Welcome to the port of Corfu, Greece!
Also known as Kerkyra (Κέρκυρα in Greek), Corfu is the second largest of the Greek Ionian Islands and the greenest island in Greece. With its UNESCO-listed Old Town, pristine beaches, centuries-old villages and various things to do, Corfu is a frequent port of call in the Eastern Mediterranean cruise itineraries. In this article, read about:
- Corfu cruise port (Corfu cruise terminal, getting around, helpful links)
- Top 10 things to do in Corfu port & best Corfu shore excursions
Port of Corfu
Corfu cruise port is located in Corfu Town (aka Kerkyra), the capital of Corfu island located on the eastern coast of the island. Cruise ships dock in the “New Port” (Nea Limani), situated around 1.5 km/1 mile (a 20-25 minute walk) west of Corfu’s old town which is the main tourist hub of the city.
The Corfu port is large and consists of a long L-shaped pier dedicated to both cruise ships and ferries. There is a terminal building at the exit of the port, and free shuttle buses are provided to transfer passengers between their pier and the cruise terminal building. In the terminal, you can find tourist information kiosks, check-in counters, a duty-free shop, free wi-fi, an ATM, and car rental agencies.
Outside the terminal, taxis are available and the ride to Corfu old town usually costs around 10€ per vehicle one way. Some cruise lines may organize shuttle buses (free, or for an additional fee, depending on the cruise line) to Corfu’s old town. Alternatively, you can take a pleasant 20-30 minute walk along the coast to the old town.
Helpful info & links:
- See Corfu cruise port on Google maps
- The official currency in Greece is EURO (€). Local currency and credit cards are widely accepted. It is recommended to always take some cash with you as local buses and some places don’t accept cards. ATMs and currency exchange are available in Corfu Town. See the currency converter
- The public bus network in Corfu is excellent and the towns are well connected with resorts, beaches and villages on the island. There are two lines: the Blue line, which operates in the area of Corfu Town, and the Green line, which covers the rest of the island.
- The central bus station for blue buses is located at San Rocco – Georgiou Theotoki Square in Corfu’s old town. The blue buses connect the old town with the port, Kanoni, Mandouki, Benitses, Achillion, Gouvia and Kontokali. Buses #15 and #2b connect the port of Corfu and Corfu’s old town. The single ticket costs 1.50€ and is valid for one ride. It is recommended to purchase the tickets at sales points at the bus stops, or otherwise, you’ll pay more if you buy directly from the driver (around 1.90€ per ticket). A day ticket costs 5€ and offers unlimited routes for all destinations. You can check the schedule and timetables at https://astikoktelkerkyras.gr/
- The central bus stop for green buses is located on Eth. Antistaseos street, near Corfu port. These buses cover routes to Paleokastritsa, Lefkimi, Acharavi, Roda, Messongi, Pelekas and generally all the beaches and villages on the island. The ticket prices depend on the final destination. You can check the prices and schedules at the official webpage https://greenbuses.gr/
- Corfu Hop on Hop off buses are available and they stop at the port of Corfu as well, which is a very convenient option for cruise passengers who want to get a glimpse of Corfu on a sightseeing bus. There are two lines: Kanoni Line and Achilleion Line, and they run every 15-20 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the seasonality and whether the ships are in port. Kanoni Line covers the major city landmarks including the Old Fortress, Spilia Square, Spianada Square and Mon Repos Palace, while the Achilleion Line also goes to the Achilleion Palace and Gastouri Square. The prices start at around $20 (which is about 18€) for a 24-hour ticket. You can check Corfu Hop on Hop off sightseeing bus tours on Viator and Get Your Guide
- Corfu Sightseeing Train is also a great way to see the highlights of Corfu Town. The train departs every hour from Pentofanaro Spianada Square and includes 4 stops, hop-on hop-off style.
- Corfu is a small island, only 40 miles long and 20 wide, so you can visit a lot of attractions in a day. The most comfortable and fastest option to get around the island is by car, however, during the summer season (July-August), finding parking may be challenging and Corfu Town is pretty packed. Check out Corfu rent-a-car deals
- Corfu International Airport “Ioannis Kapodistrias” is located around 3 km/1.9 miles (less than a 10-minute drive) southeast of Corfu cruise port. Bus line #15 connects the airport with the old town and Corfu port.
