Choosing the right Greek island can be a daunting task, after all, there are thousands of them (though fewer than 250 are inhabited). But Corfu has been a tourist favorite for decades. So you’ve narrowed down which Greek island you are going to and are now looking for the best things to do in Corfu. We’ve got you covered with the best Corfu attractions, places to eat, and where to stay.
First, it’s important to note that the northernmost of the Ionian islands differs significantly from many of the most famous Greek islands: It is much greener, and it has a strong Italian influence.
The mountains in the northern part of Corfu will be of particular interest to hiking fans. And after enjoying all the wonderful landscapes, spending some hours at one of the many stunning beaches is a welcome way to relax. Finally, if you’re looking for things to do in Corfu Town, the capital has plenty of sightseeing options.
So don’t worry, you won’t get bored in Corfu, no matter your interests. If you’re still unsure of what to do in Corfu, read on for some suggestions.
When is the best time to go to Corfu?
Contrary to travel in other Greek islands, Corfu doesn’t shut down in the winter, so you can really visit at any time of the year. The island has a sizeable population of students, meaning life never actually stands still. When to visit Corfu really depends on what exactly you want to do on the island.
That doesn’t mean that beach lovers should book a trip in the summer. July and August, the hottest months of the year, are more expensive than other months, and the temperature can be a bit much if you’re not used to the climate. May and June or September might be better options as they are cooler and see fewer tourists. I consider this one of the best times to visit Greece.
If you’re looking for a cultural experience you may want to consider traveling to Corfu around Greek Orthodox Easter. The celebrations in Corfu Town differ from anywhere else in Greece and are well worth a trip. Have you ever seen people throw clay pots from balconies to celebrate Easter? You will in Corfu!
How to get around Corfu
Corfu isn’t a tiny island, and because it is stretched quite long it can take a while to get from the north to the south. While there is a public bus system on the island it’s more suitable for seeing the main sights, villages, and beaches. If you want to scratch beneath the surface renting a car in Greece is a more convenient way to get around.
The roads in Corfu are in decent condition, and renting a car is perfect if you’re planning to spend a lot of time exploring the different beaches. You can easily bring all your essentials and will even be able to reach more remote beaches. Just keep in mind that parking can be a challenge in some places.
Scooters and ATVs are popular options on the island, but although they tend to be cheaper they are not as comfortable as cars, don’t allow you to bring a lot of stuff, and, most of all, cannot provide air conditioning or shelter against the harsh Mediterranean sun.
Compare Prices For Rental Cars on Corfu
best things to do in Corfu, Greece
Corfu was one of the filming locations for the 1981 James Bond movie For Your Eyes Only so you can be sure that there are stunning views and interesting places to visit. Here are some of best Corfu attractions to enjoy
Wander through the Old Town
The Old Town of Corfu is a UNESCO World Heritage site so it needs to be included on any list of things to do in Corfu. As opposed to some of the smaller Greek islands, Corfu’s capital is quite lively and worth a visit at any time of the year. Simply strolling through the narrow alleys and admiring the beautiful façades is a wonderful experience.
In a way, walking through Corfu’s Old Town is like being in two countries at once: Greece and Italy. Corfu was under Venetian rule for several centuries, so the architecture in the old town with its colorful buildings looks surprisingly different from the rest of Greece and more like what you would find in an Italian city.
If you walk around for a while you may stumble upon a free concert. Corfu is known in Greece for its many marching bands and general musicality, so it comes as no surprise that live concerts on the streets of the Old Town take place regularly.
If you’re in for some less-known history, make your way to Corfu’s old Jewish quarter. Sadly, during the Second World War, many of Corfu’s Jews were deported. As such, the community today is quite small, but you can still visit the small synagogue.
Indulge in local food
Greece is famous for its cuisine, but there is something special about the food you can find in Corfu. Namely, there is one particular ingredient that you may not be familiar with yet: the kumquat fruit.
Kumquat is a citrus fruit you will find in local liqueurs and sweets. Its flavor takes a bit getting used to, but you should try it nonetheless.
While kumquat comes from China, in Greece the fruit is mainly cultivated on Corfu. Corfu produces 140 tonnes of kumquat every year! So enjoy the vitamin A and C while you are visiting.
Aside from that, there are plenty of restaurants and taverns on the islands that you can choose from, including awesome vegan options in Corfu.
For the best sweets on the island, head to Rosy’s Bakery in the Old Town. There are tons of options, including kumquat sweets. Just be aware that you pay by weight.
Visit the Achilleion
The Achilleion is a palace not far from the capital Corfu, in the village Gastouri. It was built for Austrian Empress Elisabeth, also known as Sisi. The Achilleion was built in 1890, a year after Sisi’s son died. Its name is derived from the mythical hero Achilles of whom there are also statues in the garden.
The palace was a summer residence, and the gorgeous garden really makes it a perfect visit during the warmer season with its fabulous views of Corfu. Keep in mind that there are more tourists in the summer, so it tends to get fairly busy. Inside the palace, you can admire several artworks such as paintings and sculptures that relate to Greek mythology.
The Achilleion isn’t far from Corfu Town, but parking can be difficult to find during peak times. A regular ticket is €10.
