Flight and hotel Corfu
Part of the Ionian Islands, which lie off Greece's west coast, Corfu has been a popular visitor destination for decades, thanks to its idyllic beaches and unique historical attractions. Located close to the Greek mainland, near the Albanian border, Corfu is blessed with a warm climate all year and is home to fewer than 100,000 locals. The island has played an important role in Greek mythology, featuring in The Odyssey and the tale of Hercules.
What to know before visiting Corfu?
City breaks in Corfu are popular with visitors from all over Europe, and flights to Corfu depart regularly from UK airports to Ioannis Kapodistrias International Airport (CFR), which is located in the main city on the island, also named Corfu (or Kerkyra, locally). Flights depart from Manchester and London's Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Luton and City airports.
While visitors taking package holidays in Corfu will likely have transfers to their accommodations arranged, independent travellers can take advantage of the local bus service, which takes you into the city of Corfu in just ten minutes. The main language in Corfu is Greek, and the currency is the euro. Corfu is two hours ahead of the UK.
When is the best time to visit Corfu?
Sun worshippers will love summer weekends in Corfu, when sunshine is just about guaranteed and temperatures are regularly above 30°C. Even winters on the Greek island are warm, with average highs of around 15°C.
The island holds a number of religious festivals throughout the year, but the most significant is St Spyridon's Day on 11 August, which celebrates the life of the saint who supposedly saved the island during an 18th-century siege. The festival features a parade and local bands playing traditional Greek music.
What to do in Corfu
Make the most of the area's plentiful sunshine and spend at least some of your weekend in Corfu exploring the island's beautiful beaches and trying out watersports in the pleasant waters of the Adriatic Sea.
- Halikounas is a vast sandy beach in the southwest of the island, with lots of dunes for shelter and plenty of space, even at the height of the summer. Try kitesurfing across the flat expanse of sand for a unique experience.
- Kalamaki, on the opposite corner of the island, is an ideal destination for families on package holidays in Corfu. The sea stays shallow until quite far out, and there are plenty of beach bars where you can enjoy drinks and snacks.
- Glyfada is one of the most popular beaches on the island, home to several upbeat and loud bars and a great place to try windsurfing.
- Sidari is home to the Channel of Love – rumour has it that if you swim in this particular cove, you'll find your soulmate!
- Myrtiotissa, in a bay nestled between Ermones and Glifada, is ideal for visitors seeking peace on city breaks in Corfu. Although you'll need to walk 20 minutes or take a 4x4 to get the beach, it's well worth the effort.
Places to visit in Corfu
Travellers opting for a flight to and hotel in Corfu should take some time away from the beach to explore the island's long and fascinating history. The island's Archaeological Museum, a great place to start, is packed with artefacts and structures dating from the time of the Ancient Greeks. One of the highlights is a sculpture from a temple dedicated to the goddess Artemis, which dates from the 6th century BC. You can also visit the temple's excavation site on the island.
Palaiokastritsa, a pretty coastal village in the northwestern part of the island, is where Odysseus is said to have disembarked on his mythical journey, as told in Homer's epic poem, The Odyssey. While there, make sure you visit the 12th-century monastery, which has a museum of religious art and artefacts. Old Perithia, one of Corfu's oldest settlements, is the starting point for a walk to the summit of Mount Pantokrator, the island's highest mountain. At the top, you can see all of Corfu, as well as the Greek and Albanian coastlines.
What to eat in Corfu
Traditional dishes in Corfu make the most of local ingredients, comprising plenty of fish, meat, cheese and olive oil. Dolmadakia, vine leaves stuffed with mince and rice, make a great starter or lunchtime snack, while giouvetsi, a lamb stew made with vegetables and rice, and bifteki, a grilled meatball stuffed with onion, peppers and cheese, both make filling main courses. If you prefer fish, try bourdeto, a spicy soup made with red peppers, or savuri, fried fish served in a garlic and rosemary sauce.
Baklava, a popular dessert or snack across Greece, is made with layers of pastry topped with nuts, and all held together by a delicious, sticky syrup. A more traditional Corfu dessert is sicomada, a cake made with fruit, nuts, wine and Greek liqueur ouzo. Corfu is famous for its own alcoholic drinks, including koum quat, a spirit made with the kumquat fruits that grow on the island.
What souvenirs can you find in Corfu?
A bottle of the sweet koum quat liqueur makes a great gift for friends and family. For teetotallers, a bottle of locally produced olive oil will do. The island's olive trees are the source of other typical Corfu souvenirs as well, including carved figures, bottles and even olive oil decanters. Make sure to browse the island's museum shops, where you can buy reproductions of ancient carvings or paintings of scenes from Corfu's fascinating history, both real and mythological.