Naturally spectacular, culturally vibrant, historically significant, and centrally located in the Mediterranean, Corfu is perfectly positioned to welcome cruisers from all over Europe and beyond. The Corfu cruise port welcomes most visitors during its busy tourist season, which runs between May and October.
Visitors can generally expect warm sunny weather and temperatures ranging between 15°C and 30°C.
If you’re looking for things to do near the Corfu port, I’ve got you covered. While you’ll only have one full day in Corfu, you can either opt for a ship tour or enjoy the area on your own.
The Euro is the currency of Corfu, and while the official language is Greek, many locals speak English.
Where Is The Corfu Cruise Port?
The expansive Corfu New Port (Neo Limani), located next to the historic Corfu Old Town, has room for several large cruise ships at any given time.
In fact, between 300 and 500 cruises make port here each year, delivering over 750,000 passengers to the island. It is one of the most popular Greek Islands and cruise destinations in the Mediterranean.
MSC, P&O, Costa, Virgin, and Royal Caribbean offer 7-day itineraries which stop in Corfu. Alternatively, you can book a one-way, otherwise known as a repositioning cruise. These start in one port and end in another. They could start in Southampton, England, Copenhagen cruise port or other countries.
From the port, visitors can easily explore the Corfu Old Town, 3 km from the port. Cruise lines generally have shuttles on hand, or you can use a taxi.
You can venture further into the island to discover its stunning beaches, charming villages, and historical sites. Of course, you can also purchase a shore excursion through your cruise line, which includes transportation.
Whether you seek ancient ruins, sun-soaked beaches, retail therapy, or mouthwatering cuisine, Corfu has something for everyone.
Navigating Corfu is simple. Taxis are generally affordable. There are also various tours and private transfer companies and a comprehensive public bus network servicing the island.
If you prefer to rent a car, rental cars are located directly outside the port gates. Here are some tips for renting a car in Corfu.
Visitors can enjoy a huge variety of activities throughout the island during their port day. With so many attractions, creating an itinerary of the most fascinating activities is essential to make the most of your time on this captivating island.
Explore The Historic Corfu Town
The first stop for cruisers disembarking in Corfu’s cruise port should be to immerse themselves in the Corfu Old Town. As a UNESCO world heritage site, it’s the best place to see historical architecture.
You don’t need a destination in mind. Instead, you can wander the maze of cobblestone streets amongst the tall Venetian buildings of the old town of Corfu.
However, if you are looking for beautiful and historically significant spots, there are plenty to choose from. Don’t miss the Church of Saint Spyridon. Named for Corfu’s patron saint, the church is one of the island’s most popular attractions.
Next, be sure to swing by Spianada Square. Admire the grandeur of this massive central plaza set on the Corfu sea wall in the shadow of the Old Corfu Fortress.
Nearby, you’ll find the Liston, a French promenade with charming cafes overlooking the square.
From Spianada Square, wander up to Corfu’s impressive Old Fortress. Open between 8 am and 8 pm each day, entry is €6 and offers visitors a glimpse into Corfu’s military history.
If the timing is right, you could witness one of the most spectacular sunset views Corfu Old Town has to offer.
Opposite the Old Fortress in Corfu’s old town, you’ll find the New Fortress. It was constructed under Venetian rule during the 17th and 18th centuries. Its massive walls and fortifications make for an impressive sight, and you can explore this fortress free of charge.
Corfu’s Old Town is also a great place to shop for local crafts, clothing, and olive oil made from local olive trees. Be sure to sample some of the fresh produce and local cuisine for which Corfu is famous.
Finally, round out your experience in the Corfu Old Town with a cold beer, local wine, or cocktail at one of Corfu Old Town’s best bars.
Discover The Achilleion Palace
History buffs won’t want to miss the impressive Achilleon Palace. This magnificent example of neoclassical architecture is just 25 minutes south of the old town.
Built in the late 19th century as a summer retreat for Empress Elisabeth of Austria, who fell in love with the island.
Built with an admiration for Greek mythology, the palace is named for Achilles and features many paintings and sculptures reflecting that. Most impressive is the statue of Achilles that stands guard in the palace’s gardens.
