Why choose a cruise to Corfu, Greece?
Few of the Ionian Islands offer Corfu’s unique blend of natural attractions and history and it’s old town, a UNESCO Heritage site, is thought to be one of the most well-preserved medieval towns in the world. Offering a tempting mix of authentic Greek charm with a contemporary twist, you’ll find everything from old-style tavernas to boutique beach bars.
The Paleokastritsa Monastery is a top attraction and the perfect spot to enjoy some quiet contemplation. Its clifftop location also means that this 13th-century religious house will provide you with some fabulous views. History buffs may also want to spend a few hours at the Palace of St Michael and St George, an impressive building which now houses a museum featuring a fine collection of Asian art.
A guide to Corfu’s hotspots
In terms of beaches you’ll be spoilt for choice with 57 to choose from. You’ll find everything from wide sandy swathes, to quiet little coves. Just 10 miles north of Corfu Town is Barbati, with its clear waters, lush and mountainous backdrop and sliver of golden shores it’s definitely deserving of it’s Blue Flag status. For a livelier experience, Ipsos Beach offers bars, cafes and plenty of watersports.
If you’re a scuba diver or would like to learn then this is the place to do it. Corfu is one of the best places in Greece to indulge in some underwater exploration with shipwrecks, caves and marine life to discover.
Aside from the fabulous beaches, sightseeing and nightlife, Corfu is a great place to eat, shop and browse. There are many restaurants dotted around the island with a varied selection in Corfu town offering everything from local specialities to international fare. Expect to find the freshest of salads with mouthwatering tomatoes, crisp cucumber, red onion and a generous crumbling of fabulous feta cheese.
Meat dishes often involve lamb and souvlaki is a popular snack which features small pieces of well-seasoned meat and vegetables grilled on a skewer. Fresh fish is also abundant and spicy fish soup bourdeto, made with olive oil, onions and red pepper is a must-try. If you’re after a sweet treat, then kataifi and baklava are the perfect morsels to enjoy with a Greek coffee.
Those in need of retail therapy won’t have to look too far – there are markets, shopping centres and small boutiques across the island. Popular souvenirs include ceramics, handmade textiles or a bottle of the refreshing aniseed spirit, ouzo. Spoon sweets are another delicious take-home gift – they are basically boiled fruits, such as cherries, figs, melon or strawberries, preserved in syrup and presented in a glass jar.
Famous for …
Corfu is one of the greenest of the Greek islands with a lush interior blessed with 6,000 species of flowers and herbs. Some species are very rare, including 55 types of wild orchid such as the Ophrys bertolonii. The flora and fauna of the island inspired writer Gerald Durrell to write the book My Family and Other Animals, an autobiographical work charting his family life on the island as well as descriptions of the plant and wildlife.
Active types and nature lovers should not miss the chance to explore Corfu’s diverse landscapes on foot. There are numerous walking and hiking opportunities on the island with the promise of mountain paths, olive groves and whitewashed villages along the way. It’s worth taking a pair of binoculars as the island also offers an abundance of birdlife, keep your eyes peeled for spotted eagles, herons, falcons and European flamingos.
The best time to visit Corfu
Known for it’s fantastic Mediterranean climate, the best time to go to Corfu remains summer time – when you’re basically guaranteed fantastic weather, with almost no chance of rain. August sees the island’s hottest temperatures, with highs of 32°C – so make sure to pack that factor 50!
It can get quite windy in peak season however, with winds blowing in from the north of the Aegean Sea. So if you want to avoid high temperatures and the blustering breeze, months like May and October are still very pleasant times to visit. Being slightly less hot, exploring is a real delight.
Did you know?
- Corfu is also known as Kerkyra
- The Duke of Edinburgh was born in Corfu
- 3% of the world’s olive oil comes from Corfu where there are around 4,000 olive trees
- The first university of Greece was founded in Corfu
- Corfu Town has 37 churches