Long a favourite of travellers who like their beach break with a side of culture, Corfu is the greenest of the Ionian Islands, and its historic wealth built great libraries and centres of learning, and gorgeous villas which have become some of the best places to stay in Corfu.
The landscape inspired Homer, who called it a 'beautiful and rich land'. Mountainous in the north, with steep, dramatic cliffs and pebbly coves, it flattens off below Corfu Town and the beaches become sandier and longer. The interior is a picturesque mix of cypress forests and farmland.
Corfu has been welcoming tourists for 130 years at least, and it's not an empty boast when the island's tourist board says they have something for everyone.
There are resorts all along Corfu's coastline, with the highest density around Corfu Town, especially to the north where there are some very private feeling coves.
Corfu Town is the island's capital, and where you'll find many of the best museums and most beautiful architecture. The Spinanada, the esplanade between the Old Fortress and the Old Town is where you'll find many of the highlights - the Old Royal Palace, now the Museum of Asian Art, is on the north and the Liston, built by Napoleon to resemble the Rue de Rivoli, is to the west.
Corfu Town is also where the ferry services leave - it's worth spending the day on lovely Paxos, if you have time for it.
Corfu's oldest village, Old Perithia is Heritage Listed and a really interesting place to stroll around. It has only 130 houses, yet eight churches! It was built high in the mountains as a hideaway from pirate attacks, and because of this it was, at one time, Corfu's wealthiest village.
Corfu has a number of other villages worth visiting, including
The beaches along Corfu's south side tend to be the sandier, especially to the south west, but it's the eastern coast where waters are calmer. Though the waters are a beautiful shade of bright blue wherever you go.
If you're looking for more isolated beaches try Pelekas, Glifada or Prasoudi. If you're here with kids, one of the best beaches for them is probably Massonghi beach.
As you'd imagine it gets very busy during the peak summer months, so if you want to reserve one of the best places to stay in Corfu in July or August, you'll need to get organised and book well ahead. Alternatively if you think you'd rather stay in an apartment or villa, check out our online partner booking.com.
A gorgeous family-run Greek house facing the beach. Rustic rooms and apartments in creams with private balconies, fabulous roof top restaurant and cocktail bar, and close to the main attractions. A family friendly choice slightly off the beaten track.
Lovely neo-classical hotel in the hills above the Ionian sea. Attractive traditional building, charming rooms with sea facing balconies, lovely terrace and cafe, and swimming pool. A great value choice within striking distance of beaches, golf and Corfu Town. Suited to couples, families and groups.
Located under Kassiopi Castle, this beach side hotel has been recently refurbished in a contemporary style with neutral, calming colours. A terrace restaurant with views of the harbour serves classic Mediterranean dishes with a good wine list. Staff are happy to help with organising excursions.
Ultra hip hotel located at the beach with sea views from every room. Red brick walls, antique furniture evoke a traditional style with all modern facilities. A cafe-bistro at the ground floor serves breakfast and light snacks. Full of character.
A stone's throw from both the village centre and nearby Sidari beach. Elegant and contemporary rooms offer fantastic views of the ocean. The restaurant, serving Greek and Italian dishes, is inspired by local cuisine and ingredients. Enjoy Corfu's landscapes from their pool with a snack bar.
Nr Stroggili, Corfu
Five Star luxury on the beach. Contemporary chic rooms, suites, and apartments in creams and whites with all the mod cons and sea-facing balconies. Fabulous restaurants, extensive spa, gorgeous pool and lounge area, private beach. Romantic, family friendly, often good value.
Contemporary chic hotel and spa resort with private beach. Rooms, suites and garden bungalows have creamy furnishings, wooden floors, modern gadgetry and sea views from private balconies. Extensive spa, salt water infinity pool and good restaurant and bar. Great for a beach holiday, family friendly.
A traditional townhouse hotel with sophisticated living areas and contemporary rooms and suites. Excellent value for its central location. A smart choice with no added frills.
A gorgeous neo-classical mansion in Corfu's old town. Elegant rooms and suites have parquet floors, high wooden-beamed ceilings, and all the mod cons. Lovely garden, sitting room, and breakfast dining room. Easy access to restaurants, beaches and sights. A great choice for romantics and groups.
"Serious Relaxing" is how Bella Mare describes itself. Offering studios with sea facing balconies and apartments with kitchens it is great for families. Very chic and boutique, it has lovely gardens and a swimming pool. Clean, comfortable and great value.
One of the first hotels to be built on Corfu. A large imposing building in a prime location. A mixture of contemporary and old-fashioned rooms with private balconies/terraces. Good spa, pool, restaurant. Well equipped, friendly staff, excellently positioned.
Agios Stefanos, Corfu
Wonderful beach boutique hotel with contemporary chic suites and apartments. Fabulous Greek restaurant, champagne breakfasts, pool and beach bar. Very romantic, yet still family friendly (some apartments sleep 4). A great choice for a faultless beach holiday.
Kerkira 490 81, Corfu
A small historic house beautifully restored maintaining a traditional style. Wrought iron beds, venetian style furnishings and balconies. Close by to several local eateries. Breakfast is included and served in the private terrace. Charming and utterly relaxed.
A romantic manor house hidden away in the countryside, but driving distance to the beach. Traditional elegance throughout; pink archways strewn with bougainvillea, pastel bedrooms and suites, and lovely central courtyard swimming pool. Excellent table d'hote.
Starting life as an 18th Century farmhouse this chic country club features accommodation located in refurbished stables, old olive press and original farmhouse. The bedrooms and suits are full of character, with antique furniture and beautiful private terraces. A hearty brunch served until 11am.
A luxurious waterfront hotel offers extensive choices of rooms with private sun-terraces, outdoor pools and sea views. Water sports, tennis and volleyball courts, indoor heated pool, gym and spa. Choice of excellent restaurants for either formal or informal dining. Utterly superb.