Corfu is the embodiment of every Greek-island fantasy — sugar-soft beaches, subtropical forests, the beguiling Corfu Town and, of course, fantastic Greek food. Even better, the island is quite compact, only 40 miles long and 20 miles wide, meaning nothing is very far from the cruise terminal, near Corfu Town on the east side of the island.
What We Love
Corfu Town: The charming medieval settlement is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a place where it’s easy to pleasantly while away a few hours exploring.
Spianada Square: The largest public square in the Balkans is a lively spot with brilliant people-watching. Festivals are held here throughout the year, but even on quiet days you can pass happy hours watching life unfold and wandering through the nearby alleyways past the many statues and fountains.
Best Known For
The Old Fortress: Just east of Corfu Town, this imposing structure dates back to 1546, when it was built by the Venetians on the site of a castle. The moat is especially impressive, at nearly 50 feet deep and 130 feet wide. From the highest point, you have great sea views toward Albania.
Church of St. Spyridon: Named for Corfu’s patron saint and built in 1589, this church, with its red-domed bell tower, is a defining feature of the local skyline. Look for details like moody frescoes and a silver casket said to contain the relics of 2nd-century Saint Spyridon.
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Who It's Best For
Food lovers: This is a Greek island. Order some grilled fresh fish with a simple but delightfully salty Greek salad to start, and you’ll be happy— wherever you stop for lunch.
Photographers: Between its natural beauty, architectural history, and current multiculturalism, Corfu is one of the most visually engaging islands in the archipelago.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Don’t Expect Anything to Be Going on in the Afternoon: There’s a legally mandated siesta from 3 to 5 pm. That’s your excuse to have a glass of wine with lunch.
The Drivers Leave Much to Be Desired: You’re better off sticking with scheduled excursions, hiring a driver, or at least taking taxis.
Ann Abel is a Brooklyn-based contributor to ShermansCruise who has also written for Departures.