One of the most beautiful islands of Greece, Corfu is a charming blend of Venetian, British, French and Greek influences. With gorgeous beaches, interesting historical sites, breathtaking nature and picturesque villages. Corfu really has something for everyone! If you are planning your visit to Corfu, we know that you will be wondering: What are the top attractions of Corfu? Written by locals, this list includes some our favorite sights and spots on the island including museums, beaches, villages and historical sites. This list is not meant to be exhaustive, but we hope that it will help you catch a glimpse of Corfu and plan you visit.
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1. Corfu Old Town
It's really hard to imagine visiting Corfu without exploring the UNESCO-listed Corfu Town! Οne of the best things to do in Corfu Town, is strolling aimlessly through the maze of its alleyways and immersing in its fascinating, vibrant atmosphere. Along the way, you will encounter architecturally beautiful buildings, interesting museums, quaint churches, delicious tavernas and impressive monuments dating back hundreds of years. Pop in the buzzing shops and find the perfect keepsake to take back home or just join the locals for a Greek coffee or a delicious Pastitsada - Corfu’s signature dish - under the beautiful arcades of the famous Liston. Without a doubt, Corfu Town tops the list of the must-see attractions of Corfu and it’ s worth the visit every time you find yourself on the island.
When in Corfu Town, take a leisurely stroll along the Liston, Corfu’s most popular promenade, and step back to another era, when access to this area was restricted to nobles, whose names were included in the famous Libro D’Oro. Designed by the French in the 19th century, based on the Rue de Rivoli in Paris, Liston is a series of beautiful arcades overlooking the Spianada Square and housing some of the top cafés and restaurants of the island. It is a favourite meeting place for locals but also for visitors, buzzing with people hanging out and sipping their coffee at the cafés lining this street, while watching the day unfold. Liston also hosts many important cultural events including the famous Good Friday epitaph, part of unique Easter celebrations in Corfu.
There’s no better way to discover the natural beauty of Corfu than through a visit to the world-famous coastline of Paleokastritsa. Crystal clear, emerald waters surrounded by impressive rock formations and lush green scenery, create an amazing landscape that will remain etched in your memory long after you leave! Take a dip in the crystalline waters or explore the famous caves of the area on a boat trip. A 15-minute uphill walk leads to the 13th-century monastery, located on top of the hill and offering great views of Paleokastritsa and surrounding areas. If you are craving fresh seafood, meze or perhaps a hearty Sofrito, head to one of the seaside tavernas to round off the day in the best way. Once in Paleokastritsa, it is also worth visiting the nearby picturesque village of Lakones, one of the best viewpoints of the island.
4. Achillion Palace
Hands down, Achillion Palace is Corfu’s most popular museum, attracting thousands of visitors from all over the world every year. Entering this magnificent 19th-century neoclassical mansion, you will get a glimpse of the fascinating world of the Empress Elizabeth of Austria, aka Princess Sissi, who built this summer home in honor of Achilles, the fascinating hero of Greek mythology. Once inside the Palace, take time to look at the big Four Seasons fresco decorating the ceiling, and explore the impressive artwork, furniture and personal belongings. The highlight of the Palace are the sweeping gardens, filled with impressive marble statues of Greek historical figures and surrounded by the spectacular views of the Ionian Sea. Achillion Palace is located on a hill in the picturesque village of Gastouri, approximately 12 km south from Corfu Town.
5. Archaeological Museum of Corfu
One of the most interesting museums of Corfu, the recently renovated Archaeological Museum, originally built in the 1960s, will take you on a journey through the island’s rich history from prehistoric times to Roman times. The 2-storey Museum is home to an impressive collection of significant artefacts that have been excavated in the ancient city of Corfu, Corcyra, but also throughout the island’s countryside including the areas the villages of Kassiopi, Acharavi, Almyros, Afionas and Roda. The star attraction here is the imposing pediment of the mythical Gorgon Medusa, from the nearby Doric Temple of Artemis - the oldest stone pediment in Greece dating back to 590-580 BC. A visit to the Archaeological Museum can be combined with exploring other attractions of Corfu Town, as it is located just 5 minutes off Spianada square near the seaside road of Garitsa.
