Welcome to the enchanting island of Corfu! Situated in the Ionian Sea, off the western coast of mainland Greece, Corfu is a popular destination for cruise ship travelers looking to explore the rich history, stunning beaches, and vibrant culture of this picturesque island. Whether you have just a few hours or a whole day to spare, there are plenty of activities and attractions to keep you entertained during your visit. From the charming streets of Corfu Town to the tranquil beaches and historic sites scattered throughout the island, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Corfu Town, the capital and main port of the island, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its Venetian-style architecture, narrow winding lanes, and charming squares. Take a leisurely stroll through the town, visit the Old Fortress, and marvel at the grandeur of the Palace of St. Michael and St. George, which now houses the Museum of Asian Art. Don’t forget to stop by Liston, a beautiful promenade lined with cafes, restaurants, and local shops, where you can indulge in some people-watching while sipping on a traditional Greek coffee.
If you’re a fan of ancient history and architecture, a visit to the Achilleion Palace is a must. This stunning neoclassical palace, built for the Empress of Austria in the late 19th century, offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape and is adorned with impressive statues and opulent interiors. Immerse yourself in the mythological world of Achilles and explore the beautifully manicured gardens surrounding the palace.
For those seeking some relaxation and sun-soaked bliss, head to Paleokastritsa Beach. Nestled against a backdrop of rugged cliffs and crystal-clear waters, this beach offers the perfect setting to unwind and soak up the Mediterranean sun. Take a dip in the azure waters, go snorkeling to discover the vibrant marine life, or simply laze on the golden sands and let your worries drift away.
Exploring Corfu Town
Corfu Town, also known as Kerkyra, is the vibrant capital of the island. Its rich history, unique architecture, and bustling atmosphere make it a must-visit destination. Begin your exploration by wandering through the narrow streets of the old town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Admire the Venetian-influenced buildings with their colorful facades, intricate balconies, and charming flower-filled courtyards.
Stop by the Liston, a promenade inspired by Parisian architecture, and grab a seat at one of the outdoor cafes. Sip on a refreshing frappé or indulge in some local delicacies like pastitsada or sofrito while watching the world go by. Don’t miss the chance to check out the bustling Spianada Square, one of the largest squares in Europe, where you can find elegant statues, fountains, and kiosks selling local crafts.
As you continue your journey through Corfu Town, make sure to visit the Old Fortress. This imposing structure offers panoramic views of the town and the sea. Explore its ancient walls, visit the Church of St. George, and learn about the fortress’s fascinating history. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even climb to the top of the fortress for an even more breathtaking view.
For a cultural experience, head to the Palace of St. Michael and St. George, located in the heart of the town. This elegant building houses the Museum of Asian Art, showcasing an impressive collection of artifacts from China, Japan, India, and Southeast Asia. Marvel at the intricate ceramics, delicate textiles, and ancient sculptures that offer an insight into the rich cultural heritage of Asia.
Corfu Town is also a paradise for shopaholics. Along the bustling streets, you’ll find a mix of local boutiques, international brands, and charming souvenir shops. Don’t forget to pick up some unique Corfiot products like the famous kumquat liqueur, olive oil, or handmade ceramics as a memento of your visit.
Visiting Achilleion Palace
Situated in the village of Gastouri, just a short drive from Corfu Town, Achilleion Palace is a magnificent neoclassical palace that offers a glimpse into the luxurious lifestyle of European royalty. Built in the late 19th century for the Empress of Austria, Elisabeth of Bavaria, the palace is a tribute to the mythical hero Achilles, and its architecture and decor reflect this theme.
As you step inside the palace, you’ll be greeted by opulent interiors adorned with lavish chandeliers, intricate frescoes, and ornate marble statues. The highlight of the palace is the stunning Hall of Muses, where you’ll find beautiful paintings depicting the nine muses and an imposing statue of Achilles. Take your time to explore the various rooms, each offering a unique glimpse into the grandeur and extravagance of the era.
Make sure to venture outside and explore the stunning gardens that surround the palace. Adorned with sculptures, fountains, and lush greenery, the gardens offer a tranquil escape from the bustling city. Take a leisurely stroll through the pathways, sit in the shade of a towering cypress tree, and enjoy panoramic views of the Ionian Sea from the terraces.
While at Achilleion Palace, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the iconic Terrace of the Muses. This is where you can find the famous statue of Achilles, poised and ready for battle. From this vantage point, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside and the sparkling blue waters of the Ionian Sea.
Achilleion Palace is not just a feast for the eyes, but also a historical and cultural treasure. It provides insight into the lives of European royalty and their fascination with mythology. Whether you’re a history buff, an architecture enthusiast, or simply looking for a picturesque setting, a visit to Achilleion Palace is an experience that shouldn’t be missed during your time in Corfu.
