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What to do on Corfu

Corfu is Greece’s longest established holiday destination. One of the earliest English visitors was the artist and limerick writer Edward Lear - almost 100 years before the Durrell family landed on the island. Its popularity with the British visitors reached its zenith in the 1980s but now the arrivals board at the airport shows the truly international mixture all drawn to the rich diversities of this green island.

Corfu is 95 kms long and has something to offer everyone. It is possible to find a deserted beach even in August; seek out rare varieties of wild orchids in Spring; try your skill at painting whilst watching village life which has hardly changed in centuries; play a round of golf; discover hidden parts via natural walking trails; see the many architectural legacies of French, Venetian and British occupations; sample simple and fine dining; learn to windsurf-and much more.

Our Corfu agents: Evi, Andreas & Patricia
Our Corfu agents: Evi, Andreas & Patricia


Our agents on Corfu are Supertravel. Evi and Patricia can be contacted at or (0030) 26610 35218

Banks can be found in Corfu Town, Lefkimi and Acharavi. ATM’s are in many villages around the coast- the only problem is if they run out of currency after a weekend rush. Credit cards are rarely accepted in bars and tavernas, but can usually be used in the larger supermarkets.

The main post office is in Corfu Town, in Alexandras Avenue (a wide tree-lined boulevard) but there are others in major villages such as Moraitika in the south and Acharavi in the north.

Pharmacies have sprouted all over the island in recent years. They do not open on Saturdays and Sundays- although one will be open on a rota shown in the windows, for emergencies.

English speaking doctors can be found anywhere on the island. Corfu has a new hospital in Kontokali, just north of town, (tel. 2661360400) and there are also a number of private clinics in the area around town.


The north is mountainous, offering spectacular views across the straits to Albania, and hiding villages and sleepy hamlets in hillside folds and groves.

Central Corfu is still hilly with varied agriculture and also the jewel of the island, Corfu Town- a Unesco World Heritage site.

The south is the least developed and flatter part of the island, poorer than the north. More traditional, women can still be seen coming home from work on their donkeys and tilling the land, while their menfolk sit in the local cafeneion talking politics over a cup of Greek coffee.


Corfu does not pretend to be a shopaholics’ paradise but on a visit to Corfu Town local crafts can still be found - lovely objects made from olive wood, lace and jewellery. Other shops showcase local artists’ and designers’ works. In the resort areas there are also craftsmen working who will welcome visitors.

In many of the coastal villages fishermen bring their catch in for sale on the waterfront – if you see a boat being followed by seagulls you will be pretty sure they will be mooring with their catch shortly.

Corfu Town has a fascinating, bustling ‘Laiki’ market which stretches along the wall of the fortress. The colourful market has a rainbow selection of fruit, vegetables fish and flowers - you can also enjoy a coffee at one of the market coffee bars- the owner of one of these is also reputed to lead ‘tours’ in the afternoon into the maze of tunnels which lead under the fort. It is open daily except Sunday from 7am-1pm.

If you want to stock up on provisions on the way from the airport to your villa: going south you pass a large branch of “Dimitra” on the right, shortly followed by “Marinopoulos” on the left, and going north the first easily accessible one is “Diellas” at Gouvia (on the left)- all large supermarkets.


The east coast beaches tend to be a mixture of sand and shingle whilst the north and west coasts boast long sandy beaches.

A good idea is to buy a pair of plastic beach shoes, or use old tennis shoes, for swimming, so rocks and sea urchins are no longer a problem.

Possibly the most spectacular stretch of sandy beach is on the south west and fronts the lake of Halikounas, Korissia, the start of a 30 km long stretch of pure sand. A few beach bars can be found and also the Kite Club where, with sufficient wind, you can enjoy the thrill of kite surfing.

Further south are the resorts - Agios Georgios (south), Marathia and Vitalades - but walk away from the taverna areas and a few minutes’ stroll will bring you to a totally undeveloped stretch of beach.