Explore the bays of Paleokastritsa
You obviously can’t visit a Greek island and not go to the beach. Corfu has a ton of options if you’re looking to spend some time relaxing on the beach. Some of the most stunning beaches you can find in Corfu are located around Palaiokastritsa.
This area in the northwest of Corfu offers the most splendid views due to the cliffs and marvelous greenery. While you absolutely must come here at least once the beaches here are extremely busy in the summer so you may prefer to seek out a few of the less popular ones as well.
If you want to go beyond what most tourists do in the area make sure to include a visit to the Monastery of Palaiokastritsa from where you can see the beauty of the whole area.
From Corfu Town, you can reach Palaiokastritsa by car in about half an hour. The public bus A9 takes about an hour from Corfu Town to Palaiokastritsa. A one-way ticket costs €2.30.
Relax at Issos beach
A less well-known beach on Corfu is Issos, which is located in the southwestern part of the island. The beach is far less busy than Palaiokastritsa even though it is organized with sunbeds and umbrellas. Make sure you stay around for the sunset which transforms the dunes behind the beach into a desert-like landscape.
Walk along Spianada square and the Liston
Who would have thought that the biggest square in all of Greece is located on the island of Corfu? Spianada Square is perhaps the only place in Greece where Greeks play cricket, a pastime introduced under British rule.
The Liston is the promenade right next to the square and showcases elegant arcades where you can stop for a coffee. This is a great place for people watching.
Spend time in Hlomos village
Corfu isn’t just its capital and the many beaches. There are several beautiful villages on the island that are worth visiting. For incredible sunset views, head to Hlomos village in the southern part of the island. The road to the village is quite steep, but you will be rewarded with amazing views.
Due to the location of Hlomos you can see both of Corfu’s coasts. The village is not very popular with tourists yet so you might end up being the only visitors making this a very calm place to hang out.
Find some of the best views on Kaiser’s Throne
Another less-visited place on Corfu is Kaiser’s Throne, located in the village of Pelekas. The beautiful vistas you get from here make it another fantastic place to see a sunrise or sunset. As a former observatory for the German Emperor, it’s also a great place for stargazing.
From Corfu Town, it only takes about 20 minutes by car to reach the viewpoint. You can either drive up or hike if you wish.
Visit Kassiopi village and beach
The picturesque former fishing village of Kassiopi has developed into more of a resort and is very popular with English tourists. The remains of a Byzantine fortress offer a nice view of the village. Despite Kassiopi’s popularity, it’s one of the more quiet tourist resorts on the island.
The beach at Kassiopi is pebbled which isn’t everyone’s favorite. But those who appreciate not getting sand all over their stuff will definitely enjoy it especially due to the crystal clear water. Kassiopi doesn’t get as windy as some of the beaches in the west of Corfu, making it a great choice if you’re traveling with children.
Reaching Kassiopi is easiest by car and takes about 50 minutes from Corfu Town. But if you rely on public transport the green bus A4 takes less than 1.5 hours. A one-way ticket costs €3.60.
Climb the old Venetian fortress
The Venetians have not only left a mark on the architecture of Corfu’s Old Town but also fortified parts of the island to defend it. The old fortress was initially built by the Byzantines, but the Venetians rebuilt it. The ticket price is €6 and also allows you to enter the Museum of Asian Art, the Byzantine Museum, the Archaeological Museum, and Mon Repos.
Fun fact: In For Your Eyes Only, you can see the old Venetian fortress as the location where James Bond defeats one of his enemies. Today, as you walk around the fortress, keep your ears open for music rehearsals. The Ionian University’s music department is located in the old fortress so you can listen to some beautiful melodies.
Visit the Museum of Asian Art
Though it may seem a bit out of place on a Greek island, there is an interesting Museum of Asian Art. It initially specialized in Chinese and Japanese art, but the first private collection of items was enlarged over time and now includes objects from Southeast Asia and Central Asia as well.
The Best Places to Eat on Corfu Island
- Avli Restaurant Corfu: A Greek Traditional Restaurant in the heart of Corfu Town. Slightly upscale so reserve for special occasions!
- Thymari Restaurant: Modern Greek Mediterranean cuisine at the steps of Sofokleous Dousmani.
- Romeos Cafe Taverna: Family run taverna perfect for lunch and dinner!
Where to Stay on Corfu Island
- Budget: Anemona Studios
- Mid Range: Melina Bay Boutique Hotel
- Luxury: Domes MiramareMelina Bay Boutique HotelDomes MiramareMelina Bay Boutique Hotel
READ MORE GREECE TRAVEL TIPS
I hope you enjoyed this guide on what to do on Corfu! Hopefully you found it useful. Here are a few relevant articles for more travel around Greece!
- The Best Things to do in Paros
- The Best Things to do in Naxos
- The Best Things to do in Crete
- The Best Things to do in Santorini
- The Best Things to do in Rhodes
- The Best Things to do in Mykonos
About the Author
Nina Ahmedow is a travel content creator who has traveled to more than 20 countries on three continents. Born and raised in Germany but currently living in Greece, she loves exploring the world through vegan food. She is the voice behind Lemons and Luggage, a travel blog dedicated to vegan and responsible travel. You can follow her on Instagram.