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Corfu island was one of the first islands in Greece to open to tourism. The island attracts thousands of visitors every year from all parts of the world. Corfu is part of the Ionian Islands and lies in the north of the group, at the entrance of the Adriatic Sea, facing Albania. It is the second largest island of the Ionian group after Kefalonia. Corfu has a total area of 592 sq km, a coastline of 216 km.


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Because of the mild Mediterranean climate and the high rainfalls during winter, Corfu is full of abundant and verdant vegetation and wild plants, a phenomenon that makes it one of the greenest islands in Greece. The island is mountainous and its northern center lays Mount Pantokrator, the highest mountain of Corfu, which rises to an altitude of 914 m. Several flat areas, plains, two lakes and a couple of rivers complete the beautiful landscape.

Corfu was the first island to welcome and open its doors to tourism and has since become an important international tourism center attracting many visitors and offering well-equipped and modern tourist facilities. Despite the fact that tourism is developed in the coastal areas, it hasn't spoilt yet the villages that have managed to keep their authenticity and their local colors.

The economy of Corfu is mainly based on tourism but a small part is still related to agriculture, the inhabitants still producing high-quality olive oil and wines throughout the mountainous villages.

The capital of the island is called Corfu Town and is also the main port. This is the largest town of the Ionians and one of the most beautiful towns of the Greek islands. Built between two fortresses and full of superb Italian and French buildings, Byzantine churches and flowered squares, Corfu Town is a real jewel full of innumerable charms and beauties.

Corfu's natural beauty hasn't gone unnoticed by the film industry it has been the setting for several movies. On the north of Corfu, there are three small islands, untouched by tourism and great for total privacy: they are the Diapontia islands, that are Othoni, Mathraki, and Ereikoussa. They can be reached by boat from Agios Stefanos or Sidari.

The entire island of Corfu is filled with historic churches and beautiful religious monuments that mark its rich history through the ages. One of the churches that can literally take your breath away is the church of Agios Spyridon located in the heart of the town. It was built in 1589 and it is one of the island's attractions for its imposing bell tower that rises above the entire Venetian settlement. Saint Spyridon is the protector of the island, related to many miracles.

South of the old town is the area of Paleopolis, home to numerous historic buildings. Among them is the church of Saint Jason and Sosipater, dedicated to the two saints, who preached Christianity in the island of Corfu. It is a characteristic example of Byzantine architecture that still survives to this day.

The monastery of Paleokastritsa is one of the trademarks of Corfu located on top of Paleokastritsa cape. It stands on the middle of a lush green forest and the view from the monastery is absolutely majestic.

In the modern town of Corfu, close to the main port is found the monastery of Platytera dedicated to the Virgin. It is famous for the total number of frescoes that adorn its interior. At the highest spot of the island lies the monastery of Pantokrator, one of the best-preserved buildings with beautiful courtyards. It is a famous pilgrimage site in Corfu and offers one of the best views to the endless Ionian Sea and the entire island. It is worth referring to the Catholic community that has played a predominant role in the island of Corfu, due to which many churches were built in the town and the villages. The church of Saint James is the Catholic cathedral of Corfu.

Corfu island has always been an important commercial and trade center, drawing the constant interest of other civilizations like the Venetians, the French and the British who managed to establish parts of their culture and tradition. It is clear that the architecture of Corfu was sealed in the 18th and the 19th century with various examples of buildings that have made Corfu Town one of the most impressive European cities.

Even from antiquity, Corfu was a fortified city with two ports and the agora surrounded by impressive buildings, palaces, and forts. During the Byzantine era, Corfu island was constantly raided by pirates and at that time many fortresses and castles were built like the Angel Castle, the Gardiki Castle and the impressive Fortress of Saint Mark, also known as the New Fortress in Corfu Town.

During the 14th century, after it was surrendered to the Venetians, like many other Greek islands, the island developed an austere defensive character with tall buildings built very close to one another. Later, the military Venetian architects embellished the town with public monuments, squares, and churches like the Town Hall that still stands as an important touchstone in the heart of Corfu.

