There’s nothing quite like a relaxing holiday on the Greek Islands. While the Cyclades like Santorini and Mykonos rightfully get a lot of attention, those who choose to visit Corfu are in for a real treat.
Located in the northwest of the country in the Ionian Sea, just off the coast of the border with Albania, Corfu is a green and mountainous island with stunning views, natural beauty, and some of the best beaches in the region. Delicious Greek food, fun water sports, mountain trails, and gorgeous beaches for relaxing just begins to describe the fun that can be had in Corfu.
The main town, Corfu Town or Kerkyra, is home to an international airport with connections to the rest of Greece and most places in Europe. There are also constant ferries to the Greek mainland, as well as to Albania and Italy, making the island easily reachable, especially in the summer high season.
Corfu has some of the best hotels and vacation rentals that the Greek Islands have to offer. Whether you are looking for a luxury resort on a beautiful beach or a basic studio in a picturesque village, Corfu has more than enough accommodation options in various areas to choose from.
After several trips to Corfu, I can confidently provide some advice on where to stay in Corfu in terms of areas and hotels. The island is quite large, and every corner of it is different, so use this advice as a guide to deciding where to base your trip.
Discover the fascinating history of Corfu on this walking tour. You’ll see the historic, cultural and architectural footprints left by the Venetians, French and British. Soak up the atmosphere of the city as you stroll through the alleways and squares of the historic center. Visit the Old Fortress, a fortress dating back to Venetian times. Immerse yourself in Corfu’s melting pot of cultures and witness the impact this had on the island’s inhabitants.
Experience all that the beautiful island of Corfu has to offer with a customized private tour. Your local guide will show you all the best that the island has to offer, from its famous landmarks to hidden gems, and help you tailor your day according to your interests. You’ll be able to take in all the sights and sounds of Corfu at your own pace, making this the perfect way to get the most out of your time on the island.
Explore the beautiful island of Corfu by sailboat on this private charter cruise. This cruise is perfect for small groups of up to 8 people and is customizable to your group’s preferences. You’ll enjoy stunning views of Old Town Corfu, the Old Fortress, Garitsa Bay, Vido Island, and Pontikonissi island as you sail along the coast. In addition, you’ll have the opportunity to take a refreshing swim and take advantage of the complimentary snorkeling gear. Enjoy unlimited beer, wine, and soda as well as delicious snacks during your cruise.
Best Areas to Stay in Corfu
- Best area for first-timers/tourists – Corfu Town
- Best area for budget travelers – Sidari
- Best area for luxury travelers – Moraitika & Messonghi
- Best area for safety – Kassiopi
- Best area for families – Agios Georgios
- Best area for adventures – Palaiokastritsa
- Best area for nightlife – Kavos
- Best area for younger travelers – Benitses
Where to Stay in Corfu, Greece
1. Corfu Town: Best Area for First-Timers
If in doubt about where to stay in Corfu, a good choice is Corfu Town. Located on the central part of the east coast, this is Corfu’s capital and economic center, where you’ll find the airport and main ferry port. The entire old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Kerkyra is full of ancient Greek history. Rather than the white buildings and blue shutters that the Cyclades are known for, the Corfu old town is full of cobblestone streets and Venetian architecture dating from the time of their rule centuries ago. Two massive fortresses, the newer one being built by the Venetians in the 16th century, guard the town on either side.
One of Greece’s most popular holiday destinations, Corfu Town provides easy access to the rest of the island thanks to its central location. If you don’t plan on renting a car, the Green Buses that connect all the villages of the island start and end at the station in Corfu Town, which is within walking distance to the main sights. Boat trips also depart from the port to picturesque bays and lovely beaches of places like Syvota on the Greek mainland, the nearby islands of Paxos and Antipaxos, and Ksamil on the Albanian Riviera.
First and foremost, you’ll want to spend some time simply wandering the pedestrianized streets of the Corfu old town. You’ll find plenty of tavernas serving local cuisine, souvenir shops to bring home memories, and buildings and churches that are hundreds or thousands of years old. You’ll have to venture out to neighboring villages for beaches, but here are some of the best things to do in Corfu Town:
- Old Fortress of Corfu Town
- New Venetian Fortress
- Holy Church of Saint Spyridon
- Mon Repos Estate
- The Archaeological Museum of Corfu
- Boat trips to off-island destinations
No matter where you decide to stay in Corfu, a visit to Corfu Town is highly recommended. Even just an evening there for dinner is enough to enjoy its history and charm. But if you decide that you want to be centrally located and choose a hotel or rental in Corfu Town, here are our top recommendations:
See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in Santorini, Greece
2. Sidari: Best Area for Budget Travelers
If you don’t mind traveling a bit into the Corfu countryside, the beautiful beach town of Sidari is an excellent choice. It’s a great place for budget travelers, thanks to the lower prices that result from its remote location, but also one of the most scenic coastlines on the island.
