Over the years I have patiently weaved my way through many museums, historical sites, picturesque landscapes and have savoured some of the best kept local secrets that Corfiot life has to offer.
It can be rather overwhelming to choose from so many incredible experiences during your summer holiday in Corfu, but I have cherry picked some of my personal favourite things to do that give you an inside look into authentic Corfiot life. From dining on serene beaches, to the mazes of picturesque, old world villages and lush mountain sights, I offer you my go to list that I share with my dear friends and family, who want to get a taste of what the real Corfu has to offer.
The best part about these spots is that you can really take your time to truly get lost in the experience without having to rush along with a group or tailored schedule. Why not hire a personal driver or rent a car and see Corfu your way and on your clock.
This list simply has to start with the capital city. Corfu Town is the perfect place to just get lost in sheer wonderment. Amble down the narrow ancient Venetian streets, popping into the many quaint shops, one of which has to be an ice cream stop at the infamous Papagiorgis Gelateria.
Corfu town has been a cultural UNESCO World Heritage site since 2007 and boasts sights such as The Old and New Fortresses which are fascinating not only for their rich history but also have some of the best views over the town, the ocean and the Greek mainland.
When it’s time to sample some of the local cuisine, pop into Pane e Souvlaki for some house-made salads, dips, falafel and local wine and beer. If you are in search of a more gourmet experience, Pomo D’oro is my all time favourite.
Must see in Corfu Town The old and New Fortress, The ancient Venetian Streets, Quaint shops
Pelekas, a little traditional Greek village located at the center of the island, has been my home since the very first day. I have so many wonderful memories here and it also happens to be the place where I met my Fiance!
I may be completely biased, but I think that this gorgeous little town is the best base for your stay in Corfu. With a quick 20 minute trip from the airport, to a wide range of buzzing restaurants and bars in the summer months on your doorstep and idyllic sandy beaches not even a 5 minute drive away, Pelekas is the sweet spot! A perfect opportunity to get an authentic taste of traditional village life wrapped in the warmth of local Greek hospitality. Finally, venture out to admire the breathtaking panoramic views from one of the most beautiful hills on the island and enjoy a sunset that you will never forget at Kaiser’s Throne.
Must see in Pelekas Kaiser’s Throne, bussing restaurants and bars, sandy beaches
This picturesque little beach paradise with it’s turquoise waters and rocky coastline looks like something out of a glossy postcard. Most Saturdays in summer you will find me here, lounging at Akron, enjoying the freshest local greek food and wine.
Although Paleokastritsa is only a 20 minute drive from Pelekas, it feels worlds apart and always guarantees that “on holiday” feeling. Hire a boat and trawl along the many secret bays and caves tucked into the frills of the coastline. Ancient landmarks such as the Byzantine beauty, Angelokastro, the “castle of the Angel ” can be seen perched on the hill as well as the Paleokastritsa Monastery dripping in bougainvillea. This ancient landscape has remained untouched and unchanged until today and no doubt it’s beauty will captivate you as it has done to me.
Tip During the peak season (July & August) book a sunbed at Akron a few days prior Must see in Paleokastritsa Paleokastritsa Monastery, Lakones, Angelokastro Castle, Hire a boat, La Grotto
Along the north-east coast of Corfu is Agni Bay. The most beautiful secluded beaches with some only being reachable by boat. With the Albanian coastline being only 3km away, the waters are calm and idyllic for cruising around in a hired boat for the day. There really isn’t much that is more glam than arriving for lunch at Agni by boat!
My favourite spot to enjoy fresh water lobster, scallops, clams and some of the best greek food around would be Taverna Agni. Sit out on the romantic terrace overlooking the bay while enjoying some of the best cuisine the area has to offer. My go-to dish at Taverna Agni would have to be Prawn Saganaki which is one of Greece’s most famous dishes packed with fresh prawns, drenched in fresh tomato sauce and topped with melted feta cheese. It doesn’t get more delicious than that!
Must try at Taverna Agni Prawn Saganaki, scollops
Perched on a hill, alongside a vineyard and surrounded by lush natural vegetation, is Ambelonas, which is very close to my heart as this will be our wedding venue in 2022.
This beautiful gem is owned and cooked for by Vasiliki Karounou and the fine Corfiot cuisine is accompanied by wines lovingly made with the grapes grown within the estate. Most of the ingredients used in Vasiliki’s dishes are either grown on the estate or sourced locally. One of the wines produced at Ambelonas, which comes highly recommended, is Kakotrygis which is made using traditional methods passed down from generation to generation with very little machine intervention. This results in a rich, flavourful wine that begs to be enjoyed out on the vine-wrapped terrace sprinkled with fairy lights while looking out over the vineyards.
Must try Pork Dolce Garbo & Ambelonas Kakotrygis Wine
Olive Oil Tasting
It would be a sin to leave Corfu without experiencing the inextricable part of Greek culture, which is our deep love affair with good olive oil! We practically drown most of our food in it and so are connoisseurs to put it mildly!
I have had my own firsthand experience at producing my own olive oil and let me say that there’s much hard work that goes into every drop of liquid gold, but that’s a story for another day. 60% of our land in Corfu is cultivated for olive oil and we have over 4 million olive trees that blanket the land, some of which are 500 years old! Many food stalls that line the roads will offer olive oil tasting but the most in-depth experience is offered by the Dafinis family at The Governor. Three Generations of Dafinis family members tend the aged trees and are known for the superior olive oil tours and true olive expertise. During the tour, you’ll get a peek into the oil production and the bottling process with an introduction from one of our local award winning producers. You’ll also have the opportunity to taste one of the best olive oils in the world!
Must do The Governor Olive Oil tour
I sincerely hope that you enjoy these little gems dotted around my beautiful island and that you take your time to truly immerse yourself in the beauty of Corfiot culture. There really is no rush on this island unless it’s to the table! Enjoy!