Agios Georgios (north) is another spectacularly beautiful horseshoe- shaped bay on the north west coast, mainly sand, with an excellent fish taverna at the southern end. The owners will collect clients from the beach and take them to the tavern and back as the road is not good. Above the northern end of the beach is the village of Afionas, with several excellent tavernas and bars, and an unrivalled view of the sunset.

Half way up the west coast the twin beaches of Pelekas and Glyfada are extremely popular, especially with younger visitors as they have lively bars where music can be enjoyed into the night.


From the north of the island boat trips to the Diapontian islands of Ericusa, Mithraki and Orthoni are possible - these three islands have few inhabitants and remain delightfully untouched by tourism.

Boat trips from other parts of the island tend to go up and down the coast, some stopping in villages for lunch, and others offering barbecues on an isolated beach. There are also larger boats taking people to Paxos, the next island south, and also to Parga on the mainland.

From the north east resorts of Kassiopi and Nissaki it is possible to hire a boat to explore the nearby coastline of little coves and beaches.

At Avlaki, just before Kassiopi, you can hire windsurfers, sailing dinghies and boats on an hourly basis, and also follow a course of instruction- these range from 3 hours to 3 days. Call them on 2663081877 or 6934305047.

Scuba diving can be enjoyed in the north east with several companies having bases at Ipsos and Nissaki.

There are mountain bike hire and excursion centres at Dassia and Acharavi.

In Corfu Town there is a tennis club at Kefalomandiko where visitors are welcome, it also has a café bar.

The island’s golf course is at Vatos, in the Ropa Valley, in central Corfu. It has been a favourite for many years and also hosts tournaments (

The Corfu Trail was mapped out some years ago and the energetic have been known to walk its entire 80km length. There are also a number of shorter trails laid out (one at Arillas which ends at the brewery) and books are available of walks on the island.

Riding can be enjoyed in various centres at Korakiana and Acharavi, and Silvaland (, where a number of trails for walkers, riders and cyclists have been laid out. Silvaland was started by Sylvia Steen at Varipatades in central Corfu to help preserve the enchanting miniature horses of Skyros. The centre has a large indoor dressage area and a snack bar.
An organic farm which welcomes visitors is Bioporos, on the slopes above Lake Halikounas ( It has a restaurant set in the middle of the farm where children can play, watch the birds and animals and see the tools that were used before machines took over.

The Corfu donkey sanctuary at Doukades welcomes visitors, especially those who come with carrots and apples for the 60 or so donkeys looked after there (

Corfu's Venetian fortress
Corfu's Venetian fortress
Guildford Square, Corfu Town
Guildford Square, Corfu Town


Corfu Town unsurprisingly has the largest selection. The Archaeological Museum is currently closed for renovations, but a visit to the icon museum in a church set on the sea front facing the islet of Vidos is extremely rewarding.

The Palace of St Michael and St George houses a permanent Sino-Japanese exhibition, but also has interesting guest exhibitions.

In St Spyridon’s Square is the banknote exhibition and just outside the town on the Canoni peninsula the palace of Mon Repos, where Prince Philip was born, is well worth visiting. Stroll through the extensive gardens to the ruined Greek temple excavated here and then wander around the surrounding area, which is studded with archaeological sites, including the 2500 year old harbour wall- now facing the departures terminal at the airport!

In the country there are a number of interesting village museums, showing life in the not so distant past, particularly good ones are at Sinarades and Acharavi. There is also a museum celebrating the life of the statesman Ioannis Kapodistrias at his summer home, Koukouritsa, near Corfu Town.

Driving south, the olive press at Vranganiotika is open all summer for visitors to learn how olives are pressed.

In the middle of Corfu the Theotoki wine estate has wine tastings (and is a fascinating glimpse into a feudal way of life which has almost disappeared), (, and Ambelonas winery ( advertises their products, restaurant, and also concerts and other events which are hosted there.

The Shell Museum in Benitses displays an impressive collection, brought together by the museum’s owner during years of world travel.


The church of the island’s patron saint St Spyridon is of course a must- although unlike Margo in ‘My Family and Other Animals’ you may not feel compelled to kiss the saint’s slippers!