- Like other Ionian islands, Corfu has a Mediterranean climate with mild, rainy winters and hot, sunny summers. It’s recommended to wear a hat and comfortable shoes and make sure to keep hydrated at all times. For useful cruise packing tips, check out my article What to Pack for a Cruise in 2023 – Top 60 Cruise Essentials
- Book a private transfer to/from Corfu cruise port
- Explore Corfu tours and activities
- Search the best Mediterranean cruise deals!
- Get an e-sim card to have access to the Internet at all times!
- Book accommodation in Corfu Town
Top 10 Things to Do in the Port of Corfu
Before I share the best things to do in Corfu, I invite you to grab your copy of the “Mediterranean Cruise Port Guide”, the most comprehensive guide to 45 Mediterranean cruise ports (including Corfu), packed with practical information, expert tips & unforgettable experiences! (PDF format/200 pages)
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1. Corfu Old Town
Corfu’s UNESCO-listed old town is best visited on a guided walking tour as the town itself is centuries-old with lots of cobblestones and historic narrow streets. The old town is sandwiched between the New Fortress on the western edge of the city and the Old Fortress at its eastern end. The top attractions include:
- Spianada Square (The Esplanade) – This vast, green city park lies between the streets of the Old Town and the Old Fortress. Spianada is the largest square in Greece and claims to be the second-largest in Europe. Constructed by the French in the 19th century, the Esplanade is both a local and tourist hotspot, surrounded by cafes ideal for people-watching. Here, you’ll find statues, monuments, a large parking lot and Corfu Cricket Pitch, where you can see locals playing cricket, a game passed down to them by the British during the British occupation of Corfu (1814-1864). Check out Spianada Square tours and activities
- Corfu Town Hall – Located on Dimarchiou Square (Platia Dimarchiou), the imposing Town Hall building was built between 1663 and 1693 and represents one of the finest examples of Venetian architecture on the island. Constructed primarily in marble and stone, the fascinating building was initially used as a club for the noblemen. In 1720, the building hosted the Noble Theatre of Saint Giacomo of Corfu, the first Greek opera house. In 1903, it was turned into a Town Hall.
- Saint Spyridon Church – This Greek Orthodox church is the most important religious monument in Corfu dedicated to St Spyridon, the patron saint of Corfu. It was built in the 16th century and houses the relics of Saint Spyridon, kept in an ornate sarcophagus inside the church. The Church of Saint Spyridon is known for its red-domed bell tower, the highest bell tower in the Ionian Islands.
- Liston – The name “Liston” refers to the pedestrian street and neighborhood on the western edge of Spianada Square. It was constructed during the French domination in the Ionian Islands (1807–1814) and imitates Rue de Rivoli in central Paris. This place is packed with trendy cafes and overlooks the vast Spianada Square.
- Church of Saints Jacob and Christopher – This historic cathedral is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Corfu, Zakynthos and Cephalonia. It is located at Dimarchiou Square and is known for its valuable art collection.
- Municipal Gallery of Corfu – The art gallery showcases the artworks of 19th-century local artists. It is located next to Corfu Public Garden and overlooks Mandraki Marina and the Old Fortress.
- Banknote Museum of the Ionian Bank – Housed on the first floor of an elegant historic building, this interesting museum displays a collection of Greek paper money and coins spanning 180 years of history.
- Corfu Museum of Asian Art – Founded in 1928 as the Museum of Sino-Japanese Art, this stunning museum contains 15,000 works of Asian art from private collections and individual item donations. The museum is housed in the Palace of Saint Michael and Saint George, originally used as the residence of Britain’s High Commissioner and later by the Greek Royal family.
- Casa Parlante Museum – Housed in a 19th-century historic mansion, Casa Parlante is a unique history museum that features animatronic figures that recreate the everyday life of the island’s 19th-century nobility.
- Holy Metropolitan Church of the Virgin Mary Spilaiotissa – This church dominates Mitropolis Square, surrounded by quaint cafes and shops.
- Old Port – Only 500 m north of the Old Town, you can walk along the Old Port of Corfu and admire the picturesque harbour and the view of the New Venetian Fortress.
