Sitting pretty in the sparkling Ionian Sea, Corfu is one of the most romantic islands in Greece. The cosmopolitan charm of today blends effortlessly with Venetian and French influences from the past, making Corfu an idyllic setting for a vacation in the sun.
Snorkel in serene blue lagoons and walk down to secret beaches, or sail to outlying islands and stroll through historic city streets.
There are so many things to do in Corfu – here are some of the best.
1 – Scramble down to Porto Timoni Beach
Pack a picnic and head to the twin beaches of Porto Timoni, below the village of Afionas in the west of Corfu. The glimmering turquoise waters of these two blissful bays make this one of the best beaches on the island.
To get there requires a little adventure, by boat from nearby resorts, or on foot from the village. Keep an eye out for sea arches as you float languidly in the sun.
2 – Take a day trip to Paxos island
Climb on board a yacht and sail out across the blue ocean to the dazzling island of Paxos. Breathe in the scent of olive groves as you explore the untouched northern shores, and meander through the streets of traditional villages.
Meet the monk seals who live in the ethereal Blue Caves, before ending on a high at Antipaxos with sublime snorkeling and swimming off Paradise Beach.
3 – Stroll the streets of Corfu Old Town
The best way to discover the Old Town of Corfu is to take a guided walking tour. Amble along charming alleyways, visiting traditional shops for food tastings and souvenir shopping.
Take in historic highlights like the Old Fortress and Palace of St. Michael, before venturing into secret squares to explore beyond the tourist trail. Pay your respects to sainted relics in the Church of St. Spyridon and chat to locals over lunch.
4 – Admire architecture at Achilleion Palace
The architectural jewel in the crown of Corfu’s Old Town is undoubtedly the Achilleion Palace. Named after the Greek hero Achilles, this palace is a peaceful museum of antique paintings and classical sculptures.
Many of the interior furnishings are original, and you can poke your head into the rooms that once belonged to Empress Sisi of Austria. Take a wander through the lush green gardens for statue hunting and glorious sea views.
5 – Snorkel in the Blue Lagoon
Off all the blue lagoons in the world, this ranks as one of the finest. The azure waters lapping gently against the beach make this hidden corner of Greece feel like the Caribbean.
Snorkeling in the Blue Lagoon is one of the most fun things to do in Corfu, and many people make a day of it with a boat cruise, swimming, and picnic lunch to enjoy in the sun.
6 – Climb Mount Pantokrator
Wind your way up the hiking trails of Mount Pantokrator and reward your efforts with sweeping panoramic views out over Corfu. The footpaths traverse pine forests, tranquil meadows, and traditional villages before reaching their destination at the highest point of the island.
At the top discover a tiny monastery that is home to a couple of monks. For a slightly less energetic adventure, there are several Corfu jeep tours that make a stop at the summit.
7 – Sail to Antipaxos
For a change of pace take a boat trip over to the small island of Antipaxos for a day indulging in some of the best scenery in Greece. Plunge into the inviting warm waters off Voutomi Beach (also said “paradise beach”), one of the most beautiful spots in the Mediterranean.
Ask your skipper for a snorkel and mask to discover life beneath the ocean waves, and relax afterward with a spot of sunbathing on the white sandy beach.
8 – See a shipwreck at Agios Gordios
Chill out at this laid-back cove resort and surround yourself with soft sand, calm seas, and forested cliffs. Water sports are popular here, so if you want to bounce through the waves on a banana boat or pootle about by pedalo, you can.
Venture around the headland to Shipwreck Cove to see the remains of an unfortunate fishing boat, or take a quad bike tour through vineyards, villages, and woodlands.
9 – Travel back in time at the Byzantine Museum of Antivouniotissa
One of the most fascinating things to do in Corfu is to visit the Antivouniotissa Museum. Delightfully housed inside a 15th-century church in Corfu Town, it will transport you back in time with vintage wall frescoes, ancient manuscripts, and icons by famous artists.
Wander around at your own pace, checking out the Byzantine religious art and enjoying a good dose of true Greek culture.
10 – Take a boat trip to Parga
The mainland is just a short hop away from Corfu so taking a day trip to the charming seaside town of Parga really is a no-brainer. Rocky shores dotted with bright green trees combined with impossibly clear water make a stunning backdrop to this red-roofed hillside settlement.
Explore secluded bays, walk the narrow streets of the old town, and enjoy stunning views from the Venetian fortress.
11 – Visit a monastery at Paleokastritsa
For something a bit different, head to the pretty little village of Paleokastritsa and visit the 13th-century Byzantine monastery. Sitting on top of a small hill, the monastery boasts incredible views and is linked to the village by a short footpath.
Paleokastritsa is also home to one of the best beaches in Corfu, with an abundance of sandy hidden bays that are perfect for swimming. Remember to pack your camera.
12 – Explore the Old Fortress
One of the traditional symbols of Corfu Old Town, this 15th-century Venetian Fortress is a must-see when visiting the capital. Built to protect the island from marauding pirates, the imposing castle has a library, music school, and church to explore.
