Have you ever thought of visiting Corfu, Greece? One of the largest Greek islands, Corfu boasts everything from picturesque beaches and turquoise blue waters to captivating towns and mouth-watering tavernas. Last June, my best friend and I spent 4 glorious days on this magnificent island soaking up every bit of it. Here’s what we did, and why you should visit Corfu on your next Greece trip!
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Out of all the destinations I’ve visited in Europe, Corfu has landed a spot at the top of my favorite’s list. Why? Because even though I only spent 4 days on this Greek island, I came to realize that it features everything a traveler could want.
Stunning beaches perfect for relaxation and sunbathing? Check. ✓
Turquoise blue waters with vibrant sea life and magnificent rock formations? Check. ✓
Quaint villages with local shops and cute tavernas serving up delicious eats? Check. ✓
Wildly awesome hiking routes that take you up to viewpoints that’ll blow your mind? Check. ✓
Picture-perfect monasteries and charming churches that’ll soothe your soul? Check. ✓
And a diverse landscape with towering mountains, beautiful beaches, unique cave formations, picturesque towns and cities, vibrant olive tree groves, and sky-high cliffs with breathtaking views of the surrounding seas? Check. ✓
Seriously, this gorgeous island has everything! And I fell madly in love with it.
If you’re thinking of visiting Corfu, or getting inspiration on which Greek islands to visit, take a look at how my BFF and I spent a wildly awesome girls’ trip here!
4 DAYS ON THE GREEK ISLAND OF CORFU
Our first day on Corfu started with landing at its small airport in the morning, picking up our rental car, and making our way to the small beachside village of Paleokastritsa, which is where our family-owned hotel was located.
Not to mention, the local hotel we stayed at cost $171 for 3 nights, which was a freakin’ steal, as it had the most amazing amenities and features. (More on that below!)
After picking up our rental car, we set Google Maps to Paleokastritsa and made our way across the island. Within the first 10 minutes, I knew we’d made the right decision in choosing to visit Corfu.
As we zig-zagged our way through the historic Corfu town and traversed the small island roads snaking their way through local villages, we were both blown away by the diverse landscape of Corfu.
Lining the roads were lush vegetation, rows upon rows of olive trees, rocky mountains climbing their way to the sky, and — every once in while — sporadic peeks of the turquoise blue waters and beautiful beaches along the rugged coastline.
However, while the drive to Paleokastritsa from Corfu Airport was remarkable, we had no idea what this island had in store for us until we arrived to our hotel…
Checking In to Vivaria Apartments
From the moment we walked up to Vivaria Apartments, met the lovely owners, and saw the view from the pool terrace, we knew we’d made a fabulous decision choosing to stay here for our Corfu trip.
For one, we basically had the whole place to ourselves. And two, the hotel had crazy good amenities.
This included a private beach, relaxing pool area and terrace, wildly awesome views from our private balcony, an entire family suite with a full kitchen, and the most welcoming hosts that even left us a full bottle of chilled wine in our fridge!
How dreamy does that sound?!
(If you want to view this amazing accommodation for yourself and find out why this is one of the best places to stay in Corfu, click here.)
Soaking Up the Sun
After settling in to our hotel room/apartment, we slipped into our swimsuits and wandered down to the private beach for some must-needed sun time!
Vivaria Apartment’s private beach area is amazing, and it was the perfect place for us to relax and restore our drained energy batteries. (In fact, it was so restorative that I may or may not have fallen asleep a couple times on the provided lounge chairs… whoops!)
And when we got too hot in the steamy and dreamy sun, it was almost too easy to dip into the refreshing blue waters of the Ionian Sea that was just a few feet away from our lounge chairs!
The only words that comes to mind when I think back on this experience is pure bliss.
Dinner is Served
Throughout our stay in Paleokastritsa, we ate at several delicious tavernas, which is the Greek word for small restaurants serving up traditional Greek dishes. Here are my favorites that had delicious vegan options!
This was the first restaurant we ate at in Corfu! And not only did it serve up a delicious veggie pizza for myself, it features one of the most breathtaking views of the sea.
Gran Aladino is one of the best tavernas in the Paleokastritsa area for vegan food! In fact, they have an entire section on their restaurant menu for vegan and vegetarians that makes it simple to find a delicious vegan dish to fill up on.
While visiting Gran Aladino, I ordered the local Greek olives and a vegan gyros platter — both were absolutely delicious! At the other end of the table, my gal pal got the Greek penne pasta with fresh tomatoes, peppers, vegan feta, and their special Aladino sauce.
For drinks, we shared a delightful bottle of chilled white wine made from local Corfu grapes. It truly doesn’t get any better than that!
The last stop on our food journey through Paleokastritsa, Belvedere was conveniently located next to our hotel and showcased a magnificent view of the bay that was perfect for our last night in the area!