Designed by Italian architect Raffaele Caritto, the palace features a blend of architectural styles, primarily influenced by the neoclassical and Pompeian styles. Adorned with grand columns, statues, and intricate details, the palace is an impressive sight.
Inside is equally impressive, with lavish decorations, marble sculptures, beautiful frescoes, and ornate furnishings.
One of the palace’s most impressive features is its stunning gardens, which offer breathtaking views of the Ionian Sea. While this area contains seven Ionian Islands, Corfu Island is the northernmost.
The meticulously landscaped gardens are adorned with statues, fountains, and vibrant flowers. The grounds provide ample space for visitors to stroll, relax, and admire the beauty of the palace and its surroundings.
The palace also offers a fascinating glimpse into the island’s storied past. After Empress Elisabeth’s assassination in 1898, the palace changed hands several times.
It was later acquired by Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany in 1907, who used it as a summer residence.
During World War I, the palace served as a military hospital and headquarters. After the war, it became the property of the Greek state, which preserved it as a historical monument and popular tourist attraction.
Visit Corfu’s Most Scenic Beaches And Seaside Villages
Visit The Breathtaking Beaches Of Paleokastritsa
Venture to the enchanting village of Paleokastritsa. Located on the western side of the island, about 40 minutes drive through Corfu’s lush interior, Paleokastritsa features some of Corfu’s best beaches and sheltered coves as well as important historical sites.
Paleokastritsa is renowned for its beautiful sandy beaches, each with its own unique charm. The main beach, Agios Spyridon, is a popular choice with its soft golden sands and clear waters.
For a more secluded experience, head to La Grotta beach, tucked away in a cove and accessible only by boat or a short hike. Another must-visit beach is Paleokastritsa’s Paradise Beach, named for its heavenly beauty and tranquil atmosphere.
Exploring Paleokastritsa by boat is highly recommended. Take a boat trip to discover hidden caves and secluded beaches, including the famous Blue Eye Cave with its vibrant blue waters.
Enjoy the breathtaking coastal views, swim in the crystal clear waters, go scuba diving, or bask in the sun as you cruise along the coastline.
Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Paleokastritsa Monastery, perched on a hilltop overlooking the small village and the sea.
The monastery dates back to the 13th century and from its stone walls, offers panoramic views of the surrounding area. Inside, you can explore the museum, admire the Byzantine icons, and soak in the serene ambiance.
For adventure enthusiasts, Paleokastritsa offers a range of water sports activities. Try your hand at kayaking, snorkeling, or paddle boarding to explore the underwater world and the vibrant marine life.
Take In The Views At Sidari
The main attraction of Sidari is the beautiful beaches and stunning scenic outlooks. The long stretch of golden sand provides the perfect spot for sunbathing, while the crystal-clear waters invite visitors to swim and participate in water sports.
One of the most famous landmarks of Sidari is the Canal d’Amour, a series of unique rock formations that form small coves and channels. Legend has it that swimming through the canal can lead to finding true love.
Aside from its beautiful beaches, Sidari offers a wide range of activities and watersports, including banana boat rides and parasailing.
Boat trips are also available, taking visitors to nearby secluded beaches and caves. The resort is also home to various tavernas and bars that serve delicious local cuisine.
Enjoy The Charming Port Village Of Kassiopi
Located on the northeastern coast of the island, Kassiopi is a charming seaside village known for its tranquil atmosphere, historical sites, and beautiful harbor.
Kassiopi is a popular destination for those seeking a peaceful and picturesque getaway, offering a perfect blend of relaxation, culture, and scenic surroundings.
The harbor and waterfront area of Kassiopi, built around an old port, is one of the town’s highlights. Stroll along the promenade lined with traditional tavernas, cafes, and shops. Here, you can enjoy the serenity of the boats bobbing in the harbor.
Kassiopi features several stunning beaches where visitors can bask in the sun and swim in crystal-clear waters. The main beach, Kalamionas, is a Blue Flag beach with smooth pebbles and calm, inviting waters.
For a more secluded experience, head to Bataria Beach or Kanoni Beach, both offering peaceful surroundings and picturesque views.
No visit to Kassiopi is complete without exploring the ruins of the Venetian Castle. Located on a hill overlooking the beautiful village, the castle dates back to the 13th century and offers panoramic coastline views.
