About Corfu Town
Out of town, the island falls away into an idyllic landscape of undulating hills coloured by olive groves, orange and lemon orchards, pine woods and elegant cypresses. A popular package holiday destination, long stretches of the east coast are now lined with big resort hotels, but if you head for the west coast you can still find some dramatically beautiful unspoilt beaches.
Cruise ships dock in the New Port and offer shuttle buses to Corfu Town, which is a 30-minute walk along the seafront.
On the east coast of Corfu, facing Albania, elegant Corfu Town offers a fascinating mix of Greek, Italian, French and British architecture, and has been proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Corfu’s pedestrian-only old town is a warren of crumbling Venetian-style buildings, Italianate churches, chic boutiques and rustic tavernas. Locals gather on the Spianada, a vast green space where they play cricket, and the Liston, a 19th-century arcade sheltering a string of cafes. Guarding the town and accessed from the Spianada, the Old Fortress juts out into the sea, while the New Fortress commands a hilltop position behind the old town.
Cruise companies offer several out-of-town excursions including the tiny church-capped islet of Pontikonissi, the late-19th-century neo-classical Achillion Palace in Gastouri, and Paleokastritsa, a village on the west coast with a hillside monastery and three sandy coves for bathing.
• Old Fortress (Byzantine)
• New Fortress (Venetian)
• Archaeological Museum (displaying ancient Greek stone carvings)
• Museum of Asiatic Art (displaying Chinese porcelains and Japanese watercolours)
• Byzantine Museum (displaying religious icons)
• Church of St Spyridon
Corfu Tourism Office
Alykes Potamou, 49100 Corfu Town, Corfu, Ionian islands, Greece
Tel: +30 266 103 7640.
Corfu’s picturesque old town is the best place to shop for souvenirs. Typical mementos include kumquat liquor (the local speciality), olive oil, objects carved from olive tree wood, and olive oil-based cosmetics. Leather goods, local wines and honey are also good buys.
Greek cuisine is based on fresh, seasonal, Mediterranean ingredients, with the abundant use of olive oil. Popular main courses include simply prepared fresh seafood, plus charcoal-grilled meat and hearty stews.
When to go:
The Mediterranean cruise season runs from late April to late October. Peak season in Greece is July to August, when all the main destinations are very hot and very crowded. Try to visit in May/June or September/October to avoid the crowds and enjoy milder weather.
4.8km (3 miles).