Corfu | Greece’s Emerald Isle

The Greek island of Corfu, located in the Ionian Sea, is the second largest Greek island in the region, and just one of Greece’s many thousands of islands. Corfu has long been a site of great historical interest due to its standing in Greek mythology, and the amount of historical monuments and castles still visible on the island.

However, since the 1900s, Corfu has been seen as a prime summer holiday destination, partly due to its warm and pleasing climate, but also due to the abundance of cheap holiday deals to the island. But in the 21st century, what else can Corfu offer today’s traveller?

The Emerald Isle

Sometimes called the Emerald Isle of Greece, Corfu is one of the nation’s greenest islands, with an abundance of local plants, fruits and vegetables thriving on the land, due to some torrential rains which occur from September – May. However, these rains are intermittent, and have led to the growth of olive trees, which are scattered across the landscape.

Corfu Emerald Island

Corfu Emerald Island

While many of the Greek islands, such as Rhodes and Kos are now known as party destinations, Corfu is a relatively quiet and sleepy island which offers travellers some much-needed peace and quiet. The tourist developments, such as the hotels are strictly kept to the coastal regions of the island, and as a result, the further inland you travel on the island, the quieter and more rural the roads.

To make the most of the greenery, the epic Corfu Trail takes you across the island from end to end and often begins at the southern tip at Spartera. The whole trail takes around 10 days to complete, though less serious hikers can select part of the walk to enjoy. Significant stops include the picturesque Medieval village of Paleá Perithia in the north.

A Historical Isle

The abundance of historical buildings on the island also offers visitors the chance to view and experience life in pre-20th century Corfu, and one site, the east-coast capital, Corfu Town, has been named a UNESCO World Heritage site in recent years, with its Roman legacy and Venetian architecture.

Attractions not to missed in the capital range from the much-lauded Museum of Asian Art to the outlying Ahillion Palace with its preserved ornamental garden. More recent history can be enjoyed at the Mon Repos Estate on the Kanoni Peninsula, a Neoclassical villa dating from the 19th century.

Corfu Statue

Corfu Statue

When To Go?

As previously mentioned, the island does experience heavy rainfall between September and May, but the summer months, especially July and August, can be particularly hot, and many hotels will be at capacity, as this is the height of the island’s tourist season.

If you’d like a quiet break on Corfu, then aim to visit the island from late May to early June, as this is when the weather will be more hospitable and the hotels and other attractions will be much quieter.

So, for a quiet Greek island holiday with a difference, take advantage of cheap package trips to the island and indulge in some Greek culture amidst a verdant and untouched landscape…

Corfu photos: Juan Bernardo, Jon Kleinman.

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