Corfu

Corfu, known also by its Greek name Kerkyra (Κέρκυρα), is the northernmost of the Ionian Islands in Greece. Located off of the far northwest coast of the country, Corfu lies in the Adriatic sea, east of Italy and southwest of Albania. Historically Corfu has been controlled by many foreign powers, notably the Venetians, and British.

Regions

Corfu is 62 km long and at its widest point, nearly 30 km wide. The island is formed by two mountain ranges. The northern runs from the west to east and consists of limestones, reached in the Mount Pantokrator (914 meters) the maximum height of the island, while the southern mountain range is less high and streches from north to south. The North of the island is wider and more mountainous. The coastal areas are well developed with good pebbly beaches. However, the northeast coast has always remained a favourite, aka Kensington on sea. It is also where the island's oldest village 'Old Perithia' is located just beneath Mt. Pantokrator, a Heritage Protected Site in a designated Area of Natural Beauty. The South of the island is less wide (only a few miles across from west to east) and tends to have sandier beaches.

Towns

Understand

The satisfactory infrastructure and the multiple possibilities for various activities are ideal for group holidays on Corfu and the nearby islands. Motivation trips, congress tourism, school trips, Ferrari or antique cars clubs and Harley Davidson groups meet here every year.

Corfu's nature, sea and history have made sure so that you today, no matter when you come, or how long you will stay, or your style, you will certainly find original and interesting situations to exercise and to have fun. In a place with a tradition in tourism of at least 130 years, with Greek education and the influence of “nobility” from England, France and, surely, Venice, in a place which is used to welcoming the international jet-set for several decades now, the possibilities for sports and amusement are certainly impressive.

Corfu is also a very good destination for family holidays.

Corfu may not have a Disneyland, children's museums, zoos or other things closely connected with children, but the whole island is ideal for children. It's one of few places in the world, where children are bound to find what they really need: a warm welcome. In Corfu there are no tropical diseases, criminality, violence, dangerous sea and any other kind of "danger". Children here, as you will see for yourselves, play safely in the streets, in the parks, at the playgrounds, on the beach. The way of life of the Corfiot people is almost in family. Check this out, and you will see that it is worth bringing here your children some time.

Climate

The climate of the archipelago of Corfu is warm mediterranean. The summer here is warm and relatively dry with a blue sky, often cooled by seasonal breezes, offering the ideal conditions for surfing, while rarely is it interrupted by rains. The mountainous areas are cooler. The winter here is mild. Rainfall occurs mainly from November till March. On average, there are 3000 hours of sun per year with an average daily sunshine duration of 8.5 hours.

Hours of sunshine
AprMayJunJulAugSeptOct
Corfu 71012121196

Spring here is impressive and offers visitors the privilege to enjoy the wealth of vegetation and colors, combined with high-taste tourism .

Easter celebration here becomes the experience of a lifetime .

Summer is the most popular season for Corfu, with beautiful beaches and crystal water for unconcerned hours on the beach.

Autumn is the season of vintage, the period during which the whole island smells of grapes; it may be the best time to get to know the routine of the island.

Christmas and New Year's Day in Corfu is music, hymns, carols, in a quiet, decorated place with a mild climate and a noble finesse.

Get in

By plane

Corfu "Ioannis Kapodistrias" airport (IATA: CFU) is served by several airlines. Year-round both Aegean and Olympic airlines have flights to Athens. Sky express is operating regular flights to Prevaza, Kefalonia, Zakintho, Kithyra, Heraklion and Sitia. In the high season (roughly Easter through October), other airlines including German Wings, Easyjet, Air Belin, TuiFly, LTU, Transavia and Wizzair serve the island. The airport is close to the town (about 2 km south). The town bus number 19 does the trip hourly from 6 am to midnight in season, but only until 9 pm October through March.

By boat

Direct ferry links exist to/from Venice, Ancona, Bari and Brindisi in Italy, Himara and Saranda in Albania and Igoumenitsa and Patra on the mainland. As of March 2008, a bunk in a four-person cabin from Venice to Corfu was €107.

From/to Saranda in Albania ticket costs around twenty euros, depending on season. Price list

By road transport

In your own yacht

If you come in your own yacht the Marina, Gouvia offers you a comfortable stay, very close to Corfu town, while in the town you can moor off at the NAOK harbour, as well as at the Old Port.

You can also moor off at Benitses Marina, which is situated not far from Corfu town.

Get around

By bus

There are two types of bus in Corfu - Blue buses serve Corfu town and the environs, Green buses serve the rest of the island.

