The island of Corfu is very cosmopolitan and visitors from all cultures and traditions are always made most welcome. Some resorts are more commercialised than others but all offer excellent facilities and entertainment for every age group, all nationalities and most importantly, all tastes. Many areas maintain a distinctly local and traditional character whilst offering plenty to the holidaymaker and sightseer. Apart from the rest and relaxation craved by many tourists, there are also many other things to be enjoyed for the more adventurous and outgoing..
Corfu Town, the capital of the island, is a must see. All visitors should take a break away from the beach to enjoy the delights of the town, either during the day or the evening. A maze of tiny streets hold an array of little gift shops, designer stores and smart cafes and restaurants. Beautiful churches can be found on almost on every corner and the most important one is the church of St. Spiridon, the island's patron saint. The town is easy to reach by car and by bus and some resorts even offer boats trips there.
During the summer season, from May till October there are numerous local festivals and processions around the island offering an insight into Greek traditions that still play a big part in everyday life. Live music and traditional dancing are all part of these festivals and quite often there are organised Varkarolas, where small boats are lit with lights and sail around some of the bays at night, usually accompanied with music. Some places where these events occur include Kassiopi, Kalami and Paleokastritsa, usually during the warm evenings of July and August.
One of the best ways to see all of the island is to hire a car. This way you will be able to tour inland areas and see mountain villages at your leisure. Boat hire is available in most of the resorts but obviously you will only be able to visit specific areas and cover shorter distances. This is a great way to see the beauty of the island from the coast. Alternatively most resorts offer boat trips and coach excursions to various parts of the island and the main town. The local bus service is also very reliable and is a great way to get about.
For the more active members of the group a great place to visit is the wonderful water park of Aqualand. Ideal for young children and teenagers and great fun for all ages there are numerous slides and pools for enjoying lots of activities. Watersports are available in many of the resorts, including water skiing, ringos, paragliding and sailing. Another great way to get about the countryside is by horse riding, also available in different places around the island.
For evening and night time amusement there is a variety of entertainment in most resorts. Across the island the choice of restaurants, bars and tavernas is excellent. From traditional tavernas to grill rooms, smart restaurants and even fast food, the choice is endless. In many resorts you will also find international food such as Chinese, Mexican and Indian. Most places have a good selection of quiet bars and for the more lively visitors, there are louder music bars with dancing, karaoke and quizzes. Live entertainment with singers and bands can also be found across the island. For those who like traditional Greek bars will find many places where there is Greek music and dancing and where guests are encouraged to join in.
Throughout the summer season a wide variety of daily excursions are available allowing visitors to have a break from the beach and to see the different areas of the island. Most trips suit people of all ages but our holiday experts can advise you what is suitable for your particular group and give you more details, information and advice. Day trips to the stunning islands of Paxos and Antipaxos depart daily and are among our most popular excursions, available from all resorts. Regular cruises from Kassiopi, either during the day or the evening, take you down the stunning coastline to the main town allowing time for sightseeing, shopping and dining in the capital of the island. Other cruises allow you to visit several coastal resorts along the north east of the island, with plenty of time for sunbathing on deck and on the beach as well as swimming directly from the boat. Another popular excursion is a well guided coach tour which will pick you up from your resort and take you on a fabulous tour of the most popular places on the island, along the coast and inland. Coach trips to other areas, such as stunning Paleokastritsa, are also available certain days of the week. Trips to the excellent waterparks at Aqualand and the smaller one at Hydropolis are arranged every day and allow hours of fun for all members of the family, young and old. For the more adventurous we also arrange extremely popular excursions across the water to Albania to visit the town of Saranda and further inland to see the ancient, historic site at Butrint. Another great way to see hidden parts of the island, little used trails and shady olive groves is by horse riding. Most of the main resorts offer these trips or similar ones according to their local area.
Where You're Docked
Your ship will dock at the Neo Limani (New Port), which also accommodates ferries operating between Corfu and Italy, Greece and Albania.
Don't expect crossings to be respected, and look out for cars zooming suddenly out of side roads. If you dare to drive, beware reckless passing and center-of-the-road hogs.
If you're visiting a church or monastery, respect dress codes. Women should take along a scarf to cover their arms or head and avoid short skirts; men should ditch wearing shorts unless planning a day at the beach.
Siesta time runs between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. (known locally as mikro ypno).
Currency & Best Way to Get Money
The euro is national currency in Greece. For the latest exchange rates, visit any currency exchange website.
Cash Machines are easy to find (there are dozens in Corfu Town). You'll find them mainly in banks, but they also are located on streets and in some hotels and restaurants. Some of the outlying villages also have banks with machines, but if you're heading further afield, stock up on cash before you go. The majority of busineses accept credit / debit cards but many bars and restaurants still don't accept card payments.
Language on Corfu
A legacy of British rule means many Corfiots speak very good English, particularly in the shops and restaurants of the tourist-rich old town. You'll find an English section in most restaurant menus but may have difficulty finding a specific address, as street signs are rare, and those that exist are in Greek. If in doubt, ask a shopkeeper.
A friendly demeanor goes a long way, but it's also worth taking a phrasebook or language app along with you.. Emergency numbers worth knowing: 100 for police, 199 for fire service and 166 for ambulance.
Good morning/Good day: Kalimera /Kalispera
My name is: Me lene
Thank you: efharisto
Do you speak English?: Milate Anglika?
How much is this?: Posa kostizi afto?
Where's the bathroom?: pu ine i tualetta?
Shopping in Corfu Town
Corfu's Old Town is by far the best place for souvenir hunters, with pretty wrought-iron garden lanterns and finely worked embroidered cloths making good buys. Shopping here is excellent and provides for all tastes. From chic little boutiques and hand crafted jewellery shops to leather and art studios, Corfu has it all.
With so many olive trees about, olive-wood ornaments and bottles of the excellent olive oil are also worth snapping up. Foodie friends might enjoy a bottle of kumquat liqueur or a jar of kumquat marmalade (made from the fruit trees introduced to Corfu by the Chinese at the end of the 17th century).