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.
If you’ve narrowed down which Greek island you are going to and are looking for the best things to do in Corfu, we have 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 lush, 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 Corfu 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 only 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 these months some of the best times to visit Greece. We spent most of the month in June in Corfu, and the weather was perfect, although it was definitely starting to creep up in temperature towards the end of the month, and prices were rising as we got into July.
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 okay condition, though if you have previous experience driving in Greece, it would be best. The Corfu roads are honestly the worst we’ve seen in all the 15 islands we have visited. However, if you have driven in Greece and are okay with dilapidated, narrow roads you’ll be fine on Corfu.
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. Still, 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. Keep in mind that Corfu is a very late island, and it can take an hour or more to get from point to point. If going from the south to all the way north, expect almost two hours! So that may not be super comfortable on a moped or ATV.
We rented a car from the Corfu airport for two weeks for about €30 a day with Alamo.
Compare Prices For Rental Cars on Corfu
best things to do in Corfu, Greece
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, though quite honestly I didn’t find it as beautiful as the Rhodes Old Town, or those main towns in the Cyclades.
Still, 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 related 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. Even though we were staying near Corfu Town, we spent most of our days traveling to Palaikastritsa to visit the beaches here.
While you absolutely must come here at least once, the beaches here are bustling in the summer, so you may prefer to seek out a few of the less popular ones as well (or rent a boat to hang out in the coves).
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 40 minutes. 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 some of those in Palaiokastritsa, even though it is organized with sunbeds and umbrellas. Ensure 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 visitor 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 left a mark on the architecture of Corfu’s Old Town and fortified parts of the island to defend it. The Byzantines initially built the old fortress, 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.
Dive Into the Sea at La Grotta
La Grotta is an awesome beach bar in the northwestern part of the island. This bar is literally built into the side of a cliff and serves up great drinks, food with music that keeps that party vibe going all day.
There’s a great diving board that leads those who jump straight into the crystal clear waters. It’s a calm place to swim and enjoy time with friends and other travelers. Our day at La Grotta was one of the best we had on Corfu, and I highly recommend checking out this little bar at least once on your trip!
Rent a Boat and Explore Hidden Beaches
One of the best things to do in Corfu is rent a boat for the day and explore all the hidden coves and bay accessible via boat. Two of the most popular places to rent a boat are Paleokastritsa and Liapades, though we found that you can also rent them at Agni Beach. We rented a boat for under €100 for the full day (plus €20 for fuel).
You don’t need a special license to rent a boat in Greece if the boat is under 30 hp. However it obviously helps if you have driven a boat before as you driving out on the ocean. If you don’t feel comfortable driving by yourself, you can hire a skipper to drive you around to the bays as well!
Keep an eye out for the weather when renting a boat; you don’t want to pick a windy and choppy day as it will definitely affect your day! We rented our boat with Triton Marine Tours in Paleokastritsa as they had 5 star reviews and highly recommend their family company.
Hike Down to Porti Timoni
Porto Timoni is easily the most popular beach in the north part of the island. The reason for this is it’s a stunning double beach with turquoise water and a viewpoint that looks out of this world.
The hike down to Porto Timoni is steep and uneven, and it’s best to wear tennis shoes (no flip flops) for the trek down. The hike down takes about 35 minutes and there are no facilities down at the beach, so make sure to bring all the sunscreen, water, and snacks you need. There are photo viewpoints along the way so make sure to bring your camera!
After you hike back up stop at Zeus Throne for some drinks and snacks!
Stroll Through Afionas
The hike to Porto Timoni starts at Afionas above. This is a small town with a few boutique shops and delicious restaurants. It’s a popular place to head and soak in the vibe and wander around.
It’s particularly well known for its sunsets, so try to come and spend one evening here. Even better, see if you can book a hotel in the area so you can enjoy the views right from your balcony.
Catch Sunset at Loggas Beach
Loggas Beach is the ultimate place to watch the sunset in Corfu. It’s located at the northern tip of the island and provides stunning views out to the ocean. Loggas Beach is a small beach that requires a very short hike to get to; however the available sand area is quite narrow between the waterline and the cliffs, and you’ll have to head here at low tide to really enjoy the “beach” portion.
The more popular thing to do at sunset is head to 7th Heaven right above the beach. They have a glass-bottom viewing platform for sunset!
Enjoy the View at Cape Drastis
Cape Drastis is perhaps the wildest place in Corfu. At the northernmost point, not far from Loggas Beach is this beautiful sight. Cape Drastis is shaped by cliffs and tiny sea caves with a few sandy strips between them.
The best way to visit Cape Drastis is by car, and to walk and see it from above, you’ll have to hike a short distance to the main viewpoint over the cliffs, but it shouldn’t take you more than 20 minutes to get there, and it’s not difficult!
This gives you amazing views from above, but you won’t really reach the beach from above as the cliffs are straight off down to the sea. To reach the sandy beaches, it’s best to visit by boat (on a calm day).
Cliff Jump at Kanali tou Erota
One of the best cliff jumping spots in Corfu is Kanali Tou Erota near Sidari. As you can see, the shape is a wild horseshoe, and from the cliffs, visitors can jump in! The jump is about 5 meters, though it can get higher if you try.
While the cliff jumping was super fun, I found the climb out a little difficult, especially for short people, as it requires a series of handholds on wet rock. To avoid the climb out, strong swimmers can swim around the cliffs to the left and swim through a sea cave to access the beach and get out of the water that way. Don’t forget to have lunch at D’ Amour Beach when you’re done!
Spend an Evening at Ambelonas Vineyard
We were looking for a winery on Corfu and landed on Ambelonas Corfu. This is a small vineyard just 6 km from Corfu Town, on a beautiful hill with natural wild vegetation and stunning sunset views of the island.
While the white and red wine are delicious, the area is exceptional for dinner. Ambelonas serves up traditional Corfiot cuisine with a modern flair. It’s one of the best meals we had in Corfu as the food is tasty, and the grounds are truly magical.
Reservations are highly recommended (and almost required). Ambelonas hosts a lot of weddings, so their hours are pretty limited (Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, 19:00—22:30).
See the Vlacherna Monastery
The Vlacherna Monastery is the only building on a very tiny islet near the airport. This monastery dates back to the 17th or 18th century. While it’s interesting to walk through and around, I particularly liked sitting at Café Kanoni up the hill and getting a view of it.
Climb Up the Angelokastro
Angelokastro is a Byzantine castle located at the top of the highest peak of the island’s shoreline. If you are near Palaiokastritsa, consider adding it to your day as it’s not far away and is one of the best things to do in Corfu!
It may look like a long climb up to the castle, but it’s honestly not that bad and will take less than 10 minutes. From the top, you get amazing views to the north and south!
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!
- The Village Taverna: One of our favorite meals we had was at The Village Taverna. This family taverna is set in a charming small village and the owners are so sweet and kind. We let them completly choose our meal for us and it was excellant!
Where to Stay on Corfu Island
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Thank You For Contributing
While we enjoyed our two weeks on Corfu, Nina Ahmedow is a travel content creator who has traveled to more than 20 countries on three continents – she helped curate this list of things to do in Corfu. 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.