Corfu, a gem of the Ionian Sea, offers many attractions and experiences that cater to every type of traveler. From the timeless allure of the Achilleion Palace, once graced by Empress Elisabeth of Austria, to the bustling Spianada Square in the heart of Corfu Town, this beautiful Greek island has something for everyone.
*This post may contain affiliate links, as a result, we may receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you) on any bookings/purchases you make through the links in this post. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Read our full disclosure
Nature enthusiasts can immerse themselves in the rugged beauty of Cape Drastis or embark on a boat ride to explore the enchanting Blue Caves. History buffs will find many of Corfu’s historical treasures, with the Corfu Old Town, Old Fortress, and the Mon Repos Palace, all waiting to be explored on a day trip to this charming island.
Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or a culinary explorer, Corfu’s blend of experiences will surely leave a lasting impression.
Traveling Soon? Here is a list of our favourite travel providers and accessories to help get you ready for your upcoming trip!
Read on to find our take on the best things to do in Corfu, Greece
How to get to/around Corfu
Corfu, an island of natural beauty, tiny sea caves, panoramic sea views, and historic charm, is conveniently accessible to travelers.
Here’s a brief overview of how to reach Corfu and explore its beautiful coastline and traditional villages.
Getting to Corfu
Corfu International Airport (IATA: CFU) offers direct flights from major European cities, making reaching the island’s popular beaches convenient. During the peak tourist season, typically Spring to early Fall, you can find direct flights from Athens, London, Milan, and Frankfurt.
Taxis and buses are readily available upon arrival for transportation to your accommodation.
For a scenic journey, consider taking a boat trip to the Greek islands of Corfu. Ferries and cruise ships connect the island to Greek mainland ports, nearby Mouse Island, and other Ionian Islands.
The port of Corfu Town is the primary entry point for ferry travelers, offering a leisurely alternative to air travel, especially on the West Coast.
The ferry ride across the Ionian Sea can be a highlight of your adventure, allowing you to enjoy the scenic journey with clear blue waters, distant islands, and perhaps even a dolphin sighting.
Ferries in Greece offer amenities on board, such as cafes, seating areas, and outdoor decks to enhance your journey.
Reaching Corfu by car is an adventurous and flexible option. Start your journey by driving to either Igoumenitsa or Patras on the Greek mainland, both of which are well-connected coastal cities.
From there, board a ferry to Corfu, typically arriving in Corfu Town. The island’s excellent road network makes it easy to explore various destinations once you arrive, including beaches, villages, and historical sites.
Upon reaching your chosen coastal city (Igoumenitsa or Patras), follow well-marked signs directing you to the ferry terminals. Take some time to explore these cities if you have the opportunity, as they offer their unique charm and a chance to enjoy local cuisine, historic sites, or seaside relaxation.
Note: While it is possible to travel to Corfu with your own vehicle, we would not recommend renting a car in Athens and driving to Corfu unless, of course, Corfu is just one stop on your Greece road trip.
Alternatively, consider traveling by bus/train and ferry and renting a car in Corfu Old Town or at Corfu Airport upon arrival.
Get the best car rental rates by booking ahead! Discover Cars compares prices across all major car rental companies, so you are guaranteed to get the best deal.
Best Time to Visit Corfu
Corfu’s climate and seasonal rhythms offer diverse opportunities for exploration and relaxation.
Spring: Tranquility and Mild Weather
Corfu in Spring offers mild and pleasant weather, ideal for outdoor activities and sightseeing. During the day, you can expect temperatures ranging from 15-24°C (59-75°F), making it comfortable for all island adventures.
For beach enthusiasts, water temperatures in Spring are around 15-17°C (59-63°F). Although it’s not the peak beach season, the sea is perfect for refreshing swims, and you’ll find quieter shores, especially in April and May.
