The Ionian Sea and Greek coastline are rich with stunning cliffs, hidden sea caves, and picturesque islands. This is a great place to explore pristine beaches and tranquil coves.
If you’re staying on Corfu Island, you really should explore the surrounding sea and beautiful islands on a boat tour. Whatever your interests, you’ll find a cruise from Corfu that suits your tastes.
I’ve selected 5 of the top-rated tours that I believe are the best. All these tours offer surprisingly good value for money. Take a look at my reviews below and see which one would be best for you.
Be sure to see our other Greece boat tour reviews: Boat Trips From Athens, Boat Trips From Mykonos, Boat Trips From Santorini.
Quick Answer: The 5 Best Boat Trips From Corfu Island
- Day Cruise To Paxos, Antipaxos & The Blue Caves From Corfu
- Full-Day Cruise To The Blue Lagoon With Lunch & Syvota Visit
- Day Cruise To Paxi Islands & Blue Caves From Corfu Island
- Antipaxos & Paxos Blue Caves Boat Cruise From Corfu Island
- Corfu: Parga, Sivota & Blue Lagoon Full-Day Boat Cruise
We have reviewed the top rated boating tours from Corfu Island providing overviews and highlighting the details of each. We also make recommendations on staying in Corfu in our guide section.
Corfu Boat Trip Reviews
#1. From Corfu: Day Cruise To Paxos, Antipaxos, & The Blue Caves
- Departure Point: The Britannia Corfu Cruise Kiosk, Corfu Town Port
- Departure Time: 8:30 AM
- Duration: 11 hours
- Includes: Cruise to Paxos, expert guide, and licensed bar
If you want to explore the Paxi Islands, this is a great tour for you. Your cruise will take you to both the islands of Paxos and Anitpaxos, famous for its pristine beaches and fine wines.
Along their rugged coastline, you’ll have an opportunity to see the spectacular sea caves. When you anchor in Gaios, you’ll have the opportunity to swim in the Ionian Sea.
Explore Gaios, the picturesque capital of Anitpaxos. Enjoy a traditional Greek meal in a taverna or cool down with an ice-cream.
This is a very affordable way to explore the famous Paxi Islands, which legend says were created when Poseidon decided to make a holiday home for his wife and broke off the southern tip of Corfu with his trident.
For tour prices, transportation and availability:
#2. Full-Day Cruise To The Blue Lagoon With Lunch & Syvota Visit
- Departure Point: New Corfu Town Port
- Departure Time: 8:30 AM
- Duration: 7-10 hours
- Includes: Cruise, tour guide, snorkel equipment hire, licensed bar, and a homemade Greek meal
This cruise offers exceptionally good value for money. You’ll get to see the beautiful Greek coastline from the Ionian Sea and explore several islands off the western coastline.
The cruise will take you from Corfu toward the islands that lay off the western coastline of mainland Greece near the village of Syvota. There you’ll see beautiful sea caves carved by waves into the limestone cliffs, including the historic cave of Papanikolis.
After anchoring at Blue Lagoon Beach, you can use the snorkeling equipment provided to explore the crystal-clear waters of the Ionian Sea.
Once you’ve built up an appetite in the water, you’ll be offered a delicious homemade Greek meal with a soft drink or glass of wine.
Reaching the mainland, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the fishing village of Syvota. Why not enjoy a glass of ouzo in a local taverna?
For tour prices, transportation and availability:
#3. From Corfu Island: Day Cruise To Paxi Islands & Blue Caves
- Departure Point: Corfu’s Main Port
- Departure Time: 9:00 AM
- Duration: 7-12 hours
- Includes: Cruise to the Paxi Islands, tour guide, snorkeling equipment hire, and licensed bar
If you want to explore the other islands around Corfu, this is a great boat tour for you.
Your cruise will take you to the twin islands of Paxos and Antipaxos, and your tour guide will educate you about their important role in Greek mythology and history.
Around these islands, you’ll find many beautiful sea caves which are the habitat of the Mediterranean monk seal. In Antipaxos, your boat will anchor off Paradise Beach. There you’ll have the opportunity to use the snorkeling equipment provided to explore the warm blue water.
