What Should I Know Before My Corfu Holidays?
Clothes, money, transportation, accommodation, activities… There are so many things to arrange before your Corfu holidays that you don’t know where to start! We want to give you a hand with this short guide, which we wrote with the help of many of our customers’ questions.
1. Where is Corfu?
Corfu is a Greek island, a part of the Eptanese archipelago, located in the Ionian Sea. The Ionian Sea is part of the Mediterranean Sea, connected to the Adriatic Sea to the north, limited by southern Italy on the north, by southern Albania on the east, and the west coast of Greece, including the Peloponnese.
The Eptanese Islands belong to Greece. They are called the Ionian Islands, and the most important are Corfu, Kefalonia, Zakynthos, Lefkada, and Ithaca. Paxos and Antipaxos are very close to Corfu, and we organize daily cruises to those amazing islands. See them all here (click)
2. Why Does Corfu Have Two Names?
Corfu has two names because one of them comes from a Latin word, and the other one is a character from a Greek legend.
Corfu, the Latin name
The word Corfu is the Italian version of Korypho, which comes from the Greek-Byzantine Koryphai, which means “peak”: The Ancients used to call Corfu Town by the name of “City of the Peaks”, in reference to the two hills where two fortresses were built.
…and Kerkyra, the Greek name
Ancient Greek mythology gave the Greek name to Corfu, Kerkyra. They say that Kerkyra or Korkyra (Corcyra) used to be a beautiful nymph, the daughter of Aesopos, the River God. One good day Poseidon, the God of the Seas, fell in love with her and took her to a beautiful and unknown island, which is Corfu. That’s where the Greek name of Corfu comes from.
If you’re driving in Corfu, you will see the road signs with the names Kerkyra and Corfu, both referring to Corfu Town, so don’t panic!
3. How Big is Corfu?
Corfu has an area of 610.9 km² (235.9 sq mi). It’s bigger than Ibiza (571 km²) and slightly smaller than Menorca (694 km²).
Its highest elevation is Mount Pantokrator, 906 m (2972 ft.), which is located in the north area of Corfu and can be seen from almost every spot of the island. The north is, therefore, more mountainous than the south; this contrast creates different landscapes depending on the area of the island you are visiting: hills and flat fields covered with vineyards, coast with small caves or rocky beaches, large and shallow seashores, or even desert dunes full of wildlife by the sea.
4. What’s Corfu like?
Corfu shares with the Balearics a Mediterranean landscape covered in lush green forests and colorful flowers, but with a difference: Corfu is greener than the rest of the Mediterranean Islands because of its weather and location: That’s the reason why it’s also known as “The Ionian Garden”.
Olive trees (more than four million!) dominate, and their combination with cypress trees composes the typical Corfiot landscape. Oak and pine forests are also frequent in rural areas, whereas eucalyptus trees, planted by the Brits in the late 1800’s, are found mainly in wetlands and seashores.
Figs and wild apples, and Citrus fruit trees such as orange, lemon, and tangerines grow all over Corfu. The star is the kumquat tree, the most popular produce of Corfu consumed (mainly by tourists) as sweets, candy, marmalades, and liquors.
If you want to discover all the wonders offered by this Ionian Paradise, a Private Tour in Corfu with Tsokas Exclusive would be a good option! Click here and book it today.
5. What is the Weather Like in Corfu?
Corfu has a hot-summer Mediterranean climate, characterized by warm to hot, dry summers and mild, fairly wet winters. The daily average temperature ranges from 9.5 °C (49 °F) in January to 27 °C (80.5 °F) in August. Winters range from 14 to 15 Celsius (5 C minimum), and summers (July and August) have 32 Celsius as the highest average and 20 as the lowest.
6. How much does it rain in Corfu?
Rainfall is abundant; actually, it amounts to 1,000 millimeters per year along the coasts and even more in the inland hills, with a maximum in autumn and winter, whilst from June to August it rarely rains. Late October and November are the rainiest months of the year, but March and April may also be rainy depending on the year. Don’t forget to check the weather forecast in Corfu before packing!
