Lush interior, pristine coastline, unique rock formations, and a romantic capital city. All this and more can be found on Corfu Island, a destination that truly delighted us during our trip to Greece. There are endless things to do in Corfu, you’ll never be bored.
Due to its proximity and history with mainland Europe, Corfu Island was actually one of the first Greek Islands to experience mass tourism.
Because of this, Corfu has numerous accommodation options, many restaurants and bars, and a more cosmopolitan feel than many other Greek islands.
Here’s my list of the 12 best attractions, places to visit, and things to do in Corfu.
1. Rent a Boat Independently (one of the most unique things to do in Corfu!)
Did you know that on many of the islands in Greece, you can hire a boat yourself and rip around the coastline? Even if you don’t have a boat license?!
If you’re looking for things to do in Corfu that are unique and fun, renting a boat is definitely it.
We first heard about this when we were on a tour with Luxury Island Events on Zakynthos Island. This is one of the best things to do in Zakynthos, and while we didn’t have a chance to rent one while we were there, we knew we had to give it a try somewhere else in Greece.
For our 10 year anniversary, we did just that.
We drove to the northeastern side of Corfu and met up with the rental company. After a very casual signing of documents and a once-over of the boat, we were set. The boat was 45 horsepower and could have fit six people, four comfortably.
Whizzing along the beautiful coastline, stopping off at seaside taverns for food and drinks, and mooring up at secret coves to jump in the Ionian Sea, how fun is that?!
Hiring a car is a must for getting around the island and seeing the interior, but hiring a boat is an excellent way to explore the coastline. This is definitely one of the best things to do in Corfu.
2. Visit Corfu Town
This UNESCO listed town is absolutely beautiful. Due to being under Venetian rule from the 14th century to the late 18th century, this stunning architecture can still be found on this island — especially in the capital of Corfu Town.
With Venetian style buildings, two fortresses, narrow little lanes, and numerous restaurants, Corfu Town is a place you’ll want to spend some time exploring.
We visited on two occasions, both times around sunset when the temperature was a bit cooler.
Wander by pastel-colored homes with wrought-iron balconies and wooden shutters. Make your way through character-filled, cobbled streets — streets so narrow that laundry can be hung on a line strung between two adjacent houses.
The slender alleyways give way to open plazas filled with tables from busy restaurants spilling out onto the street.
I recommend visiting both during the day, and in the evening to see the town in two different lights. It’s one of the most romantic places to visit in Corfu, and drinking wine in the old town was a highlight of our trip to Corfu.
There is a highly rated walking tour you can join to experience more of Corfu Town. You can join in the morning or in the evening, and the tour includes an English speaking guide, visiting the important sites in town, food tastings, a drink, and a full meal as well. Click here to learn more and book your ticket.
☞ SEE ALSO: Weather in Greece – When Is The Best Time to Visit?
3. Sleep in Beautiful Accommodation
It’s a bit weird to have accommodation as a highlight of an island, but there some gorgeous options available on Corfu. We stayed in two beautiful properties and can recommend them both, for different reasons.
Learn about where to stay in Corfu in our complete guide.
MarBella Corfu is a proper 5 star, luxury resort, complete with all-inclusive menu plans, four a la carte restaurants, four bars, and a buffet-style restaurant serving up fresh food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Set just steps from the Agios Ioannis Peristeron beach, near the south end of Corfu, this is an ideal location for exploring this half of the island.
MarBella Corfu truly is a luxurious accommodation and if a resort holiday is what you’re after, then this is the place for you. We spent four nights here, but only dined at the restaurant two times — there were too many local restaurants that we wanted to check out!
The welcome drink and complimentary wine & fruit is a nice touch, the building itself is modern, and the staff here are incredibly helpful and friendly. It was the perfect place to treat ourselves for our 10 year anniversary.
On the northern end of the island, we stayed for two nights at Corfu Palma Boutique Hotel, and can highly recommend it.
With just four floors, this low-rise hotel has an intimate feel. We were staying on the 4th floor in the Superior Design Suite, which was absolutely stunning. The rooms are spacious, bright and the modern decor is exquisite.
The hotel offers a gym and a spa, as well as a large outdoor pool. The only downside is that it’s not located directly on the beach, but just a few steps away. The staff here are friendly and the manager, Spyros, will make you feel very welcomed!
