Located close to mainland Greece and Albania, Corfu boasts a pristine coastline, and unique rock formations. Beyond its natural wonders, a Corfu vacation wouldn’t be complete without visiting the island’s historic landmarks and religious structures. Fishing villages, sandy beaches, and a deeply rooted history are just a few reasons to visit.
As one of the first Greek islands to embrace tourism, those traveling solo or with others will find what they need to make their stay memorable. Whether you’re planning a visit to explore Corfu’s rich history, walk the cobblestone streets, or swim at its pristine beaches, this Greek island will not disappoint.
1. Old Perithia
History buffs shouldn’t miss Old Perithia. Located at the base of the island’s highest peak — Mount Pantokrator — it is the oldest village in Corfu. Travelers can visit eight churches and explore over a hundred traditional Corfiot homes. The architecture is extremely picturesque, so don’t forget to bring your camera! Watch sheep roam amongst the fig and cherry trees while spending an afternoon walking through the village.
This family-friendly coastal village and resort is popular for its scenic views and relaxing atmosphere. Visitors flock to Kassiopi — which is located in the northeastern section of Corfu — to swim and enjoy recreational activities on the stonebeach. Cafes, restaurants and souvenir shops line the streets of Kassiopi, adding to the village’s appeal. While visiting the area, consider trying one of the many available water sports, such as scuba diving and parasailing. Although it is not the largest of resorts, the experience that families have during their stay will last a lifetime.
Home to the most famous beach on the island — Agios Spyridon — Paleokastritsa is well known for the cool, turquoise waters surrounding it. Historical churches are scattered amongst approximately 15 beaches, many of which can only be reached by boat. The forests surrounding the village are filled with olive trees, affording visitors beautiful views. Foodies will enjoy culinary specialties offered by several restaurants that line the beaches. If you are looking for adventure, rent a sailboat or speedboat in Alipa Port and admire Paleokastritsa’s scenery from the water.
4. Achilleion Palace
Built around the mythical figure Achilles, the Achilleion Palace was constructed in 1890 by Empress Elisabeth of Austria. The Empress was known as the “Princess Diana” of her time, famous for her beauty and world travels. Today, the Achilleion Palace serves as a museum where visitors can see artwork, sculptures, furniture, paintings and even some of the Empress’ clothing. In order to get the most of your experience, be sure to take advantage of the audio guide tour that is available.
5. The Royal Palace: Museum of Asian Art
Originally a Neoclassical mansion built in 1816 for the British Lord High Commissioner, this museum has a great collection of Asian paintings, porcelains, and sculptures that date back to the Neolithic times. Visitors are advised to set aside about two hours to see all of the displays. Before you call it a day, don’t forget to admire the Palace’s architecture from the outside!
6. Corfu Archaeological Museum
The Corfu Archaeological Museum is home to the archaeological finds from the Temple of Artemis. Its antique art dates from the Palaeolithic to the Roman time-period. The museum’s works include the Gorgon pediment from the Temple of Artemis which, was excavated on the Kanoni peninsula, a high-relief sculpture depicting a Dionysiac banquet and the monumental Lion of Menecrates.
7. Old Fortress
Mounted on a small, rocky peninsula, the Old Fortress was built by the Venetians for the British army in 1546. The top of this Venetian masterpiece offers panoramic views of the ocean and old city. Inside, visitors can admire a 19th-century Doric temple along with the structure’s militaristic architecture. Be sure to wear comfortable footwear if you plan to climb to the top of the fortress. Access to the Old Fortress is over a modern draw bridge that spans a moat, allowing visitors to relive a time when the city was under siege.
8. Canal d’Amour
The impressive rock formations and hidden coves of Canal d’Amour are just a short walk from the village of Sidari, making it the perfect place for photography, snorkeling, or relaxing by the idyllic waters of the Ionian Sea. Some say that if you meet somebody here, he or she will be likely your “one true love.” Because of this, the canal is known as the “Canal of Love.” The area’s swimming spots, restaurants and bars will keep you busy for days.
- Many hotels and restaurants close during the winter months, so visit between May and October to get the most that Corfu has to offer.
- When visiting Canal d’Amour sink your hands deep into the mud just under the beautiful water’s surface. Next, spread the mud over your skin and sit out on the rocks and let it dry before washing it off in the sea. The mud here is full of minerals and your skin will feel refreshed. Best of all, this spa treatment is completely free!
- Those planning to spend multiple days in Corfu exploring the island’s museums should check out the 3-day museum ticket pass, which for 14 Euro gets you access to Antivouniotissa Byzantine Museum, Museum of Asian Art, Old Fortress, Palaiopolis Museum (Mon Repos).
Get there: There are daily buses from Athens to Corfu. The bus takes around 6 hours and costs 50 Euro. The same bus service, Green Bus, offers various routes throughout the island.