Pop into the museum to admire paintings and sculptures from the Byzantine era, and take enviable photos of the views out over the historic town.
13 – Visit Albania on a day tour
Ticking off a new country during a day trip is rather unusual, so why not take advantage of Corfu’s proximity to Albania. There are UNESCO sites to explore, beach towns to relax in, and an intriguing culture to discover.
Take a walking tour of the archaeological ruins in Butrint National Park and see the impressive remains of Ali Pasha Castle – make sure your camera batteries are charged.
14 – Go scuba diving on a reef
Scuba diving is one of the most exhilarating things to do in Corfu. Plunge into the blue ocean with your expert instructor and discover a hidden underwater world beneath the waves. First time diving? Then try a beginner course and relax knowing you are in safe hands.
Swim alongside colorful reefs and watch the fish darting between the rocky crevices. Experienced divers can explore shipwrecks and coral caves for the ultimate thrill.
15 – Feel the wind in your hair on a sailing cruise
Sailing around the beautiful coastlines of Corfu and Paxos is one of the best holiday feelings ever. Investigate mysterious sea caves and leave your footsteps on secluded beaches – does it get any more idyllic?
If you fancy a swim then jump overboard and enjoy the cooling caress of gentle waves against your skin. Snorkeling is a treat too, with a dazzling array of curious marine creatures waiting to greet you.
16 – Discover Angelokastro Castle
Perched precariously on a high point of the island, Corfu’s Angelokastro Castle is truly a sight to behold. It once served as a defense against pirate attacks, but today is a picturesque tourist sight with magnificent sea views.
Enter through the photogenic domed gate and explore the ruins of what were once rooms, hallways, and ramparts. The best bit is stumbling across the remnants of a hidden cave church.
17 – Kayak and snorkel in the Sivota Islands
Put your explorer cap on and head to the islands of Sivota near mainland Greece. Sail through the narrow channels and let the mesmerizing appeal of the tropical Blue Lagoon work its magic.
Swimming and snorkeling are of course popular pastimes here, as well as lazing on the gloriously sandy beaches. Step the adventure up a notch and take to the water by kayak or SUP to feel at one with nature.
18 – Taste the best olive oil
Olive oil is a beloved staple here in Corfu, and you will have seen the swathes of trees bursting with these luscious little stone fruits during your journeys over the island. This tasty nectar is a firm favorite when it comes to local cuisine too.
Learn more about the golden lifeblood of the island by visiting traditional olive mills and groves, tasting all the different varieties as you go.
19 – Marvel at the sea cliffs of Cape Dastris
Sitting majestically up in the northwest of the island is Cape Dastis, a dramatic stretch of coastline peppered with tiny sea caves and unusual rock formations. Jump in a boat and venture out to the pockets of beach sandwiched between the white cliffs – take a picnic and make a day of it.
For a windy but worthy aerial view, you can drive to the cape clifftops after your jaunt at sea.
20 – Visit Vlacherna Monastery
If you are looking for unusual things to do in Corfu, head to Vlacherna Monastery which sits on a tiny islet south of the Kanoni peninsula. Walk along the pier to reach the 17th-century religious site, which is now used as a church for celebrations.
Have a nosy around inside and then enjoy a boat trip to nearby Mouse Island where a tiny Byzantine chapel surrounded by lush green trees awaits.
21 – Take a boat to Pontikonisi (Mouse Island)
You will probably already have seen Mouse Island from the air as your plane came into land. This emblematic islet lies just off the Kanoni peninsula and makes a great photographic stop on a tour of Corfu.
Make the short sea journey by boat and discover an 11th-century chapel hidden away in the trees. Swing by the iconic Vlacherna Monastery on your return voyage.
22 – Sunbathe on Canal d’Amour Beach
This idyllic hidden cove with its unique rock formations is one of the most photogenic places to visit in Corfu. Famously called the “Channel of Love”, the unusually terraced yellow rocks line the sides of a sheltered lagoon, perfect for picnics and soaking up the rays.
Scramble down the paths from Sidari village and discover a series of secret coves, each one better than the last. Swim, snorkel, or sunbathe – the choice is yours.
23 – Sample vintage wines
Put on your sommelier hat and learn how to be a pro with specialist wine tastings around the island. Tour family-run organic vineyards and learn about the traditional wine-making process, before heading to the cellar to sample the good stuff.
Add a little cheese and olive oil tasting into the mix and you have the makings of a fantastic day out. Tastings can be enjoyed all over Corfu on small-group or private tours.
24 – Splash around at Aqualand
Looking for some family fun? Then one of the most exciting things to do in Corfu with kids is to spend a day at Aqualand. This water park is a splashing day out for thrill-seekers of all ages, with 49 slides, rip-roaring rides, and some of the most adventurous flumes in Europe.
Chill out in the relaxation area and refuel at the food outlets before floating down the lazy river between the palm trees.