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at this boutique hotel, and can recommend it based on the modern room itself, the lovely staff, the delicious food and the amenities on offer.
Since there are so many things to do in Corfu, and since the island is pretty big, I suggest splitting your time between the north and the south, if you can.
That way, you can use your base in the north to explore nearby sites, then switch to your hotel in the south and check out that area of the island. Otherwise, you may find yourself driving a lot. The two hotels I listed above worked out well for us to do just that.
🗒 Note: We were offered complimentary rooms at these two hotels through our partnership with Discover Greece, but we were never asked to write positively about them. All thoughts and opinions are that of Goats On The Road and were not swayed by complimentary services offered.
4. Join An Olive Oil Tasting & Tour
There are over 4 million olive trees on Corfu Island, 95% of which are lianolia variety. There are a few products that Greek people have been using throughout the ages, and olive oil is one of them. It has always been a big part of their diet, traditions and history.
Olive groves provide jobs and food for the people and they have for many years. Learning about the production of olive oil is one of the most important things to do in Corfu, and Greece as a whole.
We spent a lazy afternoon indulging in some olive oil and bits of food and enjoyed the company of the owners of The Governor. A trip here is one of the best things to do in Corfu when it rains.
The Governor is a 5th generation, family-run establishment on the island of Corfu. It’s one of the most awarded premium olive oils out there. Not only does the olive oil taste delicious, but it has incredible health benefits as well.
This beautiful video was shown to us at the Governor’s Mill, and although it was filmed on the island of Crete, the traditions and values placed on the olive tree are the same in Corfu and the rest of Greece.
5. Learn About Bees and Honey Production
Another Greek product that has been used for centuries is honey, both for enjoyment as well as curing of ailments. Hippocrates said that this Nectar of the Gods “cleans sores and ulcers, softens hard ulcers of the lips, heals carbuncles and running sores”. Aristotle believed that honey prolonged life.
We had heard about “Mr. Honey” (whose real name is Panagiotis Vasilakis) from Spyros, the manager at Corfu Palma Hotel.
Arriving at the office of Mr. Honey, we met a soft-spoken, chilled out man who told us his story of how he left a high-stress career in Athens for beekeeping in Corfu — a trade he knew nothing about before arriving here!
We met his bees, learned about the process of collecting the honey and were shown many of the natural products he makes. This is one of the more unique places to visit in Corfu, and one of the top things to do in Corfu for families. Don’t miss a day with Mr. Honey.
6. Visit an Ancient Monastery
When driving south from the airport, it would be hard to miss the Vlacherna Monastery, which sits out on the water, on an island of its own. The island is actually connected to the mainland by a stone bridge that crosses the bay.
The chapel was built in 1685 and actually, this was once a nunnery monastery. These days, Vlacherna Monastery is a quiet place with cypress trees surrounding it, and dogs and cats roaming around.
Fun fact, the For Your Eyes Only James Bond film had a scene set here. The monastery is one of the best places to see in Corfu.
The second must-see monastery is Paleokastritsa.
The location of this religious site is stunning. Set on a lush hill above the beach with the same name, and surrounded by sheer cliffs and pretty bays, a visit to this monastery (which is dedicated to the Virgin Mary) is a must.
Paleokastritsa is still operating as a monastery today, and you may see a monk or two pass by during your visit. It’s important to dress appropriately and respectfully when entering the complex.
This is one of the popular places to see in Corfu, there will probably be group tours here. But regardless of crowds, it’s worth a visit. Click here to open the GoogleMaps location of Paleokastritsa. Click here for Vlacherna Monastery.
7. Chill Out Beachside at Paleokastritsa
While you’re in the area visiting the monastery, make sure to check out the beaches and town of Paleokastritsa. There are 6 stunning bays here, which are surrounded by olive and cypress trees.
This is the perfect spot for spending the afternoon swimming, or just lazing on the beach. You’ll find numerous tavernas and restaurants here as well, including nearby Akron Beach Bar, which has a great setting for a meal or drink.
You’re in Greece, so it’s no surprise that relaxing on a beautiful beach is one of the top things to do in Corfu. In fact, the main beach of Paleokastritsa itself is known for being one of the best beaches in Greece.
8. Sip on Sunset Cocktails
Located on the very northwestern tip of Corfu Island, you’ll find 7th Heaven restaurant. With expansive views from atop a cliff out to the Ionian Sea, this is the ultimate spot to watch the sun go down.
