Does your dream vacation include sunny destinations along the Mediterranean coastline? Then set sail on a Carnival European Cruise and get ready to have the time of your life exploring the beautiful seaside ports.
So when you set sail on your European adventure, take a cruise to Corfu, an island with a stunning resort-studded shoreline off the coast of Greece. Offering the perfect blend of rich history, varied European influences and unparalleled natural beauty, this Greek Isle offers you everything you can ask for in a mini vacation. Discover 10 things to do in Corfu that should top every traveler’s bucket list.
1. Start with Old Town
A visit to Corfu starts in Corfu Town, the capital city of the island. When you want to discover the island’s history and culture, head to Old Town, an area featuring Venetian, French, British and Greek influences.
Walk down the cobblestone streets, admire pastel-colored Venetian buildings and stop by Spianada Square (aka Esplanade), a multi-purpose public gathering place, musical venue and cricket field. A stroll down Liston promenade in Old Town promises plenty of stylish shops, galleries, bars and restaurants.
2. Explore the Old Fortress
Adjacent to Old Town across a small sea moat, you will find the Old Fortress. A centuries-old compound with important landmarks, the Old Fortress contains the ruins of a British hospital, St. George’s Church and a museum featuring a collection of Byzantine paintings and other collectibles.
A climb to the top of the Old Fortress battlements offers you spectacular views of Corfu’s rugged cityscape and coastline. In the summer months, the Old Fortress also plays host to a number of musical events.
3. Make Time for the Church of Saint Spyridon
Of the many churches on the island of Corfu, the Church of Saint Spyridon might be the most colorful. Located in the heart of Old Town, this majestic church features a bright red bell tower and an interior full of frescoes, chandeliers, decorative, tiled floors and gold trimmings.
You can also take a tour of the church to see the ornate sarcophagus holding the mummified remains of Saint Spyridion, the island’s patron saint, as well as a number of other relics attributed to him.
4. Tour the Museum of Asian Art
If you’re an art lover or history buff, the Museum of Asian Art is a must-see destination.
Located in the Palace of St. Michael and St. George in Old Town, Corfu, the Museum features over 15,000 works of art and antique objects, from paintings and carvings to ceramics and textiles, as well as four distinct cultural collections of Japanese, Chinese, Central Asian and Southeast Asian pieces.
5. Take a Trip to Achillion Palace
A visit to Corfu isn’t complete without a trip to Achillion Palace. A lavish, neoclassical structure located about 25 minutes south of Corfu Town in the village of Gastouri, the Palace has beautiful features inside and out.
Built as a summer villa for the Austrian Empress Elisabeth, the Palace features grand halls, spectacular frescoes, majestic carved pillars and much more inside the majestic mansion. Outside you’ll find well-tended grounds with lush lawns, trimmed hedges, palm trees, seasonal blooms and beautiful marble and iron statues.
6. Pay a Visit to Paleokastritsa
Considered to be “Corfu’s Capri,” the village of Paleokastritsa is a quiet seaside community offering you charming eateries, waterfront relaxation, sunbathing, swimming and sailing just steps from the ocean.
It’s roughly a 30-minute drive northwest across the island from Corfu Town, the capital city of Corfu. While in the village, stop by the Monastery of Paleokastritsa. A bright yellow historic monastery perched on the hill just above the main beach, it still operates daily, along with its museum, and offers breathtaking views of the sea.
7. Drive by Many of Corfu’s Hidden Villages
Discover many of the hidden villages on the island of Corfu by 4WD located along its scenic northern coast. You’ll enjoy enchanting panoramic views of coastal Greece, passing through the seaside resorts of Alykes, Kontokali, Gouvia and Lakones village. Indulge in a typical Greek meze (lunch) and a glass of wine during a stop to a local restaurant, while looking out over the bay of Paleokastritsa.
Lastly, you’ll get the chance to explore the bay of Paleokastritsa, also known as “Corfu’s Capri” and a natural harbor with a sandy beach and crystal clear waters entirely protected by a rocky cliff.
8. Check out Canal d’Amour (Love Canal)
If you’re in love or love the cloud nine feeling, visit Canal d’Amour (Love Canal), one of Corfu’s most beautiful natural attractions. Located on the northwestern tip of the island near the village of Sidari, the aquamarine canal is flanked by scenic, sandstone rock formations on both sides and features a small, sandy beach at one end.
A local legend says that singles who swim the length of the channel will find their true love soon after they finish the swim, and couples who complete this feat will stay in love for a lifetime.
9. Hike the Corfu Trail
Looking to see the sights of Corfu while exercising at the same time? Take a hike on the scenic Corfu Trail. Spanning the entire length of the island from the top to the southern tip, you can hike along this trail for hours. The trail meanders over hills and dunes, past charming villages and along the coastline for a wonderful journey featuring natural beauty and authentic Greek culture.
10. Scale Mount Pantokrator
One definite stop along the Corfu Trail you should consider is Mount Pantokrator, the highest peak on Corfu. A hike to the summit takes roughly two hours from the base, but you can also drive to the top. Once you get there, you’ll have spectacular 360 degree views of the entire island of Corfu.
On a clear day, you’ll even be able to see mainland Greece and Albania to the east and the island of Paxos to the south.
When you’re looking forward to a Carnival cruise to Europe, make the Greek Island of Corfu and these 10 unforgettable stops part of your travel itinerary. From village visits to mountain hikes and historical tours, you’ll have the trip of a lifetime and will definitely want to come back.