Sidari is one of the resort towns on the north-west coast of Corfu, located near the western tip of the island. It’s about an hour’s drive from Corfu Town or a bit longer on the bus. Those who make the trip will be rewarded with golden sand beaches, water sports activities, and relaxed beach bars.
Besides the sandy coves that most resorts are found on, the coastline here is dramatic and rocky, with towering cliffs of sculpted sandstone. To the west of the village center is the Kanali tou Erouta, or Channel of Lovers, which is one of the main attractions in Sidari. This long, narrow cove surrounded by small cliffs with a small beach at the end is the main blue-flag beach of the north coast, and it makes for an incredibly beautiful photo.
Off the coast, there are a few tiny islets of the same rock type emerging from the water, which are fun to paddle board or pedal boat to. Sidari Beach is just a short walk to the east and is a relaxing place to swim or sunbathe. As you can see, Sidari is mostly about beautiful beaches and amazing scenery – here is a summary of the top things to see here:
- Kanali tou Erouta (Channel of Lovers)
- Paralia Sidari (Sidari Beach)
- Paddle Boarding, Pedal Boating, Motor Boating, and other water sports
- Cape Drastis Viewpoints and Hiking
- Ferry to Ereikoussa and Othonoi
Once again, even if you don’t choose to stay in Sidari, I’d highly recommend making a visit to this picturesque place during your time in Corfu. But if a laid-back resort town at a great price sounds like your type of location, here are some of the best accommodations in Sidari:
3. Kassiopi: Best Area for Safety
One of my other favorite places to visit in Corfu is a small fishing village on the northeast coast called Kassiopi. It sits at the eastern tip of northern Corfu, across from a tiny straight that separates the island from the country of Albania.
In fact, one piece of advice for visiting Kassiopi is to make sure your phone will only connect to Greek telecom networks – it’s not hard to pick up an Albanian signal, and roaming charges are expensive! But don’t let that, or the windy road along the coast that you’ll have to take to access the village, deter you. This is one of the most beautiful spots in Corfu.
A tiny, picturesque port lined with tavernas and shops sits on one side of a giant rock, with the town’s main beach on the other. The road leading from the port to the main road also has more dining and shopping, and if you’re taking the bus, it will drop you there. Its small size and relaxed atmosphere make it a very safe place to stay on the island – not that you should be worried in other places, though.
The ancient Kassiopi Castle sits atop the giant rock between the port and the beaches, with a short hike leading to it. It’s always amazing to see the ruins of such old treasures in Greece, but I prefer to head straight to Bataria Beach on the other side, a shingle beach (meaning made of pebbles or small rocks) with fairly-priced umbrellas and chairs for rent.
Pipitos and Kanoni are other beautiful beaches within walking distance. To summarize, here is what you’ll want to see in Kassiopi:
- Kassiopi Castle
- Delicious Greek food at the restaurants around the port
- Bataria Beach
- Pipitos Beach
- Kanoni Beach
As usual, please do make a trip to Kassiopi whether you choose to stay there or not! If you decide that this is where you want to be on Corfu, know that the town mostly just has small boutique hotels and vacation rentals like these, each with an outdoor swimming pool:
See Related: Best Gardens in Europe to Visit
4. Moraitika & Messonghi: Best Area for Luxury Travelers
My accommodation of choice when visiting Corfu is always Moraitika. This small, local village is about a 45-minute drive down the eastern coastal road from Corfu Town and about halfway to the southern tip of the island. The neighboring village of Messonghi is directly next to it, so we’ll group them as one for simplicity.
Driving through them, you might not think anything special of Moraitika or Messonghi. The villages are not particularly picturesque, and the beaches are comparable to others on Corfu. The reason to stay in this part of the island is that you can find some of the best luxury properties here.
We’ll get into the specifics below, but this is where you can find large resorts with multiple swimming pools, private beaches, five-star dining, and spa facilities. If you are a chain hotel lover or a points person, a wonderful Marriott property is here and happens to be my absolute favorite.
