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You can enjoy our 8-day itinerary in Corfu in full or in part, tailoring the stops to fit your schedule and interests. You’ll find all the highlights, including the Old Town and the best beaches and villages. Just remember, it does get busy in the peak summer months, so we’ve envisaged holidays in Corfu in early or late summer (May-June or September-October), and we have suggestions for escaping the July-August crowds. Alternatively, spring and autumn are great times to visit.
* Distances are by car and include return trips to Corfu town each night, although there are wonderful places to stay all around the island. Great seaside options include Dassia and between Barbati and Kassiopi to the north and from Benitses to Messonghi to the south of Corfu town, and from Glyfada to Ermones and in Paleokastritsa and nearby villages on the east coast. There are also great places to stay in the hilly interior, which can become part of your journey.
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Exploring the sights within and around the Old Town is the perfect start to your itinerary in Corfu. You’ll quickly see why the entire old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, especially if you climb to the top of the Old Fortress and witness the landmarks dotted between the rooftops and the surrounding landscape you’re about to discover.
Every occupier and visitor has left their mark on Corfu's Old Town. The most prominent were the Venetians, whose Old Fortress is still the dominant landmark and who created Spianada Square (the largest square in the Balkans) and much more. The British built mansions and the grand Palace of St Michael and St George and the French created the stylish pedestrianised street known as Liston. Meanwhile, the Ionian Parliament was essentially the first parliament in Greece, as the Ionian Islands were a semi-autonomous state from the 18th century. And the Jewish quarter is the legacy of two waves of Jewish immigration. All this and more awaits you on your first morning in Corfu. And as a final tip, the Faliraki district is a great place for a cocktail with a view of the Old Fortress.
Take a tour of Corfu Old Town
Not far from the Old Town is the neoclassical estate known as Mon Repos, which translates as ‘my rest’ or ‘my refuge’ and holds historical and natural significance for Corfu. It was built by British High Commissioner Frederick Adam for his Corfiot wife, Nina Palatianou, and later served as the summer residence of the Greek royal family. It was also the birthplace of Prince Philip, husband of the late Queen Elizabeth II. Today, it houses the Paleopolis Museum, which tells the story of Corfu’s ancient city (located in this area). The grounds include a botanical garden with mature trees and a beautiful landscaped garden with 2,000 plant species from the British colonies.
The final treat on your first day in Corfu is dinner on the islet of Vido. Boats leave regularly from the Old Port and the crossing takes just 10 minutes. Vido is a 538-acre natural paradise, with walking trails and beaches, and is named after an adaptation of the first name of its one-time owner Guido Malipieri. Your reason for being here is to enjoy an unforgettable dinner in a unique location overlooking Corfu Old Town.
You’ll be heading to the very north of Corfu today. On the menu are the (almost) deserted village of Old Perithia, high up on Mount Pantokrator, and the lively town of Kassiopi, famous for its Byzantine castle. But first, let’s get you ready for a first magical dip in the Ionian Sea.
* Please note that Old Perithia and the road to it were affected by the wildfires in July 2023. You can still visit and support the family-owned tavernas in the village.
Your reward for spending so much of Day 1 on your feet is to head straight to the beach. It's about an hour’s drive to the northern tip of Corfu, where there is choice of swimming spots. Bataria (or Mpataria) is a stunning little cove of white pebbles and green-blue water right at the northeast tip. And close by are Avlaki and Kerasia, pebbly beaches backed by green pine forests and known for the super-clear water. All have nearby spots to eat, although we’ve got some great food options for later in the day.
You get a taste (literally) of old Corfu next as you drive up to Palea (Old) Perithia, a now deserted village whose Medieval past means that it has been classified as a historic settlement. It is located 450m up Mount Pantokrator (about 13km from Kassiopi) and is hidden from the sea. Most of the houses are derelict but don’t let that deceive you. A few have been restored as tavernas and serve traditional dishes. Or you can save your appetite for the next stop and choose to visit the Monastery of Pantokrator, which is a further 30 minutes away on a dirt road.
