Corfu’s rich historical, cultural and agricultural heritage have bewitched visitors to her shores for centuries. With a diverse and verdant landscape, over 200 traditional villages and miles of wonderful beaches, an elegant, cosmopolitan and beguiling capital town and a perfect Mediterranean climate it is easy to see why.
There is plenty to see and do on this beautiful island. To simply explore the little villages and countryside along the coast and inland is a delight in itself. There are endless beaches to try out and for the more active or for children there are more modern attractions such as bowling centres and water-parks. If you have a real sense of adventure there are also other islands near by, the Greek mainland and Albania.
The capital of the island and at one time of all the Ionian Islands, Corfu is a joy to discover. With its elegant arcades, narrow Venetian style streets and relaxed friendly atmosphere it is definitely a must for all.
A historically strategic and heavily fortified town and port Corfu's history dates back centuries. Evidence of the original site of the ancient Greek city can be seen in the gardens of Mon Repos, the one time residence of the Greek royal family and in the Archaeological museum.
Further evidence of Corfu's Historic past can be found simply wandering through the streets. You will come across little Byzantine churches, Italian platias, French arcades and a very British cricket pitch.
A walk up either of the two dominating Venetian fortresses that still remain is well worth the effort for the panoramic views across the town, port and sea and for refreshment and shopping you are truly spoilt for choice with a wide range of shaded café bars, restaurants and shops open from early morning until late at night.
The main attraction of Gouvia is its large and well-maintained Marina. One of the largest Marinas in Europe it has two good restaurants, a couple of relaxing cafes and of course for boat lovers a huge variety of craft to admire.
Behind the Marina the two villages of Kondokali and Gouvia meet. Gouvia is one of the larger resorts on the North East of the island and retains a local feel as well as catering to a wide range of people and tastes. It has a relatively small but pretty beach with jet skiing and boat trips available and comes alive at night with a good selection of multinational restaurants, plenty of shops, several good bars and two nightclubs.
Gouvia is also well placed for visiting Corfu town being no more than a 20-minute drive or bus ride away.
Along the main coastal road to the North East coast of Corfu is the attractive resort of Dassia. Dassia is a bustling and lively holiday resort with a good selection of places to eat, a wide variety of shops and café bars. The long strip of pebbly beach is backed by a narrow promenade perfect for those evening strolls. For those that enjoy taking part in watersports on their villa holiday, such as waterskiing, banana boats and boat hire, there are three watersports jetties along the beach and generally the water is calm. The two ends of the beach are more secluded and very pleasant for swimming whilst the central areas are generally livelier 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. Dassia is also within easy reach of Corfu town and the beautiful North East Coast, with a good local bus service and a variety of boat trips and excursions on offer.
Ipsos is a long narrow stretch of shingly beach backed with all the amenities of a lively tourist resort. The most attractive area is the local church and traditional harbour at the south end of the strip where you can watch the local fishermen bring in their catch and the long easy promenade with its small palm trees alongside the beach.
This is the place to come if you want to dance the night away as it has a good selection of popular bars and nightclubs and plenty of restaurants ranging from cheap and cheerful fast food to traditional Greek tavernas, Chinese and Italian restaurants. There are also three good watersports centres several tourist offices and a good range of small shops & supermarkets.
Backed by the commanding slopes of mount Pantocrator, Barbati in Corfu is best known for its beautiful long pebbly beach and crystal clear waters. A large Corfu village, it has several good traditional tavernas all commanding splendid views, a few souvenir shops selling olive wood goods and ceramics, a tourist office, three small supermarkets and a couple of attractive bars all set above the beach. Barbati has a beautiful long pebbly beach (approx. 2km) with stunning views, that caters for everyone on a villa holiday, offering several water sports including parascending, ringos and water skiing. There are boat trips that depart from the beach and small boats to hire. Also along the beach are two public swimming pools and several beach snack bars. The South end of the beach is quiet, lined with trees, has no sun loungers and is great for snorkeling. As the beach continues it gets gradually busier with plenty of sun beds, a water sports jetty, a couple of low key snack bars 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. Our Villa Paxos is in a great location just 55yds from the Our beach of Barbati and a half hours drive takes you into Kassiopi where the harbour is a charming place to while away the time on a villa holiday. For those that like to explore Corfu in their hire car, some of the prettiest bays and resorts are within a short drive or boat trip such as Nissaki. VillaPlus.com have many villas with private pools in the Nissaki area including Melina, Serena, Zante and more can be found by doing a quick search by resort on our website. Also VillaPlus has villa rentals in the Kassiopi area such as Angela and Helona.
