06 Sep Hiking in Corfu – Tips for your perfect hiking holiday
Dreamlike views of lush green hills, rugged cliffs and the vastness over the Mediterranean Sea – you can experience all this while hiking in Corfu. For me, hiking is breathing in the clear, fresh mountain air and arriving at the destination after a strenuous but eventful hike and enjoying the moment. I love discovering new landscapes all the time, especially in pleasant warm climate regions. My walking holiday in Corfu was unique!
Corfu, where lush green landscapes meet the crystal clear sea
If you only think of summer, sun, beach and sea when you think of Greece, you’re wrong, because Corfu is also the perfect holiday destination for hikers. Corfu is the northernmost of the Ionian Islands, which is why it rains more often here than on the other islands. Of course, this plays right into nature’s hands: lush green meadows and hills as well as Mediterranean forests and more than four million olive trees grow on Corfu. Fascinating mountain landscapes meet beautiful sandy or pebble bays with crystal-clear water. Ideal for jumping into the blue sea and relaxing on the beach after an eventful day of hiking. This is exactly why Corfu is one of the most beautiful islands in Greece.
The variety of plants on Corfu is unique and absolutely worth seeing. Countless wild flowers and over 30 species of orchids grow here. The many trees, such as cypresses or dwarf orange trees, provide valuable shade. Corfu is also known for its olive groves – you will find them on every corner while hiking. It is said that about 4 million of these Mediterranean trees have grown on the island since their planting was encouraged by the Venetians in the 16th century.
The perfect souvenir from Corfu is, of course, olive oil 😉.
My top 3 walks in Corfu for every level
Today I’m going to introduce you to three of my favourite hikes I’ve done in Corfu. I have chosen a route with the right level of difficulty for each level. Are you more the relaxed walker and bon vivant or the “higher-faster-further” hiker who knows no limits? Try out the hiking routes on Corfu for yourself and find your personal holiday moments in the here and now.
By the way: the best time to go hiking on Corfu is between April and July or September to October, with July being the hottest. If you also want to swim in the sea, I recommend the time from June onwards – before then the water is still very fresh.
Walking in Corfu’s old town
The first round that I can recommend to you for hiking in Corfu is the perfect beginner’s hike. It leads through the capital of Corfu, Corfu Town or also called Kerkyra. The short hike or walk is ideal to get a first impression of Corfu Town or to simply visit the town on foot instead of taking a booked sightseeing tour.
The old town circuit of Corfu is easy to master and has no metres in altitude. The loop is a good five and a half kilometres long and if you walk at a leisurely pace and look to the right and left, you can do it in about one and a half hours.
From here you head towards the city centre. The first highlight on the Corfu walk through the city is the market. It’s better to do the walk in the morning, as the market is only open until midday. Even from a distance, you can smell the fresh herbs from the fruit and vegetable stalls. I love strolling through markets in other countries. I already buy a bottle of olive oil and honey for home.
The next point on the Corfu city walk is a soap factory. You simply have to go in here. I am greeted warmly by the friendly owner and he even shows me his soap workshop and explains everything about the craft of making it. I can’t help it – I simply have to take a bar of the high-quality olive soap home with me to remember my visit here for a little longer.
We continue through the alleys of Corfu Town. The facades of the houses could actually do with some renovation, but somehow it’s also the charm that the town exudes to me. I like it! It has something original about it and overall the town also seems very harmonious to me because the colours of the buildings are all similar: cream, yellow, terracotta and orange dominate the picture. I also find it funny when you look up and see that the residents hang their washing out to dry on the roofs, balconies or windows of the houses opposite. How do they get at it?
The old town of Corfu, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, also invites you to stroll and linger with its many small shops and restaurants.
Next, the walk through Corfu Town leads to Liston Square, where you will find numerous cosy cafés, the large Esplanade Park and the monument to Field Marshal Schulenburg. From here you can also enjoy a wonderful view of the Old Fortress of Corfu. Also nearby is the Museum of Asian Art, which is located in the former St. Michael and George Palace. It really is an impressively beautiful building!
On the way back on the walk through Corfu’s capital, we pass the Spiridon Church. St. Spiridon is the patron saint of the island and you can see his coffin in the church. It is worth going inside the church – from the outside it looks quite inconspicuous, but from the inside it is very magnificent.
Finally, return to the starting point.
Hiking to Corfu’s twin bay – an absolute postcard motif
Don’t be surprised, you won’t find too much text on the next two circular walks that I recommend for your holiday on Corfu, as you did on the first round. But that’s not at all because the tours are less worthwhile – on the contrary: the tours are absolute highlights on Corfu for hiking, but on them you’ll be hiking through nature and not through the city, where I could give you tips on the sights 😉 .