Archaeological Museum of Corfu – Only a 10-minute walk south of Spianada Square, a little bit outside the old town area, the archaeological museum showcases fantastic collections tracing the island’s history from the Paleolithic area to Roman times.
2. Old Fortress (Palaio Frourio)
Built by the Venetians in the second half of the 16th century, the imposing fortress was built on the site of an ancient Byzantine fortification and lies on a small, rocky peninsula east of the old town. It is accessed via the Contrafossa moat bridge across from Spianada Square and overlooks the picturesque Mandraki Marina and the turquoise Strait of Corfu.
Inside the Old Fortress, you can visit several points of interest including the Byzantine art collection, the Holy Church of St. George, the Venetian Prison, and British Gunpowder Depots. There is a lighthouse at the highest point of the promontory, offering unmatched views of the town and Albania across the strait.
3. New Venetian Fortress
Only 800 m west of Spianada Square, a massive New Fortress sits on top of the hill of St. Mark and dates from 1577. The fortress features a maze of empty passages, arched chambers, galleries, ventilation shafts, stairs and ramps and offers magnificent views of Corfu Town and the sea.
4. The Achilleion Palace
Tucked in the village of Gastouri, 10 km/6 miles (a 20-minute drive) south of the port of Corfu, the lavish Achilleion Palace was built in the second half of the 19th century for the Empress Elisabeth of Austria, also known as Sisi. The palace served as Empress’ summer refuge after the tragic death of her only son Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria in 1889.
The magnificent mansion was built in a neoclassical style inspired by the motives of the Greek mythical hero Achilles who Sisi admired. Set on top of the hill overlooking the sea, in a landscape filled with olive groves and lush vegetation, the palace boasts beautiful gardens and currently operates as a museum. For information about the price and opening hours, check the official webpage https://achillion-corfu.gr/
5. Mon Repos
Mon Repos is a villa nestled in the forest of Palaeopolis, south of Corfu Town and approximately a 10-minute drive southeast of Corfu cruise port. The neoclassical mansion dates from the 19th century and was built as a summer residence for the British Lord High Commissioner Frederick Adam, and his second wife, Diamantina “Nina” Palatino.
Throughout history, it housed the school of fine arts and was a place of residence for multiple important historic personalities, such as Empress Elisabeth of Austria, the Greek Royal family, and others. Nowadays, the mansion houses the museum and a wonderful park surrounding the villa is open to the public.
6. Church of the Holy Apostles Jason and Sosipater
The oldest Greek Orthodox church on Corfu is dedicated to two saints, Jason and Sosipater, who were the first to teach Christianity to the inhabitants of the island in the 1st century AD. This beautiful church is located in the Garitsa neighborhood, near the archeological site of Paleopolis, a 10-minute drive southeast of the Corfu cruise terminal. The church was built in the 11th century on the site of an ancient temple and boasts unique Byzantine architecture with a decorated interior and valuable artworks.
7. Kanoni and the Mouse Island
Kanoni is a small peninsula located around 4 km/2.5 miles (less than a 10-minute drive) south of Corfu Town, renowned for the iconic Monastery of Panagia Vlacherna and Pontikonissi islet, which literally means the “Mouse Island”. The Corfu Airport occupies the western part of Kanoni, while the south and east feature a few small beaches.
The 17th-century Monastery of Panagia Vlacherna is the symbol of Kanoni, built on a small islet south of the Kanoni peninsula accessed via a stone pier (this little islet is not to be mixed with the Mouse Island which is bigger in size and located just behind it). From the church, there are daily boat departures to the tiny Pontikonissi island and it takes only a 5-minute boat ride to reach it. Due to its small size, this lush, green island is known as the “Mouse Island” and the only landmark you can visit here is a small Byzantine chapel dating from the 13th century.
This scenic area can be best admired from two cafeterias located on top of the hill overlooking Vlacherna Monastery and Mouse Island. You will also frequently see airplanes landing and taking off, as the airport lies only a few km from there.