Relaxing at Paleokastritsa Beach
Paleokastritsa Beach, located on the northwest coast of Corfu, is a true gem and a paradise for beach lovers. With its crystal-clear turquoise waters, dramatic cliffs, and lush vegetation, it’s no wonder why this beach is often described as one of the most beautiful in Greece. Whether you’re seeking relaxation or adventure, Paleokastritsa Beach offers something for everyone.
The beach is divided into several small coves, each with its own unique charm. Find your own little corner of paradise on the soft golden sand, lay back on a sunbed, and let the warm Mediterranean sun caress your skin. If you prefer a more active beach experience, take advantage of the various water sports available, such as snorkeling, kayaking, or paddleboarding.
One of the highlights of Paleokastritsa Beach is its stunning underwater world. Put on your snorkeling gear and explore the vibrant marine life that inhabits the crystal-clear waters. Swim among schools of colorful fish, admire the beautiful corals, and if you’re lucky, you might even spot a sea turtle or two. The beach is also a great spot for scuba diving, with several diving centers offering guided trips to underwater caves and reefs.
For those seeking a little solitude and tranquility, rent a small boat and explore the hidden coves and caves that dot the coastline. Discover secret beaches accessible only by sea, marvel at the rugged cliffs rising from the water, and find your own secluded spot to enjoy a picnic away from the crowds.
Paleokastritsa Beach is not only known for its natural beauty but also for its surrounding attractions. Take a short hike or hop on a boat to visit the Paleokastritsa Monastery, perched on a hilltop overlooking the beach. Explore the monastery’s gardens, admire the ancient icons, and enjoy the panoramic views of the stunning coastline.
Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or simply want to soak in the breathtaking natural beauty of Corfu, a visit to Paleokastritsa Beach is a must. Take a dip in the sparkling waters, bask in the warm sun, and let the serenity of this idyllic beach wash over you.
Exploring Old Perithia Village
Step back in time and venture to Old Perithia Village, a hidden gem nestled in the foothills of Mount Pantokrator, on the northeastern side of Corfu. This picturesque village is one of the oldest and best-preserved settlements on the island, dating back to the 14th century. With its cobblestone streets, traditional stone houses, and panoramic views of the surrounding countryside, Old Perithia offers a glimpse into the island’s rich history and rural charm.
As you wander through the village, you’ll be enchanted by the architectural beauty and the sense of stepping into a bygone era. The stone houses, many of which have been lovingly restored, exude a rustic charm. Admire the intricate woodwork, colorful shutters, and blooming flower pots that decorate the exterior of these traditional dwellings.
Take the time to explore the narrow streets and discover hidden corners brimming with character. Visit the old churches, such as the Church of Agios Iakovos, adorned with beautiful icons and frescoes that reflect the village’s religious heritage. Explore the quaint squares, where you can rest on a bench under the shade of a tree and soak in the peaceful atmosphere.
For a taste of local cuisine, stop by one of the traditional tavernas in the village. Indulge in mouthwatering dishes made from locally sourced ingredients, such as wild herbs, organic vegetables, and freshly caught seafood. Enjoy the warm hospitality of the locals and savor the authentic flavors of Corfu’s traditional recipes.
Old Perithia is also a paradise for nature lovers and hikers. Surrounded by lush greenery and offering magnificent views of the surrounding landscape, it’s the perfect starting point for exploring the trails that wind through the hills of Mount Pantokrator. Lace up your hiking boots and embark on an adventure, discovering hidden springs, ancient ruins, and breathtaking vistas along the way.
A visit to Old Perithia Village is like stepping into a living museum, where the past meets the present. Immerse yourself in the village’s rich history, admire its unique architecture, indulge in delicious local cuisine, and explore the natural beauty that surrounds it. This hidden gem is a testament to the timeless beauty of Corfu and an experience not to be missed.
Enjoying Water Sports at Aqualand
Get ready for a day of fun, excitement, and adrenaline at Aqualand, the largest water park in Corfu. Located in Agios Ioannis, just a short drive from Corfu Town, Aqualand offers a wide range of thrilling water slides, splash pools, and lazy rivers, making it a perfect destination for families, friends, and adventure seekers of all ages.
Dive into a world of exhilaration as you slide down the towering water slides, twisting and turning through the water. Feel the rush of adrenaline as you plummet down steep drops, experiencing a mix of excitement and pure joy. From high-speed slides for thrill-seekers to calmer rides for those seeking a more relaxing experience, Aqualand has something for everyone.
If you’re looking to cool off and have some family-friendly fun, head to the wave pool. Feel the thrill as the waves crash against you, simulating the sensation of being at the beach. Watch as children and adults alike splash and play in the water, creating memories that will last a lifetime.