After enjoying your swim, you’ll be taken to the island’s capital of Gaios. There you can explore the town and maybe buy a few souvenirs.
Relax on this affordable, full-day cruise as you sail past the stunning coastline of Corfu and view the famous Venetian Old Fortress from the Ionian Sea.
For tour prices, transportation and availability:
#4. From Corfu Island: Antipaxos & Paxos Blue Caves Boat Cruise
- Departure Point: Corfu City Port
- Departure Time: 9:00 AM
- Duration: 7-12 hours
- Includes: boat cruise, tour guide, licensed bar, and snorkeling equipment hire
This is a wonderful boat tour for anybody who loves rugged coastline views and swimming. You’ll cruise past the old Venetian fortresses of Corfu City, sail south along the eastern coastline of Corfu, before heading out to visit the twin islands of Paxos and Antipaxos.
Along the coastline of Paxos, you’ll get to see inside one of its famous blue caves, where the crystal-clear, blue waters contrast with the white limestone cliffs. Then the ship will anchor near the picturesque village of Lakka on the northern tip of Paxos.
You can choose to snorkel off the coast of Lakka with the equipment provided or explore the narrow streets of this sleepy village. Because this is such a low-cost cruise, you’ll have plenty of money left to buy some fantastic souvenirs or maybe enjoy a glass of ouzo in a local taverna.
Your cruise will also take you to Antipaxos, where you’ll anchor off Paradise Beach. There you can swim in the turquoise water or make use of the snorkeling equipment. On the return journey to Corfu, you’ll also see the tiny islands of Mongonisi and Skaltsonisi.
For tour prices, transportation and availability:
#5. Corfu: Parga, Sivota & Blue Lagoon Full-Day Boat Cruise
- Departure Point: Pick up from pre-specified locations
- Departure Time: TBA
- Duration: 10-12 hours
- Includes: Boat cruise, tour guide, and snorkel equipment hire
This cruise explores the stunning western coastline of mainland Greece in depth. From Corfu, you’ll cross over to Parga before sailing up the coastline toward Syvota.
Parga is a beautiful village overlooked by the ancient Castle of Parga. The castle was first built by locals in the 11th century to protect them from the Ottomans.
The Venetians built a much stronger castle in the 13th century, that was destroyed by the Ottomans. The current Venetian castle dates from 1572 and boasts many fine architectural features.
Sailing up the western coastline of mainland Greece, you’ll see beautiful cliffs and isolated islands. Arriving in the area of Syvota village, you’ll cruise around the small islands just off the coast.
Anchoring at Blue Lagoon Beach on one of these islands, you’ll have the opportunity to snorkel using the provided equipment.
For tour prices, transportation and availability:
Corfu Travel Guide
Once the exclusive playground of European royalty and millionaires, now you too can enjoy the beauty of this incredible island. Corfu, known as Kerkyra to the people who live there, is rich in history and stunning landscapes.
Because of its strategic location, Corfu is one of the most fortified islands in the world. Corfu City itself is almost surrounded by two large fortresses, and there are dozens of military structures around the coastline.
But all these castles fail to keep away modern invaders as youths from around Europe and the world descend on Corfu each summer to turn it into a party island. Whether you want to hike up mountains, visit historic ruins, or party on the beach, you’ll find something you love to do in Kerkyra.
Airports & Entry
There are 2 ways to reach Corfu: by air or sea.
Although the population of the island is only 112,000, Corfu International Airport deals with almost 3½ million passengers a year. Because of this, the Greek government is in the process of expanding and modernizing the airport. But at the moment, the airport is pretty basic.
When landing, watch out for the pretty landmarks. You’ll get stunning views of Vlaherna Monastery and Pontikonisi Island. Arriving at the airport, you’ll find a single, small terminal. During the summer high season, expect long queues and delays.
The terminal contains bars, 10 restaurants, a Press Gate news agency, a post office, and a duty-free shop. 7 of the food outlets are Airside. These airport-based businesses are seasonal, so they might not be open if you arrive during winter
The airport does provide Wi-Fi, but you may have difficulty finding charging points. Hopefully that problem, along with the summer overcrowding, will be resolved when the extension is completed.
