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Corfu is one of the most popular Greek Islands for UK holidaymakers, offering crystal clear waters, idyllic beaches and a fascinating history. Corfu was one of the first of the Greek Islands to feel the spread of the tourist bug and it's simply beautiful. If peace and quiet is what you're after then there are plenty of places to escape the overcrowded tourist centres. Gouvia, Ypsos, Sidari and Kavos are the party centres whilst Kalami, Agnos and Agios Stefanos are much quieter.
While the main pastime is lying on idyllic beaches, if you tire of this, Corfu Town should be the first place on your agenda. It's one of the most beautiful in Greece, having been founded by the Venetians in the 14th century. There is also some decent shopping there along with plenty of cool cafes and bars.
A flight to Corfu from the UK takes about three and a half hours, so it's one of the further flung destinations in the Mediterranean. Of course that doesn't stop many thousands of visitors making the journey every year. Flights to Corfu operate from several regional airports as well as the main London hubs. Manchester, Glasgow, Belfast, Bristol, Birmingham and Newcastle all operate a variety of flights. Corfu is served by most of the major tour operators because of its popularity as a package holiday destination meaning that holidaymakers from the UK have a choice of scheduled flights, charter flights and low cost flights to the island. Tip: compare the prices of transfers and car hire - the latter could be the cheaper option, especially if you are travelling with your family.
Direct flights to Corfu are easy to come by in the summer months. You can also find some great flight deals in the shoulder months. If you're keen to find a cheap holiday deal, looking around April or October will help - the flights will be cheaper and hotels tend to charge less. Look out for flights at the beginning of the season if you're flying with charter airlines like Thomson Airways and Thomas Cook Airlines. Their direct flights are cheaper then as demand is lower.
A direct flight from the UK will land in Corfu International Airport, which sees a high volume of flights in the peak season. Since Corfu is closer than other Greek Islands like Crete and Zante, it makes sense to fly there direct. This will save you time and unnecessary stress and allow you to get to the beach sooner!
Due to the popularity of summer holidays to Corfu, there are a number of low-cost carriers departing regularly during peak season. Flights to Corfu are largely unavailable in the winter period.
Corfu International Airport (Ioannis Kapodistrias Airport) is located three kilometres outside Corfu Town. From the airport you can hire a cab, jump in a taxi or board one of the local buses to take you to your destination. Even easier, look for a holiday package with transfers included!
Car rental in Corfu is the most popular means of exploring the island. The roads of Corfu are generally in good condition and there are plenty of local rental companies operating from Corfu airport. Alternatively, there are frequent local buses and taxis making the island accessible and easy to get around. Buses depart for all the villages around the island. Motorbikes and mopeds can also be hired with ease for pretty reasonable daily rates. If you are feeling particularly extravagant you can hire a motor boat, no licence required! There are a number of hiking trails which are a wonderful way to see the unspoilt countryside. Pack a picnic and your swimming gear.
Ferries regularly depart from Corfu headed for the Greek mainland and there are also ferries from Corfu to the picturesque islands of Paxos. Albania is situated just two kilometres across the water from Corfu. If you are interested in visiting this previously communist state there are local ferries running from Corfu Town.
Corfu has a Mediterranean climate with hot dry summers and heavy winter rains. As Corfu is a summer holiday destination, May to October is the most popular time of year to go. July and August are the hottest months of the year with the temperature rising to 35°C and the sea temperature reaching 25°C which is ideal for swimming and snorkelling!
If you're looking for cheap flights to Corfu, it's best to travel at the beginning or end of the season. The weather is still pleasantly warm, and you'll find the resorts a lot less crowded
Easter in Corfu is part of an extensive calendar of traditional festivities that are steeped in history. Activities include pot throwing, banging pans, fireworks, horns and sirens. If you are visiting during this time, we'd recommend travelling out of Corfu Town and the resorts to experience what goes on in the more traditional rural villages.
Since 2002 the Drachma - one of the oldest currencies in the world - was replaced by the Euro. There are plenty of ATMs on the island of Corfu, many of which are in Corfu Town with more in the surrounding villages. You will incur a transaction charge when using an ATM but it is the most effective way of getting money. Cash (sterling) and travellers' cheques can also be changed easily.
Greek is the national language of Corfu however English is commonly spoken.
Most British mobiles will work abroad and there are plenty of public pay phones if you want to phone home. The code for Greece is + 30 then add 2661 for Corfu.
Greece has earned the reputation for being one of the safest holiday destinations in Europe and Corfu locals are renowned for being the most friendly of all! Travel insurance is still recommended. The sea is generally very safe to swim in with very few undercurrents however conditions can change so stay alert.
No vaccinations are required for visiting Corfu. Beware of mosquitoes! It is recommended you get some good mosquito repellent to apply as the sun goes down and the mosquitoes come out to bite! Although the tap water is safe to drink, the bottled water tastes much better!
Current Foreign Office Advice for Corfu
The British Consulate in Corfu can be found at 18 Mantzarou Street, opposite the theatre. The phone number is 26610 30055.