Summer: Mediterranean Paradise
From June to August, Corfu transforms into a Mediterranean paradise with warm waters and a vibrant atmosphere. The daytime temperatures typically range from 28-34°C (82-93°F), providing the perfect backdrop for summer fun.
In summer, the water temperatures hover around 24-26°C (75-79°F), making it ideal for swimming and water sports.
Fall: Vibrant Landscapes and Cultural Experiences
As summer gracefully gives way to autumn, Corfu reveals a different facet of its beauty from September to November. Daytime temperatures are still pleasant, typically ranging from 21-26°C (70-79°F).
Water temperatures in the Fall remain comfortable for swimming, hovering around 22-24°C (72-75°F). During this season, you can encounter local festivals celebrating the harvest season, enjoy cultural experiences, and explore tranquil beaches and cozy villages.
Winter: Serenity and Cultural Exploration
You might be surprised to hear that Corfu is still a pleasant destination in the Winter. Throughout the winter months, the island retains lush and daytime temperatures hover around 13-15°C (55-59°F), rarely dropping below 0, providing a comfortable backdrop for a leisurely stay and ideal weather for cozy walks among olive groves and cypress trees.
Water temperatures in the Winter are cool, hovering around 15-16°C (59-61°F)
Winter accommodations often offer reduced rates, creating a cozy retreat where you can enjoy the warmth of a fireplace while gazing out at the serene sandy beach landscapes.
The season also brings local celebrations and traditions to life, especially during the holiday season, offering a glimpse into the island’s cultural richness and a heartwarming sense of community.
Best Things to Do in Corfu Island
Nestled in the embrace of the Ionian Sea, Corfu Island is an ideal destination for adventurers and culture seekers with its pristine beaches, vibrant traditions, ancient relics, and delicious Greek cuisine.
Here are our favorite things to do in Corfu!
1. Explore Corfu Old Town
At the top of the list of things to do in Corfu is a visit to Corfu Town, a charming and historic heart of the island. Stroll through this UNESCO World Heritage Site, popping into quaint shops, restaurants, and bars.
Explore the ancient artifacts in the Archaeological Museum of Corfu, and don’t miss a visit to the remarkable New Fortress, boasting impressive architecture and panoramic views.
As you wander through the town’s charming streets, soak in the atmosphere of its historic sites and indulge in culinary delights. Whether it’s a leisurely walk in the lush Spianada Square or a coffee break at one of the inviting cafes, Corfu Old Town is a must on the list of the best things to do in Corfu.
2. Visit the Old Fortress of Corfu
The Old Fortress on Corfu Island serves as a living testament to the island’s intriguing history, forging a tangible connection with its past. As you wander through the fortress’s ancient walls and intricate tunnels, you’ll embark on a captivating journey through the centuries, gaining a deeper understanding of Corfu’s historical significance.
Within the fortress, you’ll find cobblestone pathways, imposing structures, and time-worn walls that witness Corfu’s enduring significance. Ascending to the fortress’s highest point, you’re rewarded with sweeping panoramic views of Corfu Town and the glistening Ionian Sea, a sight of particular enchantment during the soft hues of sunrise or sunset.
Venturing into the fortress’s underground tunnels unveils an eerie yet captivating journey through its historical secrets, a testament to its strategic importance throughout the ages. Keep an eye on the local event calendar for cultural performances within the fortress, where the open-air theatre serves as a unique backdrop for artistic expression.
You’ll need an admission ticket to enter the Old Fortress. The €3 ticket covers the fortress and the nearby Museum of Asian Art.
If you’re keen on discovering more of the island’s cultural heritage, a special ticket package is available for €15 and is valid for 3 days. This package not only grants you access to the Old Fortress but also includes visits to several other noteworthy attractions, such as the Antivouniotissa Byzantine Museum, Archaeological Museum of Corfu, Museum of Asian Art, and Museum of Palaiopolis-Mon Repos.
