View Corfu in Google Maps here.
Corfu is a lovely green island, located as the most northern of the 7 Ionian islands of the Ionian Sea, which is west of the mainland of Greece. From the east coast of the island you can see the mainland of Greece and Albania. The Greek name for the island is Kérkyra. Corfu is about the size of the Danish island, Bornholm. It is 65 km long and 30 km at the widest point. The highest point is the Pantokrator mountain, which is 911 meters high. The slopes all over the island are filled with olive groves, pine trees and high pile cliffs. The location of Corfu and its relatively high mountains result in some rainy winter months, and of course this is a contributing reason why the island seems so green and lush.
“The slopes all over the island are filled with olive groves, pine trees and high pile cliffs”
Corfu has a nice international airport and there are often beneficial flights to Corfu from both Denmark and Hamburg.
Corfu has many beach beaches, for example. Glyfada, Agios Gordis and Agios Georgios on the west coast with wide, fine sandy beaches and crystal clear waters. Paleokastritsa with exciting caves and sandy and pebble beaches. Paleokastritsa is supposed to have Europe’s most beautiful view. At Corfu town lies Mon-Repo beach, which is a sandy/rocky beach. Gouvia and Dassia on the east coast have pebble beaches with sandy bottom. In Kassiopi to the north there are several lovely bathing coves with white pebble or gravel beaches. At the northern end is also Sidari with lovely coves, sandstone cliffs and a fine sandy beach. Sidari also has the very famous beach of Mon Amour with fine soft powder sand in a narrow bay.
From the airport there is not far to Corfu’s main city (Corfu city) which is a nice mix of Greek, Italian and English. Corfu has been former been both English and Italian dominion and this has put its distinctive mark on the city. In Corfu town there are two ancient castle ruins called the new and old castle. From the old castle ruins there is a nice view of the city, where you get a nice impression of the location. The new castle is located closer to the sea by the harbor.
“You tend to believe you have come to Italy with the narrow street, cozy houses and laundry that hangs drying high between the buildings”
It is very nice to walk around Corfu town and in some of the streets you tend to think that you have come to Italy with the narrow streets, cozy houses and laundry hanging up high between the buildings. When we were back in 2002 there was also an English baker in town and the owner’s British English did not deny (-: The cakes were by no means good!
The church in Corfu Town celebrates their Saint Saint Spyridon weekend as they worship high. His earthly remains are found in the church in a coffin with glass lid. The church is also very beautiful with its tall slender tower and is located in the old town.
Corfu town is in many ways far more modern than the towns you usually meet in the Greek islands, and here are good shopping opportunities other than the normal tourist rattle. Note that there is siesta in the middle of the day where most stores have closed.
Kanoni is located approx. 4 km south of Corfu town on a small peninsula. The name means ‘1-canon battery’, and suggests that France in a remote past installed a single cannon to protect the city. This lone cannon can still be seen on the square of the city. However, the area is best known for the two small islands that lie out of town. For many, the island of Pondikonisi is the “museum island” characteristic of the island of Corfu and is widely used as a postcard motif. There is access to the museum island via a narrow narrow dige and on the island is a small church from the 13th century. Kanoni has a beautiful beach, but is best known for its magnificent views of the 2 small islands, located close to the coast: Pondikonisi (Museo) with its small church from the 13th century. The island of Pondikonisi is, according to the Greek mythology, supposed to be Odysseus’ ship, which was transformed into stone by Poseidon as a punishment for Odysseus, who was believed to have killed his son Polufemos (the human-eyed ooglop with one eye in the middle of the forehead)
Next to the Museum is another small island, Vlakherna, which has a small monastery.
Further to the south on the east coast lies the small town of Benitses, with not very good beaches. Here, on the other hand, there are noisy tourists and wild nightlife on an ample scale.
Further to the south we come to the resort town of Moratika which is otherwise nice. Unfortunately we did not reach the most southern part of the island.
“We liked the cozy atmosphere and good food at the little cafe “Limani” on the harbor”
If we instead look north from Corfu town, here are several small cozy holiday towns and fantastic views on this trip north as you alternate drive up the mountains and down to the coast. We lived in Kassiopi in the northeast corner and had a nice week in this city. We could like the cozy atmosphere and good food at the little cafe “Limani” at the harbor and in the evening great good food at Restaurant Porto also located on the harbor, though a bit retracted. There were nice little bathing coves with white pebbles and rocks and generally a good atmosphere in the city.
In Kassiopi we have contact to a landlord who rents a few rooms. Most with very good view of the harbor. Unfortunately, they are quite popular, so not easy to book at short notice during the high season.
If you have more time in Corfu, the mainland can be easily visited, as there is only a short sailing time from Corfu town to the mainland. On the mainland there are several nice holiday resorts down the coast and neighboring island Lefkas can also be easily visited as a dam is built so that you can cross this island.
Otherwise, a boat trip to the small islands of Paxi and Anti Paxi, located south of Corfu, is recommended. Here is a great snorkeling dive in the unusually clear water.
We took a short boat trip from Kassiopi to “Sandy Beach”. This trip is not recommended. The sailing trip in the cozy wooden boat is ok, but the beach is very shallow and the area is not particularly cozy.
“The view from the monastery is absolutely amazing”
Paleokastritsa on the west coast is a must visit. It is very beautiful with amazing views. There is also a cozy monastery here, which is open for visits. The monastery was founded in the 13th century, but the present beautiful buildings are from the 19th century. In the Middle Ages the monastery was associated with the high-rise castle Angelokastro.
The view from the monastery is absolutely amazing. It gets even better if you go a little higher to the castle ruins. Paleokastritsa is, in our opinion, the prettiest place in Corfu and you could be tempted to rent a room here. Unfortunately, the place is VERY well visited by tourists.
Corfu is definitely a lovely island and worth visiting. However, we think it lacks some of the Greek charm and atmosphere you experience on most other islands. But it offers so much else.
View more photos from Corfu on Instagram, #KruseTravel.dk