The best places to visit in Corfu
Are you looking for inspiration on some of the best places to visit in Corfu? You’ve come to the right place! After spending 3 weeks exploring this beautiful Greek island, we’ve assembled a list of the top-rated attractions, plus a few of our own, lesser-known recommendations.
Corfu is one of the greenest islands in Greece and it boasts some of the best beaches in the whole country. It has long been a holiday hotspot, but it also offers plenty of Greek tradition and lots of authentic experiences away from the tourist trail. From quaint villages and turquoise-water beaches to mountain trails and even boat trips to Albania, there’s plenty to keep you busy. We hope our list of Corfu attractions will give you plenty of inspiration.
The quaint beach town of Paleokastritsa is currently rated as the number one place to visit in Corfu on Tripadvisor. A picture-perfect cove with a marina, beautiful sandy beach and some stunning scenery, it’s one of our favourite places on the island and we recommend a visit for anyone. Paleokastritsa is located on the west coast of Corfu, in an area that boasts some of the island’s best beaches.
Visit Paleokastritsa for a nice walk along the promenade, a spot of gift shopping and to see the main attraction: the beach. There are two beach areas in the town. One is a small rocky cove with sun loungers that you can hire for the day. The other is a moon-shape sandy beach with stunning views of the surrounding cliffs. After relaxing in the sun, grab lunch or a drink in one of the many beach restaurants. We recommend Corner Snack Beach Bar.
A short walk up the hill from Paleokastritsa beach is the captivating Paleokastrita monastery. The views from outside the monastery are spectacular, but the white building itself doesn’t look much from the outside. However, walk inside the church and you’ll find one of the most beautifully decorated monasteries on the island. Whitewashed walls, arches of flowers and neatly manicured gardens adorn the monastery grounds.
Take time to wander around the building and grounds at your leisure. After your visit, be sure to walk along the cliffside for several stunning sea viewpoints and nature trails. This must be one of the most beautiful areas in Corfu!
When we first visited Angelokastro Castle we were completely shocked at the scale and impressive architecture of this towering seaside fortress. Situated on the far-west coast of Corfu, with many winding, narrow roads to get there, Angelokastro Castle is one of the best places to visit in Corfu for history lovers. It’s one of the most important Byzantine castles in Greece and is also one of the most visually impressive.
Angelokastro was built on top of a steep mountain side, peering out at sea. Its cliffside location gives it somewhat of a fairy-tale feel and the views from the top are equally as enchanting. Take time to admire the castle from afar before climbing the 200+ steps to the top of the castle. At its summit, you can explore the castle ruins and gaze from the viewpoints.
Corfu’s coastline is full of dramatic cliffside scenery, with tall cliffs, hidden coves and lots of greenery. For some of the best scenery, visit the cape of ‘Drastis’. Cape Drastis is the northernmost point of the island, stretching way out to see in a series of dramatic rock formations. You can visit the Cape Drastis viewpoint for a great view of the natural attraction. You can also get up close to its hidden gems.
Exploring small sea caves and relaxing on beaches that are only accessible by boat are some of the top things to do here. We personally recommend hiring a boat from the nearby town of Sidari or joining a boat tour. You can hike down to a couple of beaches and viewpoints, but a boat is the best way to see the area.
Canal D’Amour is a small beach cove on the north coast of Corfu, right next to the popular resort town of Sidari. Crowded throughout the day but still beautiful, Canal D’Amour is one of the island’s most unique coastal spots. Smooth, exposed rock faces and a narrow bay with a sandy beach set the scene for a completely unique place to relax. It’s one of the best places to visit in Corfu for beach lovers, though you should aim to arrive early. Visit after 9am and there’s a chance you won’t get a spot on the sand.
Corfu Old Town
You can’t visit Corfu and not stop by its charming old town centre! Corfu Town is one of the best places to visit in Corfu for anyone that fancies a day of sightseeing, shopping, great restaurants, or museum hopping. Its narrow streets and Venetian architecture is unlike many of Greece’s island destinations. It more closely resembles an Italian city like Venice.
Take time to explore the quaint streets and gift shops, buy some local jewellery or linen clothes, or grab a seat in a café and watch the hustle and bustle. Corfu Town is packed full of attractions; so much so, you might want to visit twice. It’s also a great place to visit on an evening – the city really comes alive.