3. Visit Achilleion Palace
Achilleion Palace, located just 20 minutes from Corfu Old Town by car, offers a window into a world of neoclassical opulence and historical significance. Commissioned by Empress Elisabeth of Austria, it served as her private escape from the royal demands of the late 19th Century.
The palace’s neoclassical architecture, featuring grand columns and intricate details, is a testament to the artistic vision of Italian architect Raffaele Caritto. Perched atop a hill, the palace offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape and the Ionian Sea.
Achilleion Palace occasionally hosts cultural events and exhibitions, so be sure to check their calendar to see if there is anything on during your visit. Before leaving, explore the gift shop for souvenirs and local products.
4. Spend the Day in Paleokastritsa
Paleokastritsa is often celebrated as one of Corfu’s most beautiful coastal destinations. The area, located about a 30-minute drive from Corfu Old Town, is an excellent spot for a day trip or a destination in and of itself.
The area boasts several beautiful beaches, each with its unique charm. Agios Spyridon Beach offers calm waters, while Agios Petros Beach is a bit more secluded, and the main beach has a more bustling atmosphere.
Exploring Paleokastritsa’s rugged coastline is a must, and boat tours are a great way to do it. Local operators provide guided tours to spots like the Blue Eye Cave and the Paradise Beach Caves, which are best experienced from the sea.
For snorkeling and diving enthusiasts, the clear waters of Paleokastritsa reveal a vibrant underwater world with marine life, submerged caves, and intriguing rock formations.
There are a number of great restaurants in the area, including Nereids Restaurant & Bar and Akron Beach Bar, offering a spot to grab a bite to eat while in the area.
5. Visit Kanoni Peninsula and Mouse Island
Kanoni Peninsula, located on Corfu’s eastern side just 15 minutes from Corfu Old Town, is celebrated for its historical significance and impressive vistas. At its heart, a scenic overlook offers panoramic views of the Ionian Sea, the Kanoni Peninsula, and the distant Mouse Island.
Named after the cannons that once protected this strategic location, the Kanoni Peninsula has significant historical importance, with the remnants of the ancient Kanoni fortress still visible. Visitors can explore the fortress and learn about its role in defending against invaders.
An iconic landmark on Kanoni is the Monastery of Vlacherna, which is accessible via a narrow causeway connecting it to the mainland. The monastery’s pristine white facade and red-tiled roof provide a captivating contrast against the sea’s vibrant blue.
Mouse Island, or Pontikonisi, adds to the charm of this destination. Its name is inspired by its mouse-like shape and lush, fur-like vegetation.
There is a really cool plane spotting experience at Perama Bridge, just at the tip of Kanoni Peninsula, where you can watch planes land at Corfu International Airport.
6. Enjoy Corfu’s Beaches
Corfu is known for its stunning beaches, so no matter where you base yourself during your time in Corfu, be sure to make a trip out to enjoy one of more beaches during your visit.
Here are just a few of the best beaches in Corfu to add to your list.
Glyfada Beach is a lively beach located on the west coast of Corfu, approximately 15 km or a 25-minute drive from Corfu Old Town. It offers golden sands and a wide range of water sports, making it perfect for thrill-seekers.
The beach is ideal for windsurfing and jet-skiing, ensuring action-packed days in the sun. Nearby beach bars and restaurants offer refreshing drinks and delectable cuisine.
Located on the West Coast of Corfu, approximately 15 km or a 25-minute drive from Corfu Old Town, Kontogialos Beach is another beautiful beach tucked between lush hills. This beach offers a tranquil escape amidst natural beauty.
Its pristine long sandy beach and crystal-clear waters create a serene setting for sunbathing and swimming. Hiking enthusiasts can explore nearby trails that lead to stunning viewpoints overlooking the coastline.
Located on the southwestern coast, about 45-minute drive from Corfu Old Town, Issos Beach stands out with its extensive dunes and lagoons, making it a haven for nature enthusiasts and windsurfers.