Walk through history as you explore the remnants of the castle walls and enjoy the breathtaking vistas.
Take In The Natural Wonder Of Agios Gordios
Agios Gordios is yet another charming coastal village located on the western coast of the Greek island of Corfu.
Nestled amidst lush green hills and overlooking the sparkling Ionian Sea, Agios Gordios offers a serene and picturesque setting for travelers seeking a relaxed beach getaway.
The main attraction of Agios Gordios is its stunning sandy beach, stretching for about 1.5 kilometers along the crystal-clear waters. The beach is framed by dramatic cliffs and surrounded by verdant vegetation, creating a tranquil and idyllic atmosphere.
Sun loungers and umbrellas are available for rent, allowing visitors to soak up the sun and enjoy the gentle sea breeze.
Beyond the beach, Agios Gordios offers a variety of activities and amenities. Choose from jet skiing, paddle boarding, and other water sports on offer. Boat trips are also available, allowing you to explore nearby caves and hidden coves.
Nature lovers will appreciate the hiking trails that lead through the surrounding hills, offering panoramic views of the coastline and the lush landscape.
Additionally, the nearby village of Pentati provides an opportunity to explore traditional Greek architecture and experience local village life.
The village itself has a laid-back and friendly atmosphere. You’ll find a selection of tavernas, beach bars, and shops along the main street, offering a taste of local cuisine and the opportunity to purchase souvenirs.
Photograph The Stunning Porto Timoni
Porto Timoni is a hidden gem located on the northwestern coast, and a must see in Corfu. It is a double bay with two stunning beaches separated by a narrow strip of land.
This unique natural formation offers visitors a truly picturesque and unspoiled coastal paradise. Plus, you’ll be able to see two of the best beaches in Corfu.
To reach Porto Timoni, visitors must embark on a scenic hike from the nearby village of Afionas. The trail winds through low scrub and offers breathtaking views of the Ionian Sea.
The journey is part of the adventure and adds to the allure of Porto Timoni. Once you reach Porto Timoni, the spectacular view over two magnificent beaches will greet you.
The turquoise waters, golden sands, and surrounding cliffs create a truly idyllic setting. Visitors can walk down to relax on the beach, swim in the clear waters, or explore the underwater world through snorkeling.
The absence of commercial development adds to the charm of Porto Timoni. There are no beachside facilities or water sports activities.
So, visitors can immerse themselves in the tranquility and natural beauty of the surroundings.
For those seeking a peaceful and off-the-beaten-path beach experience, Porto Timoni is a perfect choice. The untouched beauty and secluded location create a hidden paradise that genuinely captures the essence of Corfu’s coastal splendor.
Enjoy Corfu’s Renowned Cuisine
One of the best things to do before you depart Corfu is to sample some of the island’s delicious and unique cuisine.
The best way to get to know a culture is through its food, and the best way to sample Corfu’s legendary cuisine is at one of the many traditional tavernas found within the old town and around the island.
Corfu’s proximity to Italy has resulted in a variety of Italian-inspired dishes. You can sample dishes such as sofrito fried veal, served with a white sauce, and pastitsada, a casserole dish with veal and pasta.
Kleftiko is another favorite on the island. Imagine lamb bundled in parchment paper with potatoes, onion, peppers, local cheese, wine, herbs, and mustard and slow-cooked in a clay pot. Delicious!
Of course, as with all the Greek islands, seafood is popular, with fresh fish, octopus, squid, and shrimp appearing on almost every menu. Finally, remember to sample the island’s local cheeses, wines, and kumquats, for which the island is famous.
No matter how you plan to spend your port day in Corfu, you will find something worthwhile on this uniquely beautiful, historic, and naturally abundant Greek island.
Whether relaxing in the charming old town, discovering the island’s history, exploring its spectacular natural environments, or feasting on the delicious local cuisine, there’s something here for everyone.
This guest post was written by Kelli Lovett
Kelli is the author and creator of The Vanabond Tales, a travel blog focused on slow travel, minimalist travel adventures that are budget-friendly, outdoor-focused, and environmentally conscious. You’ll currently find her aboard her little sailboat Whisper sailing the Mediterranean.