25 – Explore the Archaeological Museum of Corfu
If ancient archaeological finds float your boat then make sure this phenomenal museum is at the top of your list. There are findings from sites excavated across the island, including the Temple of Artemis in Kanoni.
Admire bronze and marble statues, wonder at ancient funeral offerings, and be dazzled by golden jewelry that has been preserved by the sands of time. Keep an eye out for Apollo too.
26 – Go paragliding over Sidari Beach
Strap in and hang on tight as you glide silently over the golden sands of Sidari Beach on a thrilling tandem paraglide. The stunning Corfu coastline looks even better from up here, so drink it all in as you soar with the thermals.
See if you can spot the Canal d’Amour lagoon, and on a sunny day even Albania is visible from your lofty position in the sky.
27 – Cycle around the island
Saddle up and burn off some of those holiday calories as you explore the hidden trails of Corfu by bike. See little-visited sites across the island far from the tourist crowds, including ancient churches, crumbling fortresses, and mythical temples.
Enjoy photo stops by secret lakes and secluded beaches in protected nature areas. Then pedal through traditional villages, greeting the locals as you pass by.
28 – Take a scenic Vespa tour
Climb on board your trusty Vespa and enjoy a meandering scooter excursion around the most beautiful parts of the island. This mini-adventure is a fun way to discover the secrets of Corfu, with stops at local wineries, a folklore museum, and even an artisan sweet factory.
Your journey continues at an olive mill for more tastings, and takes in the Kaiser’s Throne in Pelekas as well as plenty of gorgeous beaches.
29 – Tour the Museum of Asian Art
The palace that houses the Museum of Asian Art in Corfu is just as impressive as its contents. Spend a couple of hours here admiring the majestic neoclassical architecture, as well as stopping to see the exhibits.
Today the former residence of the British High Commissioners is home to art from as far afield as Japan and Tibet. Seek out the Samurai weapons and Chinese bronzes for your wow-factor moment.
30 – Relax at La Grotta Lounge and Pub
This rather unique beach bar is an attraction in its own right. Tucked away inside a secret cave grotto near Paleokastritsa, La Grotta Lounge is a haven of Zen, overlooking the illuminated cove down below. Arrive in style by boat, or pop down from the main road.
Take a dip in the natural blue lagoon, then sip on exotic cocktails and soak up the tropical vibe.
31 – Enjoy drinks at Piccolo Bar
After a long day of sightseeing, sit back and relax with a local tipple at the charming Piccolo Bar. This quaint and cozy watering hole is popular with locals and visitors alike, who flock here to enjoy the stylish courtyard and arty atmosphere.
As night falls put on your glad rags and join the party with show-stopping cocktails and lively Greek tunes.
32 – Take a hop-on hop-off Bus Tour
Want to see the Old Town highlights in a single day? Then ride the hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus and explore the top spots at your own pace. This is one of the best things to do in Corfu if you want to remain independent in your explorations.
Listen to historic snippets through the handy headphones, and discover major landmarks like the Old Fortress, Palace of St. Michael and St. George, and the Vlaherna Monastery.
33 – Dine at O Mylos by Isla Cuisine
Your taste buds will have a party at this Mediterranean restaurant, where flavors from Latin America fuse delightfully with spices from Asia and the Middle East. The dishes here are like nothing you will have tried before, with everything from fresh squid to chocolate soup.
Perched on a hillside overlooking the impossibly pretty harbor of Kommeno, O Mylos has all the ingredients for a perfect evening out.
34 – Visit the Corfu Aquarium
Come face to face with creatures of the deep on a tour of the small Corfu Aquarium in Paleokastritsa. Specializing in local fish and reptiles, this is a great introduction to the island’s diverse marine life.
Feeling brave? Then hold a snake and pet an iguana. Or hunt for crabs and anemones in the rockpool tanks. Up the adventure with a spin in the glass-bottom boat to see these species in their natural environment.
35 – Chill out on Vidos islet
Come to the tiny island of Vidos for a relaxed no-frills vibe. Delve into the leafy woods to discover a Serbian mausoleum for refugees who died here during World War I.
Hang with the locals at the beach and see how they are keen to preserve the authenticity of the island. Life here is slow and real, with simple pleasures like grilled octopus at the taverna, and live Greek music in the evening.
36 – Explore the New Venetian Fortress
Feel the history beneath your feet as you stroll around this 16th-century castle, which was built by the Venetians to protect the Old Town from sea raids. Explore the ramparts and meandering moat, and see if you can spot the emblematic winged lions at the harbor gate.
Soak up the dreamy city and sea views, and check out the photography and painting exhibitions inside.
37 – Party in the Kavos clubs
Clubbing is one of the most popular things to do in Corfu so head to the famous Atlantis Club and strut your stuff on the dance floor. Ramp up the proceedings with a stop at the Paint Party for a technicolor night to remember.
Get into the electric festival spirit at the Thai-themed full moon beach party, where you can boogie the night away while bathed in lunar light.