8. Corfu Beaches
The east coast of Corfu boasts numerous beaches perfect for swimming due to the calm sea, however, some of the most beautiful and scenic beaches are nestled along the island’s west and north coast. The most popular beaches include:
- Paleokastritsa – Tucked in the village of Palaiokastritsa, Paleokastritsa beach is set in a lush scenery featuring a picturesque harbour and stunning bays surrounded by olive tree forests. There are a few sandy and pebble beaches in the area, including Agia Triada, Ampelaki beach, Agios Petros, Agios Spiridon beach and La Grotta beach. You can climb to the surrounding hills and discover centuries-old churches and monasteries (Chapel of Agios Georgios and Monastery of Paleokastritsa), incredible viewpoints, and a wide variety of Greek taverns and cafes offering jaw-dropping views of the area. The main Paleokastritsa beach is quite small compared to other beaches and is known for its cold water. Distance from Corfu cruise port: 21 km/13 miles (a 30-minute drive). Check out Paleokastritsa Tours and Tickets
- Glyfada Beach – One of the most popular beaches in Corfu lies on the west coast and is awarded the Blue Flag status for its pristine waters. A long stretch of soft golden sand is particularly popular for a younger crowd, and the cliffs surrounding the beach offer unique photo ops. You can enjoy numerous facilities in the area, including beach clubs and restaurants, and a car park. Distance: 16 km/10 miles (a 30-minute drive). Explore Glyfada Beach tours and activities
- Canal d’Amour (Kanali tou Erota) – Nestled in the village of Sidari on Corfu’s north coast, the legendary “Channel of Love” is one of the most scenic places on the island. It boasts unique rock formations that form a series of beautiful coves and canals and has a small beach where you can enjoy the picturesque scenery. Distance: 36 km/22 miles (a 50-minute drive)
- Agios Georgios Beach – The long stretch of white sandy beach is located on the island’s west coast and is lined with cafes and restaurants. Water sports and supermarkets are available. Distance: 30 km/18.5 miles (a 45-minute drive)
- Dassia Beach – Dassia is a small village located only a 15-minute drive northwest of Corfu Town. This tourist resort has a nice, developed beach perfect for families due to its calm, shallow water and lovely views of neighboring Albania. Distance: 11 km/7 miles (a 15-minute drive)
- Barbati Beach – This long pebble beach lies 17 km/10.5 miles (a 25-minute drive) north of the port of Corfu and features turquoise, crystal-clear waters.
- Porto Timoni Beach – One of the most scenic beaches is set in a secluded bay and is an ideal place for snorkeling. It’s located near Agios Georgios Beach, 34 km/21 miles (a 50-minute drive) northwest of the port.
- Kassiopi – This fishing village lies on the northeast tip of Corfu and has several beautiful rocky beaches including Kanoni Beach, Pipitos Beach, and Mpataria Beach. Distance: 34 km/21 miles (a 50-minute drive)
- Faliraki Beach – If you decide to explore Corfu Town and still take a dip in the Ionian Sea’s crystal clear waters, head to Faliraki beach located 700 m north of Spianada Square. Although it doesn’t have a developed beach, the place has a few bars and restaurants and access to the water via stairs and a concrete platform. It’s a great spot to chill and enjoy views of the Old Fortress.
9. Paxos and Antipaxos Islands
Discover Paxos and Antipaxos, two hidden gems of the Ionian Sea and the smallest of all Greek islands. The islands are known for their unspoiled nature, spectacular sceneries, picture-perfect beaches and series of blue caves that you can explore on a boat tour departing from Corfu Town. The two most popular locations include the stunning Voutoumi Beach and the picturesque Gaios village and the main port in Paxos.
10. Taste the Local Food and Wine
While in Corfu, make sure you treat your taste buds with delicious Greek food that includes fresh seafood, meat dishes such as gyros, souvlaki and moussaka, fresh salad with fresh olives and cheese, and tzatziki dip with pita as an inevitable starter. Top off your meal with a shot of Ouzo, the local brandy, or a glass of white wine from the region.
Corfu is one of the most important wine-production regions in Greece that has been making wine for centuries. The main focus is on white wine that you can taste in local restaurants, but for an ultimate experience, you can book one of the wine-tasting tours in one of the estates scattered around the island. The top-rated wineries include Theotoky Estate, Goulis, Livadiotis Winery, Nicoluzo and Ambelonas Corfu/Vineyard & restaurant.
Whether you decide to explore Corfu Town, enjoy the spectacular beaches, or explore the historic palaces, make sure you plan your day ahead to maximize your stay on this enchanting island!
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