Corfu Island- I think I just found paradise
The Greek islands are endless, there are so many islands to choose from! I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve sat in my living room or in a Greek coffee cafe researching which islands I should visit next while currently living here in Greece. I’ve wrote about and visited Mykonos and Santorini but I wanted to explore a few lesser known islands that get the shaft because of people wanting to visit the top 2 mamas (Santorini & Mykonos). So finally after bouncing back & forth on my next island getaway, I decided on CORFU ISLAND!
(wait am I in Italy, Greece or Bali?)
Corfu Island is off Greece’s Northwest coast in the Ionian sea. It’s defined by how green it is, it’s rugged mountains and it’s resort filled coastal shoreline. Corfu is a special place, imagine Greece x Italy x Oregon x California x Bali vibes…lol that’s a weird combo to envision but honestly those are the vibes I got. Forest greens & mountains like Oregon, palm trees like California, colorful buildings on cliffs like Amalfi coast Italy, the rainforest colors and beauty of Bali, all mixed in with Greek culture. This is such a GREEN island, it looks much much MUCH different than your typical white & blue Santorini & Mykonos.
I chose Corfu because the beautiful beaches and amicable villages that I saw on google pics. To be honest, I didn’t have a ton of time to do research on it before I went because it was a last minute trip. So the night before I stayed up for a few hours researching all the places I wanted to visit while being there for a few short days. I didn’t realize when I booked my flight initially how HUGE Corfu island was, which kinda stressed me out a little because I was traveling alone and I didn’t know what part of the island to stay in.
So LET ME HELP YOU if you’re wanting to plan a trip to Corfu and your a first timer like I was, and you don’t know where the heck to stay or what to see. Think of me like I’m your ginny pig who tried it first and is now able to help guide you to the best of Corfu.
Advice for people going:
- Since the island is so huge, I would recommend going for a MINIMUM of 3 days if you’re hoping to see some the best things the island has to offer. I would highly recommend 3-5 days.
- RENT A CAR!!! The island is big so you’re not going to want to rely on trying to taxi everywhere because it will get expensive and hard to catch a ride when you need it. When I’d drive to a destination spot, it took up to a hour + getting there so having a car was perfect. (Don’t sweat the time it takes to drive places, the drive through the island is beautiful and fun to see).
- WAIT UNTIL MAY to visit Corfu. Like I mentioned in my “American Girls Take Greece” blog post, season in Greece doesn’t kick off until April. Well..apparently even later in Corfu. I went to Corfu April 24th-April 27th and the majority of hotels and resorts were closed until the first or second week of May. Ughhh so sick of “off season” and things being closed. I luckily found a nice hotel in Old Town.. I wanted to stay in Northern Corfu but couldn’t because hotels were limited.
- Be careful driving, some of the roads get super narrow on the cliffs so always stay aware and be cautious driving.
Places you must visit:
- Spend a day at this GORGEOUS beach village! This was by far my favorite thing to see while being in Corfu. IT WAS SO BEAUTIFUL!
- Lay out at the beach & take a boat ride through all the caves, it was only 10 Euros to take a boat trip and we were out for at least an hour. I was even lucky and got a full boat all to myself 🙂
- Have lunch at one of the cafes by the sea, seafood was bomb
- Enjoy a full day there, it is magical
- Make sure to check out Paradise Beach on the boat trip, you can only reach it by boat
- If you’re looking to stay in a cute little village for a few days (literally its paradise) you could even book a hotel in this cute little town
(I even saw goats prancing through the street as I pulled into Palaiokastritsa)
- Boat Trip:
- Take a boat trip to Paxos & Anti Paxos islands. You can take a full day excursion to both of these islands- which is approx an 8-10 hour full day
- There are plenty of companies that offer full day boat tours and even offer food and alcohol during the trip. Its totally worth it because those islands are so pretty & fun to visit
- There are plenty of ports throughout the island that the boats depart from, I would say the biggest port is the one right outside of Corfu town
- Such a cute village to visit, it was my favorite northern town! Its so relaxing and lovely, I would even recommend booking your hotel in this town. Other Northern towns which are cool to see and/or potentially stay are the towns of Roda & Gouvia. These 3 towns are all northern Corfu and are great for beauty, relaxation, resorts & fun
- Kassiopi has a gorgeous little bay that with great restaurants
- The town has great beaches with stunning views
- The town is fun to walk around and check out the shops
- Kassiopi even has an old castle! Cool.
- Corfu Old Town
- It’s worth spending at least 1/2 day wandering around Old Town. It has so much character and culture full of beautiful buildings and colorful atmosphere
- You’ll find some nice leather shops, so get excited to find some great leather for decent prices- bargain your way down like a boss 🙂
- This town is very similar to Plaka (in Athens) and Nafplio. You’ll love visiting this historic town, it’s totally worth it. Think Athens meets Rome!
- Porto Timoni
- Gorgeous beach and coastline! If you choose to hike down, wear comfy walking shoes because its a HIKE!!
- I would recommend boating there because its much easier than the long steep 20-30 min walk down, especially if you’re not a hiker
- Don’t make the mistake that I made (crying face emoji)!!! I was wearing flip flops not knowing it was a 25 minute, down hill, rocky, HOT, steep hike. I think I still have cuts on my feet from that mistake lol (funny but not funny)
Fun things along the way:
- During the drive from destination to destination, stop at a few fruit stands and get some snacks. The fruits & nuts were so fresh and delicious
- Stop at some random coffee cafes along the way. It’s fun to check out some coffee cafes in between villages. Its a nice break for you and the locals are super friendly to talk to
- Keep an eye out for wildlife. While I was driving and when I made a few stops I saw random chickens, goats, lizards, dogs, cats, donkeys and horses!
Corfu is a must visit if you’re planning a Greece trip and you’re looking for some peace, adventure and tranquility. It’s a completely different vibe than the white cobblestone and blue church tops, it offers a complete different experience. I would recommend visiting Corfu if its your second trip to Greece and you want to try new islands or if you are staying in Greece for longer than 10 days and you want to add it to your island hopping.
Corfu has my heart, I will definitely venture back one day. Try it!
Until the next adventure,