It may not have the notoriety of Santorini or Mykonos, but Corfu has plenty to offer as a destination. Located in the north Ionian Sea off the west coast of mainland Greece, Corfu is a place to be treasured - an island rich in history that boasts the most charming Old Town, home to warm and welcoming locals, as well as colorful Venetian corridors, delightful boutiques and outdoor dining that spills out onto the picturesque pedestrian boulevards. But it's the incredible coastline that keeps visitors coming back - quite possibly the prettiest in all of Greece. Crystal clear waters surround Corfu and give way to soaring sea cliffs, dazzling grottos, secret beaches, sea caves and secluded coves.
Old Fortress views from the banks of Corfu Town.
Heroes of Cypriot Struggle Square.
HOW LONG ON CORFU?
The Corfu coastline is incredible, and you'll want to pack as many beaches into your visit as possible. A solid four days on the island is enough time to see the major beaches, hike, rent a boat and enjoy Old Town - all the best that Corfu has to offer.
The gnarliest diving board in Greece is at La Grotta, on Corfu's west coast.
Welcome to the moon. These amazing rocks are only accessible by boat on the island's west coast.
Rent a boat on Corfu - it's very affordable, and no license required!
THINGS TO DO ON CORFU
CANAL D'AMOUR BEACH
Located in northern Corfu, Canal D'Amour Beach is a stunning stretch of coast riddled with natural bays, canals and mini sea caves. Join the sunbathers and lay out on the picturesque beach, or climb the rocks with the adventurers who use the smooth stone shelves for cliff jumping.
CORFU OLD TOWN
If staying in Old Town isn't an option, then make the historic heart of the island a destination during your stay. It's a captivating place to explore on foot, and it's particularly vibrant in the early evening. Get lost in the colorful labyrinth of alleys; admire the Venetian influence of Old Town; dine outside at one of the vibrant restaurants; visit the Old Fortress; and shop the little boutiques that line the charming pedestrian corridors.
This gorgeous stretch of calm water sits at the base of the walls of Old Town. It's beautiful to visit midday when the water is sparkling shades of turquoise, and also at sunset when the water absorbs cotton candy colors from the sky.
Spend an afternoon sunbathing in Garitsa Bay, an idyllic spot to relax located at the base of Old Town's city walls. It's not quite as manicured as Faliraki Beach, but there's a little beach, sunbathing rocks and ocean swim ladders, all with sweeping views of the Old Fortress.
An outdoor beach bar that overlooks the island's most stunning cove, La Grotta is probably my favorite place on Corfu. That said, it's no hidden gem. Plenty of people know about it, and it gets busy. If you want to experience it both with and without people, I suggest arriving right when the bar opens in the morning. Chances are you'll have the place to yourself for a couple of hours. Use the time to take photos, cliff jump, hang on the diving board and swim in the sparkling cove before the afternoon crowds start trickling in. Then, grab a drink and soak in the good vibes.
PORTO TIMONI BEACH It's a bit of a hike to reach beautiful Porto Timoni, but the coastal trek is scenic and relatively mild. You reach this hidden gem from Afionas. Park for free in the village, or pay a small fee to park at the hotel lot located at the trailhead. It's a 15-minute hike to reach the beach. Porto Timoni is two mirrored bays separated by back-to-back beaches, and the views from above are stunning. The beaches don't have much shade, and there are no facilities. Pack plenty of water, as well as snacks and a picnic if you plan to stay more than a couple of hours.
WEST COAST (BY PRIVATE BOAT)
One of my favorite adventures on Corfu is renting a private boat for the day to explore the secluded coves, sea caves and soaring cliffs on the island's west coast. Boat rentals are available at agencies up and down the west coast.
Corfu Town is bursting with color - a complete 180 from the islands in the Cyclades.
The Old Fortress is walkable from Old Town, and can be visited during daylight hours.
Afternoon dip along the city walls.
Trying to decide which sandstone ledge to jump from at Canal D'Amour.
PLACES TO EAT ON CORFU
Avli is a beautiful restaurant setting on Garitsa Bay that serves up a fresh selection of seafood, and classic Greek cuisine.
Pasta is a must while in Corfu. La Famiglia sits tucked away in a charming Old Town alley, and offers a delicious selection of homemade pastas, bruscetta and lasagna.
MARGHERITA PIZZA ARTIGIANALE
Small pizza joint located in the heart of Old Town. The pies are wood-fired, thin crust and absolutely delicious. Margherita Pizza also serves a variety of pasta dishes.
The restaurant sits on one of the main squares in Old Town - a great spot for people watching over dinner. Menu offerings include fresh fish, pastas and salads.
Delicious place to stop in Agios Georgios after hiking to and from Porto Timoni. San George has a full menu of food options, but it's their smoothies and fresh juices that are particularly delicious;.
It's an easy 15-minute hike to reach this amazing view over Porto Timoni.
Delicious smoothies at San Georges - a refreshing stop after Porto Timoni.
Porto Timoni is home to two mirrored bays - the one facing south is my favorite.
WHERE TO STAY ON CORFU
A neo-classical mansion filled with history, Bella Venezia sits on the edge of Corfu's Old Town. The rooms are small and a bit dated, but everything is clean, and the location is perfect. From the hotel, everywhere in Old Town is walkable - the beach, restaurants, shopping and cafes.
Ikos Dassia one one of the best five-star luxury options on Corfu, and it's located just 20 minutes north of Corfu Town on Dassia Beach. The resort is all-inclusive with several restaurants to choose from, as well as waiter service for guests lounging at the beach or one of the many pools. Accommodations are spacious and plush - a mix of traditional rooms, suites and plunge pool bungalows.
Siora Vittoria is a restored 19th-century townhouse ideally located at the edge of Corfu Town. Similar to Bella Venezia, rooms are a bit dated, but the central location and price per night can't be beat.
One of the best Airbnb options in Old Town. The apartment sits in the heart of the historical district, but has been complete renovated. Interior design is fresh and modern. The Viaggio apartment is two stories - kitchen, bathroom and living area are downstairs with and upstairs bedroom and second bathroom.
Colorful corridors in Corfu Town.
I love the blooming flowers scattered around Old Town.
GETTING AROUND CORFU
If you have plans to visit anywhere outside of Old Town while on Corfu, you'll need a car or scooter. Car rentals are conventionality available at the airport, which is a 10-minute drive from Old Town. If you're staying Old Town, most hotels and apartments do not have parking spaces. You'll have to find street parking along the water or the streets surrounding Old Town.
Sunbeds for rent atAgios Georgios.
Summer vibes in the Ionian Sea.
Corfu's coastline is one of the prettiest in Greece.
Imabari Corfu is a great spot for drinks and swimming, located at the base of the Old Town walls.
Just me and my watermelon.
GETTING TO CORFU
Similar to most Greek islands, Corfu is accessible by both land and sea. The international airport offers flights to several destinations in Europe and the Middle East, while the ferry ports connect Corfu to the mainland, as well as other Ionian islands. We reached Corfu via a short flight from Athens, and from there moved onward to Paxos via ferry. I used a local tour agency to arrange our ferry tickets to Paxos, and for all our other ferry routes in Greece, I was able to book with Ferry Hopper.
Old Town is bursting with colorful pedestrian lanes.
Until next time, Corfu!