With one of the shortest flight times to a Greek island available (three hours) , diverse Corfu offers swift and certain gratification for holidaymakers keen to enjoy great food, culture, history and seaside fun.
The Romans, French, Venetians, Turks and British are among nations that have placed their flags on this island at some point and the historical occupations have led to an eclectic jumble of influences across the island that merge harmoniously to create the unmistakable Corfu feel that sees people return here year after year.
Corfu Old Town is a must-visit Unesco World Heritage Site filled with beautiful buildings, churches, museums and shops. Head to the north-east to find quiet coves and the tavernas of your dreams or – for more active travellers – there are hiking opportunities at Mount Pantokrator.
Wherever you go you’ll find unique food – proximity to Italy has seen Greek and Italian food combine to create quite stunning Corfiot staples – so prepare to dine well and often. Corfu is perhaps the greenest of the popular Greek islands but it is the gold of the seaside that really makes visitors fall in love.
Dassia Bay on the east coast is very popular with families thanks to calm shallow water and watersports galore. On the same coastline are the peaceful Kontokali and the scenic Barbati.
There are great options wherever the compass takes you with south-coast Halikounas popular with kite surfers, Limni on the west coast a favourite of more adventurous holidaymakers, and Sidari on the north coast arguably the most geographically interesting thanks to rock formations and a plethora of little coves.
Where to stay in Corfu
With rich forests on one side and the glittering Ionian Sea on the other this member of Domes Originals sits on a secluded (award-winning) beach that can claim to be one of Corfu’s finest.
Central to the hotel is Core Spianada, a spacious open-air focal point where pop-up shops add a richness to your stroll from the pool to the beach. There’s plenty to do here thanks to extensive watersports, a great gym, an array of pools, the Signature Soma Spa, a creche, kids’ club and a bespoke playground.
Set up for families and couples there are dedicated spaces where children can do as children do, or adults can enjoy quiet contemplation plus plenty of room choice with 138 rooms and 98 suites. Three restaurants, four bars and a food market complete the scene at this high-end but homely retreat.
Greece’s first Dreams resort brings all of the brand’s expertise to the glorious shoreline next door to the beautiful fishing village of Gouvia in Corfu.
While you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who wouldn’t enjoy a stay at the resort, it is particularly well geared for families thanks to the Explorer’s Club for smaller children and the Core Zone Club designed to give teenagers the chance to make friends, join in daily activities and hang out.
The sporting options both on land and water are exceptional plus there are three pools, five restaurants (four à la carte), seven bars (including three snack bars) and plenty of live entertainment.
As the name suggests there is also a Dreams spa with a wide range of treatments available at an additional cost.
Gone are the days of dodgy all-inclusive offerings with reality hiding behind obscure small print – if you stay with Ikos, a brand that has reinvented the luxury all-inclusive beach holiday across the Mediterranean.
Expect five-star service and accommodation and an ‘Infinite Lifestyle’ experience thanks to touches such as menus created by Michelin-starred chefs, cocktails created by skilled mixologists, premium spirits and a substantial (and salivation-inducing) wine cellar. Plus 24-hour room service and kids’ clubs are all rolled into the price.
Ikos Odisia sits on 60 acres of beautiful lush green landscape on the Dassia Bay coastline. Think beautifully designed rooms in low-rise buildings, forest air, serene sand and staggering views.
The resort also boasts six restaurants (five à la carte), 10 pools, an Ikos Spa by Anne Semomin Paris and, incredibly, your all-inclusive stay also offers the chance to eat out at selected local restaurants.
While not actually on the island of Corfu you do get an incredible view of the island from this mainland masterpiece on a hillside in Parga, 50 metres above the beach on the north- west coast of Greece.
A very rare touch at this hotel 50 miles from Preveza Airport is that you reach the stunning shore in unique style thanks to a funicular railway. This relatively new addition to the local landscape is ultra-modern and offers a tempting range of rooms including maisonettes, swim-up rooms and suites with private pools.
Four miles away is the traditional village Perdika and surrounding the hotel is a forest that can be explored with a local guide. Whichever room you choose you’ll have a view of the Ionian and access to all manner of facilities including a yoga deck, four restaurants, three bars, two pools (one for children), fitness pop-up events with Oyogo and creches and clubs for children of all ages.
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