Nissaki literally means 'little island' and as was the case with most of the seaside villages in Corfu was used largely by fishermen or by local people wanting to send their olives or vegetables to Corfu town by boat. The 'little island' has since become a taverna and is joined to the mainland with a beautiful little beach at its doorstep.
The beach at Nissaki is a picture perfect pebbly beach with inviting turquoise waters. It tends to get busy in the summer but is always enchanting. There are one or two hidden little beaches accessible by foot or boat nearby
With a large church, a couple of well-stocked small supermarkets, a friendly water sports centre, a few attractive souvenir shops, a tourist office and a collection of traditional tavernas, Nissaki offers fine views and lovely swimming waters.
Nissaki is on the main bus route from Kassiopi to Corfu and there are regular local buses roughly every hour in the summer until about 8pm.
A small pretty resort, located off the main Nissaki to Kassiopi road, this resort has changed little over the past twenty years.
It offers a couple of tavernas and an old world atmosphere of how tourism would have been early in the 1960's.
Until a few years ago the only way to reach agni was by boat or on foot from Kalami. It is suprising therefore that this tiny resort has grown into such prominence.
The main reason for this are the three excellent restaurants on the beach that attract visitors from far and wide who continue to come by boat or now by car.
Eating is the main occupation of visitors to Agni, and the shingle beach and clear waters offer a chance to cool down before, during or after your meal. All tavernas offer a boat taxi from nearby Kalami or San Stefano.
Kalami, roughly in the middle of the North East of Corfu, is a beautiful horseshoe shaped bay that used to serve as one of the main harbours for transporting olives and olive oil to Corfu by local caique and as a base for the local fishermen. It is known in particular for its one time resident Lawrence Durrell who lived for a time in the white house on the rock by the side of the bay.
With its lovely pebbly beach, this friendly family, Corfu resort has several good beachside tavernas, three tourist offices, a couple of pleasant bars, watersports, boat hire and a small collection of shops and supermarkets. The crystal clear swimming waters are ideal for snorkeling.
Kalami is conveniently placed for access by boat, car or taxi to the whole North East coast of Corfu and to the inland mountain roads. For those that enjoy walking on their holiday, there is a coastal path.
With some enchanting scenery Kalami has become a popular holiday destination, with many people returning year after year.
San Stephanos started life as a little fishing village. Retaining its traditional Corfiot charm (and cuisine), it is now a chic low key resort with inviting traditional beachside tavernas, a lovely gift shop, a small tourist and boat hire office, beach and harbour. There are a couple of well-stocked small supermarkets and two remarkably sophisticated coffee/cocktail bars.
St Stephanos is conveniently close to a good range of activities and beaches.
Agios Stephanos is a great base for a family villa holiday and for the more adventurous the rest of the North East inland and coastal areas are close at hand, either for a scenic drive or for a lazy day out on the sea.
Kassiopi is a pretty harbour-side town at the Northern end of the north east coast of Corfu with three attractive beaches and is the largest town in the North of Corfu. Until the Venetians took control of Corfu in the 13th century, Kassiopi was a heavily fortified, strategic and thriving port. It was the last stronghold in Corfu to be taken by the Venetian conquerors and they promptly dismantled the powerful fort, for fear of it falling into enemy hands. Kassiopi then lost its importance as a major town. The remains of the vast walls and gatehouse can still be seen on the hillside overlooking the town.
Over the years Kassiopi was re-settled and became a peaceful fishing village until with the expanse of tourism the appeal of its natural beauty and nearby secluded beaches gave it a new lease of life. This Corfu holiday resort is now lively and enchanting and still retains a traditional feel. There are plenty of good shops, various activities, and a good choice of places to eat, drink and dance the night away.
Aside from the pretty harbour, this resort has two main beaches in Kassiopi, one to the north and another situated on a pleasant track that takes you from the harbour around the fortress.
The castle is worth a visit to appreciate the vast power it must have at one time yielded - although overgrown, it is quite a spectacular piece of architecture and a pleasant stroll.