There is an information desk in the terminal. If you have a medical emergency, you should seek help there. You’ll find ATMs and a OneXchange currency exchange booth in the terminal.
The airport is only 2 miles away from Kerkyra (Corfu) city. The easiest way to get there is by public bus. Bus No. 15 runs into the city center and you can buy your ticket from the driver for €1.70. You can obtain details of the route from Corfu City Bus.
If you prefer the freedom of driving your own vehicle, you can rent a car at the airport from Avis, Budget, Europcar, Green Motion, Hertz, or Sixt.
Alternatively, there is a taxi rank at the airport. Taxis are metered, and the fare into the city center should cost around €10.00.
You can also reach Kerkyra (Corfu) by ferry from Igoumenitsa and Patra in Greece or from ports in both Italy and Albania. There are no direct ferries from Athens.
Because of Corfu’s position near the border with Albania and at the most northwesterly point of Greece, it’s actually a lot easier to get from Corfu to Italy or Albania than to Athens.
Most people who arrive by ferry cross from Igoumenitsa, a city on the northwestern coast of Greece. Ferries make the 1½-hour crossing from Igoumenitsa to Kerkyra city once every hour daily. The ferry costs approximately €11.00 per person and €41.00 for cars.
There is also a quicker ferry from Igoumenitsa to Lefkimmi in the south of Corfu that only takes 1 hour. This quicker ferry operates once every 4 hours daily. This ferry costs around €7.00 per person and €25.00 for cars.
Corfu is a fascinating island and I’m sure you’ll have lots of fun. Here are 5 tips to help you on your way.
Tip #1: Go at the best time of year for you
Summer is the best time to go to enjoy the lively nightlife and sunny beaches of Corfu. Many beach clubs remain open during the shoulder seasons, but during winter the beach resorts hibernate. If your main interest is the rich history and culture of the islands, then the shoulder seasons of spring and fall are great times to visit.
Tip #2: Book tickets in advance, especially during summer
Tourists flock to Corfu, especially during summer. If you want to ensure you secure the accommodation and tours you want, book in advance. The best tour companies allow you to cancel with a full refund if you give reasonable notice. Just enquire into cancelation policies when you book.
Tip #3: Take out comprehensive medical insurance
Medical treatment and repatriation costs are very expensive in Corfu, so ensure you’re sufficiently protected. If you are involved in an accident, or have any kind of emergency, the telephone number to ring is 100. NOT 911!
While most pharmacies open regular shop hours Monday to Saturday, there is always one open in Corfu City during the night and at weekends for emergencies.
Tip #4: Wear sensible shoes
If you plan to hike up mountains or explore ruins, make sure you take along some sensible shoes. And if you’re going to be swimming and snorkeling, make sure you have some waterproof shoes so you can easily transfer from water to land without causing any damage to your feet.
Tip #5: Carry cash
Many smaller tavernas and stores in Greece often don’t take card payments. So, when you go shopping or out for a meal, make sure you have sufficient cash for your purposes. You don’t want to miss out on the perfect souvenir because you relied on a credit card.
Restaurants & Eating Out
Corfu’s position in the far north of Greece near Venice and Albania along with its long history of occupation by other countries means Corfiot cuisine is a melting pot of styles. Venetian and Greek are the strongest influences, but French cooking methods and eastern spices have found their way here.
Compared to the more southerly Greek islands, Corfu is cooler and wetter. This means the farms produce great vegetables. You’ll find that seafood and vegetables are important in Corfiot cooking. And with so many vineyards around the Ionian Islands, you’ll also find lots of wine used in local dishes.
Corfu’s historical role in international shipping led to the introduction of a broad range of imported spices. In traditional Corfiot cuisine, you’ll find allspice, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg along with many others.
An example of a Venetian dish with added spices is nouboulo (Corfiot prosciutto). This popular dish is made from cured pork loin with black pepper, oregano, and salt. The pork is stuffed into a pig’s intestine and smoked then dried.
