Corfu, Greece travel guide and things to do: Nine highlights


First entry, and we're already cheating. Corfu is a large island with a huge amount to see and experience, so it would be a shame to limit yourself to just one hotel. In Corfu Town, try Bella Venezia, a beautifully restored, 19th-century neo-classical mansion on the fringe of the old town area. This 30-room, boutique property is all about personal service and luxurious surrounds in one of the city's landmark buildings. Though, you probably didn't come to Corfu just to stay in town. This Ionian island is also well known for its seaside villa accommodation, and we would suggest Corfu Luxury Villas, a five-star property overlooking the water at Barbati, just north of Corfu Town. See and


You have to love a Greek taverna, the more basic and stripped-back the better, and Tavernaki, in the northern port town of Kassiopi, is one such establishment. This waterfront diner is beautiful in its unremarkable nature: it's a bunch of tables set out on a tiled floor beneath bamboo shade cloths. The menu is full of taverna classics, grilled seafood and salads and a few pasta options. The drinks are cheap. The service is friendly and warm. And the views over Kassiopi harbour, sparkling under a beating sun, are exactly what you're looking for. See


Get yourself outside Corfu Town and this island is basically nothing but small villages and resort towns, some quaint and traditional, others bustling with sandal-wearing tourists. In the north of the island you'll find pebbly beaches in quiet bays, ringed by upmarket villas and boutique hotels. To the south, the beaches are sandier and the towns a little more traditional, and the best of those might just be Benitses. About 20 minutes south of Corfu Town, Benitses is the right blend of old-school and lively, with the charm of a traditional fishing port, as well as the facilities of a modern resort town. See


You're Australian, so you're desperate for a decent coffee. Ideally, a great coffee. A flat white that's rich and creamy, without a hint of bitterness. And we have good news for you: Koultoura Kafenion. This tiny bolthole on the edge of the Corfu old town, overlooking the port and the Venetian fortress, specialises in very good coffee, either Greek-style, or that longed-for flat white. By evening the cafe morphs into a wine bar, with a friendly crowd and some high-quality local drops available by the glass. No website, though visit at Donzelot 25, Kerkira.


Historic Corfu Town is blessed with several beautiful churches, though none more important than St Spyridon, inside the old town. This church houses the relics of the patron saint of Corfu, whose remains were moved from the then Constantinople after it fell to the Ottomans in 1453, then guarded by a local Corfiot family, and eventually shifted to this spot when the church was built in 1580. St Spyridon's relics are kept in a double sarcophagus that can be viewed by the public. The church's ceiling is another highlight, covered in murals depicting the saint's life. See


You won't spend long pondering why Venetian Well is called Venetian Well. A mere olive's throw from the alfresco tables in this quiet little square you will spot that titular structure, a now disused well built during Venetian rule. It makes for charming viewing as you peruse the menu, which brings fine-dining flair to traditional Greek cuisine, with the likes of fregola risotto with summer truffle, cod with wild artichoke cream, and veal fillet with goose foie gras. The wine list is exceptional too, taking in a wide variety of Greece's finest, as well as international selections. See


Give the touristy souvenir markets of the old town a miss for a while and make a detour to the Corfu Central Market, a living, working arcade that will be heaven for anyone who is into food (particularly if you're staying in an apartment with a kitchen). The market is predominantly about seafood, with 17 fishmongers all peddling the daily catch, though there are also multiple fruit and vegetable stands, as well as purveyors of local olives, honey, and Corfiot dried fig cake. A couple of cafes within the market will aid any stirring of appetite. See


Here's a great way to experience a lot of Corfu in a small amount of time, particularly if you're stopping off on a cruise. X Adventure Club runs four-wheel drive safaris of Corfu, six-hour journeys that focus on either the north-west or the south of the island. These tours are a mix of off-road and on, as you tour the rugged interior of Corfu, then check out a few hidden beaches and other attractions. In six hours, you'll check off more locations that many people see in six days. See


Visitors can stay in the residence of one of Corfu's most famous former inhabitants, the British author Lawrence Durrell. Durrell lived here in the 1930s, in the small seaside village of Kalami. His former home, known as the White House, is now a family-owned boutique hotel and restaurant, with a mix of large, villa-style accommodation and smaller apartments. Hire a boat, lie on the beach, or relax on the property with one of Durrell's novels. See


The writer travelled with assistance from Emerald Cruises.