Top 10 things to do in Corfu

Paleokastritsa Monastery, Corfu

There’s more to Corfu than its beautiful beaches. Dive deeper and you’ll discover many centuries of history in and around the capital’s cobbled old town, dating from antiquity to the present day. One of the most lush islands in Greece, this Ionian gem is made for hiking enthusiasts and there are marked trails everywhere you look. On the west and north coasts, impressively carved cliffs, some bare and others verdant, plunge into azure seas. Visit a functioning monastery on top of a hill that offers beautiful views of the sea. In an isolated village in the interior, see centuries-old olive groves and learn to identify high-quality extra virgin olive oil.

For more Corfu inspiration, check out our guides to the island’s best hotels, restaurants, beaches and nightlife.

Corfu Old Town

Peel the layers of time

Four centuries of Venetian rule mostly shaped Corfu’s Old Town into the Unesco World Heritage-listed stunner it is today. Lose yourself in the alleys of the atmospheric Campiello district, where dirty laundry hangs between the pastel-toned dwellings; pay homage to the island’s patron saint at the Agios Spyridon church; and linger in the shade of the trees at a café in the elegant Liston Arcade.

Insider tip: Take a sunset stroll along the coastal road from the old port, past the Mouragia area, and see neoclassical buildings bathed in golden light. Finish your walk in the expansive Spianada Square, which comes to life with youthful laughter every night.

old town of corfu - DANITA DELIMONT

old town of corfu – DANITA DELIMONT

Climb a fortress for unparalleled views

Built by the Venetians in the 14th century and expanded by the British, the Old Fortress is strategically situated on a peninsula with two rugged peaks at the mouth of the Adriatic Sea. Not only does it represent remarkable military engineering, but the views of the surrounding sea and the Old Town from the tallest of its two towers are spectacular.

Insider tip: When the weather is warm, join the locals for a swim on the small beach of Limanaki at the foot of the monument. Afterwards, enjoy a cold beer or juice at the nearby Corfu Sailing Club and admire the sailboats moored in Mandraki harbor.

Prices: £

old fortress, corfu

old fortress, corfu

Unearth a rich culinary heritage

For an in-depth exploration of Corfu’s Venetian-influenced culinary heritage, see island-born brothers Ariti and Nausica Katsarou, who run small-group and private food tours of the Old Town. In small alleys, you will find gastronomic vanguards that explain how delicacies such as cold nouboulo, a reference to Italian ham, are produced. Make room for savory meze and sweet treats from an old-school dairy.

Insider tip: If you visit during Easter, the Katsarou sisters will go into detail about the traditions involved in the island’s colorful celebrations, such as pot crushing. While you’re there, buy fogatsa or kolombina, two types of local brioche made for the annual holiday.

Contact: corfuwalkingtours. with
Prices: $$

Visit a palace built on top of an ancient city

The British Lord High Commissioner Sir Frederick Adam built a palace, later called Mon Repos, in 1831 as a summer residence for his wife Corfiot, Diamantina Palatianou. Today, the neoclassical village functions as a 14-room museum whose main attraction is an abundance of rare finds from the 8th century BC city of Paleopolis, traces of which are evident throughout the densely vegetated property.

Insider tip: With tall trees for shade, this is the perfect spot for a picnic on a hot summer day. Don’t miss Kardaki’s Doric Temple, one of Corfu’s best-preserved ancient sites, and look for the eponymous hidden beach nearby.

Prices: £

mon repos, corfu

mon repos, corfu

northeast coast

Drop anchor in a secluded bay

No visit to Corfu is complete without hiring a speedboat to explore the coast at your own pace – San Stefano Boats is one choice among many. The northeast coast, in particular, is blessed with endless beaches, bays and sheltered coves, some of which are – gloriously – accessible only by sea. Find a peaceful spot where you can soak in emerald waters before heading to a beachside tavern for lunch.

Insider tip: Head north to the little-visited and heavily wooded headland of Erimitis, an area of ​​outstanding natural beauty. There you’ll find a sextet of serene beaches and three small lakes. Keep an eye out for the Kaparelli lighthouse, built on a rocky islet.

