Corfu, known also as Kerkyra (Κέρκυρα in Greek), is the second largest of the Ionian Islands located on the northwest coast of Greece with an area of 585,3 km². With more than 100.000 inhabitants Corfu is one of the most densely populated parts of Greece. Corfu Town is the largest town on the island. This is where the airport is located and where most cruise ships and long distance ferries dock. Lefkimmi in the south is Corfu`s second largest town with the second biggest port of the Island.
Corfu is known as the greenest Greek island because of it’s green vegetation even during the hot summer. One of Greece’s most popular tourist destinations since 1970s. Corfu Town attracts tourism all year. The rest of the island targets seasonal tourism, mainly during summer months. Corfu has a lot of options for accommodation. From spare rooms to 5 star hotels. The most popular nightlife destinations are Ipsos, Kavos, Glyfada, Dassia, Sidari and Paleokastritsa. Nightclubs in Greece open in the midnight and close when the sun rises.
Greece is part of the Schengen Area. All E.U. citizens can enter Greece without a passport. They need just the identity card. For non E.U. citizens, a valid passport is necessary to enter Greece. In case you lose your passport in Greece, it’s better to have a photocopy of your passport in order to get the process of replacement quicker.
Tourist season in Corfu is from April through October, with July and August being the two high season months. If you are looking for relaxation and less crowded places, then you should prefer the period between April and June. It will be easier to find budget accommodation.In high season that lasts from mid-July until late August Corfu receive the majority of visitors, but keep it’s calm atmosphere.
In Corfu, there are sandy beaches on the west side of the island and pebble beaches on the east side. On the other hand, beaches with warm water are on the east side of the island where the water is more static. The west coast is a bit colder, especially in the afternoon due to the open sea. Most of them awarded with blue flags due to their crystal clear water, but lost the most of blue flags as the beaches did not meet the new criteria. Members of the program’s organizing committee found that although the beaches had clean waters, they had deficiencies in the provision of services to bathers. Blue Flags are awarded to beaches based on a long list of criteria, including the cleanliness the water, but also services such as restrooms, first aid equipment and disabled-friendly access as well as eco-friendly practices. Very few beaches in Corfu have a lifeguard. Therefore, now they are only awarded to organized beaches. Corfu town has some beaches, but they are not as beautiful as the beaches in the rest of the island, although they are popular with the locals because they are never overcrowded.
Summer heat can cause health issues to people with heart and lung problems and sensitive skin as well, considering that in summer the temperature may rise over 40°C. Drink a lot of water, avoid physical activities under the sun, wear light clothes, a hat, sunglasses and a sun lotion. It’s better to avoid direct contact with the sun between 12:00 and 16:00. The best time to visit Corfu is during spring, April to June and autumn from September to October so you can enjoy mild weather and fewer crowds.
Greece is not organized very well for a disabled person. Make sure that the ferry and your hotel is easily accessible for you.
Pay attention when you cross a street because car drivers seem to ignore pedestrian signs. The accident rate in Greece is one of the biggest in Europe and Corfu is not an exception, especialy as a tourist destination, so always wear your seatbelt.
In Greece the native population using Greek as their first or only language, but Corfu is a popular tourist destination, so English quite widely spoken in the service sector. though many locals also speak some Italian. The Greeks will be more friendly and eager to help if you try to speak some Greek, too. Just a couple of words are fine, they love it when they hear a stranger speaking their language. So if you say “Kalimera” instead of “Good morning” and “Efkaristo” instead of “Thank you”, and you will see some big smiles in their faces.
Greece is a member of the European Union and uses Euro(€). The banks are open for the public from 8:00 to 14:30 Mondays to Thursdays and from 8:00 to 13:30 on Fridays. They are closed on Public Holidays. Credit cards are nowdays obligatory in all stores. Visa, American Express, Master Card are accepted at most shops and restaurants. But it is always better to have cash with you, just in case. In small grocery stores, in remote taverns and in the flea market will probably not take credit cards, so better ask before you buy something. There are a lot of ATMs in Corfu. Here is a Map with most of them.
Shopping hours vary in Corfu. The general shopping hours are: Monday / Wednesday / Saturday from 8:30 to 14:30 and Tuesday / Thursday / Friday from 8:30 to 14:00 and from 17:30 to 21:00. Supermarket and big stores trading hours are: Monday – Friday 8:00 – 21:00 and Saturday 8:00 – 20:00. Sundays closed. Tourist shops in Corfu are usually open all day, every day.
Time Zone Currently Being Used in Greece is UTC +3 (Eastern European Summer Time).
The Electric Current in Greece is 230V AC (50Hz). You can use your equipment in Greece if the outlet voltage in your own country is between 220V-240V. Appliances from North America require a transformer and British ones an adaptor.
The public drinking water in Corfu is safe to drink, although it can be slightly brackish. Many people prefer bottled water that tastes much better.
Pharmacies in Greece work in shop hours. It’s easy to spot them as they have a Green Cross outside. There is always one pharmacy open in Corfu Town at night and at weekends. There is a schedule with the open ones on the window of each pharmacy.
Using or selling drugs is strictly prohibited in Greece, even light ones. The country has some of the strictest drug laws in Europe.
Corfu has many churches. As the Greeks are much bonded with religion you will find churches and monasteries everywhere in the island. There is a dress code to enter a church or a monastery. Visitors should be properly dressed, long trousers for men and long skirts for women.