If relaxation is your goal, grab an inner tube and embark on a leisurely float down the lazy river. Let the gentle current carry you through lush landscapes and under cascading waterfalls. Take in the scenic views and enjoy a moment of tranquility as you float along.
Aqualand also offers a dedicated area for younger children, with specially designed water play features and mini slides. Kids can safely splash around, climb on interactive structures, and make new friends in an environment designed just for them.
Hungry after all the excitement? Aqualand has several restaurants and snack bars where you can refuel with a variety of delicious options. Enjoy a refreshing ice cream, indulge in some traditional Greek gyros, or grab a quick bite to keep your energy levels up.
Safety is a top priority at Aqualand, with lifeguards stationed throughout the park and strict adherance to safety regulations. Rest assured that you and your loved ones are in good hands as you enjoy the water park’s various attractions.
A visit to Aqualand is a guaranteed day of fun, laughter, and unforgettable memories. Soak in the sun, cool off in the refreshing waters, and experience the thrill of the water slides. Whether you’re a water enthusiast or simply looking for a refreshing adventure, Aqualand is the ultimate destination for water sports and entertainment in Corfu.
Discovering the Corfu Countryside
While Corfu is famous for its stunning beaches and vibrant towns, the island’s countryside is equally captivating and offers a unique perspective on its natural beauty and rural charm. Embark on a journey through the Corfu countryside and explore its picturesque villages, verdant landscapes, and hidden gems.
Start your adventure by visiting the traditional village of Doukades, nestled in the hills of northwest Corfu. Stroll through its narrow streets lined with stone houses, admire the charming architecture, and soak in the serene atmosphere. Don’t miss a visit to the village’s main square, where you can sit under the shade of a tree and enjoy a cup of Greek coffee while observing the slow-paced village life.
From Doukades, make your way to the scenic village of Lakones, perched on the cliffs overlooking the breathtaking Paleokastritsa Bay. Enjoy panoramic views of the turquoise waters below and soak in the beauty of the rugged coastline. Explore the village’s traditional tavernas and indulge in local delicacies with a backdrop of the stunning sea views.
For nature lovers, a visit to the Corfu Trail is a must. This 220-kilometer long-distance hiking trail stretches from the southern tip of the island to the northernmost point, traversing diverse landscapes along the way. Lace up your hiking boots and embark on a section of the trail, passing through olive groves, vineyards, forests, and charming villages. Experience the tranquility of nature, encounter local flora and fauna, and immerse yourself in the beauty of the Corfu countryside.
If you’re a fan of local produce, don’t miss a visit to one of the island’s many olive groves. Corfu is renowned for its high-quality olive oil, and many of the groves offer tours where you can learn about the olive oil making process. Explore the groves, taste the different varieties of olive oil, and gain an appreciation for this integral part of Corfu’s culinary heritage.
Another hidden gem in the Corfu countryside is the village of Chlomos. Situated on a hillside, Chlomos offers breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside and the Ionian Sea. Explore its narrow alleys, visit the small churches that dot the village, and enjoy a traditional meal at one of the local tavernas while taking in the panoramic views.
The Corfu countryside is a treasure trove waiting to be discovered. Explore its charming villages, immerse yourself in its natural beauty, and embrace the slower pace of rural life. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a culture seeker, or simply looking for a peaceful getaway, exploring the Corfu countryside will leave you with lasting memories and a deep appreciation for the island’s natural wonders.
Sampling Local Cuisine
No visit to Corfu is complete without indulging in its mouthwatering local cuisine. Influenced by Greek, Venetian, and Mediterranean flavors, Corfiot cuisine offers a tantalizing array of dishes that will delight your taste buds and leave you craving for more. From fresh seafood to hearty meat dishes and a variety of delectable sweets, there is something to please every palate.
Start your culinary journey with a plate of sofrito, a traditional Corfiot dish made from thinly sliced beef cooked in a flavorful garlic and white wine sauce. The tender meat and rich flavors make it a true delight for meat lovers. Pair it with a glass of local Robola wine, made from grapes grown on the island’s steep slopes, for a perfect match.
Another Corfiot specialty not to be missed is pastitsada. This hearty dish features succulent beef or rooster cooked in a flavorful tomato and cinnamon sauce, served over pasta. The combination of savory flavors and aromatic spices makes it a true comfort food and a favorite among locals and visitors alike.
Seafood enthusiasts will be delighted by the abundance of fresh seafood in Corfu. Indulge in a plate of bourdeto, a spicy fish stew made with local catch and flavored with paprika and chili peppers. The fiery flavors and tender fish will transport you to the Mediterranean in every bite. Or try the grilled octopus, lightly seasoned with olive oil, lemon, and herbs, for a taste of the sea.