The unique landscape offers a different beach experience, and its shallow waters are perfect for windsurfing lessons. The nearby Lake Korission is a protected nature reserve, making it an excellent spot for birdwatching and scenic walks.
Loggas Beach is a hidden gem on Corfu’s northwest coast, about 45-minute drive from Corfu Old Town. The beach is known for its stunning cliffs and breathtaking views.
Visitors can take in the scenery from the high cliffs or descend to the sandy shore for a peaceful day by the sea. The beach’s rugged beauty and unique landscapes make it a unique beach experience in Corfu.
READ NEXT: 10 Best Beaches In Corfu, Greece
7. Sample Corfu Cuisine
Corfu’s cuisine is a treasure trove of Mediterranean flavors to explore, so don’t miss the opportunity to indulge in local specialties while in Corfu.
Here are some must-try Corfu dishes to try:
Pastitsada: A savory blend of pasta and spicy meat sauce, a Corfu cuisine staple.
Sofrito: Tender beef slow-cooked in a fragrant white wine and garlic sauce, a flavorful local favorite.
Bordello: A spicy fish stew that showcases the bounty of Corfu’s coastal waters.
Kumquat Preserves: These tangy-sweet preserves capture the essence of Corfu’s famous kumquat fruit.
Mandolato Nougat: A delectable nougat made with almonds, honey, and egg whites, offering a sweet finish to your meal.
Recommended Traditional Restaurants
Traditional tavernas scattered across the island provide the ideal backdrop for these culinary adventures, offering exceptional food and a warm, authentic atmosphere filled with Greek hospitality. Many restaurants are serving local Corfu specialties all around the island, but here are a few we particularly recommend.
Taverna Trypa: A family-owned gem in Corfu Town known for its pastitsada and seafood dishes. This is a great spot to try local food but also enjoy a unique local dance performance (more on that a bit later).
Thymari Restaurant is a hidden gem where you can immerse yourself in Corfiot and Greek cuisine. The restaurant’s dedication to using fresh, local ingredients ensures that every dish bursts with authentic flavours. Its cozy ambiance makes it a perfect spot to appreciate the island’s culinary heritage.
Tsipouradiko provides a taste of traditional Greek meze, allowing you to savour an array of delectable small plates paired with ouzo or tsipouro. The taverna’s warm and welcoming setting captures the essence of Greek dining, inviting you to indulge in the pleasures of shared meals.
At Oinos kai geniuses (Wine and Tastes), wine enthusiasts can expertly explore a diverse selection of Greek wines with a menu that complements their character. The restaurant’s knowledgeable staff guides you through the wine list, creating a harmonious dining experience celebrating Greek viticulture.
Etrusco: Located in the heart of the Old Town, this restaurant offers a blend of Italian and Greek flavours, including sofrito.
Rex: An excellent choice for seafood lovers, offering fresh fish and the spicy fish stew, bordello.
To Perasma: A charming taverna on the coast, serving up delicious kumquat preserves and Mediterranean cuisine.
Nikolas Taverna: Located in the village of Kassiopi, this restaurant is renowned for its traditional Greek dishes, including mandolato nougat.
These restaurants provide not only a taste of authentic Corfiot cuisine but also an opportunity to immerse yourself in the island’s rich culinary traditions and culture.
9. Sample Local Wine
Corfu, like many Greek islands, has a long and proud tradition of winemaking. The island’s climate, with plenty of sunshine and mild temperatures, provides ideal conditions for grape cultivation. Corfu’s vineyards produce a variety of unique wines that are worth exploring.
There are a couple of wineries dotted around Corfu, with the most popular being Nicoluzo Winery and Theotoky Estate, both of which are worth a visit.
At Nicoluzo Winery, you can explore lush vineyards, learn about the winemaking process, and pick up various wines, including local grape varieties. The winery does not offer tastings on-site, but the owner is very passionate and happy to share his love for wine with visitors.
