Snoop around the old fortress
The old fortress in Corfu Town was once the island’s first line of defence against light-fingered pirates and would-be colonizers. It was built by the Venetians in the 15th century, on the site of a former Byzantine castle. Today, it’s one of the island’s most popular tourist attractions, and visitors can explore its tunnels, battlements, drawbridge and church.
Relax in a taverna by Moraitika’s seafont
Moraitika has never been one of Corfu’s wilder spots, but that’s not to say it doesn’t have its fair share of lively bars and clubs. They open late, and rarely close until the sun stirs from its slumber. Early evenings, meanwhile, tend to be spent nursing a Greek frappé or a bottle or 2 of Mythos beer in the quiet tavernas and wine bars sprinkled along the front.
Construct a sandcastle on San Stefanos Beach
San Stefanos Beach is a 2-mile-long ribbon of white sand on Corfu’s northwest coast. Expect to see crumbled sandcastles and buckets and spades on the sand here, because the calm shallow waters make the beach a firm favourite with families.
Hire a pedalo at Moraitika Beach
The town’s sandy beach is a long sand-and-shingle affair, tickled by the warm, shallow waters of the Med. It’s a good spot for families with young children. When you’re ready to let off a little steam, there are watersports and a waterslide on tap, while a scuba diving centre caters for both experienced divers and those wanting to learn. Boat trips also leave from Moraitika pier for tours around the island and to Paxos further south.
Go souvenir-hunting along the coast
Agios Stefanos has a sweet little gift shop to the north of the village – there you can pick up little trinkets like wood carvings and locally-made jewellery. Over in Nisaki, 20-minutes’ drive away, there’s another little souvenir shop in a 400-year old house – the glazed ceramics are a bonus. If you’re down in Corfu Town, you could scout out the big M&S in town and pick up some high-street fashion.
Watch the sunset in Sidari
Sidari is a sunset specialist. The main beach here is lined with waterfront restaurants and bars, offering up front row seats to watch dusk descend over the Ionian Sea. For a more private viewing, Sidari is surrounded by quiet coves. When the sun has sunken, Sidari’s nightlife heats up. The fun-loving town offers everything from cocktail bars to discos.
Etrusco is set in an open-air courtyard with hanging plants all around. It’s a stylish, authentically-Greek place with a bit of Italian thrown in – and it’s popular with a trendy local crowd. There’s fried octopus for an appetiser, and the chef’s speciality pastitsada for a main – that’s spaghetti with beef and tomato sauce. You might want to finish with the chocolate soufflé with caramel and mandolato, a Corfiot nougat.
Tuck into Corfiot cuisine in Kato Korakiana
In the village square there are a couple of authentic tavernas that serve up hearty fare like moussaka and lamb kleftiko. Kato Korakiana, a 10-minute drive down the hill, brings in some more restaurants along the main road, and tucked away on the narrow streets just off it. Dishes like grilled swordfish are served in the more elegant places, with homely dishes of aubergine stuffed with mince dished up in the rustic eateries.
Pace the corridors of Achilleion Palace
Achilleion Palace, about half an hour from Gouvia, has more than one claim to fame. James Bond fans may recognise this place as the set of the casino in For Your Eyes Only. Royalists might know it as the birthplace of Prince Phillip. The grand building was actually constructed in 1890, as a retreat for Empress Elizabeth of Austria. It’s design is meant to evoke the great palaces of Vienna.
This festival celebrates the day St Spyridon miraculously saved Corfu from invading Turks in 1716. It used to be held in Corfu Town, but now takes place in Paleokastritsa Bay in the north of the island. It’s a nautical affair, with locals re-enacting the battles at sea, and choirs in boats singing cantadas – romantic tunes from the Twenties. Throw in a good quota of fireworks and this is one event not to miss.0