What not to miss in Corfu, Greece

With its green scenery, beautiful beaches, cultural heritage and local villages, Corfu* has claimed the title of the "Queen of the Ionian Islands", and rightly so. Situated in the northern part of the Ionian Sea, the island will fail to disappoint.

What not to miss while on holiday in Corfu
What not to miss while on holiday in Corfu © Ruth Johnston - Flickr CC BY 2.0

Getting to Corfu: check out the latest deals on holidays to Corfu with First Choice*.

The Old Town

A real gem, the Old Town of Corfu is a protected UNESCO heritage site and has a strong Venetian influence, which has a distinct flavour of the Italian about it. Quite different from most of the other Greek islands, the city's old quarters are a charm to wander around with no particular direction, taking advantage of the countless photogenic corners for your Instagram.

The Liston Arcade, Spianada Square, Corfu
The Liston Arcade, Spianada Square, Corfu © Hajotthu - Wikimedia CC BY-SA 3.0

In Spianada Square, join the locals enjoying a cold coffee in the Liston, the legendary arcade resembling the Parisian Rue de Rivoli, while watching the world go by. Circling the town, its old fortress hosts an impressive exhibition of Byzantine and post-Byzantine mosaics and frescoes while the new fortress offers amazing views of the Old Town.


The Achilleion Palace

Located at Gastouri village, only a few kilometres away from the Old Town, the Achilleion Palace was built by Empress of Austria Elisabeth, commonly known as Sisi, in 1891, and served as her summer palace.

She named it "Achilleion" in order to honour her favourite mythical hero, Achilles, who was also the palace's central theme.

Muses on the terrace of the Achilleion Palace, Corfu
Muses on the terrace of the Achilleion Palace, Corfu © Thomas Schoch - Wikimedia CC BY-SA 3.0

The three-storey building designed by the Italian architect Raffaele Caritto is impressive, as is its location with panoramic views of the city of Corfu and the southern part of the island.

The vast outside area with the verdant gardens is decorated with fountains and numerous sculptures inspired by the Greek mythology, such as the statues of the nine muses and the Dying Achilles sculpture, created by the German sculptor Ernst Herter.

Casa Parlante

Also worth visiting is Casa Parlante, an innovative museum that aims to time-travel you back to the 19th century, when Corfu was at its peak.

Housed in a classical mansion within the historic centre of the island, this museum combines modern technology with the nostalgic atmosphere of the 19th century. Using robots and animated figures, visitors can see what the everyday life of the island's noble class looked like back then.

Out & about

Corfu has a superb coastline with numerous secluded and more popular beaches. The exotic beach of Halikounas is a favourite among surfers, while the long, pebbly beach of Barbati with a scenic mountain backdrop is ideal for snorkelling with its crystal-clear waters and also provides facilities, including sunbeds, umbrellas and tavernas

Yaliskari Beach is a small, sandy beach surrounded by pine trees while Canal d'Amour, with its quaint, rocky formations, attracts the crowds with its uniqueness.

Paradise Beach, accessible only from the sea
Paradise Beach, accessible only from the sea © Lucian Bolca - Fotolia.com

The island's villages are as numerous as its beaches, and enticing for day trips. One to add to your list is Old Perithia, an abandoned village with stunning buildings, churches and a few tavernas offering delicious food.

Another traditional village worth visiting is Kinopiastes, with its pastel-coloured buildings, an olive oil museum, an impressive cathedral, and busy tavernas where you can sample local specialities.

The wetland habitat of Lake Korission, at the island's southwest point is a "Natura Region", attracting 126 different bird species. Go for a walk and discover its diverse ecosystem where you will encounter sand dunes and a cedar forest along the way.

Outdoor activities

With its rugged mountains, lush landscape and endless beaches, there are many opportunities for outdoor activities while visiting Corfu. If hiking is your thing, check out the Corfu Trail, providing a good variety of long-distance walking routes while discovering the island's spectacular scenery: from olive groves and gorges to beaches and dunes.

Riding in the foothills of the Pantokrator Mountains
Riding in the foothills of the Pantokrator Mountains © Kat Sommers - Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

Based near the village of Ano Korakiana in the foothills of the Pantokrator mountain range is Trailriders Horse Trekking Centre, which offers a memorable experience of trekking on horseback.

Kids will also love a day visit to Aqualand, a water park with more than 36 different water slides, 15 adventure pools and plenty more to keep your little ones busy and happy. Restaurants, coffee shops and bars, and even massage and fish spa facilities, keep the older ones entertained as well.

Taste the local cuisine

The island's cuisine has been influenced by its western dominators: the Byzantines, the English, the French but mostly by the Venetians, who occupied Corfu for about 400 years. That's why many local specialities have Italian names and Venetian origins such as bourdeto, noumboulo, savoro, sofrito and bianco.

A few more local delicacies you should try is the corfiot kumquat liqueur, ginger beer which is locally called tzitzibira, and traditional sykomaida- a combination of dried figs, grapes, chopped almonds, walnuts and black pepper, all wrapped in walnut or vine leaves - goes well with ouzo.

For more inspiration and tasty experiences, join a food tour with Corfu Walking Tours and discover local cuisine by meeting the island's food artisans. Ideally, opt for this experience early on your trip so that you get your bearings and then know where to head for your gastronomic fix.

Climate in Corfu

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Maximum daytime temperature °C
Hours of sunshine (daily)
Days with some rainfall
Sea temperature °C

The above guide shows the climate in Corfu Town. Find out more about conditions across the island in our complete guides to the climate in Corfu and the climate in Greece.

Ready to explore Corfu? Don't miss the current offers online from First Choice.

More about Corfu

Corfu by month

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Rania Margari

Rania Margari

Posted on Tuesday 17th January 2017 in: Europe Excursions Family Summer

Back to top

Explore holidays in the sun for less

Related posts

Back to Travel inspiration Top ^