When you’re not lying on a beach chair or being pampered in a treatment room, there are some very fun things to do in this part of Corfu. A great water sports center is on Moraitika Beach, and some boat trips leave from nearby docks. In my opinion, the best restaurant on Corfu is here as well: it’s called The Village Taverna, and you’ll want to make a reservation. To summarize, here is what you’ll find in Moraitika and Messonghi:
- Luxury resorts, such as the Domes Miramare
- Water Fun Park Moraitika – a floating obstacle course
- Messonghi Boats for Rent, with no license required
- Pegasus Boat Tours
- The Village Taverna (don’t miss)
If that all sounds great to you, there are plenty of accommodation options in Moraitika and Messonghi. The location of these villages is a bit distant from other things to see on Corfu, so I recommend renting a car for your stay. Here are some of the best hotels in the area (can you guess which beautiful hotel is my favorite?):
5. Palaiokastritsa: Best Area for Adventures
Arguably the most popular place to stay in Corfu besides Corfu Town is Palaiokastritsa, a cliffside village on the west coast of the island. You’ll see varying spellings of its name, including Paleokastritsa, Palaeokastritsa, and others. Take it slowly – you’ll see it’s not that hard to pronounce in the end.
Beach lovers will be in heaven here, as besides having a big, sandy beach in town, there are countless others in between the cliffs and rocks of the shoreline. There are also hikes that lead to stunning views and surreal coves that can only be accessed by boat, making this part of Corfu the best place to have adventures.
The main beach is called Agios Spiridon. It sits in a large cove surrounded by cliffs, one of which has a beautiful Greek monastery at the top. Traveling along the main road will reveal countless more small beaches below, most of which will require some stairs to access.
While the beaches here are absolutely gorgeous, my favorite thing to do here is to rent a boat and see some even more remote ones. There are plenty of rental stands along the coast, but I prefer Michalas Boat Rentals. From their dock, you can cruise along the cliffs to sea caves, tiny islets, and some of the most unreal deserted beaches in the country.
As you can tell, Palaiokastritsa is a top beach destination in Corfu. But there is more to do here, including hikes, an aquarium, and an ancient Byzantine castle at the top of a mountain. In summary, here are the best things to do in Palaiokastritsa:
- Agios Spiridon Beach
- Boat rental to Paradise Beach and the Blue Eye Cave
- Corfu Aquarium
- Holy Monastery of Palaiokastritsa
- Angelokastro Castle
- Various hikes along the cliffs
Palaiokastritsa is a must-see destination in Corfu whether you stay there or not, in my opinion. If you choose to stay in the town to take advantage of all it has to offer, here are some of its top accommodations:
See Related: Best Honeymoon Destinations in the World
6. Benitses: Best Area for Younger Travelers
Benitses, sometimes spelled Mpenitses, is a coastal town on the east side of Corfu, about 30 minutes south of Corfu Town and just north of Moraitika. This small town sits on the narrow space between the beach and the foot of the mountains behind it, making it compact and walkable.
Young people and couples like to stay in Benitses for its lively nature, many bars and restaurants, and lots of fun to be had in the water. A large marina offers many options for boat tours and sunset cruises, while a water sports center offers a floating obstacle course, boat rentals, and more.
Benitses has several stretches of narrow, sandy beaches with chairs and umbrellas available for rent at a reasonable price. Just behind them, across the main road, you’ll find plenty of tavernas, pizzerias, and other restaurants. When the sun sets, the day isn’t over in Benitses, and you’ll find plenty of places to enjoy music and an Aperol.
This beach town is one for outdoor fun and offers just a handful of non-water-based activities. However, its location allows for easy access to Corfu Town and many other locations on the island. Here is a summary of what to do in Benitses:
- Relax on Benitses Beach
- Rent a boat from Benitses Watersports and cruise the calm waters
- Take a sunset cruise from Benitses Marina
- Visit the Roman Baths ruins
- Eat and drink at the beachfront tavernas and bars
Benitses can be a lot of fun, and you don’t necessarily need a car if you are happy with the activities it has to offer, as the bus from Corfu Town is relatively fast and convenient. If you’d like to make this your destination on Corfu, here are our top picks:
7. Kavos: Best Area for Nightlife
Corfu may not have the same reputation as islands like Mykonos or Ibiza for nightlife, but there are definitely places to party until sunrise on this Greek island. If that’s what you’re looking for, look to the town of Kavos on the south coast of Corfu.