The Blue bus terminal in Corfu Town is in San Rocco Square. The bus information kiosk displays timetables and provides maps showing exactly where the buses terminate (some terminate a few blocks south of the square). Bus stops have electronic displays, and self-service ticket machines. Tickets are single-journey only and must be validated on the bus. They can be bought from the machines, or from the driver (for €0.50 more).

Useful lines include the number 7 which goes to and from Dasia every 20 minutes (30 minutes on Sundays), the 10 which goes to and from Achilion every two hours, the 6 to and from Benitses (not quite hourly) and the 11 to and from Pelekas every 2–3 hours.

The airport bus is No 19 - check the timetable as frequency varies during the day with some big gaps. It is only a ten-minute ride, and costs €1.10. Number 6 Benitses bus also goes past the end of the airport access road from where it is a 500m walk to the terminal.

The Green Bus Station is near the New Port, from where buses depart for all villages of Corfu Island. Regular departures to Paleokastritsa, Sidari, Kavos, Roda, Acharavi, Kassiopi.

By taxi

There are plently of taxi lines in Corfu Town.

And there is the radio taxi which can be reached by phone at +30 26610 33811

By car

You can rent a car at the airport or through one of many local companies. In general, it is cheaper to pre-book a hire car via the Internet before arriving. Many of the roads are very narrow so it can be better to choose a small car. While there is a good road running North-South along the East coast from Sidari to Lefkimmi and from Corfu town across the island to Paleokastritsa, many roads have poor surfacing. Often the insurance provided for hire cars does not cover damage to the underside of the car so watch out for large holes in the road. Hire car companies often provide a free map but you may find it worth buying one in advance as the maps are not especially good, especially for the North-West interior.

By boat

A great way to explore the island and access beaches that can't be easily accessed otherwise is to rent a boat. Most towns have at least one boat rental company and boats up to 30HP do not require a licence to hire.

By bicycle

In the city traffic is pretty wild and noisy.

An automatic bike sharing scheme, called EasyBike Brainbox was available to rent bicycles. As of April 2014 the system looked pretty dysfunctional.

By quad bike

There is nothing better than renting a quad bike and driving round the villages, it's a lot of fun and a lot quicker than walking!

See

Old Corfu town, a world heritage site
Statue of Achilles thniskon (dying) at the Achilleion gardens

Beaches

There is a good variety of beaches on Corfu. On the West side of the island, the beaches are sandier while the East tends to have calmer waters. The north-east coast is also home to most of Corfu's upmarket holiday villas.

Do

Eat

Eat at Agni Bay either in the evenings or during the day, arrive on foot or by boat, there are 3 places to eat on the beach all excellent, some of the best food ever. Water Taxis run some evenings from some of the surrounding villages. Very Romantic, but prices are high here. A very special place to be. As featured in Gerald Durrells ' My Family and Other Animals'

Buy

As elsewhere in Greece, olive wood, ceramic and leather goods are common. In addition to many tourist shops in places such as Corfu town, you will find small shops along some of the more major roads, often combined with the factory/workshop. In some remoter areas, you may find locals selling locally produced wine, honey and olive oil from small street-side stalls.

Drink

Gingerbeer. Corfu was a British protectorate and gingerbeer is one of the British style drinks that the locals adopted with enthusiasm. The Greek version is simply excellent. Ask for it at Liston or better restaurants and coffee houses. Locally it is called "Tsitsibeera"

Corfu Beer. In Arillas, in the north of Corfu there is the Corfu Microbrewery. They produce four different kinds of beer, all of them unpasteurised (so they have to be drunk within a couple of months of their production) and all of them delicious! They are so good that they were selected by J.D. Wetherspoon to produce Koroibos Beer, exclusively for the London Olympics. You can visit the brewery and have a taste of their beers. Better give them a call in advance at +30 26630 52072

Sleep

Corfu has countless options for accommodation - from 5 star hotels in Corfu town to spare rooms you will only find by asking around as well as many private villa and vacation rentals that are typically booked in advance or online. With so many people staying in Croatia and other hot spots, accommodation in Corfu is plentiful, but note that most of the accommodation is in the coastal areas - budget hotels are not so easy to find in Corfu Town.

Northern Corfu

Southern Corfu


Go next

Corfu makes a good start for a tour of the Western Greek Islands. It's also a good jumping-off place to get to Italy or Albania.

Day trips to Paxi are widely available.

Day trips to Sarande in Albania are also very popular. This is usually combined with an excursion to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Butrint which is to be highly recommended! A tour of the Albanian Riviera is a must!

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, March 05, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.