At the far North of Corfu stretches a long narrow sandy beach about seven kilometres long. Along this stretch of sand, the relatively large and lively resort of Acharavi has developed in the last few years. Acharavi is a new modern and developing resort with all the amenities of a small town including a good range of restaurants, bars and tavernas, some smart shops and cafes, plus a couple of large supermarkets, banks, and tourist offices. The beach area is approximately 700m from the main centre of the town and is ideal for younger children with shallow water, sand and several beachside cafes and tavernas. Just on the outskirts of Acharavi there is a water park that has a good selection of slides and activities for all ages. Villa Finikas has a private heated pool and is a 15 minute walk from the beach, 5 minutes drive from Acharavi and in a perfect location for a villa holiday for those that enjoy their seclusion but like to be close to amenities. Villa Stafili is a family holiday villa also with a heated pool, a short walk from Acharavi beach. This villa rental is again close to amenities. A hire car is useful for those that really like to explore on their villa holiday and VillaPlus.com can offer competitive rates for car hire. The inland areas of Corfu are easily accessed and there are numerous boat trips that leave from Kassiopi and Acharavi to Corfu, the local coastline and the small neighbouring islands.
At the far North of Corfu stretches a long narrow sandy beach about 7 kms long. Along this stretch of sand the relatively large and lively resort of Roda has developed in the last few years. Rapid growth has meant that little remains of the fishing village Roda used to be, although there are some older buildings in the centre and some narrow lanes. Similar to Acharavi but on a slightly smaller scale Roda is now popular with families and couples and is the place to find real traditional entertainment as it has two large Greek night clubs or "bouzoukia" where, (if your pocket will allow!) you will find traditional and modern Greek music and entertainment to see you through the night. Roda beach is easily accessible, a mixture of sand and pebbles with shallow calm water. The pebbly part is nearer to its neighbouring resort of Acharavi. The beach runs for just under a mile and the resort runs alongside, between the beach and the main road. Boat trips and fishing boats leave from the jetty at one end of the beach and for those that like to be active, water sports are available. The waterpark is at Acharavi and you can use your hire car or local buses to get to nearby resorts such as Sidari, Acharavi and Corfu Town. VillaPlus.com offers competitive rates for car hire for you to freely explore Corfu which must be booked in the U.K. before your villa holiday. VillaPlus has villas to rent with private pools in the Sidari and Acharavi areas in Corfu including and Emilia in Sidari and Finikas, Stafili, and in Acharavi.
At the North Western corner of Corfu you will find Sidari, a famous holiday resort approximately 1 ¼ hours from the airport. Once a small traditional fishing village, Sidari has now become a popular place to visit in Corfu. Built amidst some lovely scenery, around unusual sandstone rock formations and a large sandy beach, Sidari was one of the earliest tourist resorts on Corfu. It has now become a large and lively holiday resort with plenty of tourist shops (many opening until late into the evening); restaurants serving Greek and English dishes, and music bars offering a great nightlife. Sidari is definitely for those who enjoy a lively night out on their villa holiday Sidari has a lovely sandy beach backed by a lagoon and nature reserve about a 15 minute drive north west of Kassiopi. The beach was famed for its 'Canal d'amour' a section of beach between weather carved sandstone cliffs. The tradition says that anyone who manages to swim along it will soon meet the partner of his or her dreams. In recent years, whilst the beach is still attractive and has various water sports available it has become much commercialised. VillaPlus.com has a villa in the Sidari area called Villa Emilia. This villa has a heated private pool and is located a short distance from Sidari. From Sidari, the resorts of Kassiopi and Agios Stefanos can be reached by bus or car and also historic Corfu Town. VillaPlus also has private villas to rent in the Kassiopi. area such as Angela and Helona and in Agios Stefanos there is Kerasia Ionian, Magda, Foula, Kerasia House and many more villas in these areas and throughout Corfu, Sidari is a fantastic and safe place to take a villa holiday and you will find something for everyone. To freely explore Corfu why not hire a car. VillaPlus.com can offer competitive rates for car hire which must be booked in the U.K. before your villa holiday.
The West coast of Corfu boasts some breathtaking sea views with dramatic tree covered cliffs and mountainsides plunging into the turquoise sea plus a variety of beautiful sandy beaches. Arillas is a medium sized resort that has developed over the last 15 years around one such beach.
