For a memorable Grecian getaway, why not go off the beaten track? Skip the crowded vacation spots, the overrated resorts, and visit the small, sleepy, coastal towns on the island of Corfu.
While one of the first islands to open to global tourism in the 1960s, Corfu isn’t as crowded as you might think. The island remains rich in unspoiled stretches of infamous coast and quaint inland towns that you can visit for a more immersive yet intimate and quiet Greek holiday. Carpeted by lush, wild olive trees and dotted with historical, whitewashed buildings, Corfu is one island that should be on top of your island-travel bucket list.
Corfu is an eclectic combination of the cosmopolitan and historical, with posh resorts and vibrant streets juxtaposed with Byzantine-era churches and Venetian-style fortresses. From beach-combing to sight-seeing to sailing and on to wining and dining, if you’re looking for an unforgettable Greek vacation, you can definitely find something to love about Corfu.
A Greek getaway for every taste and budget
Whether you’re out with the family or in for a mix of business and pleasure, a good place to come home to in Corfu is Krouzeri Beach Luxury Apartments and Villas. Sophisticated yet still boasting of that Mediterranean beach vibe, Krouzeri’s sea-view apartments offer the best vistas on the island. This is probably because Krouzeri offers the most magnificent place for sight-seeing, right from its beautifully furnished and unmistakably Mediterranean luxury rooms and villas.
Each apartment or villa has a clean, wide, airy feel and an open layout that allows you to take in the beauty of the Mediterranean Sea beyond. You can also enjoy fun-filled days soaking in the Corfu experience through bicycle, motorcycle or car trips across the island. If you would rather be free from the confines of land transport, the resort offers the perfect starting point for boat trips along the coast.
The resort is surrounded by olive trees and is a short distance from the pebbled Krouzeri Beach. The beach has a longer stretch compared to its neighbors, making it perfect for long, sandy sunset walks. There’s also plenty of space to enjoy sunbathing or have a quiet sun-soaked nap. It’s an ideal spot for boat stops, snorkelling, diving and many other varieties of watersports.
Other accommodation offers in Corfu include the Kastraki Epavlis along the Corfiot countryside, the waterfront Corfu Imperial Grecotel and the hip Delfino Blu Boutique Hotel. You can also choose from a selection of apartelles, villas, apartments, hotels and inns, whether in the quiet villages or along the coasts. There’s a wide range of features, amenities and rates to suit your budget, itinerary and length of stay.
Treats for the eyes and the palate
From Krouzeri, you can visit other inland towns such as the historic Old Sinies, the quaint Nissaki, the charming Barbati or the lush Ipsos, which overlooks Mount Pantokrator. Many of these villages offer tavernas, bars, shops and restaurants that serve local and international cuisine.
Scattered throughout the island are various restaurants and bistros. An institution among waterside tavernas is Fagopotion, located in the heart of Ágios Stéfanos Sinión. A few of the must-try dishes include their signature three-cheese saganaki, rabbit stew and the succulent, melt-in-your-mouth octopus. Meanwhile, a favorite among tourists and locals alike, Salto Wine Bar Bistro in the Old Port offers superb specials with fish and shellfish all freshly caught that same day.
If you’re exploring by boat, a good boat stop is Taverna Glyfa along the island’s east coast. It offers an excellent Greek wine selection and an array of excellent shellfish dishes all prepared with sophisticated flair. The desserts are equally decadent and delish, particularly the pavlova and panna cotta. Other notable spots for foodies include Venetian Well in Kerkyra Town, Boukari Beach, Tavernaki, Elizabeth’s, Filaraki and Rouvas.
Meanwhile, if you are looking for a touch of old history and that exciting promise of an archaeological find or two, Old Sinies and Perithia are perfect. Both deserted villages, they offer a glimpse into traditional Greek life hundreds of years back.
Viewing Corfu from the coast
A Corfu holiday is never complete without viewing the island from the turquoise Mediterranean waters and experiencing all of its coastal sights and sounds by boat. An abundant range of boat-rental companies throughout the island’s coast can cater to your island wanderlust. Boats and yachts are available for every budget, starting from 50 euros per day, with petrol charged separately.
Nissaki is an idyllic starting point for exploring the island’s northeast coast, viewing the quaint white-washed buildings and maybe even dropping anchor at a few bays and coves to swim, sunbathe—or have a private picnic.
Companies such as Kaminaki Boats in Nissaki offer a fantastic way to experience Corfu, with a collection of self-drive boats for you to explore in at your own pace, starting from Kaminaki and northward to Kassiopi or southward to Ipsos. Stops in between include boathouses, tavernas and small, historic coastal towns.
Kaminaki Boats offers smaller 15-horsepower boats for two to six passengers for a more leisurely pace along the coast. If you want to cover more ground (or sea), you can also rent 30-horsepower speedboats. These are faster and more efficient, accommodating up to eight people at a time. Driving the boats is easy, and newbies who haven’t driven a boat before can have driving lessons and tests before renting.
More luxurious options for exploring Corfu
Aside from boat rentals, Corfu also offers a diverse range of charter sea cruises such as sailboat, yacht and catamaran rentals for group and private cruises. This allows you to explore farther off Corfu’s coasts and around the northern and southern Ionian Islands, such as Ithaca, Kefalonia, Lefkas, Meganisi, Paxos and Zakynthos.
Seasoned sailors can rent private sailboats for a more unique and exclusive navigation experience with boats for up to 10 persons starting at just a little over $1,500 per week. Marina charters offer not just yacht rentals, but also transportation to and from port and airport. You can choose the type of yacht that best suits your charter, budget, water activity, itinerary and lifestyle. From solitary sailing through the Ionian Islands to private, luxury cruise parties, Corfu’s charter companies have everything for everyone.
From Athens, you can reach Corfu by plane, which takes an hour or less. There are several flights available daily in Athens. There are also flights to the island from Thessaloniki. For those who are coming to Corfu by car, the best route is from Athens to Igoumenitsa. From here, ferry rides to Corfu are available every half hour, with the crossing taking one to two hours. Car rentals and driving services from the airports are also available, and there are many scenic routes to take on land on the way to the island.