This sickle-shaped island off the west coast of mainland Greece and to the south of Albania has a coastline that runs to 217km (134 miles). In the north of the island the landscape is dominated by a huge limestone massif and sandstone-carved valleys and fertile hills. The centre is green, lush and verdant, dotted with pretty villages. To the south, the land lies flatter, and the coastline is composed of long sandy beaches.
There are resorts to suit whatever travellers seek cheap flights to Corfu for. Kavos and Ipsos are for partying. Sidari and Messonghi are for families. The north-east coast - from Nissaki up to Kassiopi - is perhaps the most attractive and civilised, a favourite with British families who come for the secluded pebble-strewn coves as well as the beaches.
Its interior has as much to offer as its shores. Green, lush and mountainous, it's a haven for those who want to holiday in traditional Corfiot villages.
Corfu Town is towards the south, a fascinating and beautiful town with Venetian, British and French influences evident in its narrow streets.
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Corfu insider information
- The narrow straits between north-east Corfu and Albania are usually calm. A wonderful diversion is renting a motorboat and chugging along the coast stopping off for dips at empty coves inaccessible by road. Renting a decent boat in a resort such as Agios Stefanos costs about £35 for half a day, fuel included.
- Souvenirs from the island include olive oil and olive soap. Products made from olive tree wood such as salad bowls, honey drizzlers and figurines are also popular.
- Corfu was a British protectorate in the early 19th century and Corfu Town even had its own cricket team. The cricket field can be found near the Liston, a cafe-lined Italianate colonnade, which is at the edge of the Spianada (Esplanade), the plaza and park.
- The Venetians ruled Corfu for hundreds of years, leaving elegant buildings in Corfu Town such as the Liston, for example, and two fortresses by the harbour. The old fort, Palaio Frourio, is open to tourists, from where there are panoramic views over the town and beyond to the coast.
- At 906 metres (almost 3,000 feet) above sea level, Corfu's highest peak is Mount Pantokrator. The mighty mountain is visible from most spots on the island.
- Corfu's second "city" in terms of population is Lefkimmi. It is much less touristy than other parts of the island.