The Old Fortress of Corfu Town, close to Spianada square, is clearly one of the most important reflections of the island's history with a gorgeous view of the sea. The presence of the French and the British was equally important to the island's cultural wealth for the foundation of magnificent monuments, such as the Espianada Square, the Liston building, the Palace of Saint Michael and Saint George, the Palace of Mon Repos, the Kapodistrias Mansion, the Kaizer bridge and other architectural marvels that stand to this day in the old town.

After the unification of Corfu with the rest of Greece in 1864, which was signed in the Ionian Parliament, many buildings were founded, most of which were destroyed during World War II.

Visitors can enjoy their stay in many of the traditional hotels that have respected the traditional architecture.

Because of its mild climate and the frequent rainfalls, Corfu has a fertile land that produces a variety of excellent agricultural products. The island is particularly famous for its olive oil, wine, cereals, and the golden honey. The products of Corfu are used extensively in the local recipes. Above are some of the mouth-watering specialties of Corfu which have been influenced, over the centuries, by the Sicilians, the Venetians, and the French that once occupied the island:


Pastitsado is a local specialty that derives from the Venetian Spezzatino and one of the favorite dishes of the island. It is made of beef and gravy cooked with tomatoes and accompanied with thick pasta.


Sofrito is a dish that consists of beef stewed in a white sauce and has Franco-Venetian origins.


This dish is favorite during the celebration of March the 25th or during Palm Sunday and consists of fried fish served with a succulent rosemary sauce.


Bianco is a fish dish (usually Scorpion) cooked with lemon and garlic.


This is a liqueur and a spoon sweet made from a fruit similar to lemon. Kumquat has become today the trademark of the island, as it grows only in Corfu and in no other part of Greece.


Mandolato is a black and white nougat, another trademark of Corfu Island.

Ginger Beer

Ginger beer is the traditional refreshment drink of Corfu. It was brought by the English in 1860 and its production goes on till today.

Ice creams

The handmade ice cream of Corfu is pure heaven and offers succulent tastes following the fruits of the season.

Wine and Wineries

Corfu is especially famous for its wines which have become a tradition for the island. No heavy industry is producing tasty wines for they are all made from private vineyards owned by families or small associations.

All the wines of Corfu have no chemical additives and the most popular of those are:

Kakotrigis: a white wine that can be either sweet or dry.

Moschato: This is a light and sweet white wine.

Petrokoritho: This is a dry and crimson wine.

Corfu, known as Kerkyra in Greek, owns its name the Nymph Korkira, the daughter of the River God, Aesopos. According to the myth, Poseidon, God of the Sea, fell in love with Nymph Korkira, kidnapped her and brought her on this island. Archaeological excavations have proved that the island was inhabited since the Paleolithic Era. According to the myth, Corfu was the island of the Phaeacians, where Odysseus landed on his return trip to Ithaca.

In ancient times, Corfu was a very important commercial center inhabited by the Phoenicians. There was trading with all the towns of the Adriatic Sea, making Corfu a strong naval power and an important colonial town, known today as Paleopolis. The ruins of this ancient town are found right opposite the Mon Repos Palace in Corfu Town. Some ancient temples have also been excavated around the island, such as the temple of Artemis.

During the Peloponnesian War, Corfu asked for military help from Athens for an important battle against Corinth. The alliance between Corfu and Athens lasted for a century, until the Macedonians (under the rule of King Philip II), having won an important battle, conquered Corfu in 338 BC and took control of the island. From 300 BC, Corfu was successively attacked and conquered by Spartans, Illyrians, and Romans, who stayed on the island from 229 BC to 337 AD. During Roman times, the island was allowed to keep part of its autonomy and, in return, the Romans could use the port of the town.

The Roman contribution to the island included roads and public buildings including bathhouses. In 40 AD, Jason and Sossipatros, two disciples of Saint Paul, brought Christianity on the island and built the first Christian church which they dedicated to Saint Stephan.

The entire island of Corfu can be portrayed as a living museum that provides a beautiful journey throughout the history and culture of this place. Particularly the town is home to many museums which provide insights into the island's various influences.

