We came to Corfu with some pretty strong preconceptions. If someone had told me they were visiting Corfu, my first question would have been, ‘Why visit Corfu? Isn’t it a party island packed with tourists in the summer?’
To be honest, our trip was more out of necessity than a desire to visit. Albania was the next country on our list, and the cheapest way for us to get there was to fly to Corfu and take the one-hour ferry across. So we thought, why not stay a few days and check it out – how bad could it be?
And guess what?
We loved Corfu!
There is something in Corfu for everyone. There are towns on the island for the party crowd if that’s your thing, and yes there are a lot of tourists, but there is also a quieter and more picturesque side of the island. Just a short bus ride out of Corfu town and you’re surrounded by old olive groves as far as the eye can see, and a coastline with some of the most amazing beaches we’ve ever seen (and we’re Australian).
Corfu definitely took us by surprise.
Corfu Old Town
It’s not just beautiful beaches that Corfu can lay claim to, it’s old town is also stunning and UNESCO heritage listed.
Well, what we could see through the hordes of cruise-ship day-trippers looked stunning. It was insane. There were groups of 50-100 people at a time, walking in loud groups through the narrow, winding streets. Crazy. But like all towns, it’s amazing how you can be trapped with the masses, but then if you take a random-side road or two, suddenly you are the only ones on the street. It was quite satisfying being able to shake off the tour groups, to find ourselves alone with a cat or two, on a quiet backstreet.
We also visited the old fortress on the edge of the peninsula near the old town and wandered the grounds. Due to a strike, none of the buildings were open but it was a nice place to wander.
It’s been a while since we’ve been surrounded by so many tourists, but I can see why they come here, it’s a beautiful place. Even UNESCO thinks so.
And just wait until you see Corfu’s beaches…
When we visited: 3 nights in early July
How to get to Corfu: We flew from London on a very cheap flight with Monarch airlines.
Restaurant and bar recommendations for Corfu: Greek food is great, but nowhere we went was worth highlighting. It was all OK – but not great. We can say the feta sandwiches with olive tapenade are fantastic, as is the greek yoghurt with honey and walnuts. Yum yum!
Where to stay in Corfu: We stayed at the Maltezos Hotel in the town of Gouvia, a 10 minute bus ride from Corfu Town. The hotel itself was fantastic and very typically Greek which we loved. Our room was big, clean and comfortable and our balcony looked out over a field which was nice.
Gouvia was a great location to base ourselves on the island, as it had it’s own quieter beach and restaurant area just 5 minutes from the hotel. Plus the buses that takes you all over the island and back into Corfu town, leave from just outside the hotel. Perfect!