Corfu Area Map
Sitting in the Ionian Sea, several miles west off of Greece's northwest coast and Albania's southwest coast, Corfu is the second largest of the Ionian Islands. This T-shaped island's 229 square miles are home to several small towns and villages. The most prominent of them is Corfu Town, the island's main commercial hub, which is perched along Corfu's central-eastern coast.
Corfu (Kerkyra) Town is often the first place visitors see when arriving, as well as the island's main tourism center. Because of its position on a peninsula between two ancient fortresses, Corfu Town has played an important role in Greek history since the eighth century B.C. and continues to be a vivacious center for Mediterranean culture.
Facing the Grecian mainland on Corfu's east coast, the town is home to the majority of Corfu's attractions, hotels and restaurants; it's also the island's primary seaport. Corfu Town is separated into northern and southern sections with the historical district – Old Town – located to the north. The borders of Old Town are marked by the Spianada, a large park overlooking the Palaio Frourio (Old Fortress) on the east side of town and the Neo Fruorio, or New Fortress, to the northwest. Although the winding streets can be rather confusing, travelers say Corfu Town is easy to navigate when using popular points of reference, such as the Spianada, the Neo Fruorio and Plateia San Rocco, a large square which marks the center of the city.
Old Town is the site of the majority of Corfu's tourist attractions, including the forts, top-notch museums (such as the Byzantine Museum and the Museum of Asian Art), and the famous Church of Saint Spyridon, which houses the embalmed body of Corfu's patron saint, Ag. Spiridon. Corfu Town is also speckled with traditional Greek restaurants, shops, and cafes. Corfu Town's numerous bars make it the place to be once the sun goes down.
The central strip of the island is dotted with small towns hidden amongst the lush green landscape or along the golden beaches of the west coast. If you find yourself tiring of Corfu Town, take a daytrip to one of these quaint locations for a bit of rest and relaxation.
Located a little more than 5 miles west of Corfu Town, the village of Pelekas sits high atop "Kaiser's Throne." Tucked just far enough inland to avoid crowds, the village of Pelekas offers a peaceful setting and magnificent island views. It is also home to several small reasonably priced guesthouses and charming tavernas.
Glyfada – only 4 miles west of Pelekas – is primarily a resort town with numerous waterfront hotels and bars. Glyfada is a popular spot for watersports since the waves can often be too rough for swimming. If you are planning to stay in Glyfada in July and August, plan to make your reservations well in advance.
About 4 miles north of Glyfada is Érmones, one of the busiest resort towns on the island. Sandwiched between the beach and the Rópa River, Érmones is home to numerous high-end restaurants and tavernas. This area is popular for swimming and other watersports, but it's also good for hitting the links. The area's Corfu Golf & Country Club is the only golf course on the island and according to some, one of the best in the Mediterranean.
Less than 10 miles south of Glyfada is the town of Agios Gordios, which sits along a wide stretch of sand, framed by rock formations. The town itself – a street dotted with touristy restaurants, convenience stores and souvenir shops – runs perpendicular to the beach.
Northern Corfu is home to tiny villages and mountainous scenery. It's popular with outdoorsy travelers because of its dramatic cliffs, pebbly beaches and the immaculate Mount Pantokrator, whose summit towers nearly 3,000 feet above northeast Corfu, offering spectacular views of the island and the mainland. Many of the towns along Corfu's northern coast have cashed in on the popularity of resorts and can now compete with central Corfu in terms of accommodations.
Located just over 18 miles north of Corfu Town along the island's eastern coast is the small town of Kalami, formerly home to Corfu's most famous literary resident, Lawrence Durrell. Visitors to Kalami are welcome to check out Durrell's former residence, the White House, which has since been transformed into a top-notch restaurant. However, aside from the White House, a couple tavernas, and a few small hotels, Kalami has little to offer tourists aside from its proximity to Mount Pantokrator.
Another several miles north along the northeast coast from Kalami is Agios Stefanos, a small beach town. The wide sandy shores acts as the jumping-off point for parasailers and boaters, and the town's several small tavernas offer tasty meals to stave off hunger after an active day. Although there are not enough activities in Agios Stefanos to last more than a day, those who decide to lodge in this town can find small hotels with reasonable rates.
Continue to drive approximately 3 miles from Agios Stefanos, around Corfu's northeastern tip, and you'll find yourself in Kassiopi, a fishing village that has become a popular resort location. Kassiopi has maintained its ultimate getaway status by promoting fashionable accommodations, multi-cuisine tavernas and a wild nightlife scene. The town's five beautiful beaches are also a big draw.
The three towns of Acharavi, Roda, and Sidari – all located along Corfu's northern coast – have become major resort towns, often dominated by European tourists. Despite being somewhat overcrowded, the beaches are still popular in these towns, as are the cafe-lined, winding streets and numerous tavernas, and shops.
It is off the coast of Paleokastritsa where Homer's Nausicaä discovered the shipwrecked Odysseus. Located along the northwest coast approximately 12 miles from Corfu Town, Paleokastritsa's beaches and coves are the oldest and most beautiful on the island. The town itself is trapped in history; vendors sell crafts along a beach guarded by the 13th-century Panagia Theotokos Monastery.
Boats are available for hire for intrepid snorkelers who want to see the underwater scenery. If you'd rather stick to dry land, you can also explore area caves and the Angelokastro, the town's castle. The Angelokastro is located approximately 4 miles north along the coast and makes for a great hiking destination.
Corfu's southern tail is only several miles wide and home to both beautiful beaches and quaint Greek settlements. This thin stretch of island has caught the attention of tourists looking to catch some rays on the beach or escape the activity of northern and central Corfu's busier towns and resorts.
Sandwiched along a narrow strip of land between the Ionian Sea and the Korrission Lagoon – a place popular for nude bathers – the water is Issos' main attraction. However, accommodation and restaurant options are very limited here.
Welcome to traditional Greece. Sitting on Corfu's southern tip, the town of Lefkimi has managed to maintain an authentic atmosphere despite being the island's second-largest settlement. Lefkimi is the south's administrative hub as well as the island's alternative port, with ferries to Igoumenítsa (on mainland Greece) passing through several times a day. Like Corfu Town, Lefkimi is known for its architecture with several stunning churches – Ayii Anaryiri, Ayios Theodhoros and Ayios Arsenios – dominating the skyline.
About 5 miles south of Lefkimi near the southernmost point of the island, Kavos overflows with bars and clubs – many named after British pop culture sensations – which cater to night owls. During the day, Kavos' beach offers watersports galore. If you'd rather spend the day on land, Kavos has no shortage of extreme sports from go-karting to bungee-jumping. Because Kavos caters to a younger demographic, room rates and restaurant prices are a bargain-lover's dream – at the expense of peace and quiet.
Corfu is one of the safest tourist destinations in Europe. Still, make sure to exercise extra care of your belongings in heavily touristed areas and at resorts, where pickpocketing is a problem.
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