So here we go with the second tour. The second hike goes from Arillas to the double bay Timoni. This is a moderately difficult hike on Corfu, where you hike just under 9.5 kilometres. It takes about 3 hours in total. The hiking boots I took with me on my Corfu holiday are worthwhile for this hike. Other sturdy shoes would probably have done as well. In any case, I advise you not to wear flip-flops or sandals. Also, take enough to drink and maybe some snacks. Sunscreen is also very important.
The hike starts in the village of Arillas. If you are staying at the Adults-only hotel TUI BLUE Atlantica Grand Med Resort, it will take you about an hour by car to get here, but it’s worth it – believe me!
First, it’s uphill until you reach the picturesque mountain village of Afionas. Here you can stroll through the narrow streets and enjoy a fantastic view of the Ionian Sea and the offshore islands of Corfu. There are also tavernas and restaurants here where you can fortify yourself and take in the view. But I’ll keep that open for the way back, because as the saying goes? First the work, then the pleasure. At the same time, the village is the highest point of the Corfu hike.
Then it’s about 30 minutes downhill until you reach the twin coves. The way down is very stony. Then it’s done! The two bays – Porto Timoni on the south side and the “pirate beach” on the north side are in front of me. They differ in temperature and the intensity of the blue is also different. I tell you: it looks simply fantastic! The journey here was definitely worth it. If you want, you can go swimming now before you continue your walk on Corfu. However, I recommend that you take bathing shoes with you, as the beach is also very stony. You should also make sure you get here early enough, as the bay is unfortunately no longer an insider tip and many tourists come here later (sometimes even by water taxi). You can not only refresh yourself in the sea, but also go on a snorkelling tour – maybe you will be lucky and discover one of the starfish that live here.
Then it’s a bit of an uphill climb to reach the Akra Arilla peninsula. Here, too, there is a beach where you can recover from the Corfu hike. The highlight of the peninsula, however, is the Agios Stylianós cave chapel carved in stone.
Now I make my way back to Arillas. In Afionas I enjoy a cool drink as announced and am happy about the impressions I have been able to gather on Corfu while hiking so far.
Hiking to Corfu’s Pantokrator
The last hike I would like to introduce to you on Corfu is a circular walk to Pantokrator, the highest mountain on Corfu at 917 metres. This hike is classified as difficult. You definitely need sturdy shoes and, again, plenty of drinks, sunscreen and some snacks. The hike up Corfu’s highest mountain takes just under 6 hours and is about 17.5 kilometres long – as you can see, it’s challenging.
P.S.: You don’t want to miss the view, but don’t feel like hiking? Then drive up by car.
If you’re staying at the TUI BLUE Atlantica Nissaki Beach, it’s only about 25 minutes by car to the start of the Corfu hike. On the hike you will only have shade in some places. In addition, you can expect changing landscapes, you walk along paths surrounded by green plants and colourful flowers and enjoy wonderful views into the distance again and again.
We start with the walk through the village of Spartílas. The path here is paved for the first time and the flair in the original village is special.
Then begins a stage that leads mainly over narrow and stony paths and goes strongly uphill. Phew, that’s exhausting! So every now and then I just stop and admire the view and the plants, bushes and herbs that surround me. On the part of the hike to Corfu’s highest peak, there is always a shady spot where you can take a breather. Finally, a landscape with lush green mountain slopes opens up.
You walk past ancient ruins until you are on the home stretch to the summit. When I reach the summit, I go through the gate with the big bell to the monastery. Here I take a break. I’m lucky – today the weather is particularly good and I have a unique view all the way to the Greek and Albanian mainland! Not to mention the vastness of the sea. I take a few more pictures and finally make my way back.
That was a hike on Corfu that was really worth it! I’m now looking forward to a refreshing shower and a delicious meal, and I’m sure I’ll fall exhausted into my bed tonight and fall sound asleep.
Go hiking on Corfu and stay at a TUI BLUE Hotel
Corfu is the perfect destination for hiking. At the same time, you can also visit the beautiful beaches and swim in the blue waters.
If you also want to go hiking on Corfu, I can only recommend the TUI BLUE Hotels. Here you have modern hotel facilities, delicious food and first-class service. For example, the BLUE guides will help you plan your next hike or give you real insider tips on how to explore the island.
If you’ve already been hiking in Corfu and are looking for a new hiking destination, try Mallorca, Tuscany or the Algarve. If you want to try something new, perhaps snowshoeing in Austria is the perfect solution.
Where will you go next? And what have been your favourite hikes on holiday so far? I look forward to your inspiration! 😊