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How to Plan the Perfect Trip to Corfu, Greece

How to Plan the Perfect Trip to Corfu, Greece

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From where I stood on a dock in Sarandë, Albania, Corfu looked close enough to touch, or at the very least, close enough to swim to. It appeared like a paradise, with rolling green hills, azure waters, and old-world buildings dotting the coast. As we approached the island on our 30-minute boat ride, I quickly found it was not a mirage; the Greek island really is as beautiful up close as it is from a distance.

“Corfu is a unique destination due to its stunning natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture,” Christopher Sino, the guest relations manager at Domes Miramare Corfu, shared with Travel + Leisure. “The island boasts crystal-clear waters, lush greenery, and picturesque beaches. Its blend of Venetian, French, and British influences is evident in the architecture and cuisine, offering visitors a diverse cultural experience.”

As Sino noted, the island is unlike other well-known Greek isles. Here, you’ll spot far fewer white-washed buildings, but you’ll still find welcoming Greek hospitality.

“The people of Corfu are down-to-earth and relaxed – on most days, you can find locals in the village, enjoying coffee outside, gathering in taverns, or meeting for services at ancient chapels,” Tassos Andriotis, the executive chef at Angsana Corfu, explained. Local citrus and cheese are diet staples on this island, Andriotis explains, adding that Corfu is “renowned for olive oil, with some five million olive oil trees growing across the island. Many of the farms and mills welcome visitors to discover the native Lianolia Kerkyra olive tree, which is special.” 

Ready to see and taste everything Corfu has to offer? Keep reading to plot out your perfect Greek island getaway.

Best Hotels & Resorts

Courtesy of Domes Miramare, a Luxury Collection Resort, Corfu


Domes Miramare

Tucked along a gorgeous stretch of the Ionian Sea, Domes Miramare is a stunning luxury escape that’s tailor-made for discerning guests. How discerning, you ask? It was the preferred summer getaway for the likes of Aristotle Onassis and Jackie O, giving the hotel plenty of jet-set street cred. At the hotel, guests can unwind in spacious suites that overlook the water, dive right into the sea straight from the hotel lawn, or lounge by its massive pool lined by chaise lounges. Those looking for a bigger adventure can book a day on its private yacht, which will pick you up from the dock right outside.  

Angsana Corfu

Angsana Corfu is a destination beloved for its blend of Mediterranean style and modern amenities. At the resort, guests can dive into its absolutely massive pool that overlooks the crystal-clear waters or laze about in their boho-chic rooms that are decked out in sandy tones with massive picture windows that make the view the star of the show. For an unforgettable stay, splurge on a pool suite.

Aeolos Beach Hotel

Find a family-friendly atmosphere at the Aeolos Beach Hotel. The resort offers both direct access to the beach and an Olympic-sized swimming pool for adults, along with a children’s pool for the little ones. The rooms and suites here are great for families as well, including the Superior Bungalows designed for three guests.

Grecotel Corfu Imperial

Located on its own private peninsula, Grecotel Corfu Imperial offers a luxurious getaway with breathtaking views of the Ionian Sea. Guests can enjoy private beaches, gourmet dining, and elegant accommodations that blend modern comfort with classical Greek decor. The resort’s opulent setting and exceptional service provide an unforgettable holiday experience.

Best Things to Do

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Explore Old Town.

Build in at least a half day to take in the sights around Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage-listed destination. The cobblestone streets will weave you through and around the historic buildings, which are filled with trinket shops, cafes, and taverns that are ideal for a quick bite. Don’t miss the Old Fortress (to be fair, it’s enormous, so it’s pretty hard to miss) and walk by the stunning St. Spyridon Church, before ducking into a spot like Laini Handmade Ceramics to pick up a local souvenir. 

Hike Corfu Trail.

Spend a little time with Mother Nature with a hike down the Corfu Trail — or at least part of it. In totality, the trail offers more than 100 miles to traverse as it winds through diverse landscapes from the coast through the lush forests. Follow this Corfu Trail guide, which comes with audio, text, and maps to follow so you won’t miss a thing. 

Spend the day at the beach.

