Last summer we planned to celebrate our anniversary in September in Greece, Kefalonia. EasyJet unfortunately canceled our flight a month after booking and having to look for an alternative, Corfu jumped out.
We had just been there on our way back from Paxos 4 years ago and our first impression was state of a very large island and a very charming capital, Kerkyra. For us it was the first holiday outside Italy with Enea, who also made his flight baptism for the occasion!
The first impression turned out to be correct: in Corfu you will find beautiful beaches with transparent water, breathtaking views and a capital Kerkyra where you can get lost in the streets of the city to discover the history of the island.
We have organized this article into two main sections: the first dedicated to points of interest, where we have included panoramic points, cities and historic buildings and the second dedicated to the beaches that most impressed us.
Points of interest
In the northernmost part of Corfu, Kassiopi was our base and is also among the most characteristic seaside villages of this area. It has a beautiful gulf, surrounded by a pleasant walk and many little places to stop for dinner or a snack.
The city boasts a long history, evident from the remains of the large Byzantine castle which sits on the promontory. It is pleasant to stroll through its center and we also suggest you visit the beautiful little church Panagia Kassopitra, with richly decorated interiors.
Continuing north-west, in the late afternoon or towards sunset, visit the Canal d'Amour, a small beach contained in a white-walled fjord. Although suggestive, given the crowding of people, we preferred not to stop at the small beach.
Then continue towards one of the most evocative panoramas of Corfu: Cape Dastris. Here the white cliffs smoothed by the sea alternate with small strips of sand: the contrast with the blue of the sea will leave you speechless.
To reach the suggestive panoramic point of Porto Timoni, you will first have to pass through the small village of Afionas. Stop for a walk, the village turns very quickly, but it is suggestive and characteristic, in particular the church of Agios Ioannis Podromos undoubtedly deserves a photo.
To get to the panoramic point, you will have to trek for about 20min. It's not complicated, but it wasn't feasible with Enea, who stayed with his dad in a bar at the beginning of the path.
Once you arrive, be prepared to queue for this shot of the beautiful two bays. I didn't go on to the beach as I was alone, but it didn't seem like much yet.
On the way to reach the Angelokastro fortress, stop to discover the timeless atmosphere that reigns in Krini. It is a small village, with traditional houses, a small square that serves as a roundabout and a small bar where you can stop for a Greek coffee and to observe how life here works at the rhythms of the past.
From here continue for a few km and you will arrive in sight of the fortress, we preferred to take some photos with the drone without reaching it on foot. The views are spectacular, with the contrast of the fortress, the blue of the sea and the green of the hill.
Kerkyra (or Corfu Town) undoubtedly stands out in the center of the island and deserves at least one visit. We have been there twice, from late afternoon until evening.
We started our visit from the ancient Venetian fortress, built on the remains of a Byzantine fortification and subsequently enlarged by the English. Reach the church of Agiou Georgiou, with its unusual temple shape, and then continue towards the highest part of the complex. The site can be easily visited with the stroller, with the exception of the last stretch of stairs to reach the lighthouse.
Once out, take a stroll through Esplanade gardens and the cricket ground, until you see the beautiful building that houses the museum of Asian art. If you have time, also take a look at its gardens and the view of the sea behind the building.
A short distance away, you can admire the beautiful Liston colonnade, inspired by Parisian palaces. From here, enter the narrow streets of the ancient city, but don't forget to observe the church dedicated to Saint Spiridon and the one to Virgin Mary of Spilaiotissa. Among the various historic buildings, the Hellenic Bank, which houses the museum of banknotes, is also worthwhile.
Once you have observed these buildings, we advise you to stroll without a particular destination, in these characteristic and always lively alleys, looking for a glimpse that captures your attention.
Among the most original shops, we point out Sweet'n Spicy, where you will find an almost infinite assortment of spices: truly impressive and what perfumes! Impossible to leave without having made some purchases! For a sweet break, go to Papagiorgis instead, a historic pastry shop where you can buy ice cream, loukomi or very special cakes.
A short distance from the airport, don't miss Vlachernon monastery. Located on a small island, it can be reached via a thin strip of land that serves as a marina. A short distance away you can see the largest island Pontikonisi, where legend has it that the mythical Ulysses was shipwrecked.
Among the must-see historical places on the island, we recommend visiting Achilleion, the summer palace of Princess Sissi. Built to glorify the Greek hero, it enjoys a beautiful garden and beautiful interiors. During the visit last year, the building was under renovation and from what we have seen it will be for a long time (to date there is still no completion date). However, the gardens are worth a visit.
Continuing south, we also passed by Lefkimi: we had high expectations which were disappointed. Particularly the channel with the boats that cross it, but nothing more.
Let's start with our absolute favorite: it is Agios Gordios, a beautiful bay nestled between two headlands. The leftmost part has the finest sand, the water is super transparent: a real pleasure for the eyes! There are many places that offer free use of sunbeds and umbrellas with only a minimum of drinks. We went to Ark, where we also had a good lunch, right on the beach.
Near our first accommodation in Kassiopi, there is the beautiful cove of Kanoni: truly crystal clear water and you will have the opportunity to opt for the equipped or free area.
Worth a visit, if only to appreciate the sand dunes that characterize it, the beach of Issos. The day we were there the sea was rough and we weren't particularly impressed. A short distance away is Lake Korission, an immense body of water not far from the sea.
We also stayed in Benitses, opposite our hotel. The pebble beach is not particularly scenic, but it is quiet, the water is very beautiful and absolutely transparent.
Before your trip
- How to reach it? There are direct flights from Milan, the routes are operational until the end of September, which is not always a given for the islands of Greece
- How many days? We dedicated 9 days to it, enough to discover its main attractions and experience the beaches without too much haste. If this is your first visit, consider a few more days to discover the close Paxos
- How to move around the island? The best means of transport is certainly the car, it will give you all the autonomy you need to move around, in the Greek islands the frequency and availability of vehicles is not always so obvious
- Where to stay? The island has on average small roads, so sometimes it takes almost an hour to travel even just 20 km. To avoid long journeys by car, we divided the stay into two parts:
- the first to discover the north coast, staying in Kassiopi at Limani Apartments with a great view over the harbour
- the second for the center and the south: in Benitses at Galini Sea Apartments directly on the relaxing beach
- Where to eat? We often dined at home, but we still managed to have a few dinners out, these are our recommendations:
- Kima Restaurant in Kassiopi here the view of the sea is combined with a refined and delicious cuisine, with dishes that come out of the Greek classics to offer delicacies such as sea bass ceviche and fish souvlaki. All really delicious, prices higher than the classic taverns, but absolutely justified
- Janis Taverna Restaurant still in Kassiopi the panorama that can be enjoyed at sunset is truly remarkable, but the cuisine is average, nothing particularly special. Maybe it might be more worth having an aperitif
- Taverna Dionysos in Messonghi, set in a peaceful garden, it is a traditional tavern with tasty cuisine, really not to be missed. The girl who served our table even offered to rock Enea in the stroller to finish dinner
- in Benitses Mr Spiros Taverna we happened upon it by chance, since the restaurant we had chosen worked only on reservation. Service by all the staff was pleasant and fast. We ate very good fish dishes such as stewed octopus and saganaki mussels. Correct prices and generous portions
- for a tasty lunch on the beach Kavos Likourgos Taverna, the owner is very nice and stopped to chat with us, the moussaka is very good