Set in lovely surroundings Arillas has a good range of amenities and is an ideal spot for exploring the West Coast of the island. The beach has sun loungers, pedalos and watersports and there are plenty of places to eat by the waterside whilst watching the sunsets so famous on the West Coast of Corfu.
PALEOKASTRITSA AND ANGLOKASTRO
Reputed to be the safe haven where Odyseus was washed ashore during his travels, the main attraction of Paleokastritsa today is its breathtakingly beautiful views and startlingly clear waters. The village itself was originally no more than a tiny fishing port and so there is no real village centre as such.
There are however a good selection of tavernas, cafes and bars. The main focus of the village is on its two lovely sandy beaches and its small harbour. From this harbour it is well worth taking one of the wide range of boat trips available as most parts of this coastline are only accessed by boat. Or for the more adventurous the waters are excellent for scuba diving or snorkeling.
Above the village sits a charming 13th century monastery with glorious views, lovely courtyards and an impressive church at its centre and to fully appreciate the justified acclaim the area has for its natural beauty take the road up to the main village of Lakones where you will be treated to some of the most spectacular views on the island.
GASTOURI AND SINARADES
Two of the largest and most traditional villages on the island both these villages are worth a visit to see the traditional ways of life and architecture. Still very 'lived in' villages, Gastouri has an attractive well and is the village from which Corfu's pretty traditional costume originates.
Sinarades once again is lovely for a gentle walk with some breathtaking coastal views from 'Aerostatos' a viewpoint on the outskirts of the village, a large church and a tiny local folk museum that shows village life through the years.
LEFKIMI AND LAKE KORRISON
The south of the island is largely untouched by tourism except for one or two beach resorts. The salt flats on the South East coast were in use until the 1950s and are now interesting for nature lovers and walkers and on the west coast the nature reserve and sand dunes of the Korrison lagoon are a treasure if you enjoy natural history and walking.
One of the first tourist resorts in Corfu, Benitses is a short drive south from Corfu town on the main coastal road to the Southern tip of the island. Centred on an attractive shingly beach and bustling harbour front the village is an interesting mix of old and new.
The old village is a delight to explore and a short distance away is a lovely streamside walk amidst the old pump houses and walkways built by the British in the late nineteenth century. The new town is a busy little resort with a good selection of cafes, bars, shops and nightlife.
Behind the village of Benitses is an interesting all season walk along a stream with 19th century pump houses built by the British to supply the water for Corfu town. Though largely derelict the buildings are interesting and the walk pleasant.
THE PALACE OF ST MICHAEL
This imposing and dignified Palace occupying a stately place in the centre of the town was built as the official residence of the first British High commissioner in 1819. The Palace now houses the Museum of Far Eastern Art, a lovely café and two art galleries.
A beautiful villa built in lovely grounds in 1831 by the British; Mon Repos later became the summer residence of the Greek royal family.
Built in part on the site of the ancient city of Corcyra (Corfu) with extensive grounds leading down to the sea it is a wonderful place for a stroll out of the heat of the sun, the easy walkways being shaded by a wide variety of enormous trees.
Some evidence of the ancient city walls and a small ancient temple can be found and there is small museum inside the original villa that shows the progress and some artifacts from the continuing excavations on the site.
THE ACHILLEON PALACE
The Achilleon is an impressive summer palace that was built in the early 1890's for the Empress Elizabeth of Austria (''Sissy'') who had a passion for Greece and Corfu in particular.
A large imposing building about 5km south of Corfu town through the lovely village of Gastouri the Achilleon is worth the visit particularly for the lovely views from the palace grounds.
The tiny picturesque island of pontikonisi (or Mouse island) and the nearby convent of Vlacherna has become a symbol for Corfu appearing on almost all promotions for the island. With its tiny miniature Byzantine chapel set on top of the little tree covered island it is a pleasant place to visit and can be reached by local boats that do regular trips from Kanoni.
Opposite Corfu town is the inviting little island of Vidos. Vidos was once housed part of the Venetian fortifications and the remains can still be seen in the center of the island.
Now a beautiful peaceful nature reserve with several small shallow beaches some nice walks and a lovely restaurant the island can be reached by a boat that goes over to the island from the old port several times a day.
