). Surrounded by century-old olive trees, the villa has panoramic views over the countryside and the sea. With a lovely garden with a swimming pool, children’s swings and facilities for basketball, football, and table tennis, it’s the perfect choice for families. And for water babies of all ages, an impressive range of watersports and other activities can be arranged at Dassia Beach.
Situated in one of the most spectacular settings in Corfu, Villa Kanoni is a stunning 9-bedroom property set in a quiet location with wonderful sea views, as well as easy access to the restaurants and shops of Corfu Town. As well as being one of the neighbouring estates to “Mon Repos”, now the summerhouse of the King of Greece, the property has also been featured in the James Bond film, ‘For Your Eyes only’. The 10-acre estate features beautiful gardens on three levels and a fabulous 20x10m seawater swimming pool and terrace. A path winds down from the gardens to the pebble beach and pier below. This area is a well-protected natural harbour for small boats to large yachts.