It’s mostly known for being a place to grab a drink with sunset, but they also have food available. Cocktails go from around €7 and if you don’t have your own wheels, a taxi from Sidari to here is around €9.
The drinks may not be the cheapest, but you’re paying for the setting. Click here to see the GoogleMaps location of the restaurant.
9. Swim at the Canal d’Amour in Sidari
Speaking of Sidari, while you’re on the northern end of the island, make sure to visit the Canal d’Amour, or Love Canal. The rock formations around this area are colourful, crumbly and very unique.
You’ll find people laying on the beach, or jumping off of the cliffs into the clear water. This is one of the top attractions in Corfu by far.
There’s a canal here, which leads under the cliff. It’s said that if you swim through, you’ll get married soon. Whether or not that’s true, it’s still one of the most popular things to do in Corfu.
You won’t be fully submerged in water, and will be able to breathe the whole time, so don’t worry! Plus, the canal isn’t very long.
On a windy day, the waves can be a bit rough here if you’re planning to take a boat around the coast, but being at the beach is fine. You’ll find numerous hotels, restaurants and tavernas in the town of Sidari, making this the perfect spot to spend the afternoon, or longer.
10. Go Mountain Biking Around Corfu
Try to peel yourself away from the beautiful beaches and romantic towns to get some exercise. Renting a mountain bike to explore either independently, or on a tour is an excellent way to see the off-track interior of the island.
11. Indulge in a Decadent Meal
If you’re looking for a fine dining experience, make sure to visit Etrusco Restaurant in the town of Dassia. Michelin Starred chef, Ettore Botrini is an Italian Corfiat, with three restaurants in Greece — Corfu, Rhodes and Athens.
This highly acclaimed chef knows presentation!
Each and every dish we had came out perfectly manicured, with a story behind each plate. The outdoor dining area is surrounded by trees and pretty pink bougainvillea flowers. Plus, the kitchen is behind a large window, so you can watch all of the action unfold while you wait for your food.
12. Go Sailing (one of the best day trips from Corfu)
With Corfu’s location, it’s no surprise that there are some amazing sailing/boat day trips you can do! Cruise over the crystal-clear water on your way to nearby Antipaxos & Paxos, or cruise on over to the Sivota Islands.
The day is spent gawking at the scenery, swimming in the pristine water, and visiting small villages. Getting out on the water and visiting these islands and hidden coves is definitely one of the best day trips from Corfu.
There are quite a few tours you can join, but this one to Anitpaxos and Paxos is very highly rated and at $30, it’s a steal. If you’d rather check out the Sivota Islands and the old town of Parga, this trip is also very highly rated and is also just $30.
Finally, if you’d like to cruise to Sivota and the Blue Lagoon, and enjoy a BBQ lunch on board, this highly rated trip is also just under $30. You really can’t go wrong! Click on the image below to see some of the day trips on offer from Corfu.
Bonus! Volunteer With Donkeys
If you have more time on the island, why not spend some time giving back?
One of the best things to do in Corfu with animals is to volunteer to take care of abandoned, abused, old, or injured donkeys. Give them some love, groom them, and even take the donkeys for a walk!
Surrounded by olive trees and the beautiful Corfu mountains, the setting of this sanctuary for donkeys is lovely. Click here to learn more about visiting the shelter — one of the more rewarding and unique things to do in Corfu.
Now You Know What To Do in Corfu
With so many islands available to visit in Greece, it can be hard to decide which one to choose. If you’re interested in beautiful beaches, excellent restaurants, religious sites, culture & history, and stunning accommodations, then Corfu Island is for you.
And, since Corfu is so close to mainland Europe, getting here is easy.
You can take a quick flight from anywhere in Europe, with a short layover in Athens, or if you’re flying from North America, you’ll need to stop over in Europe before continuing on to Corfu. Check out Aegean Airlines for flights, or search engines such as Kayak.com and Google Flights.
Check out our Travel Videos from Corfu
Have you travelled to Corfu? What were some of your favourite things to do in Corfu? Did we miss any of the highlights in the article? Share with us in the comments!
Thank you to Discover Greece for assisting us with our trip to Greece. As always, all thoughts and opinions remain our own. Some of the images in this article are courtesy of Shutterstock.
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