But the most famous ingredient in local cuisine that is not indigenous to the island is kumquats. The kumquat is a citrus tree originally from Asia. The kumquat tree was introduced to Corfu during its period of British control and has since become important in both food and liquor production on the island.
Perhaps the single most famous dish in Corfu is pastitsada, which is sometimes called pazztisada. It displays clean Venetian influences and is traditionally served for Sunday dinner. You’ll find it on the menu in any traditional taverna.
Pastitsada is a casserole made to a traditional recipe featuring local wine, meat with tomatoes, onions, garlic, and olive oil seasoned with bay leaves, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, and paprika. The meat is most often beef or chicken, and the dish is served with pasta, usually macaroni.
An interesting and pungent traditional dish is Sofrito. Sofrito means “to slowly fry”, which gives you a clue as to how it’s cooked. Beef is slowly fried with an incredible quantity of garlic.
To this are added wine, carrots, celery, onions, parsley, and black pepper. The specific kind of garlic used is kakavilia, which is a locally grown variety with red-purple skin and tiny bulbs.
Of course, there are fish-based dishes. Fish bianco is popular, which is fish and potato simmered with white wine and lots of olive oil and garlic. The fish is typically seabass or cod. Fish bianco is seasoned with cloves and black pepper.
Another fish dish is fish bourdeto. This is a fish soup typically made with skate and the addition of lots of spices, especially paprika.
Vegetarians will be relieved to discover there’s a traditional vegetable pie on the island. Zorka are pies made using seasonal vegetables and a pastry shell. Common vegetables include zucchini, pumpkin, and onion. You will also see cheese pies of a similar shape.
And the most popular traditional dessert is also a pie. Sikomaida is a sweet fig pie made by crushing figs with walnuts and pepper and adding ouzo.
Other than these traditional Corfiot dishes, you’ll also come across the standard Greek dishes you can find anywhere in Greece. These include Greek salad, moussaka, mezes, and those delicious, nutty baklavas.
Nightlife & Entertainment
Much of Corfu’s nightlife is concentrated in the streets of the Old Town and the resorts: Dassia, Glyfada, Ipsos, Kavos, and Sidari.
Around the Old Town, you’ll find cafés, bars, and live music venues that open until midnight. Many of these congregate around Liston Square and the Esplanade. In summer, the Esplanade hosts many free concerts by bands and orchestras.
Many of the larger and most popular nightclubs are found in the popular beach resorts. In the village of Dassia is the Edem Beach Club, which is one of the most popular nightspots on the island. The bar opens from 11 am for coffees and snacks but turns into a club after sunset. In the summer, you’ll find international DJs hosting parties with House music every night.
In Glyfada, you can find the Pazuzu beach bar. This bar prides itself on its food, but is renowned for its late-night, after beach parties hosted by well-known DJs. The bar also boasts one of the prettiest, sandy beaches on the island and stunning sunsets.
In Ipsos, the Mojitos is a popular dance club. You get free admission when you buy a drink. During the summer, this club is famous for its themed parties.
The Atlantis is an extremely lively club on the main street of Kavos. The club hosts daily “festivals”, including its immensely popular “Foam party” and rather messy “Paint till the full moon party”. The Atlantis also boasts private beach access and a barbecue area.
If you’re looking for something a little different, Babylon is a popular cabaret bar in the center of Sidari. Here you’ll hear 80s tunes and dance in a setting surrounded by disco memorabilia and glitterballs. The karaoke here is great for both families and couples. The music ranges from the 50s to the 90s.
Corfu is a relatively small island. The longest distance you might travel is between Sidari and Kavos, which is 50 miles and takes about 2 hours in a car. The easiest way to get from one village to another is by bus, but the best way to get around in Corfu city center is on foot.
There are two bus companies operating services in Corfu: Green Buses and Corfu City Bus. To get around Kerkyra (Corfu) city and to go to the airport, you use Corfu City Bus. But to visit other settlements and resorts on the island, you take one of the Green Buses.
Fares on both kinds of bus are very reasonable. You can buy an unlimited day ticket from Corfu City Bus for €5 and the most you’ll ever have to pay on a Green Bus is €7.50.
