Corfu, Greece Vacations
About Corfu, Greece
Corfu, or locally known as Kerkyra, is a beautiful Greek island off the West coast of Greece. It is one of the greener islands and it is covered with more than 3 million olive trees. There are over 98 beaches on Corfu, shingle beaches and many sandy beaches alike, there are also quieter beaches with less tourists in certain areas.
Corfu, or locally known as Kerkyra, is a beautiful Greek island off the West coast of Greece. It is one of the greener islands and it is covered with more than 3 million olive trees. There are over 98 beaches on Corfu, shingle beaches and many sandy beaches alike, there are also quieter beaches with less tourists in certain areas. The shingle beaches are on the North East coast of the island along with rocky coves that are great for exploring with a rented motor boat. The South and North coasts are made up of long sandy beaches and these are the main tourist areas. There are many ‘Tavernas’ in these areas, perfect for a Greek lunch or dinner on the beach. The West coast of the island offers spectacular sunset views. Corfu is the perfect place of relaxation and exploration, with relaxing beaches and local villages to explore, and Tavernas to enjoy wonderful Greek meals with hand-pressed olive oils and Greek wines. Food is a huge part of the Greek culture and meals are meant to be enjoyed and a great way to spend time with friends and loved ones. Corfu is safe and friendly for travelers.
Documentation Requirements: Passport required for Canadian and American travelers. Passport must be valid for at least three months past the expected departure date. Be sure to get passport stamped upon arrival.
Tourist or business visa required for stays past 90 days.
Currency: The currency in Corfu, Greece is the Euro (EUR). It is best to make purchases with cash while in Corfu. There are many ATMs on the island to withdraw cash.
Language: The main language spoken in Corfu is Greek. English is also widely known.
Tourist Season and Weather: May to October is the tourist season in Corfu. An off season visit during November to April can be a bit costlier as airlines do not generally fly into Corfu at this time. It would be required to take a flight into Athens and then a domestic flight to Corfu.
The best time to visit is May to June and September to October. Temperatures during the day are warm and enjoyable, ranging from low to mid 20’s, with cooler nights, perfect for sleeping. Expect at least 1 day of clouds or rain per week during this time, and be sure to pack a sweater for cooler night temperatures. The summer months can be hot and dry with temperatures ranging from 30°C to just below 40°C, with high humidity. It can be very busy during this time with families, and the beaches and surrounding areas will be packed with tourists.
Transportation: Renting a car and driving is the most flexible form of transportation but it can be extremely challenging and is only recommended for those very comfortable and confident on the road. The roads are narrow, and well-slicked with olive oil from the olive trees lining the roadways. Always wear a seatbelt, drinking and driving is illegal, and using a cell phone on the road is also illegal. It is recommended to hire a car or take a taxi and enjoy the breathtaking views around every corner.
Local buses are a cheap and fun way to travel. Although the bus times and routes can be tricky to figure out, it is best to ask a local or ask inside a ‘Kafeneon.’ A Kafeneon doubles as a bus shelter, gives information on bus times and routes and is often across from the bus stop location.
Mopeds are not recommended to get around Corfu, it can be very dangerous with the other traffic on the roads. Wearing a helmet is a must!
You can also rent a small motor boat for the day to explore the coves and enjoy the water and breathtaking views of the island.
Activities: Relaxing on the beach and enjoying the water is not the only thing to do in Corfu. There are plenty of things to see and do on this beautiful island. Corfu Town Kerkyra is a historical town with plenty of culture. Enjoy the old churches, such as St. Spiridon’s Church, home of the island’s ‘mummified’ saint. Catch the St. Spiridon procession, done only four times a year. Enjoy the architecture of the Palace of St. Michael and St. George to the left of Liston and the Old Fort across from the Liston Esplanade. Nightly music performances of Sound & Light are done in the Fort during the summer. Shopping is also popular in the city with Greek gold jewelry sold at competitive prices, along with shopping stalls for honey, figs, and lace.
Mt. Pantokrator, the mountain on the island, is well worth a visit, with many local towns to stop at on the way to the breathtaking view from the top. The Monastery is also at the top of this mountain. During the winter months it can be snow-capped as the mountain is over 1000 metres high. Achillion Palace is a beautiful building and one of Corfu’s top attractions. It is a great place for taking pictures with many beautiful statues. The view from the palace of the sea and Corfu Town Kerkyra is breathtaking to behold. Remember to bring a large scarf for women to cover their shoulders if you would like to enter the monastery or any churches. Beach wear should be left at home but shorts are acceptable.
Families with children will enjoy Aqualand, Corfu’s largest water park. There are plenty of waterslides and small pools to entertain children, along with large umbrella’s and pool side chairs for the adults. For people who would like experience the Greek culture, be sure to attend a “Greek Night.” An all-inclusive night out with food, wine and plenty of Greek music and dancing to enjoy.
Festivals: The majority of local Greek festivals, also known as 'paniyiris,' are during the summer months of July and August, but there are a few in June and September. Live music and plenty of drinking, eating, and dancing are enjoyed during the festivals. Each village has one festival per year and they are held at varying times. Ask locals or the front desk of your hotel for information on festivals nearby.
The Pantokratoros festival is held during the week of July 6 or 7 and is held for almost a week with a pilgrimage to the monastery at the top of the mountain.
The Loustri Pie Festival is held September 1st every year at 8pm. Pies, or ‘Pittas’ as the Greek call them, are donated to the festival along with local wine. The dancing to live music goes late into the night!
Restaurants: Aegli is located in Liston, Corfu Town. This restaurant has Greek and international cuisine with steamed mussels, fresh fish, and lamb. Fresh sourdough bread is made on site and served at each table.
Avli is a unique restaurant where you order a number of small dishes that are meant to be shared among the table. Perfect for families with picky eaters. Located in Corfu Town this restaurant is creates unique dishes from a combination of local ingredients. House-baked bread is served at each table.
Jimmy’s serves traditional Greek food made only from fresh ingredients and local olive oil. This family owned restaurant opens early for breakfast, located in Pelekas. It also has a vegetarian selection.
Taverna Tripa is an old family owned restaurant still running since the 1930’s, located in Kinopiastes. The great Greek dishes are complemented by live music and dance performed by locals.