Photo by: Alexandra Vutof (@alexanndrav)
You can adapt your day according to how long you wish to spend on the beach and whether you eat in Old Perithia. But a final option is to return to Kassiopi (which you pass anyway if you return to Corfu Town from the east) to visit the castle there and enjoy a coffee or a meal (there are many seafood options). Kassiopi Castle dates to the 13th century and once formed a defensive triangle with Gardiki Castle and Angelokastro (which you’ll be hearing more about later). Leave time for a stroll by the harbour, with its traditional wooden fishing boats.
Your tour of beaches on the northeast coast (this time a little closer to the Corfu town) continues today and you enjoy a short hike to one of the island’s natural highlights. To end your day, you’ll be treated to one of the best views in Corfu from mountainous Sokraki village.
Which of Corfu’s northern beaches you choose today will depend on the facilities you want and the time of year you visit. Barbati is a popular choice, around 20km north of Corfu town. It has a cosmopolitan feel and is pebbly, with water that gets deep quickly, making it popular with snorkellers. Further up the coast, Nissaki is partly organised and has water sports (there is also a Small Nissaki beach, which lives up to its name). And after this come Agni and Kalami – beaches in picturesque little coves that are favourite local swimming spots. There are eating options at every beach.
One of the island’s favourite nature spots awaits in the heart of northern Corfu. Just outside Nymfes village is a 1.5km path leading to Nymfes Waterfalls (so-called because nymphs are said to have bathed there in ancient times). The water drops about 10m into a green ravine and there are two other smaller waterfalls nearby. You’ll find more water in spring and autumn, when visiting the waterfalls a favourite thing to do in Corfu and when the island is perfect for outdoor activities generally. Whether you visit the waterfalls or not, be sure to have a look around Nymfes village, while you’re here. You can eat here, too.
Photo by: Dimitris Priftis (@d.priftis7)
End your day in Sokraki, one of Corfu’s best villages. It is located at an altitude of around 440m at the end of a winding road, and despite being inland offers views of Ipsos beach and Corfu town as well as the islands of Vido and Lazareto. You’ll love the multicoloured houses and churches dating to the 16th century, as well as two squares with traditional cafes serving ouzo and meze. You should also try the local ginger beer.
Photo by: Eddie Kastamonitis (@kastamonitis)
Day 4 of your itinerary in Corfu features two of the most photogenic beaches and one of the oldest villages in Corfu. The order of your stops will depend on the time of year as these beaches get busy in peak summer. Either way, you'll be treated to some of the best views in Corfu. So make sure you've got plenty of phone battery.
Porto Timoni is one of the pin-up stars of Corfu, with not one but two sandy bays set back to back on a rocky peninsula. It's a steep 20-minute walk from Afionas village to get there and has no facilities, but this doesn’t reduce its popularity in the summer months. A more easily accessible alternative is the long, sandy Agios Georgios Pagon beach, surrounded by olive groves and cypress trees and with both organised and unorganised parts. If you’re visiting in peak summer, it’s better to choose Agios Georgios Pagon. But if you really want to see Porto Timoni, do so in the afternoon or hire a pedalo at neighbouring Agios Georgios Pagon and paddle round. Porto Timoni is one of the extra-popular destinations in Corfu that needs love and attention in the busy summer months, especially for the sustainability-minded visitor to Corfu.
The traditional village of Afionas overlooks Porto Timoni and Agios Georgios Pagon and has views as far as the Diapontia isles, the tiny group of islands off Corfu’s northwestern coast. You’ll find the architecture here a little different to other Corfu villages, with whitewashed stone buildings brought to life by flowerpots and bougainvillea. It is a great place to eat, whichever beach you choose, with a choice of tavernas that make the most of the wonderful views.
Your final stop today is Loggas, famous for its sheer cliff face and sunset views of Cape Drastis, the northwestern-most point of Corfu. You can enjoy the view from a glass-bottomed platform over the cliff (with the benefit of cafes and tavernas). Or you can continue further north to a viewpoint even closer to Cape Drastis (the scenery matches the dramatic name). Either way, you’ll be treated to a magical sunset.
Once again, you can adapt today's stops depending on the time of year. We’re envisaging that you’re in Corfu outside the peak summer months, so we suggest starting the day in Lakones village before heading down to Paleokastritsa for some beach fun. After enjoying the sunset at Angelokastro (the 'Castle of the Angels'), you end the day with dinner in a village of your choice. In peak summer, start your day in either Lakones or Angelokastro and leave the beach fun for as late as possible in the afternoon.