Contact: sanstefanoboats. with
Prices: $$

speedboat, corfu - DAVID C TOMLINSON

speedboat, corfu – DAVID C TOMLINSON

Take the Corfu trail

Hilary Paipeti is something of a local legend. In 2001, she established the Corfu Trail, the island’s 220km demarcated route, after years of exploring and discovering the island’s diverse interior and coastline. The trail, thoroughly documented in a book, stretches from Arkoudilas in the south to Cape Agia Ekaterini in the north. Spring is the ideal season for hiking in Corfu.

Insider tip: Corfu Sea Land Activities expert guides Alexandros Gogas and Dimitris Ionas offer varied hiking experiences for all fitness levels. They will guide you through olive groves, chapels, under the mighty Mount Pantokrator and along cobblestone trails.

Contact: corfuactivities. with
Prices: The Companion Guide to the Corfu Trail, £; Land activities in the Sea of ​​Corfu, £

corfu trail

corfu trail

northwest coast

Enjoy heavenly views from a monastery

Wherever you stay in Corfu, the leafy resort town of Paleokastritsa is a must-see. Visit the hilltop monastery dedicated to the Virgin Mary, built in the 13th century. From there, take in jaw-dropping views of sweeping bays, inlets and fertile cliffs that rise from a turquoise Ionian Sea. There is a museum displaying rare Byzantine icons and relics, and an on-site shop as well.

Insider tip: The morning Mass, open to the public, is held from 7:00 am to 8:30 am and offers a moment of silent contemplation before the cruise crowds show up. Wait until the monastery closes at 1 pm to access the two main viewpoints, reached by a dirt road.

Prices: Free

Paleokastritsa Monastery, Corfu

Paleokastritsa Monastery, Corfu

Immerse yourself in vivid color

Corfu offers some of the most spectacular diving in Greece. Novice and experienced divers will enjoy inspecting various dive sites with operators such as Achilleon Diving, particularly on the west coast, offering visibility up to 30 meters. Expect vibrant reefs, soft corals, caves, caves, canyons, arches, steep drops, shipwrecks and narrow passages. You are likely to find barracuda, moray eels, octopus, shrimp, grouper, crayfish and sea bream.

Insider tip: Don’t miss Colovri Islet with its two remarkable outer reefs teeming with marine life such as tuna, jacks, anthia and nudibranch. There is an abrupt drop, a dip and a plateau covered with coral at a depth of 40m.

Contact: corfu-diving. with
Prices: Varies between dive centers

diving, corfu -

diving, corfu –

north of corfu

Witness the beauty of a natural sculpture

A 12-minute drive west of Sidari is Cape Drastis, a stunning, pristine landscape of craggy sandstone cliffs shaped by the wind and crystal clear waters. It’s more impressive than the tourist-crowded Canal d’Amour and fewer people know or do the walk. Park your car and walk along a bumpy road to capture this amazing spot, worth seeing at sunset.

Insider tip: At the end of the road is the tiny Enseada do Grava, from where you can dive into the cold, translucent waters of the flat rocks. Alternatively, book a private boat tour with Sidari-based Fortuna Sea Tours, involving stops for swimming at Cape Drastis and Grava.

Contact: fortuneseatours. with
Prices: £

cape drastis, corfu

cape drastis, corfu

south of corfu

Learn the secrets of olive oil

Brothers Spyros and George Dafnis single-handedly put Corfu and their Lianolia olive variety on the extra virgin olive oil map. Book a tasting tour of his estate, The Governor, and see how third-generation olive oil producers have married tradition and technology to create premium EVOO. You will visit olive groves, see a 15th century mill and taste the exquisite golden elixir.

Insider tip: Once you learn to recognize great olive oil, you can purchase a limited-edition early harvest oil certified for its health-enhancing properties.

Prices: £

the governor olive oil tours, corfu

the governor olive oil tours, corfu

nearby islands

Sail into the sunset

With its sheltered moorings and calm waters, the Ionian Sea has long been a magnet for sailing enthusiasts. Book a two- or three-day boat trip with Celebration Charters, run by Scottish couple Robert and Veronica Queen, and see what it’s like to cross the great blue, powered by the Aeolus. If the islands of Paxos and Antipaxos are on your mind, a chartered sailboat is the most romantic way to reach them.

Insider tip: The tiny and lesser-known islets of Diapontia of Erikoussa, Othoni and Mathraki, which lie north of Corfu, are a dream sailing destination. Beaches without umbrellas, sleepy villages, herb-scented hills and a playground of exotic aquamarines await.

Prices: $$$

sailing, corfu - Celebration Charters

sailing, corfu – Celebration Charters

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