Kavos is the southernmost town on the island, and it will take you more than an hour to reach it from Corfu Town by car and a bit longer by bus. But once you’re here, there’s a sandy beach, a floating water park, and plenty of bars and clubs packed with vacationers and locals alike.
During the day, you’ll probably be lying on a beach chair under an umbrella relaxing before night falls. You might be interested in renting a paddle board or jet ski in between or riding a banana boat with friends. There are also a few great hiking trails through the olive groves and up to clifftop viewpoints nearby.
Once the sun goes down, the crowd in Kavos seems to double. Several nightclubs and bars line the beach and the streets of the town, bringing young people from all over Europe. Plenty more finish the night with drinks on the sand under the moonlight.
Don’t forget to enjoy the beauty of Corfu in between the parties! Here are some of the top things to do and see in and around Kavos:
- Water sports and the floating water park
- Hike the Arkoudilas Path to its empty beach or clifftop viewpoint
- Take a ferry from nearby Lefkimmi to the Greek mainland or the beautiful nearby islands of Paxos and Antipaxos
- And, of course… dance the night away at clubs like Rollings Stones Bar Kavos and Snobs Bar Kavos
Kavos is certainly your place if you’re looking for a party vacation. If you aren’t and would rather relax, you might want to avoid Kavos, as the noise and crowds might bother you. Here are some of vacationers’ favorite places to stay in Kavos:
8. Agios Georgios: Best Area for Families
The west coast of Corfu is far less populated than the other parts due to the mountains and cliffs that border the sea. However, these conditions create the ideal setting for the villages on the few beaches that interrupt the rocky coastline, such as Agios Georgios.
Located in the southern part of Corfu, it will take you about an hour to reach Agios Georgios from town and the airport. However, be careful when doing research – there is another town of the same name in Corfu’s north (although it is lovely as well). A long, sandy beach with soft sand awaits as you make your way through the olive groves to this small seaside town.
The quiet atmosphere and spacious beach with calm water make Agios Georgios an ideal destination for families. Kids will have a ton of fun in the calm, clear water, while parents may be just as content with the natural beauty of this area.
The bigger beach in town is called Issos Beach, which has large dunes and a sandy, gently sloping bottom. Lakkiess Beach, to the south, is a bit smaller, with some rocks that make for great pictures. Further north is Halikounas Beach, which is separated by Lake Kourisson by some narrow dunes and makes for a great kitesurfing spot.
Southwestern Corfu is a lot of fun, thanks to its unique shoreline and remoteness. Here are some of the beaches and activities available in and around Agios Georgios:
- Issos Beach, Lakkiess Beach, and Halikounas Beach
- Kitesurfing and sailboarding
- Boat rentals to explore some of the more distant, secluded shorelines
- Spiderforest hiking trail (yes, it’s what it sounds like – beware for those with a fear of spiders)
- Bike rental from George’s Rent A Bike
- Scuba diving at Dive Inn Corfu
Southwestern Corfu and Agios Georgios are destinations that one could spend their entire trip at, but don’t forget to rent a car and check out some of the other amazing areas of Corfu that we’ve mentioned. If this sounds like the place you want to stay, choose from these top accommodations:
What are the best places to stay in Corfu for families?
Corfu is a very family-friendly island in general, so there are plenty of places to stay with kids. Families might prefer a resort town environment, which is available in Agios Georgios and Sidari, for example. Don’t forget to check out vacation rentals in Moraitika and Kassiopi, too.
Where are the best beaches on Corfu?
In my opinion, you can’t go far on Corfu without finding an amazing beach. Palaiokastritsa is a famous favorite, while southwest Corfu has amazing places like Agios Georgios and Halikounas. I’ve always loved Kassiopi for its small, calm pebble beach facing the Albanian coast.
Where should you stay in Corfu for parties and nightlife?
Kavos is definitely the place to party through the early hours in Corfu, with its famous strip of bars and clubs popular with young tourists and locals. Benitses and Sidari also have a few fun places to be after dark.
What is the best beach resort on Corfu?
Without a doubt, my top recommendation is the Domes Miramare, A Luxury Collection Resort in Moraitika. It’s a quiet, elegant luxury hotel on the east coast with a brand-new building, spacious rooms, an outdoor pool, and a lovely beach with sun loungers. All rooms have a private balcony and sea view, and I haven’t found a better beach resort in Greece yet.