Last Updated on 3rd May 2023 by Sophie Nadeau
Despite being a huge island to discover, this 3 days in Corfu itinerary will give you a quick taste of the best things to see, some local attractions, and a few of the incredibly beautiful beaches of Corfu’s coast. In this article, we show you some of the best things you can do in a jam-packed 3-day itinerary of Corfu.
One of the most beautiful islands in Greece, as well as one of the biggest, Corfu (or Kerkira, as it is known in Greek), is a magnificent gem located on the Ionian Sea, facing the coast of Italy and Greece, as well as part of Albania’s seaside area.
If you’re planning a trip to Greece, be sure to check out our top Greece travel tips and best quotes about Greece to help you make the most of your trip!
Where is Corfu and How to Get There
Located on the Ionian Sea, just a few miles from Greece’s mainland, Corfu is easier to reach from Italy and other European countries, than from the most important cities in Greece. In fact, there are no ferries connecting Athens to Corfu, although it is possible to fly from Athens and Thessaloniki.
During the high season, which usually starts following the week of Orthodox Easter, several flights connect Corfu to some important European capitals, including Milan, Rome, Berlin, Paris, London, and of course, Athens.
When is the Best Time to Visit Corfu
The weather in Corfu cannot be compared to the arid climate you might find on the islands of the Aegean. In fact, Corfu has a more humid climate with longer and wet winters.
This makes the island greener and lush, with attractive and shady hiking trails that take you on long exploration trips through the mountainous terrain.
Corfu enjoys hot summers with a few showers, mild springs and falls, and quite cold and rainy winters. The island tends to be overcrowded from June to the beginning of September, months that you will want to avoid if you’re seeking a peaceful destination.
Are Three Days Enough to See Corfu?
In full honesty, no. they aren’t. Spending only three days in Courfu would be pushing it a lot. There is so much to do in Corfu that you would need plenty of time to explore at a leisurely pace.
Corfu is very big when compared to other popular Greek islands, to see a good deal of Corfu, enjoy its coastal towns, explore mountains and villages, or even take a short cruise to nearby islets, you might want to spend at least 5 days in Corfu, although a week would be even better.
To see quite a lot of Corfu in three days, you will need to rent a car to avoid relying on fixed schedules and count on spending quite a long time on the road.
In any case, this three-day Corfu itinerary packs quite a lot and gives you the chance to see some incredible landmarks that have attracted visitors for years.
Where to Stay in Corfu
We could probably write a whole different article about the different areas you can choose to book accommodation in Corfu.
You could spend time in the old city, to stay close to the port and the airport, but also explore the many aristocratic buildings, and several museums, the old and new fortresses, the main churches, and the port of Corfu in case you are also interested in taking a boat day trip to any nearby island.
You could also pick the northern side of Sidari if you’re interested in exploring the bizarre rock formations in Canal d’Amour, or find a hotel in Paleokastritsa for the best beaches on the island, but also the Aquarium, and unique food experiences. These are just some of the areas where you can stay in Corfu.
Down here, we suggest three different city hotels that are easy to reach from the airport, However, keep in mind that there are endless options when it comes to hotels in Corfu.
- Affordable place to stay in Corfu Town: Sarantis Gallery is an affordable rental flat located in the heart of the old town, within a short distance of New Fortress and Saint Spyridon Church, offering accommodation for up to three guests. Check prices and availability here.
- Mid-range place to stay in Corfu Town: Locandiera is another fantastic place to stay in the old town district of Corfu, quite close to some of the most important museums, and that can accommodate small groups of travelers. Check prices and availability here.
- Luxury place to stay in Corfu Town: Arcadion Hotel features excellent accommodation and an on-site restaurant overlooking Spianada Square and the arcades of Liston in the heart of Corfu Town. Check prices and availability here.
Day 1 in Corfu: Old Town
Devote your first day on the island to get a taste of the local traditions and interesting history of Corfu. To do so, nothing like spending a morning wandering the alleys of Corfu’s historic center which is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Over here, it is possible to explore the Venetian alleys and admire the unique architecture of the area, admire the Royal Palace of Saint George and Saint Michael, the former residence of the British Lord High Commissioner and walk along the old arcades in the aristocratic Liston or Spianada Square built during the years of British occupation of the island.
The area surrounding the Liston is a perfect place to enjoy a cup of Greek coffee or to enjoy a dish of sofrito, a typical delicacy of Italian origins made with meat and onions, and one of the most famous dishes in Corfu.
