The whole island of Corfu is so breath-taking that it's nearly impossible to pick favorites...but there are some spots that should definitely be on everyone's radar when planning which areas of the island to visit.
I was lucky enough to spend six wonderful months being locked down in this paradise in 2020. Most of my time was spent on the Northwest side of the island but I had a chance to venture out to other areas occasionally.
Whenever I discovered a new spot on the island, I'd ask myself "can it get any better??!"..and then it did.
Corfu keeps outdoing herself with her pristine beaches, lush green hills, and kind locals. While I still have much more to discover myself, here are some highlights that I would consider as must-see for anyone visiting the island.
1. Cape Drastis
Cape Drastis is a place on the Northwest corner of the island with stunning cliffs and gorgeous rock formations. There is a tiny swimming area that can be accessed from the land but the most wonderful beach is only accessible by boat. When my dear friends from Germany and I rented a boat on the North side of the island (from Sidari beach), we were able to visit this lovely beach and have it all to ourselves. You can see the small strip of the beach in the first picture. Nearby there is also a village called Peroulades from which you can visit Loggas Beach. This is known by the locals as the sunset beach - the best place to watch the sun set over the horizon while having a cocktail at the 7th Heaven bar.
2. Double Bay (Porto Timoni)
There are no words to describe the miracle that this place is. Even the pictures don't do it justice. I literally cried tears of joy and gratitude as we made the hike down from the village of Afionas (pictured next) to Double Bay. The views along the 45-minute hike are stunning around every corner. The sweet reward at the bottom is these two lovely bays where you can refresh yourself in Corfu's crystal clear waters.
3. Afionas village
The starting point for the hike to Double Bay - the village of Afionas - is a treat in itself. It offers charming and traditional Greek houses and narrow streets with wonderful views of the surrounding waters. There's a great restaurant with a view overlooking Agios Georgios that is tucked away on the other side of the village - the Zeus Throne - highly recommended.
Kassiopi is a beautiful fishing village on the Northeast coast of Corfu with a cute center along the harbor. The old Kassiopi castle stands in the middle and offers wonderful views of the nearby beaches and the Albanian coast. It's a lovely hike that takes about 30-40 mins if you're walking at a leisurely pace.
5. Agios Spiridon
The northernmost beach in Corfu. There's a beautiful state park area where we strolled along a trail that winds through olive groves, eucalyptus trees and down to a coastal area carved out by beaches and rock formations. The Albanian coast is easily visible all along the hike. And of course there are more than enough beaches to stop and dip your toes in along the way!
6. Old Perithia
An enchanting old village near Corfu's highest peak - Mount Pantokrator. This was the first place I was lucky to visit with my friends when I first arrived in Corfu right before the lockdown started. Even then all of the tavernas were already closed which added to the magically abandoned yet naturally vibrant feel of the village.
An old fortress with amazing views of the whole island plus mainland Greece and Albania! From 1387 to the end of the 16th century, this was the official capital of Corfu and the seat of the governor. Definitely worth the visit and the short hike up to the top of the hill. The nearby villages of Makrades or Krimi are also lovely to stroll around in and soak in the views of the sea down below. Amazing new restaurant in Makrades to stop by for a quick lunch or dinner after visiting the fortress: Tomateli!
8. Paleokastritsa Monastery and Beaches
A gorgeous Byzantine monastery that dates back to 1228. There's also a small museum in the monastery area with books dating back to the 12th-14th century plus all sorts of unique Greek and Byzantinian artifacts.
There is a short trail right by the monastery that offers breath-taking views of the whole West side of the island and the Ionian sea below. Swing back down to the small town of Paleokastritsa after visiting the monastery to enjoy one of its gorgeous beaches or local tavernas.
9. Rovinia Beach near Liapades
Rovinia Beach has become one of my favorite beaches to hang out at. A very natural area surrounded by olive groves, gorgeous cypress trees in the distance, clear waters, and a beach with small white pebbles. It's a short walk from the village of Liapades. Along the way there's an amazing view of another small bay right around the cove (third picture).
10. Paradise Beach
This is another stunning beach on the West side of the island. It can only be accessed by boat. I was lucky to meet some new friends from Germany on a random hike and they were kind enough to invite me to join them on this boat trip the next week. We enjoyed the beauty of a few different boat-access only beaches. Although you can't really get too close to the beach with the boat because of the danger of falling rocks, you can anchor a boat near the gorgeous rock formations and explore the underwater caves. Crystal-clear waters with plentiful fish and an occasional red starfish will warmly welcome you all along this coast! Rent a boat from Liapades beach and you will be here in about a half hour!
BONUS: Corfu town
You are just as breath-takingly vibrant and radiant as the Ionian sea shimmering in the sun's late August rays. The only thing that occasionally hinders you from feeling this radiance is nothing more than the clouds of your own mind. But that's where your freedom lies, sweet soul. In understanding that you are not the clouds - they are just passing through the vastness that is you. Let life enter you. Let the sunshine penetrate deep into the core of your being. Let it cleanse you of every cloud of fear or doubt that you were afraid wouldn't budge. They all come and go. But you, dear ray of magnificent sunshine, you always remain. Know this for yourself. Meet your own greatness merging with this preciously rare moment of infinity. Keep radiating your warmth sweet one. For as you shine, we all benefit. We are all rays of the same sun after all.