We start with a taste of village life today, with coffee (and breakfast if you choose) in Lakones village. It’s built on the slopes above Paleokastritsa, one of the most popular areas of Corfu in the summer. But sitting in the shade of a plane tree in the village square and strolling through the alleyways, you'd never know it. Many of the 18th and 19th century stone buildings are painted an ochre colour and you will find traditional cafes and places for a local sweet with a view of Paleokastritsa. It’s never too early for a sweet something in Corfu.
As one of the most popular and touristically developed parts of the island, Paleokastritsa has some of the best beaches in Corfu when it comes to action. Agia Triada, Agios Petros, Ambelaki, Agios Spyridonas … they all have facilities to keep you entertained. Or you could take a boat trip to Paradise beach, one of Corfu’s most magical spots a little further down the coast. Bear in mind that the beaches of Paleokastritsa are very busy with tourist boats during the peak summer months. If it is a busy time of year, a good tip is to hire a sea bike or kayak from Agios Spyridonas and explore the coastline that way.
Angelokastro is another of Corfu’s historic fortresses, perched on a steep hill overlooking Paleokastritsa Bay. It was built during the Byzantine period in the 13th century, offering a strategic defensive stronghold against invasions over the following centuries. It is a short climb to the top but you can leave your car in the car park and walk up (15-20 minutes). If you’re looking for good hikes in Corfu, walk from Lakones to the Agios Georgios Pagon beach (passing Angelokastro), although you’ll have to skip your time on the beach to do this.
You have the choice of returning to Corfu town for dinner or visiting another nearby village for a traditional meal to end the day. There are many villages to choose from and they all have their own character: Krini, Makrades and the village of Pagoi north of Paleokastritsa, and Doukades and Liapades to the south. Note that the Corfu Donkey Rescue near Doukades (which rehabilitates injured or mistreated donkeys and shelters other animals) and the Enotis Olive Groves & Museum in the Vistonas area (with olive oil tasting) can be added to your village visit.
Photo by: Griekenland (@griekenlandnet)
A day of grand contrasts is in store. Around 30 minutes south of Corfu town, you arrive at the aristocratic splendour of the Achilleion Palace. After that, we head west to the wild landscape of the beaches around Lake Korission, one of Corfu’s most important natural habitats. You finish with another taste of traditional village life.
Located in the village of Gastouri about 10km south of Corfu town, the grand Achilleion Palace was built in the late 19th century by Empress Elisabeth of Austria – better known as Sissi – as a retreat and tribute to her beloved mythical hero, Achilles. It is yet another architectural surprise on this fascinating island, fusing Pompeian elegance with luxurious living quarters that feature neoclassical friezes and frescoes. There are also beautiful gardens that feature a sculpture of Achilles in his death throes. You can pass by or visit the palace (just make sure to check opening hours before doing so).
Another memorable afternoon awaits with a choice between two of Corfu’s most memorable beaches. Halikounas is a long sandy beach on the southwest coast, with activities such as kitesurfing and a basic beach bar. There is also a horse riding centre near Halikounas village just above it, with routes that include Korission lagoon, behind the beach. Another wonderful option is Issos beach, which is separated from Halikounas by a cedar forest and is part of the Natura 2000 environmental network. The beach has facilities, including stand-up paddleboard and kitesurfing rental. The sand dunes make this one of the wildest spots in Corfu.
End the day with a stroll through the traditional village of Chlomos, which is nestled in the hills on the way to the east coast and offers a variety of food options. Founded in the 13th century, Chlomos is another Corfu village with Venetian architecture, built around a cute little square with alleyways hiding colourful houses and courtyards. There are views to both the east and west coast (all the way back to Lake Korission) and tavernas and cafes with balcony views over the sea.
You take a deep dive into the culture and cuisine of Corfu on Day 7 of your itinerary … as well as a dive of a different kind at some of Corfu's best beaches. After a tour around the former family estate of Greece’s greatest statesman (now a museum), you head to the sandy beaches on the southwest coast. Then comes a choice of foodie experiences and, finally, a mountain village with a view fit for a Kaiser.
