Introducing Corfu

Myths and monasteries, wine and honey, rugged hills and sandy beaches. It’s no wonder the island of Corfu has been enchanting travellers for centuries. Though it may be firmly on the map, there are many corners promising complete tranquillity. Discover secluded boutique hotels and sleepy mountain villages. And let yourself slip into the laidback Corfiot approach to life, savouring Mediterranean food and fine wines on the way.

Things to do

Fought over by invading armies and pirates since the 8th century BC, Corfu has a long and colourful history. Ancient Greeks, Ottomans, Venetians, and the British – all have left their mark on this small island. Start in Corfu Town and wander down its katounia (narrow lanes) before earning superb views of the Ionian Sea from the Old Fortress. Swap gunpowder for grand buildings with a visit to the impressive Museum of Asian Art. And for a slice of traditional island life, find your way to villages like Agios Matheos, which clings to the side of Mount Gamilios.

Unlike its history, Corfu’s beaches have certainly earned the epithet ‘idyllic.’ There are stretches of sand backed by towering white cliffs like Arkoudilas Beach near Kavos. Or hidden coves that make for achingly-beautiful sunset spots, such as Agios Georgios. For more wind in your sails, opt for the west coast, ideal for windsurfers and kite surfers. And to swim in impossibly-blue waters, make your way to Palaiokastritsa.

Sidestep Greek classics like souvlaki and feta for more authentic Corfiot dishes, like bourdeto (tomato and scorpion fish stew). Sample the region’s renowned honey or rich, peppery olive oil. If the sun is high in the sky, savour an ice cold tzitzibira (ginger beer) – introduced long ago by the British. And when it drops below the horizon, try Corfu’s unique kumquat liqueur stirred into a glass of prosecco.

Top Tip from SLH

Reach Corfu’s highest peak with a trip to Angelokastro (Castle of Angels), an imposing Byzantine castle perched on the edge of a rocky cliff.