One of the delights of being on a small island is the variety and close proximity of its beaches. Corfu has a remarkable range of lovely beaches to offer from long sweeps of golden sand to tiny pebbled bays and coves. What they all have in common is crystal clear water and little or no tide. The East Coast of the island has predominantly pebbly or shingly beaches. There are some wonderful little hidden inlets for those that explore (particularly by boat) and other long tree lined sweeps of white pebbles with water-sports, sun-loungers and the ever enticing turquoise sea perfect for swimming & snorkelling. The far North and West coasts offer a complete contrast with long strips and bays of golden sand. Some of these beaches get very busy in the Summer months with their inviting shallow waters and water sports facilities - some (for the more adventurous) remain almost deserted even in the height of Summer. Whether you prefer being utterly lazy and just soaking up the rays with your sun lounger, umbrella and cool cocktail or are more inclined to be active and adventurous, Corfu beaches offer something for all.
A 1 mile long narrow strip of shingle and sand Dassia is ideal for water sports lovers with its two jetties and generally calm waters. The two ends of the beach are more secluded and very pleasant for swimming whilst the central areas are generally more lively with several beachside cafes and tavernas, plus a very popular beach nightclub that serves as a pleasant bar by day and a lively club at night.
A ¾ mile strip of shingly beach running alongside the road, Ipsos has two good water sports jetties, boat hire and boat trips plus two attractive local harbours where you can see the fishermen with their daily catch or enjoy a romantic stroll in the early evening.
Lined with bars, shops and tavernas Ipsos can get very busy in the summer and is popular with teenagers. The ends of the beach tend to be a little quieter or you can hire a pedalo and explore the nearby sheltered cliffs or take the 15 min boat transfer to Barbatti for more privacy.
Barbati is a beautiful long pebbly beach (approx 2km) that caters for everyone. The South end is quiet, lined with trees, has no sun loungers and is great for snorkelling. As the beach continues it gets gradually busier with plenty of sun beds, a good water-sports jetty, boat hire, local boat trips, a couple of low key snack bars, two with swimming pools, and a few residential areas set a little way back.
As is typical of this coast the waters are clear, generally calm and deliciously inviting.
The area from Barbati to Nissaki is dotted with tiny beaches and coves for those that explore a bit or take the boat. Nissaki itself has a gorgeous little pebble and shingle beach with the most incredible tempting blue waters and a very good water-sports platform.
With its lovely harbour, panoramic sea views and three seaside tavernas it is a popular spot and though it can get busy in the summer it is well worth a visit if only just to soak up the atmosphere and gaze into the crystal depths.
Nissaki is also a popular fishing spot with the harbour-side rocks attracting a wide variety of fish and it is the main base from which you can pick up a boat trip with the traditional caique, for example 'Vivi'; the best way to enjoy the coast.
Down a steep narrow road you will come to the little village and lovely beach of Kaminaki. Kaminaki beach is a curved bay of white pebbles and crystaline waters with two tavernas, some basic water-sports and a boat hire jetty.
For the more active Kaminaki beach is the start of a narrow coastal footpath that passes several enchanting bays along the coast including Krouzeri beach, Agni and Kerasia.
If you take the road to 'Nissaki beach hotel' you will come to Krouzeri beach. A long pebble and shingle beach in front and to the side of the hotel Krouzeri with a couple of very pleasant beachside tavernas, a water-sports jetty, sun-beds and lovely clear turquoise water.
Agni beach is a narrow stretch of pebbles set in a bay at the bottom of an olive and cypress tree valley. With three traditional beachside tavernas all ready to feed and entertain you. The beautiful scenery makes it a popular stop for boats of all sizes. A short walk around a small headland brings you onto another quiet shingly beach that is excellent for snorkelling.
The large horseshoe shaped bay of Kalami is captivating. The beach is a long stretch of white pebbles and the azure sea enclosed as it is by low tree clad cliffs is perfect for swimming and snorkelling.
There is a water sports jetty, pedalos, sun loungers, boat hire platform and small jetty for boat trips. Along the beach are four traditional tavernas and there are bars and mini markets a short distance behind the main beach.
A 15 minute walk or 2 minute drive north brings you round to the charming bay and circular harbour of 'Kouloura'. Here there is a pleasant taverna, small beach and one of the most picturesque traditional harbours on the island.
Until recently one of Corfu's well-kept secrets, Kerasia beach is a wonderful long quiet pebbly beach tucked away between Kalami and St Stephanos. Tantalizingly close when viewed from the road it is only accessed via Agios Stephanos or by boat. With one friendly taverna a small tourist kiosk and a few sun loungers it is a favourite with the local people and can get busy at weekends. In the week though it is rarely very busy and is ideal for swimming and snorkelling.
The inviting bay of Agios Stefanos ('East' not to be confused with another St Stephanos on the West coast) has two small harbourside beaches but is better known for its charming village and beachside tavernas. A popular stop for boats with plenty of jetties to choose from and a gentle traditional atmosphere, it is a wonderful place to stay and well worth a visit, particularly by boat.
Agios Stefanos is set at the start of the delightful nature reserve of 'Eremitis', a large peninsular of rolling hills and fabulous hidden beaches and lagoons. Eremitis is accessible only by foot, horseback or boat. Many of the beaches can only be reached by sea.
One of the most attractive beaches on the North East Coast Avlaki has its borders in the Eremitis nature reserve and has a small lagoon which is a nature lovers delight.
The beach, a long curved stretch of white pebbles shelves into the brilliantly blue and fresh sea and there is almost always a cooling breeze blowing across the wide bay. There is a very good taverna in the middle of the beach and another slightly further along, plus sun loungers towards the centre, a windsurfing/dingy sailing school and small boat hire jetty.