The highest point of Corfu and standing majestically overlooking the North East corner of Corfu, Corfu Town and the mainland beyond.
One of the many beautiful driving routes on the island takes you up through several small villages including Spartillas, known (along with its sister village Lakones on the opposite coast) as 'the balcony of Corfu' because of its spectacular views.
Follow on through Strinillas, one of the original hidden villages, built out of sight of the coast and therefore the marauding pirates of the time and up a narrow road to Mount Pantocrator the highest point on the island at 906 metres.
There is also an adventurous drive from the North of the island, but this is best done in a four wheel drive vehicle.
The last section of the road is better walked by the nervous but the fantastic panoramic views from the monastry and café at the top are well worth the effort.
At the far north of the island completely hidden from the sea is the large, almost abandoned village of Old Perithia. With seven churches, a good schoolhouse and numerous old houses old Perithia was clearly a thriving and prosperous town in years gone by.
Through the years it was gradually abandoned and in a recent EU scheme it is slowly being restored as a living village. The scenery and architecture of the area is lovely and there are three good tavernas and refreshingly, little else.
Many houses in Old Perithia are for sale, at very reasonably prices, by the local authority. However, there is a catch - you have to restore the house to its former glory!
PAXOS AND PARGA
Just off the southernmost point of Corfu is the first of the larger neighboring islands Paxos and its tiny sister anti paxos. A beautiful green island with hundreds of tiny unspoilt pebble beaches and a relaxed traditional lifestyle paxos is a lovely place for a day out.
There are regular day trips to the island or you can choose to go independently by sea-plane or hydrofoil.
Parga is a large fortified town on the mainland that is generally included on the Paxos day trip boats. With two fabulous beaches a lovely coastline and plenty of waterside restaurants and cafes to chose from, this pretty bay is a popular resort in its own right and a very pleasant place to while away some time.
Albania is surprisingly close to Corfu and there are several day trips that take you on a tour across. Aside from sheer curiosity the main attraction of Albania is the fascinating ancient Greek city of Butrint.
Discovered before the war the city was once a large and important walled city and has a chequered past. It is now a protected area and is receiving private funding to restore and excavate it.
Easily one of the best, most enchanting and relaxed ways to see Corfu is from the sea. Whether you are happy just to remain local with a pedalo, be adventurous by hiring your own little boat, prefer your boat to be captained and be wined and dined or fancy going for the ferries and heading off to other islands, there is something for everyone.
There are various boat trips and excursions on offer all over the island. The main areas to take to the sea are the North East Coast with its stunningly beautiful scenery and myriad of little pebble bays or Paleokastritsa with its dramatic cliffs and deep blue waters.
'Vivi' boat is a well-maintained traditional caique that does boat trips up the North East Coast of Corfu and to Corfu town. Taking no more than 14 passengers it is a lovely day out for the whole family. With or without a meal included it is a relaxed way to see the beautiful coast and some of the beaches only accessible by boat. Leaving at 11am and returning by about 4pm the trips are lovely and personal and the captain is particularly good with children. There are snorkels and masks aboard that the captain shows older children how to use.
Paleocastritsa has little boats that take up to 20 people on small tours to the nearby caves. The tours last about an hour and are a lovely way to admire the dramatic scenery and small caves of the West Coast.
Calypso glass bottom boat. Leaving from Corfu old port on a regular basis a large glass bottom boat takes big groups to a spot just off the island of Vidos. The round trip takes about an hour and children can see two sea lions and the fish around the island.
One of the most attractive beaches on the North East Coast of Corfu, Avlaki has its borders in the Eremitis nature reserve and has a small lagoon which is a nature lover’s delight. Within a short drive or a 20 minute walk of Agios Stephanos and Kassiopi,Avlaki offers a quiet family location for a villa holiday, with a snack bar and a couple of tavernas serving typical Greek dishes.
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; a windsurfing/dingy sailing school and small boat hire jetty and for those that enjoy horse riding on their villa holiday there is a horse riding centre nearby where the rides take you through the Eremitis peninsular.
Avlaki offers a quiet location for a family holiday but if you want something more lively then Kassiopiis not too far away with plenty of good shops, various activities, and a good choice of places to eat, drink and dance the night away.