Cruise Port Atlas | Corfu, Greece Day Trips | Attractions

Corfu, Greece Day Trips | Attractions

With limited time in port, planning is the best way to make the most of your time. Should you strike out on your own? Should you hire a local guide? Or should you book a shore excursion offered by the cruise line or an international tour company? Below we have listed the attractions and activities that many other cruisers have enjoyed. This information should help you plan.

The advantage to cruise line tours is that they are timed for your visit and give you flexibility to change your mind after your trip begins. The advantage of using a large international firm is that tours are often less expensive than cruise sponsored tours. The advantage to using a local tour company or guide is that prices can be significantly lower or you may be able to get a customized trip just to see the attractions that interest you most.

Cruise lines that visit Corfu: Star Clippers, Voyages of Discovery, Voyages to Antiquity, Azamara Club Cruises, Crystal, Oceania, Paul Gauguin, Regent Seven Seas, Seabourn, SeaDream Yacht Club, Silversea, Celebrity, Cunard, Holland America, Princess, Costa, Disney Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean

Key Attractions: Old Corfu Town, Old Fortress, New Fortress, Esplanade, Liston, St. Spyridon Church, Archaeology Museum, Museum of Asian Art, Palace of Mon Repos, Vlacherna Convent, Mouse Island, Achilleion Palace, Kaiser Bridge, Glyfada Beach, Sidari, Canal of Love, Agios Stefanos-Avliotes Beach, Chalikounas Beach, Agios Spyridon Beach, Aqualand, Paleokastritsa, Monastery of the Virgin, Hiking and Biking on Corfu, Kassiopi, Perithia, Ano Korakiana

Corfu (Town) Attractions

Cruise Terminal to Spanaida Square (Esplanade) and Old Fortress - 3 KM, 6 minutes
Cruise Terminal to Archaeological Museum - 2.3 KM, 5 minutes
Cruise Terminal to New Fortress / Flea Market - 2 KM, 3 minutes
Cruise Terminal to Mon Repo Palace - 5 KM, 10 minutes
Cruise Terminal to Kanoni (Mouse Island / Convent View) - 6.4 KM, 14 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

The old town of Corfu was recently declared an UNESCO World Heritage Site for its fortifications and its well-preserved Venetian center. The Paleo Frourio and Neo Frourio (Old Fortress and New Fortress) offer great photo opportunities looking down into the old town between them. At the base of the Old Fortress is Spianada Square (Esplanade), one of the largest and loveliest in Europe with British monuments and the only cricket field in Greece. Next door is the Liston, a lovely Venetian arcade with cafes and shopping. Just to the north is the Museum of Asian Art, a collection built by several Greek diplomats and one of the city's most popular attractions. Within the Old Town is the Church of St. Spyridon, with the highest bell tower in town and the remains of the saint who is honored for protecting the island from the plague. It has an impressive collection of icons. The Archaeological Museum is centered around the reconstruction of the Gorgon pediment, which adorned an archaic era temple and was found nearby. Just south of the old town are two other popular attractions, Mouse Island and Mon Repo Palace. Mouse Island sits just off the coast to the south of the airport and is arguably the most photographed spot in Corfu, with the Vlacherna Convent connected by causeway to the main island and tiny Mouse Island floating elegantly in the calm water with its small church peeking up from the pines. The Mon Repo Palace, most famous as the birthplace of Prince Phillip of Great Britain, is surrounded by lovely gardens with several ancient ruins and a new museum.

              

   

Photo of Old Fortress by CrniBombarder!!!, Photo of Museum of Asian Art by Piotrus

Achilleion Palace

Port to Achilleion Palace - 11 KM, 20 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

By far, the most popular attraction on the island, Achilleion Palace, was built in 1890 by Empress Elizabeth (known as Sissy) of Austro-Hungary after the early death of her favorite son. This lovely building is surrounded by gardens and classic sculptures including several of Sissy's favorite Greek figures, Achilles, who perhaps was emblematic of her lost son. Certainly the palace is filled with pathos. The magical views from the palace and gardens look out toward mainland Albania and Greece. In 1907 the palace was purchased by Kaiser Wilhelm II who led the Germans in World War I. He built a bridge over the coastal road so that he and his guests could get to the sea without crossing the road. Since the end of World War II the palace has been publicly owned.

        

   

Photo of Achilleion Palace Terrace by Thomas Schoch, Photo of Achilles Dying by Dr.K.