For unlimited freedom, you can always rent a car. The cheapest way to do this is to book in advance online and pick up your rental car from the airport.
You can rent a car in Corfu from Avis, Budget, Europcar, Green Motion, Hertz, or Sixt. However, because of Greek driving laws, you won’t be able to rent a car without an International Driving Permit.
Be careful on Corfu’s roads because they are narrow and include many sharp turns and hidden bends. In fact, you may find it easier to rent a moped rather than a car, since they can more easily navigate Corfu’s maze of alleyways. Using a cell phone while driving is illegal and may result in a heavy fine.
Within villages and the city, it’s much easier to walk around. There are lots of tight alleyways where it’s difficult to maneuver a vehicle. And the villages are small, so it’s easy to walk around.
For short journeys you don’t want to walk, you can take a taxi. However, be cautious. Drivers often don’t use their meters and may overcharge. Agree on a fare for your destination before you set off.
Corfu Island has many hotels, hostels, and apartments scattered all around the island. Where you decide to stay largely depends on what you want to do during your visit.
If you’re mainly interested in the history and culture of Corfu, then you should probably stay in or near Corfu City. But if you’re coming for the nightlife or the beaches, then one of the popular beach resorts would be a better place to stay.
If you’re visiting Corfu during winter, then you should certainly stay in or near Corfu City. The restaurants and stores in other areas may be closed for the offseason, but the capital is open year-round.
The hotels nearest to Corfu City are found in the nearby settlements of Benitses, Dassia, Gouvia, Ipsos, and Perama. The most popular beach resorts are found around Agios Georgios, Archaravi, Glyfada, Kavos, Paleokastritsa, Roda, and Sidari.
If you want to stay in the Old Town of Corfu City itself, Arcadion Hotel is a highly rated affordable hotel on Booking.Com and TripAdvisor. But if you prefer something more historical and upmarket, then the Siorra Vittoria Hotel is a restored mansion built in 1823 that provides both a central location and a touch of Georgian luxury.
North of the center you’ll find the suburb of Mantouki. This is a quieter area away from the tourist hotspots but still rich in historic buildings. It’s also ideally positioned for the ferry port. You won’t find many hotels in this residential area, but AirBnB lists 300 apartments available for holiday rental.
South of the center is Garitsa Bay, an upmarket area of the city and home to an exclusive yacht club. This is a beautiful area with great views of the Old Fort. Here you’ll find an assortment of luxury hotels, such as the Corfu Palace Hotel and Mayor Mon Repos Art Hotel.
The little peninsula south of the city center is called Kanoni. It’s actually the site of the original capital of Corfu and is named after the cannons positioned here that once protected the bay. This area is less convenient than other areas, but you’ll find cheaper accommodation. For example, the Royal Boutique Hotel and the Corfu Holiday Palace.
If you’re coming to Corfu for the wild nightlife on one of the major beach resorts, then Kavos is probably the best area for you. Kavos offers the cheapest accommodation on the island but also boasts most of the top nightclubs. Check out the Quayside Village Hotel. One glance at their website will tell you all you need to know about their usual clientele. Other popular hotels include Morfeas and the Kavos Plaza.
For a beach holiday with a less wild nightlife, consider Paleokastritsa. This is a small northern resort surrounded by pines and featuring 6 pretty bays with emerald water. There’s also a scenic hike to a Byzantine fortress on an overlooking hilltop. Here you’ll find midrange hotels, like the Zefiros Traditional Hotel and the Golden Fox Complex.
In the middle of the west coast, you can find a laid-back resort popular with families and backpackers alike. Agios Gordios is surrounded by lush green mountains and features a family-friendly beach lined with traditional tavernas that offer stunning sunset views.
For a family-oriented holiday, consider Sebastian’s Family Hotel or Sea Breeze. For backpacking, the infamous Pink Palace backpackers’ resort, where those who love to rough it congregate to party.
Corfu has a hot-summer, Mediterranean climate, which makes it a great destination for sunbathing in summer but better for hiking during spring and fall.
