Hi everyone, today I’m going to be sharing my experience of my holiday to Corfu a couple of years ago.
When it comes to deciding where in Greece to visit, you are spoilt for choice with either mainland Greece, or one of it’s 227 inhabited islands. Easy, right?
We had narrowed it down to either Corfu or Crete. I found while looking online that Crete is very much a family holiday island, and that Corfu is the greener, prettier island out of the two. While there’s nothing wrong with family holidays, we didn’t want to be surrounded by badly behaved children! We wanted peace, quiet, and a beautiful island to explore so we went for Corfu. One thing I didn’t actually realise until after we returned home was that if we had gone to Crete, we could have taken a boat trip to Santorini. *Cries*
Also, word of warning, the runway at Corfu airport is horrid. It kinda stretches out into the sea, like so:
Yeah. That’s a whole lot of nope right there. I definitely didn’t crap my pants when we were descending closer and closer to the runway, not being able to see anything other than water.
If you’re wanting a party holiday, then you want to stay in the south of the island near Kavos. However, if you’re looking for a quiet getaway then the north definitely has more to offer.
We stayed in the quiet town of Nissaki in the north of the island. Our villa was absolutely beautiful, booked through Agni Travel we stayed at Villa Spyros. 10 nights cost us €999 in total, split between two couples. Today that would work out at around £429.00 per couple, although when we went in May 2015 I’m pretty sure it was slightly less than that (cheers Brexit). There are plenty of other villas around the island on the Agni Travel website, and they were so helpful in the run up to our stay and couldn’t do enough for us, so I’d definitely recommend booking your holiday with them.
Our villa was stunning! It was in an amazing location, right on the coast looking out over the ocean, and we could see all the way to Corfu town halfway down the island, over to Albania to the east. Although there seemed to be a few other villas around where ours was, and you could see them dotted over the hills, when we were actually inside the villa/in the pool, it felt like we were the only ones on the entire island. It had three bedrooms, and can sleep up to 7 people, an awesome balcony, which was the setting for a lot of shithead tournaments (yeah, we were wild), and a pool overlooking the ocean. Surrounded by gorgeous trees and being right next to Mount Pantokrator, we were never disturbed by anyone. You could have had a lot of loud sex out on the balcony and no one would have seen or heard you.
One thing you’ll definitely need to do in Corfu is hire a car. There is so much this island has to offer I can’t imagine just staying in the same place.
If you are staying in or near Nissaki, and even if you’re not, you must eat at Mitsos Taverna. It’s a small, family run restaurant located on Nissaki beach and the Greek & European food they serve is incredible. The owner, Agi, is the sweetest lady you’ll ever meet. She was so accommodating, and you could tell that her job was her entire life and she loved what she did. She never seemed to sit still, she was always running around from table to table in her trainers making sure the customers were happy and the drinks were full. If you’re a lover of seafood, be sure to try their Mussels. My fiancé had a full place of Mussels for his main course on our first visit, and then he enjoyed them so much he ordered it again for dessert. He still says to this day that they were the best Mussels he’s ever had. Not to mention, the location is very difficult to beat. The neighbouring restaurant was also lovely, we ate breakfast there a couple of times and, after every meal in Greece (including breakfast) you get served shots Greek spirits such as Ouzo, Tsipouro, etc. That went down very well at 10am!
One thing I will say about Corfu is that the people are among the nicest I’ve ever met. In a lot of cities in Europe the locals tend to be quite rude towards tourists, but wherever we went in Corfu the people were so friendly. We went with another couple who at the time had a 1 year old with them. In the UK when you bring a baby to a restaurant the staff tend to see it as more of an inconvenience, whereas the restaurant staff at every place we ate at in Corfu couldn’t do enough to make us happy and comfortable. They seemed to have a high chair out within seconds, and every single person would always speak to their child and fuss over him, which was a really welcome change.
If you want to do a bit of shopping in Corfu, this is where to go. The Liston boasts many small independent shops, designer boutiques, and, as always, stalls where you can purchase genuine-fake designer handbags and purses! There are tons of places to eat (including McDonalds) – one of my favourite places was Cafe Gelateria where I had the most incredible Bueno Waffles.
The island of Corfu is covered with Olive trees, so it’s no surprise that nearly everywhere you go you will be able to buy bottles of Olive Oil. We did buy some and have used it sparingly – I get weirdly sentimental about things like that. I’ll be sad when it runs out.
Another great find in Corfu Town was the brand ‘Aphrodite‘ which sells skin, body, and haircare products made with Olive Oil. I bought a hair mask from them and it is honestly one of the best products I’ve ever had. There are a few products available on Amazon, but nowhere near the amount at one of their shops in Corfu town.
If When I go back I will need an extra suitcase just to stock up #sorrynotsorry.
The Old Fortress is also a great place to look around in the town and learn about it’s vast and varied history. Currently it houses Corfu’s Public Library, and The Hellenic Music Research Lab of the Ionian University is also located at the Old Fortress.
A few kilometres south of Corfu Town is the Achilleion, which was the summer residence of Empress of Austria Elisabeth of Bavaria – also known as Sisi’s Palace. Corfu was her favourite vacation place as she admired Greece and the language and culture, and she built the palace with Achilles as the central theme.
“I want a palace with pillared colonnades and hanging gardens, protected from prying glances – a palace worthy of Achilles, who despised all mortals and did not fear even the gods.”
Elisabeth of Austria
There is a small fee to get in, but it’s definitely worth it to feel like a beautiful Empress for a few hours.
Not too shabby for Kimberley.
Probably one of the most well known landmarks on Corfu, the Vlacherna Monastery was a women’s monastery and the present chapel was built in 1685. It’s open to the public all year round – you can go to simply admire the beauty, or to pray. (Or, to buy some Greek tat in the shop there).
This was probably my favourite place in Corfu. It’s stunning. On the west side of the island, it’s known as one of Corfu’s best beauty spots for it’s beautiful scenery, relaxing beaches, and turquoise water. The sunsets here are pretty spectacular, too.
For quite a small town, there is quite a lot to do. There’s an aquarium (nothing amazing, but it kills a good half an hour), but one of the best things available there is a Yellow Submarine boat trip. This is great for seeing the caves and sea life around the area, and yes, they do play Yellow Submarine towards the end. Just when we were about to get back to the dock, the guys who ran the excursion made everyone get up and dance the Zorba on the boat. It was fun, although he made me get up first which was only slightly terrifying.
We ate lunch at one of the restaurants by the harbour, and one of the waiters seemed to be slightly different to the usual Greek waiters we were used to. His accent definitely wasn’t Greek, so we asked him where he was from and he said New York. He had a very powerful job in the rat race on Wall Street, but he gave it up and moved to Paleokastritsa to live a simple life in a beautiful place. Now that, my friends, is what you call life goals.
I did love Sidari, but it did strike me as the more British-seaside-town part of Corfu. There were a lot of holiday resorts there, and shops selling all kinds of inflatables. (The beach kind – calm down).
The reason I loved Sidari so much is because of the D’amour Beach Bar. It was right next to the beach, they had hammocks and swing seats, had a pool & swim up bar, amazing food, COCKTAILS, and they had salsa music playing from their speakers. What’s not to like? I would literally live here if I could.
Another great place to eat is the Kahlua Restaurant, just a short walk along the coast from D’amour. On one of the evenings my fiancé and I went for a drive, we ended up in Sidari and we had an amazing dinner here while we watched the sunset.
If you’re one for romance, tradition has it that couples who swim through the Channel of Love (Canal D’amour) will get married soon.
Which Greek island should I visit next?