6. The Old Fortress
For those approaching Corfu on a boat, the first glimpse of the island will be the grandiose Old Fortress. Located on a peninsula on the east side of Spianada Square, this emblematic structure was built in the 15th century by the Venetians, on a site where a Byzantine castle used to stand. Once inside the Fortress (additional entrance fee), marvel at the impressive bastions, discover the small Byzantine Collection hosting a few icons, sculptures and paintings of the Byzantine period, and the dazzling church of Saint George, built in 1840 during the British occupation. Take time to enjoy a coffee in the café offering panoramic views or visit the restaurant offering local specialties in an amazing location, just next to the sea. The best part? Climb up to the top of the Old Fortress and you will be rewarded with the best views of Corfu Town.
7. Old Peritheia
Well loved by locals, the mountainous village of Old Peritheia is Corfu’s well hidden secret, tucked away on the slopes of mount Pantokrator approximately 40 km north of the island. Often referred to as the ''ghost village of Corfu'', Old Peritheia was originally established in the 14th century, flourished in the next centuries but became later abandoned in the 1960s, when the locals decided to move to a more seaside location. Step back in time, as you wander around the small cobbled streets of the village, discover the eight beautiful churches surrounding the village, and marvel at the remains of the approximately 130 deserted dwellings. After experiencing the unique atmosphere of the village, head to one of the handful of tavernas and enjoy a hearty, local meal prepared with the freshest ingredients. Old Peritheia still remains one of the island's best kept secrets.
8. Mouse Island
Touristy? Yes! But any trip to Corfu would be incomplete without visiting Kanoni and capturing shots of the famous Mouse Island and Vlacherna church- Corfu’s most iconic landmark and perhaps its most photographed spot. Soak up these spectacular views while sipping your morning frappé - Greek iced coffee- or your evening cocktail in one of the cafés and bars of the area. One of the most striking experiences in Kanoni is watching planes landing and taking off right over your head, as the area is located just next to Corfu airport’s runway. If you have more time, pop in a boat and travel to the nearby Mouse Island - boat trips depart every few minutes and the return ticket costs approximately 2,5 euros. Mouse Island is widely considered one of the top attractions of Corfu, commonly included as a photo stop, in sightseeing tours.
9. Kassiopi Village
Perhaps one of the most beautiful villages of Corfu, Kassiopi is a charming fishing village which has managed to keep its authentic cultural identity, despite turning into a popular resort over the last decades. Explore the cobbled streets flanked by typical village houses and quaint shops, take a walk along the picturesque harbour, and enjoy a coffee or a delicious meal in one of the traditional eateries featuring the most popular flavours of the Corfiot cuisine. Look out also for the beautiful Kassopitra church, built in the 16th century and considered one of the most significant churches of the island. Standing atop a hill, the ruined Byzantine castle of Kassiopi is also not to be missed. Kassiopi in located on the northeast coast of Corfu, approximately 35 km from Corfu Town.
10. Mon Repos
Located in the area of Palaiopolis, the site of the ancient city of Corfu, Mon Repos Palace was originally constructed to become the home of British Commissioner Frederik Adams and his wife, and was later used as the summer residence of the Greek Royal Family. Mon Repos is now a small museum hosting significant artefacts that have been excavated in Palaiopolis and depicting the everyday life on the island at ancient times. The large surrounding park is also a highlight - take a leisurely walk in the beautiful nature, have a picnic under the shade of the long trees or discover further impressive archaeological findings such as the Temple of Hera. An interesting, but perhaps lesser known fact, is that Prince Phillip, husband of Elizabeth II of the UK, was also born in this Palace in 1921.
11. Canal d' amour
Canal d’ amour beach, aka Channel of Love, is one of the top attractions of Corfu for romantic souls and nature lovers alike. Perhaps Corfu's most special beach, the stunning landscape is made of impressive, sandstone rock formations, whose shape has been formed gradually over the years, by wind, along with the repeated rise and fall of the sea over the years. If you are an early riser, get on the beach first thing in the morning to secure a lovely spot, and escape the crowds flocking to the beach at midday - due to its tiny size, the beach gets very easily crowded. Part of the high popularity of this location, comes from an old, but still popular, legend ''promising'' that couples that swim together through the canal are set to stay in love forever!