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Plan Your Corfu Vacation

Temperate, multihued Corfu—of emerald mountains; turquoise waters lapping rocky coves; ocher and pink buildings; shimmering silver olive leaves; puffed red, yellow, and orange parasails; scarlet roses, bougainvillea, and lavender wisteria and jacaranda spread over cottages—could have inspired impressionism.

Kerkyra (Corfu) is certainly the lushest and, quite possibly, the loveliest of all Greek islands. Breathlessly blue waters lap rocky, pine-rimmed coves, and plants like bougainvillea, wisteria, and sweet-smelling jasmine spread over the countryside. Homer's "well-watered gardens" and "beautiful and rich land" were Odysseus's last stop on his journey home. Corfu is also said to be the inspiration for Prospero's island in Shakespeare's The Tempest. This northernmost of the major Ionian islands has, through the centuries, inspired other artists, as well as conquerors, royalty, and, of course, tourists.

Today more than a million—mainly British—tourists visit every year, and in summer they crowd the evocative capital city of Corfu town (population 40,000). As a result, the town has a number of stylish restaurants and hotels and a sophisticated European ambience. The interior of Corfu, however, remains largely unspoiled, and the island has absorbed many layers of architectural history, offering an alluring mix of neoclassic villas, Venetian palazzo, pastel-painted hill towns, old farmhouses, and classy, city-sized resorts. You'll find all this, plus ancient olive groves, pine-covered cliffs, and heart-stoppingly beautiful vistas of sea and sky. Corfu remains an enchanting mixture of simplicity and sophistication.

The classical remains have suffered from the island's tempestuous history; architecture from the centuries of Venetian, French, and British rule is most evident, leaving Corfu and especially Corfu town with a pleasant combination of contrasting design elements. And although it was bombed during the Italian and Nazi occupation in World War II, the town of Corfu remains one of the most charming in all of Greece.

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Top Reasons To Go

  1. Corfu Town Recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, this sophisticated little gem of a city glows with a profusion of picturesque reminders of its Venetian, French, and British past.
  2. Some Enchanted Islet As they savor the famous panorama of Pontikonisi, from the patio of the viewpoint in suburban Kanoni, how many of today's visitors know that tiny "Mouse Island" was thought by the ancients to be Odysseus's ship turned to stone by Poseidon?
  3. Mon Repos Owned by the Greek royal family before they were deposed, the elegant neoclassic villa of Mon Repos, with its enchanting seaside gardens and secret beach, was originally built as a love gift from a British lord high commissioner to his wife.
  4. Homer's City of the Phaeacians Once extolled by Odysseus, Paleokastritsa remains a swimmable, sunable spectacle of grottoes, cliffs, white sand, and turquoise waters.

When To Go

When to Go

Corfu enjoys a temperate climate, with a relatively long rainy season that lasts from late fall through early spring. Winter showers bring spring...

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