Theotoky Estate, on the other hand, does offer wine tastings. The winery is known for organic viticulture and is set in a serene surroundings. The winery primarily focuses on white wines, including some made from indigenous grape varieties, such as the Robola and Kakotrygis. These wines are known for their crisp and refreshing characteristics, often with citrus and floral notes.
10. Try Olive Oil Tasting
Olive oil is often called “liquid gold,” and Corfu’s olive oil is no exception to this accolade. A visit to the island would not be complete without indulging in the experience of olive oil tasting.
The experience will teach you a ton about olive oil, its production, and the nuances of olive oil varieties.
Visit Dr. Kavvadia’s Organic Farm
One excellent destination for olive oil tasting is Dr. Kavvadia’s Organic Farm. This idyllic farm, nestled in the verdant Corfiot countryside, offers visitors the opportunity to explore the art of olive oil production.
Dr. Kavvadia produces olive oil from two local and rare varieties, Lianelia and Thiako, both of which are available for tasting at the farm. Their farm tour and tasting experience includes a walk through the olive trees and see the vegetable garden, a visit to their old olive press and olive oil storage, and offer an insight into the operation of this sustainable farm works.
The farm tour and tasting occur daily at 10:00 am and again at 11:00 am, Monday – Friday. The experience lasts approximately 1.5 hours and can be booked on their website for just 20€.
11. Watch Sunset from a Pirate Ship
One of the most unique things to do in Corfu is spending an afternoon on a pirate ship. Yes, you read that right – there is a pirate ship in Corfu that offers scenic cruises along Corfu’s eastern coastline.
Corfu’s Black Rose Pirate Ship is an ideal activity for families (kids get to dress up with hats and swords), but the experience is just as fun for adults without kids too.
The ship sets sail daily from mid-May to September, with multiple departures throughout the day, including at sunset, a particularly beautiful time to enjoy stunning views of the Corfu coastline. The pirate cruise lasts about 1-1.5 hours and sails past landmarks like Vlacherna Monastery, Vido, the Corfu Town, the Old and New Fortresses, Windmill, and Mouse Island before returning to the port.
The pirate ship offers a self-service bar with snacks, bottled water, and soft drinks. It’s also a great option for a special event, like a group trip, birthday party, or a pirate-themed gathering, and can be booked for private events.
12. Enjoy Dinner and a Show at Trypas
Trypas is one of the most unique and most renowned restaurants in Corfu. This spot is known for its delicious cuisine and live entertainment and is THE place to go for an evening of authentic Greek culture.
Nestled in the charming village of Kinopiastes, this family-owned taverna has been serving up authentic Greek dishes and unforgettable experiences for locals and visitors alike for
What sets Trypas apart is the combination of food and entertainment. The menu is set and includes a selection of traditional Greek dishes, including dips, salads, meats, and more!
As you dine, you’ll be treated to live Greek music and dancing, providing an authentic taste of local culture. Audience participation is encouraged so you can join in the fun and immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere.
13. Spend a Day on a Boat
One of our favorite things to do in Corfu is to spend a day on a boat, be it a sailboat or a catamaran. You can rent either to enjoy a day of adventure around Corfu’s stunning coastline.
You can rent a boat for half a day and sail along the crystal-clear waters, discovering hidden coves and sandy beaches perfect for swimming and sunbathing. Or opt for a full-day trip and explore nearby gems like Paxos and Antipaxos, each offering its unique charm.
The Bottom Line
There is no shortage of fun and unique things to do in Corfu, Greece. From exploring Corfu Town’s streets and the island’s beautiful beaches to savoring traditional dishes, drinking local wines, and sampling locally made olive oils, Corfu offers something for every type of traveler.
Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or a food and wine experience, Corfu has it all!
We hope our guide and our list of recommended things to do in Corfu have given you a head start in planning your visit to this picturesque island.
READ NEXT: 8 Things To Do In Costa Navarino, Greece