Don’t forget to explore the local markets and indulge in the diverse range of fresh produce. From juicy tomatoes and fragrant herbs to crisp cucumbers and tangy feta cheese, the ingredients in Corfu are bursting with flavor. Create your own Greek salad with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of oregano, or enjoy a refreshing horiatiki, a traditional Greek salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and feta.
To satisfy your sweet tooth, try the famous Corfu nougat, known as mandolato. Made with honey, almonds, and sugar, this chewy and nutty delight is a local favorite, especially during festive seasons. Another sweet treat to try is the traditional kumquat liqueur, made from the small citrus fruit that thrives on the island. Sample it on its own or try it in a cocktail for a unique and refreshing experience.
Whether you’re a food lover or simply looking to explore the flavors of a new destination, sampling the local cuisine in Corfu is an experience not to be missed. Soak in the flavors of the island, indulge in the rich culinary heritage, and uncover the true essence of Corfu through its delectable dishes.
Shopping in Corfu Town
Corfu Town is a shopper’s paradise, offering a wide range of shopping opportunities to suit all tastes and preferences. From bustling street markets to elegant boutiques, you’ll find something to catch your eye and take home as a memento of your time on the island.
Start your shopping adventure in the heart of Corfu Town at the Liston, a grand promenade lined with charming cafes, restaurants, and shops. Take a leisurely stroll and immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere as you browse through the various boutiques and souvenir stores. Here, you’ll find a selection of local crafts, handmade jewelry, clothing, and accessories, making it the perfect place to pick up unique gifts for loved ones or a special treat for yourself.
For those looking for high-end fashion and luxury brands, head to Kapodistriou Street, one of the main shopping streets in the town. Discover renowned international brands and high-end designer boutiques, showcasing the latest fashion trends. Whether you’re in search of a stylish new outfit or accessories to complete your look, you’ll find plenty of options to satisfy your fashionable desires.
If you’re a fan of local products, a visit to the Central Market is a must. Explore the vibrant stalls filled with fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices. Sample the local cheeses, olives, and cured meats, and discover the rich flavors of Corfu’s gastronomic delights. Don’t forget to pick up a bottle of the famous Corfiot olive oil, a staple of Mediterranean cuisine, to bring a taste of Corfu back home with you.
If you’re looking for a more authentic and traditional shopping experience, venture into the narrow streets of the Old Town. Here, you’ll find artisan workshops and stores selling handmade ceramics, textiles, and local products. Watch skilled craftsmen at work, creating intricate lace, pottery, and leather goods, and take home a one-of-a-kind piece of Corfiot craftsmanship.
For those interested in antiques and vintage treasures, make your way to Kastro Antiques. This unique store is a treasure trove of antique furniture, vintage clothing, jewelry, and collectibles. Browse through the carefully curated selection and uncover hidden gems that carry the stories and history of Corfu.
Finally, no shopping experience in Corfu would be complete without a visit to a local kumquat shop. Kumquats are small citrus fruits that are unique to the island, and you’ll find them transformed into a variety of products, including preserves, liquors, and handmade candies. Sample the different kumquat-infused treats and pick up a jar of kumquat marmalade or a bottle of kumquat liqueur as a delicious memento of your time in Corfu.
Shopping in Corfu Town is a delightful experience that combines the charm of a historic setting with a diverse array of products and unique local finds. Soak in the atmosphere, explore the streets and markets, and bring home a piece of Corfu’s culture, flavors, and craftsmanship.
Corfu, with its rich history, stunning beaches, and vibrant culture, offers a diverse range of experiences for cruise ship travelers. From exploring the charming streets of Corfu Town to immersing yourself in the beauty of the countryside, there is something for everyone to enjoy on this enchanting island.
The town of Corfu will captivate you with its Venetian-style architecture, narrow lanes, and bustling squares. Visit the Old Fortress, wander through the narrow streets of the old town, and indulge in local cuisine at the quaint cafes and tavernas. Don’t forget to explore the markets for unique souvenirs and taste the flavors of Corfu’s gastronomy.
Venture beyond the town and you’ll discover hidden gems like Achilleion Palace, a testament to European royalty and Greek mythology. Relax on the stunning beaches of Paleokastritsa and soak in the natural beauty that surrounds you. Immerse yourself in the rural charm of Old Perithia Village and embark on a culinary journey through the flavors of Corfu.
If you’re seeking adventure, head to Aqualand for a day of thrilling water sports. Alternatively, explore the hinterland and discover the scenic beauty of the Corfu countryside, from charming villages to hiking trails that wind through olive groves and vineyards.
Corfu showcases the perfect blend of history, culture, natural beauty, and gastronomy, ensuring a memorable experience for every visitor. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or cultural immersion, this enchanting island has it all. So, come ashore from your cruise ship and explore the wonders of Corfu – it’s a destination that will leave you with lasting memories and a longing to return.