Of special interest is the Archaeological Museum of Corfu which is enriched by many findings from the ancient cities of the island. The most impressive ones come from the Archaic period like bronze and marble statues, clay pottery, and parts of ancient temples. Also worth seeing is the Byzantine Museum of Antivouniotissa that features rare icons, frescoes, and ecclesiastical items. The church is actually a monument itself built in the 15th century.

Among the most impressive museums to visit and unique in its kind is the Asian Art Museum housed in the Palace of Saint Michael and George. Visitors can view a fascinating collection of Asian items like weapons, swords, masks and sculpture works. All exhibits come from the private collections of Indian countries. One of the places that Greeks can be proud of is Solomos Museum, the old house of the famous Greek poet who also wrote the National Hymn.

Outside Corfu Town, in the picturesque Benitses, it is a pleasure to visit the Sea Shell Museum. There you have the chance to a large collection of shells, fossils and rare fish from the Pacific and the Indian Ocean. The Music Museum aims to honor and present the history of the Philarmonic society with a great photo archive of concerts and other educational activities. You can also the Arachavi Folklore Museum which hosts a private collection of traditional items, the Numismatic Museum, and the Municipal Gallery.

Ferry Companies

blog Aegean Flying Dolphins
Aegean Flying Dolphins is a Greek, high-speed ferry operator based in Piraeus, offering daily services to the island of Aegina, and regular crossings from the port of Volos, in the Thessaly region, to the islands of Skiathos, Skopelos and Alonissos all year round.
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blog Aegean Speed Lines
Aegean Speed Lines offers ferry services between the port of Piraeus, just outside the centre of Athens, and the Cyclades Islands of Greece, in the Aegean Sea.
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blog Alko Ferries
Speed, economy and safety! ALKO FERRIES is a newly established Shipping Company (2018). In the midst of the current difficult economic reality, they are serving our islands, with their primary concern being the transportation of passengers, with consistency, comfort and safety.
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blog Anek Ferries
Two of the Adriatic’s best known ferry companies, ANEK LINES and SUPERFAST FERRIES have formed a joint venture on the ferry services between Italy and Greece and from the Greek mainland to Crete.
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blog Anes Ferries
ANES Ferries is a Greek ferry company offering connections from the ports of Volos, Piraeus, Mantoudi and Glyfa on the mainland to the popular holiday islands of the Sporades and Saronic groups.
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blog A Ships Management
European Seaways is based in Athens and was founded in 1990. Since then the Company has created several routes between Greece and Italy.
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blog Dodekanisos Seaways
As their name suggests, Dodekanisos Seaways operates numerous ferry crossings around the Dodecanese islands of Greece.
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blog Fast Ferries
Cyclades Fast Ferries provides daily crossings from Rafina on the southeast coast of Greece to the Cyclades islands of Andros, Naxos, Mykonos and Tinos, in the Aegean Sea.
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blog Goutos Lines
A dynamic, innovative, whilst traditional company that combines its founders’ 50-year experience in the field of coastal shipping, with an amiable, efficient and dedicated workface.
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blog Grimaldi Lines
Grimaldi Lines operates numerous ferry services in the biggest ferry markets, linking you with Spain, Tunisia, Morocco, Malta, Greece, Sardinia and Sicily.
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blog Minoan Lines
Minoan Lines is a Greek company and one of the largest passenger ferry operators in Europe, linking domestic and international ports in comfort and style.
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blog Sea Jets
Seajets is a Greek company operating ferry crossings from Piraeus, within the Athens urban area, and Rafina to Crete and the Cyclades Islands.
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blog Sea Speed Ferries
Sea Speed Ferries is a Greek ferry operator launched in 2018, connecting Athens - via the port of Piraeus - with Sifnos, Milos, Santorini, Anafi and the volcanic island of Thirasia.
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blog Sky Marine Ferries
Sky Marine, formerly known as Dodecanese Flying Dolphins, links the Turkish cities of Fethiye and Bodrum with the Greek islands of Rhodes and Kos in the Dodecanese archipelago.
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blog Zante Ferries
Zante Ferries, formerly known as Cyclades Ferries, operates frequent crossings from the Greek cities of Killini and Piraeus to the Cyclades and Ionian Islands, the most popular archipelagos in Greece.
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