You’ll find the summer very sunny and hot. August is the hottest month, when average temperatures range from 660F to 880F. It’s still sunny in the fall, but the rainy season begins in late September and there’s less sunshine during October. In November, average temperatures range from 500F to 660F.
The temperature drops from November, and the coldest month is January, with average temperatures from 410F to 570F. In spring, the bright sunshine returns by April. The rain grows less by the week until it becomes rarer in May. Temperatures increase gradually between March and May. In April, the average temperatures range from 490F to 660F.
Due to its important strategic location in the Ionian Sea, Corfu has served as an island fortification for many powerful empires as they fought for dominance over the Mediterranean region. The island has been controlled by Rome, Byzantium, Venice, France, Britain, and Greece, all leaving behind traces in the buildings, streets, and traditional food.
Corfu Old Town
Corfu City’s Old Town is awash with historic attractions. A walk around its ancient cobbled streets can become an architectural exploration of the island’s history.
The Old Fortress and the New Fortress were both built by Venice in the 16th century. The Esplanade is a promenade and park built by the French. The neoclassical Palace of St. Michael and St. George was constructed between 1819 and 1824 by the British and now houses the Corfu Museum of Asian Art.
The Old Fortress was constructed by the Venetians between 1545 and 1555 and separated from the rest of the city by a moat. It replaced ancient Byzantine fortifications and was designed to protect the island from the Ottoman Empire. The Venetians began building the New Fortress in 1577. It was later expanded by both the French and the British.
In the sea near Corfu City, you can see two of the most iconic landmarks of Corfu. One is the Panagia Vlacherna Monastery and the other is Pontikonisi, or Mouse Island.
The 17th-century Vlacherna Monastery is built on a tiny islet near Halkiopoulos Lagoon. The church and monastery complex takes up so much of the available land on the island that it looks like the monastery buildings are sitting in the sea. The island may be accessed by crossing a narrow wharf.
From the monastery, you can get the best views of Mouse Island. This tiny island is only opened to the public one day every year on August 6th when visitors come to see the famous 11th-century Byzantine chapel of Pantokrator.
In the village of Gastouri 6 miles south of Corfu City, you can find one of the most popular attractions on the island. The 19th-century Achilleion Palace was built for the Elisabeth of Bavaria, the Empress of Austria. She spent her summers here surrounded by neoclassical architecture, sculptures, and symmetrical gardens.
The Canal de l’Amour
Near the village of Sidari is the Canal de l’Amour. This is a naturally formed series of narrow inlets through sandstone cliffs. Here you’ll see many stunning rock formations, such as hidden caves and stone arches. Snorkeling is a popular activity in the sea surrounding the Canal de l’Amour.
The highest point on the island is Mount Pantokrator. The 2-hour hike from Perithia Village to the summit is popular, and the panoramic view from the top makes it worthwhile. Near the top is the 14th-century Pantokrator Monastery.
From the summit, you can see all of Corfu, the islands of Paxos to the south, across to the mainland to the east, and the coastline of Albania to the north. On a very clear day, you can even see Italy to the west.
Corfu Donkey Rescue
If you’re on a family vacation, your kids will love the Corfu Donkey Rescue. Homeless donkeys that have been abandoned live out their retirement in this beautiful island sanctuary.
Visitors are welcome to come and make a fuss of the 500 rescued donkeys between 10 am and 5 pm daily. You’ll find the shelter in the north of the island near the village of Doukades.
Corfu Golf Club
If you’re a serious golf enthusiast, you’ll love this artfully landscaped, 18-hole golf course. It makes use of natural landmarks, such as lakes and the Nafsika River, to create a challenging and beautiful course. You’ll find this popular golf club in the Ropa Valley, some 9 miles west of Corfu City. The club offers golf clubs for hire and is open daily.
The Ionian Islands
There are many small islands scattered across the Ionian Sea, including the famous twin islands of Paxos and Antipaxos. While you’re in Corfu, why not explore the surrounding sea and visit some of the other islands? The Paxi Islands are famous for their wine and role in Greek mythology. You can explore sea caves and idyllic, coastal villages.
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