Corfu new and old fortresses
As well as Corfu’s old town centre, the city has several must-see museums, parks and other historic attractions. Two of the most prominent symbols of the island’s history are the old and new fortresses, which are located on opposite sides of the city to each other. Each fortress is worth visiting in their own right. Corfu Old Fortress is a free-to-visit Venetian fortress with a number of turrets and viewpoints.
Corfu Old Fortress is a larger fortress with a small entrance fee. It features a museum, raised walls with canons and a central castle keep with panoramic views of Corfu Town. It’s the most impressive of the two fortresses.
Holy Monastery of Panagia Vlacherna
Corfu has many monasteries, but not all of them are as beautiful as the Holy Monastery of Panagia Vlacherna. This quaint, white-washed church is perched on a small man-made island, right next to a marina. The docking boats and unique location of the monastery makes for some excellent photo opportunities! Take time to wander around the monastery grounds and pop your head inside to see the traditional 17th-century interior. It’s an active place of worship and has both a shrine and small shop inside.
Plane Spotting viewpoint
As you land in Corfu, you’ll notice that the airport runway is right next to the sea and a handful of picturesque islands. The dramatic scenery and close proximity to the tourist areas provides some excellent plane spotting opportunities! Right next to Vlacherna Monastery we featured above, you’ll find a long sea bridge viewing deck that cross the bay to the south-west. It’s one of the best places we’ve ever been to for plane spotting and you really feel the roar of the aircraft as they land!
If you’re a fan of planes or just fancy getting blown away by a jet engine as you take some cool photos, stop by the viewing platform for an hour or so. The area also has a few raised viewpoints with equally as impressive views.
The Achilleion Palace
The Achilleion Palace is a grand palace that was built for Emperor Elisabeth of Austria in the 1800’s as a summer haven or refuge. It was built in a style to represent mythical Phaeacia and Greek mythology is apparent throughout the palace and its grounds. Today, Achilleion Palace is a popular tourist attraction that hosts dozens of guided tours throughout the day.
Visit the palace to view the beautiful architecture, gardens, and statues of the exterior. You can then take a closer look at its grand interior. Achilleion Palace was built to appear grandeur and elaborate; it’s a real work of art. We personally appreciated the towering statues of Achilles in the garden terrace area. Every statue you’ll come across has a unique story and the tour guide will explain it to you.
We featured Agios Georgios in our ‘where to stay in Corfu’ guide. It’s a small beach town with a long sandy beach, making it a great spot for those that want a relaxing beach holiday. Boasting one of the nicest beaches on the island, it’s a great place to visit for the day. Go for a swim in the sea, try some water sports or enjoy the view from one of the beach bars and restaurants. Life in Agios Georgios is laid back and its remote location ensures low crowds year-round.
Rated as one of Corfu’s top attractions in any guide you read, Porto Timoni is a unique duo of beaches that are separated by a thin strip of land. Both shores are in a remote location. Therefore, you’ll either need to take a boat or hike 35-minutes across rocky footpaths to get down to the beaches. With vibrant turquoise water, spectacular coastal scenery and an exhilarating hike to get there, Porto Timoni is well worth a visit.
Even though the beaches are remote, they’re still very popular. We recommend heading to Porto Timoni first thing on morning. The hike to the beach is much more enjoyable with the cooler morning temperatures and it’s easier to find a parking space.
Danilia Village is one of the most under-rated attractions in Corfu. For a reason unbeknown to us, it’s a lot less popular than other attractions on our list and seems to attract far fewer crowds. A lot of tourists are missing out! Danilia Village is an open-air museum that was created to give visitors a realistic impression of a traditional 1930’s Corfiot village. For a small entrance fee of 10 euros (which includes a free drink), you can explore the village at your leisure.
Danilia is home to a row of colourful houses, shops and other traditional local businesses. Almost all buildings are open to explore, serving as a free-roam museum. It also features a winery, a beautiful garden area, a quaint church and a neatly decorated square. We absolutely loved wandering around the town and recommend a visit for anyone. End your visit to Danilia Village with a free drink at the village café.
