"Corfu is an island filled with great entertainment, traditional tavernas and stunning hotels overlooking the Aegean Sea."
Corfu is the second largest of the Ionian islands, whose history has been bound with the history of Greece since the beginning of Greek mythology. Its Greek name, Kerkyra, is connected to two powerful water symbols, Poseidon and Asopos. Corfu is just off the West coast of Greece and is one of the most Northern Ionian Islands, which enjoys a mild Mediterranean climate ideal for a beach holiday. Corfu boasts breath-taking natural beauty, covered with over 3 million evergreen olive trees and is one of the greenest of the Mediterranean islands.
The island is best described as a paradise, combining stunning golden beaches, turquoise waters, and plenty of luscious green vegetation. This makes it ideal for people who want to go and relax on the sun-kissed shores of the Ionian Sea. On this cosmopolitan island, visitors can combine relaxation with an exciting evening social scene, stylish restaurants, as well as traditional tavernas, cafes and bars that offer traditional Greek cuisine. There are also several places of historical interest, including Sissi’s palace, ensuring that people looking for education and culture won’t be disappointed.
Corfu Travel Guide
At A Glance:
Situated in the Ionian Sea it is characterized by its rugged mountains, and gorgeous coastal areas. It spent time under the rule of Venice, France and Britain, giving it a multi-cultural feel, which visitors are sure to enjoy. The island spans a total area of 585 kilometres, making it the seventh largest Greek island.
The Greek island has a temperate climate with average summer temperatures of 25 degrees, and it is slightly cooler than the mainland, thanks to its coastal status. The best time to visit Corfu, if you want a classic beach holiday, is from June-August, where you will normally find temperatures into the high-to-mid-twenties. Whereas, those looking for a more active time, may want to go from mid-April to mid-June when the heat is slightly less fierce. Corfu often has Indian Summers, lasting long into September, while its winters are fairly mild, with an average temperature of around 13 degrees.
History and Culture
According to Greek myth, Corfu was the place where Poseidon, imprisoned the nymph Korkira, also featuring in the Odyssey as the land of the Phaeacians, where Odysseus landed on his return trip to Ithaca. It took Athens’ side in the Peloponnesian War, before eventually succumbing to King Phillip of Macedon a century later, before subsequently falling under Roman control. In more recent times it was a Venetian sea base between the 13th and the late 18th century, before Napoleon conquered it and the British took control. Eventually unifying with Greece in 1866.
As an island, Corfu, specialises in delicious seafood, with red mullet, prawns, octopus and lobster all popular. The island also has an excellent range of freshly made local cheeses, including the Greek classic feta. Goat is also very popular on the island, with locals tending to eat it in a sour lemon sauce.
Aqualand is probably the best attraction for families in Corfu, and it has a wide selection of exciting rides, designed by the same group of people who were responsible for Disneyland, making it the ideal place for aquatic fun on a family holiday. Corfu Aquarium is an educational day out for people with children, combining fascinating marine life, with a number of fun exhibits. The Trailriders stables are perfectly located close to the village of Ano Korakiana and Mount Pantokrator, making them ideal for people who want to explore the island by horseback.
Tours and Attractions
On arrival you will be greeted by a great range of golden beaches, which compare favourably to some of the most beautiful beaches in all of Europe, such as Paleokastitsa Beach and Barbati Beach. There are also large mountains like Mount Pantokrator, for active people who love to hike amongst beautiful scenery. Sissi’s Palace is a beautiful building with a tragic story, ideal for history lovers and can be combined with a trip to Kaiser’s Throne, which offers panoramic views of the surrounding area.
Events and Festivities
The annual carnival each year runs between mid-January and mid-February and has a massive Venetian influence, thanks to their occupation of the island in the 17th century. This means that there are a large variety of Venetian inspired costumes on show, alongside a parade in Liston. The Varkarola is a local festival celebrated in August, with choirs travelling by boat and singing traditional love songs, known as cantades. There is also a cricket festival, a custom developed during the British occupation of the island, which takes place in the cricket ground, called Espianada square.
There are a myriad of great bars and restaurants in Corfu Town, which are a great place to either spend the entire evening or before venturing out for a late night. Emporiko, located close to the island’s port, is the a vibrant and thriving region, lined with clubs that stay open long into the night. There is also an interesting and pleasant nightlife in some of the island’s smaller resorts, with places like Paleokastritsa and Kavos especially popular.