The Kapodistrias Museum is the only museum dedicated to the life and times of the first Governor of Greece. Born in 1776 in Venetian-occupied Corfu, Ioannis Kapodistrias studied in Italy and was a doctor in Corfu before being invited by Tsar Alexander I to lead the first Russian diplomatic mission to Switzerland, where he was made an honourary citizen of Geneva and Vaud. In 1827, he was made the first head of state of newly liberated Greece. This museum at the family estate in Koukouritsa describes his astonishing journey, all the way to his assassination in Nafplio in 1831.
The southwest coast of Corfu is blessed with long, sandy beaches (for many, the best in Corfu and especially popular with families). Whichever you select, you’ll be curious to know what the others look like. Glyfada, Agios Gordios and Kontogialos (accessed by a steep, narrow road) are our three recommendations – all generous stretches of golden sand with all the facilities you could want (including beach bars, tavernas and water sports) and a backdrop of pine tree-studded hills. Enjoy!
There’s no way you’re going home without learning more about Corfu’s food and wine. There are a couple of nearby vineyards that can be added to your day. Ambelonas Corfu is a winery in the hills which offers wine tasting and has a restaurant. It also offers cookery classes teaching the principles and techniques of Corfiot cuisine and ending with an epic meal (made by you, of course). Alternatively, the Theotoky Estate is the oldest winery in Corfu. You can learn all about the indigenous white Kakotrigis grape (which accounts for the bulk of Corfu’s production) and the Skopelitiko grape (for reds and rosés) as well as enjoy wine tasting and a tour of the estate.
Depending on your choice of activities today, you can include Pelekas on your way back to Corfu town. It’s perfect for a village stroll, or you could just enjoy the sunset. Surrounded by greenery and built at 220m above sea level, it is known for the nearby Kaiser Observatory (named after Kaiser Wilhelm II and also known as Kaiser’s Throne), which offers panoramic views of the valley and is the perfect place for sunset cocktails.
Photo by: @droning_on_and_on.hn
To end your itinerary in Corfu, we've planned a quieter day, including a morning coffee in one of the island's most iconic spots. You then head for more golden beaches on the west coast (via an olive press) and end back on the east coast with an unforgettable seafood meal to lock in all your memories.
Start your day with a morning coffee in the Kanoni area, just south of Corfu town, overlooking Pontikonisi and Vlaherena Monastery, the face of so many postcards from Corfu. Pontikonisi translates as Mouse Island (because of its shape) and there are boats that take you there, or you can visit the monastery at the end of a walkway from the shore. But you’ll also be happy to just take in the view from where you are. Kanoni (named after a cannon that used to stand at the top of the hill) is close to where Paleopolis, the ancient city of Corfu, once stood.
On your way to the beaches of southwest Corfu, you stop at Agios Mattheos, a gem of a village with colourful houses, narrow alleys and courtyards with shops, tavernas and cafes. The main reason for visiting, however, is the olive press at The Governor Olive Oil, where you’ll learn all about Corfu’s Lianolia olive and its extra-virgin olive oil. The Dafnis family have been running the facility for over 100 years and a guided tour includes learning about all aspects of the processing and extraction of the olive oil at low temperatures as well as olive oil tasting.
You continue your search for your favourite beach in southwest Corfu now. If we’ve opened your appetite for long stretches of golden sand and you want more of the same, then Marathias is the one for you today. Smaller and more personal (but still with the facilities to spend the afternoon there) are Prasoudi to the north and Gardenos to the south. It's going to be a tough choice.
Photo by: Billy Varelis (@cfuyvrflyboy)
For a final meal in Corfu, we’re sending you back to the east coast to the small fishing port of Boukari, about 25km south of Corfu town. It’s the perfect spot to say goodbye. The tiny harbour, traditional wooden fishing boats and still waters are the ideal accompaniment to a seafood meal. Home will seem a million miles away. So take your time.
We hope you’ve enjoyed your 8-day itinerary of in Corfu. Of course, you’ll need a day before or after to enjoy the full list of things to do in Corfu and you can adapt the itinerary to make your holidays everything you want them to be. If you can stay longer, it’s worth adding a boat trip to the Diapontia Isles or to Paxos. And don’t forget to visit our sustainable travel guide to Corfu before setting out.
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