A jewel of an Ionian Island, Corfu welcomes thousands of visitors to its green and pleasant shores every year. But if you’re looking to experience a real taste of this ancient Greek isle, from taverna dances to hide-away villages, here are ten of the best things to see and do in Corfu.
Get lost in the Old Town
Corfu’s Old Town is not exactly off the beaten track, but there are enough labyrinthine alleyways in which to separate yourself from the crowd and admire the French and Italianate architecture.
Take a boat to the Diaponita Islands
Now you’ve landed on your Greek Island paradise, discover something even wilder and more remote. Take a trip to Othoni, Mathraki or Erikousa from Sidari to really get away from it all.
Visit Paleokastritsa Monastery
The beach at Paleokastritsa is a perfect destination for summer package holidays but equally busy, so it’s lucky that there’s a 13th century monastery just above the caves on the headland, complete with Byzantine museum and amazing views.
See an octagonal castle
The impressive defences at the Medieval Gardiki Castle once guarded the entire island from invaders and 6 of its original 8 towers are still preserved for your viewing pleasure.
Brush up on your folklore
The village of Sinarades occupies a quintessentially Mediterranean spot, among olive groves on a hill. It’s sizeable but retains its traditions and an interesting Folkloric Museum where you can learn about rural life.
Find a hidden beach
To find your own patch of sand, head down the east coast from main resort Kassiopi and go where the locals go: Avlaki. A generous stretch of sand fringed by green hills, it’s – as yet – pretty much undiscovered.
Walk the island from end to end
If you’re up for a long-distance walk, the Corfu Trail takes in all the sights from Kavos to St Spiridon, in the space of a week. This is where you’ll discover the best rugged mountain vistas, silent woodlands and clifftop paths.
Eat at a traditional taverna
There are plenty of reputable tavernas around the more popular spots but Corfu has a few hidden gems, notably in villages like Kato Korakiana or Nissaki. You might even get a traditional dance if you’re lucky.
Stroll the cypress groves
The north-east region is less-frequented than other areas and boasts beautiful countryside around the small resorts like Agios Georgios and the hill village of Pagi. Perfect for a gentle hike through the trees.
Watch a cricket game
The esplanade or ‘Spianada’ is a highlight of Corfu Town, with its distinctly French feel and old fortress. But the 19th century British conquerors also left a cricket pitch here, where you can still enjoy a quiet game in the afternoon.
Photo by baluxp on Flickr