48 Hours on Corfu, Greece

Corfu Greece

It’s no secret that the Greek Islands rank high on the list of “must do” destinations. But which one to choose? Each island has its own magnetic charm, but I submit that the beauty and activities on Corfu, Greece make it difficult for anyone to resist the island’s pull.

Corfu Island is the second largest island in the Ionian Sea, with a rich history dating back to Greek mythological figures such as Poseidon and Asopos. A land of castles, forts, and beaches, there’s plenty to keep tourists busy.

The beginning of my trip to the Balkans with JayWay Travel started with two days to immerse myself in the culture of this island. I chose to spend one day in and around Corfu Town and the other at one of the island’s best beaches.

 1.  Corfu Town

Also known as Old Town, most of the landmarks and sights of Corfu Town are easily within walking distance via a labyrinth of narrow cobblestone streets. Striking out from my centrally-located boutique hotel, this UNESCO World Heritage site was a delight to wander about, taking in the Venetian architecture.

Old Fortress

Corfu Greece

Corfu Greece

The imposing Old Fortress complete with moat stands sentry on a craggy peninsula just off the Esplanade. The current fort was built in 1546 by the Venetians, but prior to that, a fort of some sort has existed on the site since the 6th century. There is a museum inside the fort which houses some of the world’s oldest paintings, dating from the first century.

Esplanade

Corfu Greece

The tree-lined square claims to be the second largest public square in Europe. The Esplanade connects the cobblestone streets of Old Town with the Old Fortress. Aside from the green space, this popular public gathering area also hosts upscale cafés and shops and it’s a great place feel the vibe of Old Town.

Museum of Asian Art

Corfu Greece

The museum is located at one end of the Esplanade within the Palace of St Michael and St George. The palace, which dates back to the period of English rule, contains an impressive collection of art from China, Japan, and India.

Church of St Spyridon

Corfu Greece

Built in the 1500’s, this Venetian basilica has a bell tower which is the highest point in the heart of town, making it an important landmark. It houses the relics of Saint Spyridon, whom it is believed saved Corfu from catastrophe four times between 1533 and 1716.

Faliraki Beach

Corfu Greece

Corfu Greece

If you don’t have time to get to another beach on Corfu, a stroll to Faliraki Beach is a must! This tiny cove under a towering stone wall has a pretty beach with calm aqua and azure water. The small beach is stony, so water shoes are recommended.

Corfu Greece

Corfu Greece

Corfu Greece

There is a picturesque walk along the coast near the beach as well as an open-air café with views across to the Old Fortress.

Retail Therapy

Corfu Greece

Wander around the winding maze of streets in Old Town and you’ll find every manner of souvenir, from unique handcrafts, sculptures, woodcarvings, leather, and clothing, to typical tourist tchotchkes. You’ll also find lots of small shops selling local cheese and other delicacies to sample.

 2.  Kassiopi

Corfu Greece

For my second day in Corfu, I struggled between visiting the coastal towns of Paleokastritsa – a seaside resort nestled between high cliffs, small crescent bays, and caves, overlooked by a historic monastery, versus the seaside village of Kassiopi. Kassiopi was more easily reached by public transportation which tilted my decision in that direction.

Corfu Greece

Situated at a small peninsula on the north-east coast of Corfu, the former fishing village has a crystal turquoise beach framed by the picturesque backdrop of Mount Pantokrator. The beach is just a block from the town’s square, shops cafes and bars.

If you’re interested in reading more of my adventures in the Balkans, check out these articles:

The Albanian Riviera: Affordable, Jaw-Dropping Beauty

7 Reasons Why You’ll Love Macedonia (Huffington Post)

8 Places in Albania That Will Wow You

Europe’s Oldest Wine Area Going Biodynamic (Epicure & Culture – publish date 1/5/17)

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Corfu Greece

Disclosure: The author was honored to be the guest of JayWay Travel during her stay on Corfu, but as always, the opinions, reviews and experiences are her own.

Comments

  1. I have to admit the only time I was on Corfu was on a backpacking trip heading for Pelekas, so I didn’t spend any time exploring the city. We’ve been talking about Greece for a little while now, so I will have to consider this island, now, too!

    • luggageandlipstick says:

      It was my first time, too Jane. I really liked it and would consider another visit next time I’m in Greece. I hope you get to see it!

  2. Love that you highlighted the less mass touristy areas of Corfu. Too many times, people see it as a place to come and just get sun in the day then drink themselves silly at night…so I’m glad you focused on the tradition, etc.
    So many more islands for you to explore!
    Rebecca recently posted…High Tea at The Berkeley Hotel – LondonMy Profile

    • luggageandlipstick says:

      Corfu was stunning and seeped in history. I was surprised at how easy it was to get to underpopulated sites — especially beaches.

  3. So I have to ask. I know what a good shopper you are. Did the shirt you are wearing on the Albanian Riviera come from the shop you have featured here half way thru? The pattern caught my eye and looks like your colors. Corfu is gorgeous and it looks like you had the beaches all to yourself.
    alison abbott recently posted…Comment on Green with Renvy Travel-The Year in Review by alisonMy Profile

    • luggageandlipstick says:

      That’s amazing, Alison!!! I wondered if anyone would make the connection! Yes, I traveled to Albania right from Corfu and wore the coverup in the Albanian Riviera. The Corfu beaches were stunning, and it wasn’t difficult at all to find uncrowded beaches, even in July.

  4. After taking a Windstar Greek Isles cruise in June, I am ready to see more of Greece! Corfu looks wonderful, along with your travels in Albania and Macedonia. Thanks for opening my eyes to a new destination! I would love to take this trip!
    Debbra Dunning Brouillette recently posted…A look back at 2016 travels: January – Sanibel Island, FloridaMy Profile

    • luggageandlipstick says:

      Who can ever get enough of the Greek Isles? That area of the world is stunning, especially Corfu!

  5. Ah, what a glorious place! It looks like you had perfect weather, too! We are headed to Greece this year and you are right… narrowing down to which few islands to see of tough!!! They are all so fabulous!!!

    • luggageandlipstick says:

      Lucky you, Natalie! I’d love to be going back to Greece. All of the islands are lovely so you’ll have a tough choice but Corfu is fabulous and really close to the Albanian Riviera for a day trip!

  6. I have never been to Greece. Are all its beaches rocky? I guess I was imagining the soft powder like on US East coast beaches.
    Charles McCool recently posted…8 Great Travel Experiences That Will Make You HappyMy Profile

    • luggageandlipstick says:

      Yes, the beaches on Corfu were a little rocky, but beautiful. I didn’t get over to the other side of the island where perhaps the sand is softer.

  7. Such amazing pics :) love em
    Jo recently posted…Top Beaches in Goa and Gokarna for GoPro PhotographyMy Profile

  8. Corfu sounds like an amazing island. If we get to Greece, it will definitely be on the agenda. Not being much of a beach person, it’s the history and architecture that really grab me. Thanks for putting Corfu on our radar.
    Penny recently posted…Sheraton Sioux Falls Hotel and Convention Center:My Profile

    • luggageandlipstick says:

      Corfu has a lot of intriguing history and gorgeous architecture, Penny. The climate was wonderful when I was there. I think you’d like it!

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