Whether you’re craving rest and relaxation or an all-action holiday adventure, crowd-pleasing Corfu has something to tempt every party. From mountain biking on rugged peaks to scuba diving with eels, you can find plenty of energetic ways to get under the island’s skin. Low-key days can be spent wine tasting, strolling ancient streets or hopping between heritage sites – there are dozens of churches in Corfu Town alone – while boat trips range from sedate sightseeing jaunts to whizzing over the waves on a speedboat. And as for the island’s famous beaches, you can choose to unroll your towel in peaceful, secluded coves or on lively stretches of sand where music blares.
1. Party on the water with The Crazy Speedboat
For an adventure that mixes Corfu’s jaw-dropping ocean scenery with Kavos’ trademark party spirit, sign up for a trip on the Crazy Speedboat. This high-speed powerboat zips out onto Corfu’s beautiful blue waters, exploring sea caves and dropping anchor in the postcard-perfect Blue Lagoon for a stint of snorkelling and sunbathing. See Corfu’s underwater marine life as you flip around the crystal clear waters of the bay and pose for the crew’s underwater cameras, before sipping the boat’s free-flowing Champagne. Everyone is welcome, including non-swimmers and beginners, who are offered snorkelling lessons. Plus, the crew will pair you up with like-minded passengers, whether that’s families and couples or lively groups. The grand finale of the trip is when the boat cranks up to 75 mph for a wet and wild journey back to Kavos – all filmed on the boat’s HD camera for you to watch when you get home.
2. Become a wine expert with Corfu Walking Tours
When it comes to the great wine producers of the world, Greece may not be the first place you think of. But with an excellent grape-producing climate and more than 300 varieties grown here, there is a significant amount of local vino to get stuck into. If Greece’s wine isn’t yet on your radar, Corfu Walking Tours offer an excellent introduction to the top labels. Run by guides who were born and bred in Corfu, the tour reflects their passion for sharing a local’s insight with visitors. During the wine tasting experience, you’ll discover six quality Greek wines and devour each one with a specially matched Greek dish prepared by an award-winning chef.
3. Feast on the beach with Captain Theo Corfu
These award-winning boat trips are a family affair, run by the same father and son duo for three decades. They offer a range of itineraries, including sightseeing along the mainland, ducking in and out of caves for a swim, or day-tripping to neighbouring islands. But by far the most popular is the trip that sails out to an idyllic stretch of sand for a beach barbecue feast. The day also ticks off a few rounds of watersports and an afternoon spent basking in the glorious Corfu sunshine. One thing everyone says about the trips, whichever one they signed up for, is that they laughed – a lot. So expect plenty of fun and humour from the hosts. If you’re feeling flash, you can also hire the boat and crew for a private cruise.
4. See the best of Corfu with Corfu Mountain Bike Tour
Few modes of transport will reward you with the kind of hidden gems and knockout views of Corfu that cycling will. Take to two wheels with Corfu Mountain Bike Tour and you’ll tackle Mount Pantokrator, on the northeastern side of the island. At over 1,000 metres high, the mountain offers beautiful vistas of the northeast coast. You’ll start off at an ancient monastery and pedal along everything from paved roads to goat paths on your way to the mountain. Expect to see olive groves, ancient ruins and the village of Old Perithia, where you’ll pause for refreshments. You’ll need some mountain biking experience and a good fitness level for this one, but it’s not too challenging and the guides will usually tailor the trip to the skillset of the group.
5. Relax and rejuvenate at Asian Spa Ayurvedic & City Retreat
This luxury spa is only eight kilometres from Corfu Town, but its serene vibe makes it seem worlds away. Transporting ancient Ayurveda techniques from southern India to Corfu, the retreat offers exotic head and body massages designed to detoxify the body and balance its natural energy. The specialised Ayurvedic treatments are an ancient practice born in Kerala, south India, and the indulgent treatment rooms reflect the mix of cultures, with Keralan furniture and Western-style decor. Elsewhere on the treatment menu, you’ll find deep cleansing facials, harmonising body massages, Himalayan salt crystal body scrubs and mud masks, plus the usual manis and pedis.
6. Explore a 19th-century palace at Achilleion Museum
Built by the 1890 Empress of Austria in her favourite summer holiday spot, the Achilleion Palace is the village of Gastouri’s most iconic building. Dedicated to the empress’s love of Greek language and culture, the restored palace is a treasure trove of ceiling frescoes and grand oil paintings depicting scenes from Greek legends. There’s a stunning chapel to explore and perfectly kept gardens lined with sculptures, including an enormous statue of Achilles. Following the empress’s death, it was used as a military hospital, orphanage and even a casino, but today it’s a museum and heritage site. You’ll find it just south-west of Corfu, in a lovely setting amid twisting olive groves and bougainvillea-draped houses.
7. Take a wine tasting tour at Theotoky Estate
Surrounded by pine forests and set against a mountain backdrop, the Theotoky Estate in the Ropa Valley is extremely easy on the eye. The picturesque scenery around this 300-acre estate is only one of its draws; the main reason to visit is the fine wine and organic extra virgin olive oil that’s produced within the grounds. Owned by one of Greece’s oldest families – one that includes a couple of Greek prime ministers – the estate has been making wine for generations. Today, its reds, whites and rosés are exported all over the world and its olive oil is considered among the best on the island. You can stroll around the 4,000-tree olive grove or take a wine tasting tour of the traditional-looking wine cellar, before heading to the shop to stock up on the estate’s finest products.