Kassiopi Fishing Village
The secluded north-east fishing village Kassiopi has long been a destination for those that want a relaxing beach holiday away from the bustling centre of Corfu. It’s a place to escape work, where you can relax on the nice beaches and enjoy traditional food in a taverna. Kassiopi is also a great place to visit for the day as part of a road trip of Corfu’s glamourous north-east.
Top things to see in Kassiopi include its picturesque beach coves and sea caves, the fishing village itself, which is full of quaint cafes, bars and restaurants. You can also rent a boat to explore the more remote areas of the coastline. A visit to Kassiopi is relaxing and unlike many of the busier towns and beaches in Corfu.
Kontokali is one of Corfu’s top places to stay. It’s central location near Corfu Town is ideal for sightseeing and being within a short drive of everything worth seeing. It’s also a place that’s worth visiting for the day! It features the island’s largest yachting marina, which is full of luxury yachts and tourist boats year-round. It’s the place to be for anyone that wants to charter a boat or head out on an island tour.
Even if you aren’t planning on getting on a boat, Kontokali still has plenty to see and do. Go for a long walk by the marina, enjoy a drink or lunch with a view of the marina, or check out the local shops. Once you’ve explored the marina area, walk 20-minutes to Kontokali Beach for some relaxation.
Rovinia is one of our favourite beaches in Corfu. The best beaches are always those that are difficult to get to and that’s the case with Rovinia Beach. Cross dirt paths and climb down the rocks to the beach and you’ll uncover a pristine, white-sand beach with a vibrant turquoise sea. Due to its hard-to-reach location, there aren’t any facilities at the beach, but that’s the beauty of it. Take some towels and grab a spot on the sand.
La Grotta Bar
La Grotta Bar is one of the best places to visit in Corfu if you want a lively bar atmosphere in a very cool location. Perched on the side of a cliff, with cascading platforms that lead to the sea, La Grotta Bar is a trendy seaside bar with frequent events and upbeat music. It’s popular with both locals and tourists, especially on weekends.
At Grotta Bar, you can grab a few drinks and a lite bite to eat as you admire the views of the coastline. You can also go for a dip in the sea by walking down to the sea platforms, so be sure to pack a swimsuit.
Kaiser’s Throne mountain viewpoint
Kaiser’s Throne is one of the best places to visit in Corfu to experience the vast, green countryside. We stumbled upon the mountain viewpoint on our first day in Corfu and were blown away by the beautiful scenery from this hilltop watchtower. You have 360-degree panoramic views of the countryside on one side, and the horizon of the sea on the other.
As well as the viewpoint, you’ll find a small hotel and restaurant where you can grab a drink and snack with a view.
Corfu Aqualand Water Park
Next on our list is a Corfu attraction that those of all ages will enjoy! Some waterparks aren’t the best on holiday, but that’s not the case with Aqualand Corfu. This well-managed waterpark is currently rated as the third best attraction in Corfu on Tripadvisor. It’s a large waterpark with a series of slides, a lazy river, relaxation areas and a few other attractions. It makes the perfect day out for families, but couples will enjoy it too! Have fun trying out all the slides and cooling down in the hot Greek sun.
Another must see beach on our list is a Corfu attraction that not many people know about. Yiali Beach is a tiny beach cove on Corfu’s west coast, with very few tourists. It’s tucked out of the way from the main tourist resorts and to get there you need a car or quad bike. One of the reasons Yiali Beach is so quiet is because of its remote and hard-to-access location. A steep climb down the cliffside in the hot sun isn’t for the faint of heart! However, the reward at the end of the climb is mesmerising.
Yiali Beach may be one of the best beaches in Greece! If you don’t fancy the challenging hike to get there, you can rent a small boat from the nearby town of Ermones and navigate it around the cove.
Old Perithia village
Corfu is known for its beaches and beautiful resort towns. However, life in the mountains of the north of the island is very different. Old Perithia is a historic mountain village that was built under Byzantine rule in the 14th century. Not many tourists venture here as it’s a bit of a long drive from many resorts. Nevertheless, the drive is well worth it!
Old Perithia is an enchanting place to explore on foot. It has some gorgeous views of the countryside and the postcard-perfect town itself is a representation of traditional Greek rural life. There are also some excellent restaurants to check out. Prices in the local tavernas are very affordable and the food is authentic.