The best sources to know the weather forecast in Corfu are:
BBC Weather Corfu, in English: https://www.bbc.com/weather/6299495
Meteo. gr, in Greek and English, https://www.meteo.gr/cf-en.cfm?city_id=5
Windy.com, is very useful for those planning to go sailing: https://www.windy.com
7. Which Currency Can I use in Corfu?
Corfu has been a part of the European Union since Greece joined the European Union in 1981 and adopted the euro in 2001. Most businesses allow payments via credit card, but they usually prefer cash to avoid high credit card costs. US dollars are sometimes accepted in touristic areas for large transactions, such as jewelry or other luxury items, but don’t expect the shop owner to give you a fair exchange rate!
Shopping in Corfu
Most vacation resorts in Corfu have many shops full of all the products we are looking for when we go on holidays: souvenirs, handicraft products, local food, clothes… If you visit Corfu Town during your holidays and you’re fond of shopping you will have a hard time! There are so many options that you may get lost, but we recommend you take a look at some lovely places, sometimes hidden in the alleys, where you will find real treasures. Young generations of craftsmen and entrepreneurs have opened lovely shops with products you will only find in here.
What can I buy during my Corfu holidays?
Make some room in your suitcase and see some of the places we adore:
- Minimis, the Art of recycling glass bottles into handmade jewelry.
- Corfu Sandals, 100% handmade sandals, all made of Greek genuine leather.
- Koryfo, handmade clothes and accessories made in Corfu by Marianna Kastrinos.
- Muses Corfu, a fashion concept store with Greek designers
- The Alley Project, inspired gifts, handmade jewelry, and very Greek accessories.
- Patounis, an old olive soap factory in the center of the New Town.
- Choe Candles, a minimal handmade candles workshop.
- Icon Gallery, bespoke Greek Orthodox Icons made by local artists.
- Bizou Cafe, organic and vegan snacks in a lovely antique shop.
- Sweet n’Spicy, with Greek spice mixes, nuts, oils, and exotic food products.
8. How to go to Corfu?
Corfu Holidays by Boat
There are ferry connections between Igoumenitsa and Patras (Greece) and Brindisi and Ancona (Italy), crossing the east and north of the Ionian Sea and from Piraeus to the west. During the summer, daily boats are doing these routes, which you can use with a vehicle or as a passenger.
You can also visit Corfu by cruise ship and book one of our amazing Private Shore Excursions in Corfu. For sure you will be back next year for more!
Going to Corfu by plane
Corfu (Kerkyra) Airport Ioannis Kapodistrias is one of the busiest ones in the Mediterranean and the 5th busiest one in Greece. The number of arrivals to this Greek destination increased to 900 thousand in 2021 and reached almost 1.7 million in 2022, surpassing pre-pandemic levels. The summer season flights start at the end of March and end in early November.
It offers non-stop passenger flights to 102 destinations in 28 countries. Dozens of daily flights connect Corfu with Europe and with the Middle East, and also with many Greek destinations.
9. Which airlines fly to Corfu?
If you travel to Corfu during the winter you must do it via Athens Airport. Aegean Air and Sky Express are the two Greek airlines that fly regularly from/to the Greek capital throughout the year.
Many of the most popular airlines in Europe offer charter flights during the summer season: British Airways, Air France, Air Lingus, Condor, Iberia, Fly Dubai, Israir, Lufthansa, Tui, Transavia, Wizz Air are some of them.
If you want to know all about flights to Corfu, arrivals, departures, etc., see Corfu Airport’s website here.
10. Are there cheap flights to Corfu?
Yes, there are! The European low-cost companies also fly regularly to Corfu from March to November: Easyjet, Ryanair, Vueling, Buzz, Jet2com, and Volotea.
Stay tuned for new flight and holiday offers on www.tsokasexclusive.com!
We’re Ready for our Corfu Holidays. Should We Book Our Activities Before Arrival?
Of course! Do all your planning in advance. It is very important to ensure that you will have availability on the excursions you want to do during your Corfu holidays. Especially during the high season, tours like the cruises to Paxos and Antipaxos or the Greek Night sell out easily. Contact us for a custom quote, book now and pay later!