With so many beautiful islands around Greece, choosing which one to visit can be a somewhat overwhelming task! Corfu is widely regarded as one of the beautiful islands of Greece with over 1 million visitors inundating the island every year. But what is Corfu famous for and why is Corfu worth visiting? We have listed below five of the top reasons why you should visit Corfu. Of course, there are many more things that make Corfu different and unique among thousands of destinations around Greece but also around the globe and once in Corfu, expect to discover many more!
What Corfu is famous for- Top 5 reasons to visit Corfu
1. Unique Natural beauty - The Green Island
If you are a nature lover, then Corfu is the place to go! Wherever you look around, you can see an infinite variety of green! There is an impressive number of over 4 million olive trees - most of them aging hundreds of years old - with the combination of olive and cypress trees dominating the landscape and making Corfu one of the greenest islands of Greece. Around the coast, the clear blue or turquoise waters provide a wonderful contrast to the green, composing a breathtaking scenery. In the areas that have a higher elevation, you will be blown away by the spectacular views! Corfu may be well-known for its lush, green vegetation but mountains, lakes, rivers, beaches, impressive geological formations are also pieces that make up Corfu’s unparalleled nature.
Corfu is a true paradise for nature aficionados, offering unique opportunities for fascinating walking adventures in the beautiful countryside. There is a plethora of beautiful walking paths crossing the entire island and waiting to be explored; paths that will take you through wetlands, hill ranges, villages and fascinating beaches. The world-famous coastline of Paleokastritsa is also renowned for its unparalleled unique natural beauty, made of breathtaking rock formations, crystalline waters and lush green scenery. Being one of Corfu’s top attractions, Paleokastritsa is included in most Corfu Private Tours and Shore Excursions.
2 . Heavenly Beaches
The infinite shades of green on the island are surrounded by infinite shades of blue and turquoise in the sea. Corfu boasts some of the loveliest beaches in Greece, lapped by crystal clear waters which will undoubtedly delight all those coming here to relax. Corfu's beaches are well known for their diversity as there are beaches to suit all tastes – organised with sunbeds, umbrellas, beach bars and water sports or small, quiet, secluded and hidden away. Some of Corfu's beaches have small pebbles, others feature golden sands while there also beaches with a mix of sand and pebble. There really is something for everyone!
Some of the most well known beaches of the island include Paleokastritsa Beach, also known as ''the Capri of Greece'' thanks to its unique natural beauty, and Glyfada Beach, home to golden sands, crystal clear waters and a wide variety of facilities designed to cater the need of every traveler. You can discover both of these beaches with our top-rated Paleokastritsa and Glyfada beach Shore Excursion. If you are looking for quieter, options, away from the crowds, then you should consider Rovinia beach home to a mesmerizing green landscape, breathtaking caves and the exotic, green-blue waters or the secluded Paradise beach, located next to Paleokastritsa and accessible only by boat. Whatever you choose, don't miss the chance to enjoy the rejuvenating power of the Ionian Sea, when you visit Corfu. If you are looking for more ideas about Corfu beaches to visit, check out our recent blogpost on Corfu's 10 Most Beautiful Beaches.
3. Fascinating Multicultural heritage
Historically and culturally Corfu differs from the rest of Greece as it's one of the very few areas that never came under Turkish rule. Corfu is famous for its fascinating multicultural heritage with the major influence coming from the Venetians, who ruled the island for over 400 years. Corfu also belonged to the French, and British at different periods of time who also left their mark and shaped the island’s identity. Because of the strong influence by these Western civilizations, Corfu is often considered more a part of the Western than the Levantine World.
This multicultural heritage is quite unique and can be witnessed in every aspect of everyday life on the island including the fascinating architecture. Walking around Corfu Town, you can witness buildings of different architectural styles, reflecting the various civilizations that have once existed on this island. Corfu’s delicious gastronomy has also been highly influenced by the Venetians, with the most popular traditional dishes (Pastitsada, Sofrito etc), coming from the Venetian era. The strong Venetian influence is also evident in the inhabitants’ culture including Corfiot’s language which still includes many Italian-Greek words. No wonder Corfu has been called a cultural crossroads!
4. Corfu Town
Although Corfu is dotted with many picturesque villages really worth exploring, Corfu Town, is a reason in itself to visit the island. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a true masterpiece of architecture and widely regarded as one of the most beautiful towns of Greece. Wander through the picturesque little alleyways lined with tall elegant pastel-colored buildings and marvel at the variety of well-preserved monuments, revealing the historical roots of this town. Enjoy a coffee like a local in the Liston with its arcaded terraces and fashionable cafes– designed and built by the French based on the Rue de Rivoli in Paris. You may even be lucky enough to see a game of cricket – introduced by the British - being played in the green square there. The town has a number of significant sights not to be missed. The Old and New Venetian Fortresses, the Church of St. Spyridon – the island’s patron saint – and the Esplanade which is the largest square in Greece.
Not far from the town you can find Corfu’s ancient Town, Paleopolis where you can visit the Mon Repos Palace - a neoclassical palace built by the British Commissioner in the early 19th century and birthplace of Prince Phillip of the UK. The Mon Repos Palace now operates as a museum and is also surrounded by beautiful gardens where ancient ruins that have been excavated in the area can be discovered. Close to Mon Repos, you can also capture the spectacular views of the iconic landmark of Corfu – Mouse Island. A 30-minute drive from the Town, is the impressive Achillion Palace which was built by Princess Sissi as a retreat at the end of the 19th century. Highlight of the Palace are the magnificent gardens filled with statues of Greek mythological figures.
5. Homer Odyssey- Philoxenia
Every destination in the world is all about its people. One of the most important reasons to visit Corfu is the warm hospitality of the locals, an unspoken rule that has its roots at ancient times and has definitely defined local culture. Going further back in history, Homer writes about Corfu hospitality in his great masterpiece The Odyssey. He describes how the shipwrecked Odysseus was washed up on the island’s shore and received wonderful ''Philoxenia'' (hospitality) from King Alcinous and his daughter Nausicaa. Some things never change! You can experience that same hospitality from the islanders today – making your visit here even more special! Check out below an abstract from Homer on Corfu’s hospitality:
Odysseus: ‘‘Wretch that I am, whose land have I come to now? Are the people barbarous, arrogant and lawless? Are they hospitable and god fearing?’’
Nausicca: ‘‘Stranger, those who live in this land and city are the Phaeacians (Corfiots), and I myself am daughter of bold Alcinous, on whom depends all Phaeacian power and prowess. In our land and city that you have come to, you shall not go short of anything – of clothes or whatever other thing may fill the needs of a toil-worn suppliant crossing one’s path.’
There are plenty more awaiting for you to discover them by visiting the island! When you book your next holiday to Corfu please check out our Corfu Tours & Activities or Contact Us to create your perfect experience in Corfu!