Right after, head to the charming alleys of the old district and be amazed at the beautiful squares, the ancient city walls, and the fountains of the town center.
Furthermore, you can also visit the Church of Saint Spyridon, the patron saint of the island, which shelters the relics of the saint dating back to the fourth century.
A good alternative is to book a private walking tour that also includes food tasting to get to know both the history and the culinary culture of the island.
In the old town, you can also check out the Old Fortress of Corfu, next to Spianada Square an impressive fortress at the end of a narrow peninsula connected to the mainland through a narrow bridge.
In the afternoon, you can visit the impressive Achilleion Palace, one of the most important buildings on the island, built back in 1890 exclusively for The former empress of Austria, worldwide known as Sissi.
Located close to the jetty used by the former Kaiser, the classical palace features an incredible garden with gorgeous statues and well-curated green spaces.
According to the legend, the empress was fascinated by ancient Greek myths and heroes, of which Achilles was her favorite and the one that gave name to the residence. The garden features a myriad of sculptures of Greek Gods and Goddesses that give the place quite a unique atmosphere.
Day 2 in Corfu: Paleokastritsa
On the second day, it’s a good idea to hire a car and reach the area known as Paleokastritsa. Located about 23 km from the center of Corfu Town (a car ride that’s about 20 minutes), the area is home to a traditional, picturesque village as well as to one of the most beautiful collections of beaches and sea caves and it’s the perfect area to spend a whole day away from the center of Corfu.
Once at the beach, you can rent a paddle boat to explore the greenery and small rocky hills around the sea. Along the coastline, you will find beautiful sea caves with pristine waters, that you can access and explore.
There are six different beaches you can choose to visit in Paelokastritsa, the most popular one is Paleokastritsa’s main beach. Although it can be considered relatively small, the beach has coarse sand and fresh waters that make it the best place to swim on the island during very hot summer days.
During your day in Paleokastritsa, you can visit also the ancient Monastery of the Virgin, standing on a high position overlooking the bay and the sea, the place used to be home to a very ancient castle which gave name to the area (Palokastritsa means old small castle).
The areas surrounding the beaches feature plenty of fantastic Greek taverns and restaurants, but also a beautiful lush atmosphere is given by dozens of trees and bushes that give Palokastritsa its green, characteristic environment.
In the afternoon, you can explore the village, which is a great spot to purchase souvenirs and gastronomic products such as olive oil or the local spirit made of kumquat, but also cosmetics and creams made with the local olive oil.
Day 3 in Corfu: Sidari and Canal d’Amour
Head to the north on your last day on the island to explore some unique beaches and discover the local traditions on your way. If you hire a car and follow this route on your own, you will have the opportunity to stop in any mountain village that tickles your curiosity and move along the island following your own pace.
Expect to drive for about one hour to get to Sidari, which is located on the northern coast of Corfu and it’s very popular among tourists… especially couples.
Sidari is not just known for its gorgeous sandy beach, but also for the eroded white cliffs and the impressive Cape Drastis and Canal d’Amour.
The canal is a picturesque spot with small and relatively narrow channels through which the sea passes and where it’s possible to swim and explore the many beautiful caves.
According to the legend, those couples that swim together through the channel will remain together all their lives, that’s precisely the reason that makes this spot so popular with couples and why it’s one of the top-chosen places in Greece where men propose to their fiancees.
Less crowded but equally beautiful, Cape Drastis is the next stop during your Sidari exploration.
The cape is a gorgeous rocky promontory, featuring some stunning vistas over the Ionian. The place is a popular hiking spot, but also an ideal place for a quick picnic before moving on to the next destination.
In the afternoon, you can either head back to the old town for some souvenir shopping or a bit more sightseeing or drive west of Cape Drastis for a hike to Porto Timoni Beach.
The pristine beach is made of two different coves that are divided just by a narrow strip of land and with unique turquoise water.
Since some tourists are put off by the idea of hiking about an hour through the cliffs to get to the area, those who face the trek (which is not hard) are rewarded with a rather solitary beach with amazingly clear waters and utter peace.
Stay on the beach until the sun goes down, and then, slowly head back to the old town. Enjoy a local dinner at a traditional tavern by the port and then check out one of the many Italian gelato shops that populate the area for a sweet after-dinner treat.
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Gabi Ancarola is a journalist and travel writer who has lived over 20 years in Italy, and has been living in Crete for the last five years. She hosts culinary tours, translates and writes for her Crete travel blog The Tiny Book. She’s written for Greek Reporter and published several travel guides about Greece.