Corfu (also called as Kerkyra locally), one of the Ionian Islands, is covered with 3 million evergreen olive trees and even during the hot dry summers remains one of the greenest of the Mediterranean Islands. At the center of the island is Mount Pantocrator surrounded by charming villages and the coastline is covered with rocky coves, sandy beaches, secluded bays and spectacular sunsets. Find out more on the island of Corfu in Greece.
How to get there
The Ioannis Kapodistrias International Airport is located around 3 kms south of Corfu. The approach and landing affords the flying passengers a spectacular aerial view of Pontikonisi and Vlaheraina Monastery as well as the hills of Kanoni. Most of the major European airlines offer daily flights to Corfu from all major cities of Europe. There are several daily flights from Athens also. You can also charter flights to and from Corfu to all major European destinations. There are also many boat companies which operate ferries between Corfu and other places, especially Italy and other islands in the chain. If you want to enjoy the spectacular countryside, you can even hire a car and drive down to Corfu from Athens.
Getting around Corfu
There are various ways to travel around the island of Corfu. You can hire a car, take a local bus, a taxi or even hire a boat. Renting a car is by far the most flexible way of exploring. But care has to be taken while driving as Greek roads are full of pot holes, hairpin bends and laden donkeys. And to top it all, the roads are full of olives that fall from the olive trees on to the roads. The olives get crushed under the car?s tyres and the ensuing oil is more slippery than black-ice. It is always safer to wear your seat belts.
Alternatively, you can also rent a boat for a day and explore the island. You can moor at any of the jetties along the coast. Do see to it that your boat has a sun canopy to protect you from the sun. The cool air and fabulous views make for an enjoyable ride.
Climate of Corfu
Corfu has a warm Mediterranean climate with cool summers where temperature never exceeds 39 degree centigrade even on the hottest days. As the city of Corfu can be pretty hot, visitors should allow enough time to acclimatize. But the evenings are quite cool. The winter is mild and there is hardly any snowfall. November to March is the rainy season. The best season to visit Corfu is between mid-June to September.
Food and accommodation
Corfu offers a large selection of hotels in various sizes and categories. You have high end luxury hotels with swimming pools, tennis courts and health spas. You can also stay in smaller hotels, apartments, villas and studios. There are seaside studios which offer breathtaking sea views. You can also book yourself villas with pool and sea views. Most of the villas are situated at peaceful, tranquil locations surrounded by palm trees, yet within a walking distance to amenities, bars, shops, restaurants and beaches.
Visitors can stop for lunch and drink at the many idyllic tavernas. You can try a combination of fresh locally caught fish and tender meats, home grown salads garnished with herbs and spices ? all cooked with home pressed olive oil. You can round off your sumptuous meal with local wines.
Nightlife in Corfu
Corfu is famous for its rich and lively night life. The town of Corfu offers a wide variety of bars and cafes playing various kinds of music. All kinds of drinks are served and you can party away into morning. Most of the big night clubs are situated outside Corfu and concentrated in the beach resorts of Kavos, Ypsos, Roda, Dassia and Gouvia. The coastal road of Gouvia is particularly impressive with its numerous bars and night clubs.
Beaches of Corfu
Corfu?s coastline is awash with wonderful beaches and you will have trouble deciding which one to head for. A list of some of the most popular beaches is given below. Happy choosing?.
Agios Gordis: An extensive sandy beach, its main attraction is the Ortholithi, a rock which soars from the sea at the Southern corner of the Bay. The natural beauty of the locality attracts many visitors.
Barbati: This is a blue flag beach which is very clean and has clear water. It is nearly 21 kms north from Corfu and you will find plenty of sun beds and umbrellas for hire.
Glyfada: About 25 kms from Corfu town, this is one of the most popular beaches on the island. The beach is wide and sandy and the water is relatively shallow. An array of water sports is available plus you will also find a number of tavernas, bars and restaurants.
Arillas: This is a beautiful sandy beach, sheltered by impressive rock formations.
Gialiskari: Located on the West coast, this beach is comparatively quiet and peaceful.
Kavos: This is a beautiful, long, sandy beach in the famous resort of Kavos, 47 km soth of Corfu Town. You can take your pick among the various water sports available here.
Kontogialos: This is one of the best beaches in the island and an ideal place for relaxation.
Places of Tourist Interest
The town of Corfu is very different from most Greek towns because of its unique history. As it had been ruled by the Venetians from the 13th century, its architecture looks more Italian than Greek.
Corfu Achillio Palace: Located in Gastouri Village about 10 kms from Corfu town, this palace was built for the Empress of Austria in 1892. The palace was named in honor of the great hero Achilles and the halls and gardens are adorned with Greek gods and heroes.
Kanoni: The world-famous Kanoni is situated south of the Palaiopoli peninsula and was named after the battery of artillery established by the French in 1798. One of the battery?s cannons still stands at the tourist kiosk. The Vlacherna Monastery is situated on a small island in the middle of the bay and is one of the most photographed places in Greece.
The Church of Agios Spyridonas: This church is dedicated to the patron saint of the island of Corfu. The most valuable treasure of the church is the golden shrine made in Venice in which Saint Spyridonas?s remains are kept.
Aggelokastro: This Byzantine fortress is known as Aggelokastro or the Castle of Angels. It was built in the 13th century by Michael Angelo B? and the fort?s purpose was to protect the inhabitants from the pirates of Africa.
The Old Fortress of Corfu Town: This was built by the Venetians upon the remains of a Byzantine Castle. It was built on a manmade island and has some stunning architecture. During summer there are nightly sound and light musical performances.
You can also visit the Archaeological Museum, the Museum of Asia Art and the Municipal Gallery of Corfu. If you are traveling with children, then you can visit the Aqualand located right in the middle of Corfu Island. Inside the park you will find a wide variety of water attractions and facilities.