Pop into some of the other churches in Corfu Town for surprises like the marble rood screen in St Antony’s (behind the old port), the rood screen was bound for Italy but was shipwrecked on Corfu and stayed there.

In Garitsa a short stroll following the Byzantine Trail leads to the spectacular church of Saints Jason and Sosipatros, the two saints who converted Corfu. The church is the only one of Byzantine style to survive on the island and its walls are beautifully frescoed. If it is locked the keeper is usually working in his orchard next door and will happily open up for you.

Not exactly a church but the British cemetery is a delight, especially in Spring. Its caretaker was actually born there and loves showing his ‘home’ to visitors. It is full of wild orchids and tortoises amble around the grassy aisles between the graves. Other rare plants and shrubs also flourish in this peaceful haven in the midst of Corfu Town. Many of the graves date back to the British Protectorate but there is also a naval section, following the ‘Corfu Channel Incident’ which happened just after the 2nd World War when Albania mined the channel and blew up British ships, killing 44 sailors.


There are regular ferries to the Greek mainland and Lefkimi. The telephone number for the timetable is (26610) 365200.
If you want to take a hire car across you must check if this is possible with the rental agency. Crossings take about 1 and ½ hours from town, and 1 hour from Lefkimi.

It is possible to explore the ancient theatre at Dodoni, the Necromandeion (entrance to the underworld) south of Igoumenitsa and the former Turkish capital of Ioannina, its walled town set on the shore of the lake, a town of mosques, minarets and storks offering a complete contrast to Corfu.

There are also ferries and organized excursions to Saranda, in Albania. The main reason for going there is to see the amazing archaeological site at Butrint (, as Saranda itself is a pleasant enough seaside town but perhaps not worth a visit by itself.


Corfu’s history has influenced its cuisine. Mainland Greece had Turkish rule for centuries and its food is therefore more Eastern. The Ionian islands were governed by Venice so pasta, tomatoes, etc. play a much larger role in the island’s food.

Corfu’s ‘signature’ dishes are Pastitsio (large tubes of pasta, topped with mince, tomato sauce and béchamel with nutmeg and cheese, baked in the oven) and Pastitsado (made with beef or cockerel cooked in a tomato and onion sauce and served with pasta). Pastitsado is often served for a typical family Sunday lunch. Both these dishes are very individual: some people add spices, others do not. No two people’s will taste the same but all are following family traditions handed down.

A few years ago Corfu discovered cocktails, often a lethal mix of drinks which looked colourful and innocent but carried a real punch. These can still be found in some beach bars but the popular drink today is Tsipouro: a clear drink made from the grape skins which are then distilled. It is potent and cheap, which is why it tends to be drunk especially in the small bars in Corfu Town known as “Tsipouradikos”, which also serve selections of tasty snacks.

Good local wine abounds – try Grammenos and Theotoki - and also bottled wine from other parts of Greece, especially the Naoussa area.

Corfu boasts an excellent micro-brewery at Arillas, which hosts a beer festival every Autumn. The brewery can be toured and its products enjoyed. They produce a lager, a real ale and also a dark beer for winter.

Ginger beer sounds very British but has been produced on Corfu since Victorian times. Until recently it was only available in Corfu Town, where a glass could be enjoyed whilst watching a game of cricket but now a new bottling technique means that it is much more widely found across the island.


The Ark rescues stray and abandoned dogs and rehomes as many as possible, mainly in central and southern Corfu. They have a shop in Corfu Town behind Hondos Centre (www.corfuanimal

CARE - Corfu Animal Rescue Establishment ( operates primarily in the north of Corfu.

These organizations cannot take in all the Corfu strays and it is unwise to assume that just because an animal is loose on the road that it is a stray - it may well be a much loved pet. Please do not take animals to the charities without contacting them first as the shelters are always full and new arrivals have to be screened for diseases.
They are both however very grateful for any donations to help the valuable work they do on the island.

There is also an orphanage in Magoulades in the north of the island run by the charity ‘The Smile of the Child’.