Corfu Beaches and Aqualand

Port to Glyfada Beach - 17 KM, 26 minutes
Port to Sidari Beach / Canal of Love - 33 KM, 37 minutes
Port to Agios Stefanos-Avliotes Beach - 35 KM, 44 minutes
Port to Chalikounas Beach - 29 KM, 44 minutes
Port to Agios Spyridon Beach - 40 KM, 55 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Since at least the 19th century, Corfu has been renowned for its beaches, so this is just a brief introduction mentioning a few spots that might appeal to sun-lovers. At the northwestern corner of the island is the town of Sidari, which is famous for its beach and the nearby Canal of Love, a narrow bay with beautiful stone cliffs on either side. The beach at Sidari has many tavernas, a wide variety of water sports, and is family and child-friendly. Not far away is the quieter Agios Stefanos-Avliotes, also child-friendly but with limited facilities and no water sports. More remote are two beaches known as St. Spyridon within a park area. There are no motorized water-sports, but you can rent canoes. Along the western coast of the island is the popular resort area, called Glyfada - very clean and with all the facilities and sports you could wish for. A bit to the south is a long spit of sand on the sea side of a lagoon known as Chalikounas Beach, which is well-known for windsurfing. In addition to beaches, Corfu has one of the largest and most popular water parks in the Mediterranean at Aquapark, not for from Corfu Town.

           

   

Photo of Sidari's Canal of Love by Arnoldius, Photo of Agios Spyridon Beach by MJJR

Paleokastritsa and Monastery of the Virgin

Port to Paleokastritsa - 21 KM, 26 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Due west of Corfu Town is the small coastal town of Paleokastritsa, named after the Byzantine Castle, which helped defend the island from the Ottomans. Not much of the castle remains, but you can hike up the hill and get a great view of the 3 small bays of the town. Just west of the castle is the Monastery of the Virgin on a peninsula jutting out into the sea and offering a nice museum, a scenic lunch and impressive icons. One of the favorite activities for visitors is taking a short boat ride along the coast, jumping in the water, and visiting a nearby cave. Visitors have compared the local geography to Capri. It is certainly a great place to experience the natural and historic elegance of Corfu.

                 

   

Photo of Monastery of the Virgin by Qoan, Photo of Paleokastritsa by Piotrus

Corfu Hiking and Biking

Unlike the popular and semi-arid Cycladic islands of Aegean Greece, Corfu and the other Ionian Islands are mostly green, making them more popular with hikers and mountain bikers. And with its well-developed tourism infrastructure, active tourism is an important part of the island's economy. Hiking trails (from leisurely to strenuous), biking tracks through the rugged terrain, and paths for horses are etched into the island from north to south. The Corfu Trail is a 200+ kilometer track and little sections can be done during a day trip. There are a whole series of circular tracks in each section of the island which offer strenuous to easy walks with great photo opportunities. For details about the hiking options, you can purchase guidebooks for each of the regions. There are two dive centers near Paleokastritsa, on the north coast of the island, that offer dramatic diving opportunities along the coastal cliffs and into the area's caves.

        

   

Photo of Mount Pantokrator by Albinfo

Corfu Villages

Port to Kassiopi - 33 KM, 34 minutes
Port to Perithia - 35 KM, 55 minutes
Port to Ano Korakiana - 15 KM, 18 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Like many other islands in the area, Corfu's traditional economy was based on fishing, grapes, and olives. The hills are covered with groves and small villages, and the coast is dotted with small marinas with villages attached. While some of these coastal and mountain villages are ready and waiting for tourists and welcome full buses throughout summer, others rarely see outsiders. In my experience, those out-of-the-way places are no less welcoming, though you may not find a menu or service in English, the setting will be more Spartan, and the prices will be considerably lower. It all depends on your SOA (Sense of Adventure) as to which kind of village experience you select.
The most popular fishing village for tour buses is the Kassiopi on the northeast coast of the island facing the coast of Albania. A small bay with a fishing boat marina is dotted (not surprising) with tavernas serving traditional Corfiot and Greek food adapted for tourist taste. Hanging above the town are the ruins of a Roman castle. Inland from Kassiopi is the abandoned mountain village Perithia, a ghost town with stone houses that comes alive during the day as several tavernas open. It is a valley near the base of Mount Pantokrator, but the views have been marred by recent fires. A more traditional mountain village experience can be found in Ano Korakiana, with its many churches, traditional music, and shops selling local crafts.

           

   

Photo of Kassiopi by BokicaK

Interests Key:

Art Architecture Beach Children Wild Animals Local Cuisine Flora Gardens-Parks Geology

Diving UNESCO Views Wine Dance Music Shopping History Hiking

Walking & Wheelchair Accessibility:

No Walking Easy Walking Normal Walking Difficult Walking Accessible Limited Not Accessible