The completely uncommercial beach of Coyevinas is a long stoney stretch of beach just around the headland between Avlaki and Kassiopi. Virtually undisturbed the beach is good for snorkelling and for peace and quiet.
Kassiopi has one main reasonable sized beach to the North of the town with convenient beachside tavernas and snack bars. Several smaller prettier beaches are a short walk around the two headlands leading from the harbour.
Two of these beaches are large enough for a few sun loungers and have beautiful clear waters and shingle or pebbles and there are, for those that look, one or two tiny little coves hidden away down footpaths from the main town.
Kassiopi is also ideally situated to explore a little further afield by boat or car for the hidden pebble bays of the East or the long sandy beaches of the North.
St Spyridon beach is a lovely sandy beach backed by a lagoon and nature reserve about a 15-minute drive North west of Kassiopi. With shallow waters and golden sand it is popular with children and families and is also a favourite spot for walkers.
Across a small bridge is a track that with a four-wheel drive or steady walk leads to a couple of other largely undisturbed little beaches hidden away behind trees and fields.
Kalamaki beach is about 10 minutes drive along the North coast from Kassiopi and is the closest totally sandy beach to the town. A wide shallow bay with a couple of pleasant tavernas this beach is good for children as it has shallow waters for a good distance out.
Just past the beach and lagoon of St Spiridon starts a long stretch of sandy beach about 7 kilometres long. Almyros is at the start of this stretch and is the least commercial section with sand dunes and a couple of nice tavernas near the sea.
The beach continues uninterrupted past Acharavi and Roda petering out at the cliffs before the Sidari headland. At Acharavi and Roda the beach gets busier and there are several good café bars and tavernas on the seaside. The beach is particularly pleasant for an evening stroll with the sun setting behind the small islands off the North Coast and is good for a day out if you have children who enjoy sand and company.
Sidari has a lovely beach and was famed for its 'Canal d'amour' a section of beach between weather carved sandstone cliffs. In recent years, whilst the beach is still attractive and has various water sports available the village itself has become very commercial. The surrounding countryside is still enchanting however and there is a beach called 'Sunset beach' on the outskirts of the village of Peroulades that is a long strip of golden sand at the bottom of vast sandstone cliffs. The views from the taverna above this beach are lovely.
Agios Stefanos on the West coast offers a complete contrast to Agios Stefanos on the East. A long wide sandy bay sheltered by sandstone cliffs Ag Stephanos is a lovely beach for sand lovers. There are plenty of sunbeds and various watersports available. The resort itself has good facilities and plenty of places to eat.
A short distance around the headland from Ag Stefanos (West) is the sandy beach of Arillas. A good sandy beach with a bustling resort, Arillas beach is long and narrow with sand dunes at one end and lovely views from the seaside tavernas.
A huge horseshoe shaped bay with a lovely sandy beach and beautiful scenery Agios Georgios on the North West (there are 3 Agios Georgios beaches) is particularly beautiful seen from the coastal road that leads to Paleocastritsa. The beach is long and sandy and has various watersports available and there are a few tavernas and shops along the shore. As well as a good sandy beach it is also a lovely area for walking.
Paleocastritsa is known for its beautiful scenery and there are several small beaches around the coast, many of which only accessed by sea or foot. The main beach is a lovely sandy bay tucked between impressive rocks and cliffs. It tends to get very busy in the summer, has several tavernas overlooking the sea and is great for snorkelling. There is another smaller and quieter beach slightly set away from the village where you can hire boats and there are various boat trips that drop you off at beaches further away that cannot be reached by car.
One of the most beautiful and most popular beaches on the island Glyfada is a long wide sandy beach tucked away at the bottom of pine clad cliffs about 20 minutes drive out of Corfu town. There are various beach bars and tavernas towards the centre of the beach, volleyball courts, plenty of sun loungers, watersports and lovely swimming waters.
The beach can get very busy in the Summer and at weekends though the two ends of the beach tend to be quieter. It is a beach you can easily spend a whole day on with plenty of activity for those that want it, more peaceful spots for those that don't and sunshine from 8am to 9pm in the Summer months; a lovely spot to watch the sun set.
A short distance down the coast from Glyfada is Pelekas beach. Down a long narrow road this beach is a lovely sandy beach set at the bottom of the tree clad hillsides so typical of this coast. It has a couple of small tavernas a smart hotel and plenty of golden sand.
Through the lovely traditional village of Sinarades you wind down the olive slopes to Ag Gordis. A long strip of sand with water sports and several shops and tavernas Ag Gordis is set in lovely scenery and has some pleasant walks in the nearby countryside.
Towards the South of the island there are long stretches of largely wild sandy beaches. For those who like to explore a four-wheel drive to the mouth of the Korission lagoon and a walk takes you to acres of unspoilt sand dunes perfect for getting away from it all even in the height of the Summer.
The beaches further South of Agios Georgios, Marathias and Santa Barbara are all long stretches of sand with very little on them other than the odd few tavernas around the small resorts. Further south again the beaches can only be reached by foot or by the sea with the exception of the furthest tip of the island where the infamous 'Kavos' sits.
A lively, young persons resort, hidden behind the olive groves with nightclubs, bars and fast food cafes galore spilling onto what was a beautiful sandy beach.
Yasliskari Beach is a one of the smallest beaches on the western side of Corfu. The fine sand against the turquoise sea waters with the pine trees located around makes this beach an ideal place to sit back, relax and watch the world go by.