This charming historical village up north is set against the backdrop of Mount Pantokrator (the highest point on the island at 906m, with a view of the Albanian coast), and hills studded with olive groves and lush plantations. Walk around the marina, take in the elaborate Venetian architecture, and enjoy a light lunch of sustainable seafood at Petrino tavern.
A grilled sardine dish or mussel platter is only 10 euros, and includes a glass of wine or ouzo.
After lunch, walk along the gorgeous pebbled beaches just 200m away.
Visit Canal D’Amour (Channel of Love) for its quaint rock formations and charming coves, then view the sunset from Aquarius Bar, which has a Miami Art Deco vibe. Later, hit the city’s kilometre-long stretch of touristy bars, restaurants and dives for loud and lively diversion. Prefer somewhere quieter? A 10-minute drive away is The Three Brothers Fish Tavern (Astrakeri Beach) where you can get traditional bour detto (fish/stingray cooked with spices) and other fresh catch.
This village is famous for its beaches and its monastery, dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Monks built it on the hilltop in the 13th century, granting the place a fantastic view of the sea. Inside is a small ecclesiastical museum with rare Byzantine icons, holy books and other relics. After that, head for La Grotta, the most stylish beach bar in Paleo and where the beautiful go to sunbathe. It’s built on the cliffs, so swim, wine and dive here to the Balearic beat. This is also a great launch pad for visiting various islands, caves and coves, only accessible by boat (10 euros each way).
Peroulades – Logga Beach
You’re welcomed by strong winds at 7th Heaven Cafe at the top of a dramatic cliff (is there any other kind?).
A small staircase leads you down to a secluded beach. Along the bay are a couple of caves you can only reach when the tide is low. Gorgeous and very private.
Old Corfu Town
Settle the enduring argument of whether the Old Fortress is better than the New Fortress with a visit to this Unesco World Heritage Site. The former is an epic brutish structure that juts out of the bay and was used to defend the island – successfully – against Ottoman invaders. The new one is within the city, overlooking the shopping belt. Go for a swim at the foot of the fort, and get a beer from Naok Azur Bar. Eat at Taverna Ninos, a century old classic eatery that attracts locals, students and tourists alike. Expect good homemade fare
(using secret family recipes!) like bourdet to with rice for 9 euros. Then meander through cobbled streets and do some shopping. I recommend:
• Firsthing & Noel (46 Dousmani, across from St Nicholas Church): For collectible arts and crafts like painted pebbles, cups and posters by a husband-and-wife artist team.
• Aloelia (26 Mitropoleos Square): For olive oils, including Kopos, a hard-to-find, award winning brand. And a great selection of honey, spices and wines.
Also pick up a bottle of homemade raki – an anise-flavoured spirit.
• Olive Wood Mini Shop (25-27 Filellinon Street): Watch a master carver at work here. You will also see many other artisanal shops along this narrow street.