For food, we ordered up a shared plate of vegetarian dolmades (grape leaves stuffed with an herby rice mix) as an appetizer. For dinner, I got a giant plate of spaghetti with roasted vegetables and a tasty red sauce (minus the cheese to make it vegan). It wasn’t the most spectacular meal but filling and delicious nonetheless!
While this isn’t a restaurant in Paleokastritsa, Kathy Supermarket is a wonderful place to grab some food and snacks! To save some money, we stocked up on food here for breakfast and lunch instead of eating out for every meal.
At Kathy Supermarket, we got fresh bread, traditional hummus, marinated green and kalamata olives, locally-made watermelon jam (it sounds strange but it was SO GOOD), and a block of vegan feta (also amazing).
In addition to food, Kathy Supermarket also has a wide selection of drinks, like local wines and beers.
Visiting Monastery Paleokastritsa
Hands down, this is one of the most beautiful monasteries I have ever visited!
Perched up a high rock jutting out into the sea, Monastery Paleokastritsa delivers exceptional views of the surrounding sea and its stunning blue waters, a gorgeous garden housing lush vegetation and flourishing flowers, and vibrant wildlife like donkeys, cats, birds, and bees.
And the monastery itself?
Absolutely stunning with its pristine white walls, budding flower bushes, serene prayer room, beautiful mosaic detailing, thriving gardens, and a quiet, yet enchanting atmosphere.
Delightful Drinks at La Grotta Lounge and Pub
If there’s one bar you go to while visiting Corfu, make it be La Grotta Lounge and Pub! This place is ridiculously cool.
Nestled into rock face, La Grotta Lounge and Pub serves up tantalizing drinks and delicious pub snacks, as well as a relaxing, yet jiving vibe.
Regarding drinks, I had one (okay… many, many more than just one) of the BEST mojitos I’ve ever sipped. Seriously, it was SO darn good!
If you visit La Grotta during the daytime, don’t forget to take a dive off their diving board and swim in the refreshing blue waters of their private bay! It’s stunning.
Beach Bumming in Paleokastritsa
The main point of our entire trip to Corfu was to live the ultimate beach bumming life! And we sure did.
In addition to visiting and soaking up the sun at our private beach area, we also checked out the glorious Corfu beaches of Agios Spiridon Beach and Agios Petros Beach, both of which have lounge beds you can rent out for the day.
For food and drinks, we visited Jialos, which is a restaurant situated on Agios Spiridon Beach. If you order food and drinks here, you also get free use of their comfortable sunbeds! Which were absolutely worth the terrible fruit smoothie I got there.
Discovering Stunning Views at Vlacherna Monastery
When scouring the internet for the best things to do in Corfu, Vlacherna Monastery came up consistently as a top Corfu attraction and a must-do when on the island.
And let me say… it did not disappoint!
Vlacherna Monastery is gracefully set out into the sea and boasts one of the most beautiful views of the surrounding waters and rocky island coastline.
Its glistening white walls, quiet setting, and vibrant blooms of delicate flowers dotting the courtyard are breathtaking, and well worth a stop when visiting Corfu.
Exploring Corfu Old Town
Once we’d gotten our fill of beach bumming, sun loving, and sea swimming, we ventured to the other side of the island to explore Corfu Old Town.
Hands down, Corfu Old Town is one of THE prettiest towns I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting. Unofficially dubbed as the “Venice without canals,” Corfu town was once ruled by the Venetians, as was its Ionian Sea island counterparts of Zante, Cephalonia, and Ithaca.
Thus, you’ll find Venetian influence scattered all about the town. A tightly packed Old Town area with tall, pastel-colored buildings lining the little walkways and roads snaking through the city, Corfu is a classic example of Venetian and Italian architecture.
From traditional red tiled roofs and textured, stucco wall finishes to wooden shutters on every window and an overall warm, yet elegant feel, Corfu Old Town buildings effortlessly embodies the stunning Venetian style.
Furthermore, the food options in Corfu Old Town are mouth-watering. Especially for a vegan traveler like me — I had endless vegan options!
From vegan burgers and fresh salads to creamy gelato and delicious vegan baked goods, Corfu Old Town is a gold mine for plant-based visitors, especially those traveling with non-vegan companions, as most places are also suitable for omnivores.
Some vegan-friendly restaurants in Corfu I recommend are Aubergine Cafe (vegetarian restaurant), Bizou Cafe (also vegetarian), Papagiorgis Patiserie-Gelateria, and Sway Bar & Kitchen.
Additionally, when visiting Corfu, we adored just sitting out in the streets at the outdoor restaurant areas sipping on a refreshing Aperol Spritz! It was splendid.
After four glorious days on the island of Corfu, our trip had come to its end! I was sad to leave this beautiful place but will surely be back sometime in the future to explore more of what Corfu has to offer.
Tell me, have you ever thought of visiting Corfu, or heard of this remarkable Greek island before? Share your thoughts on Corfu in the comment section below!
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