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Located in the turquoise waters of the Adriatic off the northwest coast of Greece, Corfu is jam-packed with scenic natural beauty, history, culture and mythology. Here you’ll discover everything from picturesque waterfalls, bird-filled lagoons and sandy beaches like Lefkimmi and Issos along the west coast to whitewashed fishing villages and impressive Venetian buildings. The most popular of the Ionian Islands, it’s also the greenest and one of the best when it comes to diving, especially around Othoni, Paleokastritsa and the northeast coast.
Corfu At A Glance
Population of Corfu 97,000
What to See in Corfu Visit the spectacular beaches, Explore Corfu old town, the Esplanade, the Museum of Asian Art, the village of Paleokastritsa, the Waterfalls of Nymphes, Achilleion Palace
Towns or islands to visit near Corfu Paxos, Parga, Lefkada, day trip to Albania
Things to do in Corfu
Spend a Day at the Beach
The west coast of the island is where you’ll find its many sandy beaches. Glifada is a wide, long beach that tends to be peaceful, situated in the less busy south end of the island, framed by calm, shallow waters. Chalikounas is an unspoiled, long stretch of sand nestled between the Adriatic and a lake, providing an especially unique landscape that’s ideal for getting away from the crowds, while Issos is just next door with its high sand hills along the shore. While it tends to be busy, lined with cafes and bars, Kassiopi sits at the edge of a picturesque bay with crystal-clear, calm waters.
Discover the history of Corfu and the Region
There are many historic sights in Old Town Corfu to explore, with the highlights including the Old Fortress. Built in the mid-16th-century by the Venetians on the site where a Byzantine castle once stood, a moat separates the fortress from the town. The British destroyed the majority of Venetian fortifications that were once inside, replacing them with their own, including the Church of St. George. Visitors can enjoy a spectacular view of the sea, as well as the town to the west and the mountainous Albanian coast to the east.
The Museum of Asian Art
Located inside the elegant Regency palace, this museum holds an impressive collection of Tibetan temple art, Indian sculpture, works from the Gandhara Kingdom (now Northern Pakistan and Eastern Afghanistan), Asian porcelains and Japanese prints. There are also a number of artifacts collected by two Greek diplomats.
Between the Old Town and the fortress is a vast, green open parade ground and park, the esplanade, Spianada Square. The biggest square in Greece, it’s bordered on the west by the Liston, constructed by the French under Napoleon, and the north by the old royal palace which today serves as the Museum of Asian Art. Some say this is the most stunning esplanade in the entire country. Its name comes from the total absence of buildings, something that was important in the past to protect the town from invaders. A small section of it still hosts the old English cricket field.
This 13th-century pastel-hued monastery sits on a clifftop overlooking the Adriatic, providing jaw-dropping views over the entire island. It’s still a monastery today, and visitors can even watch the monks going about their business as well as view some significant icons on display in the museum.
The Waterfalls of Nymphes.
The village of Nymphes is lush and green, with lots of water in the springtime – in fact, legend has it that Nymphs used to bathe in the waterfalls here. It was built on Pantokratoras mountain, which is dotted with holly and oak trees. Take a walk to view the waterfalls and the wells and it’s easy to imagine nymphs living here – you might even see one bathing in the water if you look close enough. The cascading waters plunge 33 feet into a verdant ravine, and there are other falls nearby.
Hike the Corfu Trail
If you want to explore the landscape on Corfu, there may be no better way to do it than to hike this trail that winds 93 miles from one end of the island to the other between Kavos and Agios Spiridonas. Of course, traversing the entire length would take at least a week, but many feel its diverse topography and awe-inspiring views that include lagoons, beaches, mountains and olive groves, make it worth the walk.
Designed with the mythical hero Achilles as its central theme. This palace located at the edge of Gastouri village was built in 1890 by the Empress of Austria Elisabeth of Bavaria who was obsessed with beauty. During World War I it was used as a military hospital and then fell into decay. During the 1970s and ‘80s, it housed the casino of Corfu, and today, it’s a historical site, museum and conference center.
Our Favorite Restaurants & Bars
Kalami Beach Taverna
This family-run taverna sits on the Kalami beachfront, providing spectacular views of the bay and sunsets that are simply stunning. Traditional recipes are used to make mouthwatering home-cooked meals with unique flavors, particularly the Corfiot dishes which bring a wonderful blend of Venetian and Greek tastes. For those who like seafood, it’s a must-try, with fabulous mussels, grilled or fried squid, fried aubergines, pasta with shrimp, grilled prawns and more, enjoyed with seasonal fruits and vegetables. The menu also includes tasty meat and vegetarian dishes, offering something for everyone.
Located on a lush hill covered with wild vegetation, enjoying panoramic vistas of Central Corfu, Ambelonas is a true hidden treasure. Dine on delicious Corfiot cuisine that includes original local dishes, with all food and drink sourced locally or made right on the property. Enjoy it while watching the sunset and later, underneath the star-filled night’s sky. The restaurant has its own vineyard and olive groves as well as a small museum that reveals how the food is grown, cultivated and produced. Think rustic elegance with seasonal menus that include items like slow-cooked pork, boneless goat meat cooked with wine, herbs and spices; chicken with wild greens and fresh fish.
Oi Oraies Benitses
Enjoy a beautiful view of Benitses harbor while dining on unique traditional recipes with a modern twist at Oi Oraies Benitses, including fresh fish, moussaka, spaghetti bolognaise and lamb kleftiko. A restaurant run by husband Dimitri and his wife Georgina, obviously passionate about what they do, you might even be invited into the kitchen to pick out the fish you’d like cooked, perhaps baked sea bream with a lemon oil. It has the feel of a large Sunday lunch with family, and one you’ll want to enjoy over and over again.
Pyramid Restaurant & Cafe
Located on the beach in Saint Spiridon, perfectly situated for enjoy incredible sunsets, Pyramid Restaurant & café, serves Mediterranean and Greek dish created using homegrown ingredients in its very own garden. Enjoy a relaxed, unhurried atmosphere through the day and into the evening, on the seaside patio just steps from the sand. The view is magical, and the food is just as impressive. The menu contains a wide range of offerings sure to please most everyone, with seafood and meat main courses, grilled meats, pastas and salads along with fabulous cocktails
A complete gastronomic experience, Etrusco was named the very best restaurant in Greece in 2018 at the Toques d’Or (Golden Caps) awards. This highly celebrated Mediterranean eatery is tucked among olive trees and run by the Italian-Corfiot Botrini family. The chef is Michelin-starred, with each dish presented artistically and one to remember. Enjoy dishes like swordfish carpaccio, Corfu chicken, fennel and chamomile risotto, egg mousse and corn tamale, or perhaps a cleverly deconstructed octopus. Desserts are to-die-for and there are a number of palate cleansers.
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