Pantokrator Mountain and Monastery
If you’re an avid adventurer, you’re going to want to ascend the tallest mountain in Corfu, Pantokrator. Mount Pantokrator stands at 906 metres above sea level in the north-east corner of Greece. As you’d expect, it has some excellent panoramic views of the north of the island, with endless views of the countryside on one side and the skyline of Corfu Town one the other.
You can drive up the winding roads to the top of Mount Pantokrator with ease. Once you get there, walk to the viewpoint or embark on one of the scenic mountain nature trails. There’s also a small, historic monastery perched on top of the hill.
Yet another beach, but one that’s certainly worth including is Barbati Beach. Most of the beaches on our list are located to the west of Corfu. However, Barbati Beach sits on the eastern coastline, right next to the town of Nissaki. It’s a long pebble beach that’s spread out enough to never feel too busy. One section has sun loungers and a nice restaurant. Other areas are more secluded and untouched.
Our favourite thing about Barbati Beach is the shallow, transparent water. It’s the perfect place to go for a refreshing swim.
Another beach town that makes our list is Agios Stefanos. Formerly a fishing village, this secluded north-west town has a long sandy beach with a mountain view behind it. Life here is laid-back, quiet and a welcome escape from busier Greek tourist resorts. In fact, many people stay here for their full holiday and simply enjoy the beach.
The beach is the highlight of any visit to Agios Stefanos. Combine the sandy shores with the beautiful forest scenery, and traditional shops and restaurants, and you have the perfect destination for a relaxing day trip. It’s one of the best places to visit in Corfu for a beach day.
Theotoky Wine Estate
Are you a wine lover? Head on over to Theotoky Wine Estate for a tour of one of Corfu’s most established wineries. We were impressed by the quality of Corfiot wines and olive oil, and you can try them both on a tour of the estate.
During the tour, you’ll see the local vineyards and wine production cellars. You’ll also get an in-depth presentation on the winery’s history and how they produce the wines. The best part of the tour is the wine tasting! Enjoy sampling a few different wines and snacks, before getting a chance to buy some to take home.
Corfu Day Trips to other destinations
We’ve listed some of the best places to visit in Corfu, but the island is also well located for exploring other destinations. Here are some bonus day-trip ideas from Corfu. Both are well worth considering if you’re staying in Corfu for a while and fancy seeing somewhere different.
Paxos and Antipaxos
Paxos and Antipaxos are two smaller islands to the south of Corfu. They’re popular places to visit themselves for those that want a relaxing beach holiday away from Greece’s most popular islands. They can also be visited on a daytrip from Corfu. Several tour operators run full-day trips from Corfu’s main port to Paxos, and then onward to Antipaxos.
The tour starts with you getting picked up at your hotel first thing on a morning. You’ll then head to the port, where you’ll boat a large boat and will travel for a couple of hours to get to the first island. The rest of the day involves swimming in pristine turquoise water, checking out Paxos’ beaches and caves, and visiting the local town. The final stop, Antipaxos, is a smaller island with a couple of swim spots and beautiful beaches. If you want to do a boat trip during your time in Corfu, the Paxos and Antipaxos trip is a great choice!
Not only can you visit other parts of Greece from Corfu, but you can also visit an entirely new country! Holidays in Albania are increasing in popularity every year and it’s a palce that’s now on the tourism radar. To get a sample of what the country is all about, hop on the ferry from Corfu Town and you’ll reach the Albanian city of Sarandë in around an hour.
Sarandë has a collection of ancient ruins and historic sites, a sandy beach, and a large seaside town with plenty of shops, bars and restaurants. Spend the entire day exploring the city before hopping on the last ferry back to Corfu.
Thanks for reading our guide on the best places to visit in Corfu. We hope we inspired you with plenty of attractions, activities and beaches to visit during your time on the island. If you can, we highly recommend hiring a car so you can explore Corfu at your leisure. Tours are also a great option! If you have any questions about any of the Corfu attractions we’ve featured, be sure to post a comment below.
Check out our other Corfu travel guides.
By RickyAuthor bio:
An adventurer at heart that loves anything outdoors. Beaches, mountains and amazing scenery is everything I love about travel! I also enjoy home comforts and need a nice place to relax and re-charge after every trip.