When it comes to deciding where in Greece to visit, you’re spoilt for choice. There’s mainland Greece…or one of it’s 227 inhabited islands. Easy, right? When we were met with this choice, we’d narrowed it down to either Corfu or Crete. Crete is very much a family holiday island, and 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.
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. That roughly works out at around £429.00 per couple. There are plenty of other villas around the island on the Agni Travel website to choose from, too. I’d definitely recommend booking your holiday with them, they were so helpful.
Our villa was stunning!
It was in an amazing location, right on the coast looking out over the ocean. We could see all the way to Corfu town halfway down the island, and over to Albania to the east. There were a few other villas close to ours, and you could see others dotted over the hills, but 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 6 people. It had an awesome balcony, which was the setting for a lot of shithead tournaments (I lost a lot. But let’s move on), and a pool overlooking the ocean. Surrounded by gorgeous trees and being right next to Mount Pantokrator, we were never disturbed by anyone and it was sheer bliss.
One thing you’ll definitely need to do in Corfu is hire a car. There’s just so much this island has to offer I can’t imagine just staying in the same place for the entire trip.
Down at the local beach there was a quaint, picturesque little tavern called Mitsos Taverna. It’s a small, family-run restaurant located on Nissaki beach and 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’d always be running from table to table in her little trainers making sure the customers were happy and the drinks were full.
I dream of going back there just to sit by the ocean and take in the atmosphere.
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 10 am!
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 genuinely, wherever we went in Corfu the people were so friendly. The couple we went with had a 1-year-old child at the time. In the UK whenever you bring a baby to a restaurant the staff tend to see it as more of an inconvenience. But the restaurant staff at every single place we ate at in Corfu couldn’t do enough to make us happy and comfortable. They had 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.
1. Corfu Town
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 – one of my favourite places was Cafe Gelateria which served the most incredible Bueno Waffles.
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.
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.
Another great find in Corfu Town was the brand ‘Aphrodite’ who sell skin, body, and hair care 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.
2. Sisi’s Palace
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. 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.
3. Vlacherna Monastery
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 just stunning. It’s known as one of Corfu’s best beauty spots for its beautiful scenery, relaxing beaches, and turquoise water. The sunsets here are pretty spectacular, too, as it’s on the west coast.
For 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 to do is the 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). Towards the end of the trip, when they’re returning to the dock, they crack out the Zorba over the sound system and the main tour operator took my hand and we danced the Zorba on the Greek water.
We ate lunch at one of the restaurants by the harbour, and one of the waiters seemed slightly different from 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’d 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, 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 husband 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?
To read more about my travels, click here.