Corfu is home to some of Greece’s most beautiful beaches — and as someone who’s visited her fair share of Greek beaches, I don’t say that lightly. Visit stretches of sand like Cape Drastis to view the island’s dramatic cliffs that disappear into turquoise waters; head to Rovinia Beach for its secluded charm and white pebble shores; and stop at Porto Timoni for a truly breathtaking view. Don’t forget to pack a pair of goggles: You’ll want to see all the life lurking just under the surface. But these aren’t the only beaches that will make your trip complete. “Much of the coastline is untouched, so there are long, sandy beaches with hidden caves and secret snorkeling spots,” Andriotis said. “Some beaches, like Chalikouna, are protected as nature reserves and home to incredible wildlife like flamingos, cormorants, and turtles.” 

Best Restaurants

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Coconela

Begin your day at Coconela, a specialty coffee shop in the middle of Old Town. The shop serves every kind of caffeinated beverage you could desire alongside a rotating menu of baked goods, which are best enjoyed outside on its patio area (this allows for prime people-watching, too). And, if you have a Keurig at home, make sure to pick up some of the fully compostable pods by The Underdog in the shop. They’re absolutely delicious. 

The Venetian Well

If you ask anyone who’s been to Corfu where to eat, The Venetian Well will probably come up. The upscale eatery is a go-to destination for a romantic atmosphere and fantastic food. Go for the tasting menu to sample as many Greek delicacies as possible, and add the wine pairing while you’re at it. 

Klimataria

Have a more low-key meal at Klimataria, a family-run taverna that focuses on easy dishes made with fresh, local produce. It’s a fish-forward spot, so expect plenty of dishes like psari bianco (fish in a lemon sauce), octopus, and psari bourdeto (fish in red sauce). 

Alonaki Bay

Get a meal with a view at Alonaki Bay. It’s an ideal destination for lunch thanks to its beautiful scenery and menu that comes chock-full of fresh seafood and traditional Greek fare, including some zucchini fritters that you’ll dream about long after you’ve left. 

Villages to Visit

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Corfu Town

The island’s capital, Corfu Town, is a perfect blend of history and culture. Visit its clothing boutiques like Muses Corfu for something locally made, take a tour through the fortress, and stop in at Coconela for the perfect day. 

Kassiopi

Located on the northeastern coast of the island, Kassiopi is a delightful little fishing village that’s home to a picture-perfect harbor. Here, visitors can enjoy the sights, eat fresh fish, and visit the Kassiopi Castle for a little more Greek history. 

Agios Gordios

Explore another little beach town with a visit to Agios Gordios along the west coast of the island. It’s a quaint community with just a few shops and restaurants lining the street that leads to the beach, but really, it’s got all you need, because here, the beach is the main attraction. Come spend an entire day on the shore by renting a chaise lounge and an umbrella from one of the many outfitters waiting to hook you up. 

Best Time to Visit

Irjaliina Paavonpera/Travel + Leisure


The best time to visit Corfu is from May to October, when the weather is at its prime and sunny days are in no short supply. However, as Sino suggests, the bookends of these months may be the best. “The best time to visit Corfu is from late spring to early autumn (May to September). During these months, the weather is warm and sunny, perfect for beach activities and exploring the island’s outdoor attractions,” Sino shared. “July and August are peak tourist months, so visiting in May, June, or September can offer a more relaxed experience with fewer crowds.”

How to Get There

By plane: Corfu International Airport (CFU) is the main gateway to the island, with daily flights from major European cities. The airport is located just a short drive from Corfu Town, making it an easy place to jumpstart your trip on the island. 

By ferry: There is regular ferry service from the mainland of Greece to Corfu, including frequent departures from Igoumenitsa and Patras. There is also an international ferry connection from Italy to Corfu, which takes between seven to 15 hours, depending on the departure point. There is also an international ferry (the one I took) from Albania to Corfu, which gets you there in under 30 minutes. 

How to Get Around

By car: Corfu is big, so the best way to get around the island is by renting a car. The roads here are well-maintained and easy to drive, making this the prime option. There are a ton of local shops to rent from who will happily meet you at the ferry terminal or the airport with your rental car. (Note: Like other Greek islands, you can rent scooters or ATVs; however, the island is big enough to warrant a car instead.) 

By public transit: Corfu has a consistent and reliable public bus system if you really want to forgo renting a car. Best of all, it’s extremely affordable (under $2 a ride) and saves you the hassle of trying to find parking, which is especially important if you’re trying to explore Old Town.





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