The queen of the Ionian Sea, Corfu is one of the greenest of the Greek islands, thanks to intermittent rains from September through May. Its landscape is comprised of thousands of olive trees making for a much more rural appearance that many other touristic spots in the country. Its combination of beautiful beaches and warm waters, with a fascinating history (not to mention great food), make it one of our top selling destinations.
Corfu is best visited from Easter until October, though many resort hotels only work from May to September. We recommend mid-May to June, when discounted room rates, better taverna service and moderate weather make for an all-round superior trip. July and August are warmer, but also more crowded and expensive.
To get the most out of your holiday in Corfu, read on for our travel guide, including recommendations from the experts at Nelios.com (Greece’s leading e-tourism agency) and from our own Sales Team who specialise in holidays to Greece and its islands.
Beaches in Corfu
Kerasia – the quiet one
Kerasia Beach is a calm cove, with a long, sweeping beach, which lies between Kouloura and Agios Stephanos. The beach may not have many amenities, with just one tavern amongst a handful of villas, but its peacefulness and relaxed atmosphere are beyond compare. Its privacy also makes it a celebrity favourite; the Rothchild’s have a house there and Prince Charles and Lord Sainsbury are regulars.
Sidari – the traditional one
Sidari, two little villages connected by a beautiful stretch of sand, is an excellent choice for those who enjoy swimming and a piece of traditional life on the island. And if you’re travelling as a couple, one of Sidari’s most famous landmarks are the unique cliff formations known as canal d’ amour (French for the channel of love). Legend has it that if a couple swim together in its water, they will be forever in love.
I recommend Sidari for swimming or diving (it’s an amazing place!) and Corfu Town for a night stroll… Paxi islands is also great for a day cruise.
Maria Tsekoura, Content Writer at Nelios.com
Glyfada – the pretty one
Glyfada Beach is by far the most beautiful on Corfu. Surrounded by a fine selection of tavernas and bars, you can easily spend all day here. The beach is made up on soft sands, making it a great choice for those with young children too.
Things to Do in Corfu
Rent a Car
As much of the tourist development in Corfu is isolated to the coastal patches, travelling inland is much like travelling to a completely different island, or perhaps even in a different era altogether. Secondary roads in Corfu appear not to have changed at all since British times. Renting a car is a must if you wish to see more of the rural landscapes and perhaps even take a picnic with you to make a day of it.
I recommend renting a car, pick a nice sunny day and your other half and go to one of the tallest mountains in Corfu and enjoy the breathtaking view. I know I did.
Georgios H. Kafataridis, Support Department at Nelios.com
Take a Walking Tour of Corfu Town
Corfu was the island that offered shelter to Homer’s Odysseus and allowed Poseidon to indulge his love for Amphitrite in Greek mythology. Today the island inspires the same creativity and love, with its cultural diversity and stunning scenery. The best way to see the most interesting parts of Corfu Town is to take a walking tour.
Corfu town is a welcome mix of old and new, having been owned in the past by both France and Britain, there are distinct influences of its historic past in the architecture, atmosphere and local produce. It feels more like a French or Italian town rather than a Greek one, particularly in the square of the Esplanade, known as the Spianada. This square was first planned by the French, but is also encircled with beautiful Italian style buildings and even an old Venetian fortress known as the Old Fort, which features a small museum of Corfu’s history and an art gallery of traditional paintings. On a walking tour, you’ll pass a 19th century park and esplanade that is one of the largest plazas in all of Europe, Liston Street, the home of all that famed Venetian Architecture and the spectacular neoclassical Palace of St George and St Michael.
Pelekas is a lovely village that with a great deal to offer tourists. Sandy beaches, tavernas, olive groves, nightlife and more make it well-worth a visit, whether you wish to stay in the resort or spend a day here. You’ll find some of the island’s finest traditional food and drink, enjoyed aside wonderful views from its hilltop location.
The scenic and infamous village of Pelekas, in southwestern Corfu is situated on top of a hill offering panoramic views all over the island. The village is nestled amidst lush greenery and here you can totally relax admiring the sun setting over the deep blue waters of the Ionian Sea. For exceptional views and unique pictures visit the Kaiser’s Observatory to experience the ultimate sunset, as the German Emperor William II used to do, or Hotel Levant’s café for a refreshing drink as well.
Eleni Dimou, Content Writer at PurpleTravel.co.uk
Food and Drink in Corfu
At PurpleTravel.co.uk, we think Greek holidays are all about the food and drink, and we’re certain you’ll feel the same after a trip to Corfu. Long gone are the soggy chips and cold moussakas of the old days, modern Corfiot food is fresh and exciting and produced mainly using locally-grown ingredients. From traditional tavernas to fine dining seafront restaurants, you’re certain to find ample choices of eateries on the island.
I recommend you to go on Fridays evenings at Lemon Garden Restaurant in Acharavi for the “Greek Night” with live music and dancers and drink minimum a “Lemon Pie” cocktail.
Luca Mitrea, Sales Advisor at PurpleTravel.co.uk
A drink in the famous Cavalieri Hotel is a must-do. This stunning 17th century hotel has long been a meeting point for writers, actors and poets, statesmen, businessmen and leisure travellers Having once belonged to the family of Count Flamburiari, it reopened as a hotel in the mid ‘60s, becoming one of the first luxury hotels in Corfu.
If you go to Corfu, you must try pastitsada and sofrito at Bellissimo Restaurant. If you don’t you can’t say you’ve been there!
John Ropas, Senior Developer at Nelios.com
Book your cheap holiday to Corfu today by calling PurpleTravel.co.uk on 0207 993 9228.