Adorned with lush greenery and an intricate network of gorgeous hiking trails, it comes as no surprise that Corfu is affectionately coined, “the Emerald Isle of Greece”. Apart from its vibrant greenery, you can also find pods of wild dolphins across its turquoise shores and flamingos by the picturesque Lefkimmi salt pans.
Once you’ve tucked into sykomaïtha, (traditional spiced fig cakes) in the UNESCO-studded walls of Corfu old town, taken a romantic horse-drawn carriage past the French-style arcades, and wandered around the Byzantine Old Fortress by the coast, it’s time to hop on your Moorings yacht charter to embark on an epic Ionian cruising escape.
From pink-hued sandy beaches to some of the world’s most crystalline waters and coastal treasures that lie just a stone’s throw away from Albania, read on to discover some of the best places for adventure seekers in Greece.
Best place for snorkelling in Corfu: Paleokastritsa
Situated on the north-west coast of Corfu, the glittering gem of Paleokastritsa is one of the best and most famous areas for snorkelling and scuba diving in the Ionian. An interesting myriad of blue grottos, spectacular caverns and mysterious shipwrecks dot the area, making it a perfect spot for an afternoon of snorkelling.
If you’re looking to go a bit deeper, we’d recommend heading to the Achilleon Diving Centre, so certified divers can take you out on the water where you can come across colourful displays of crayfish, octopi, barracudas, cuttlefish and groupers. If you have the time, you can also hike up to the striking Theotokis Monastery. Founded in the 13th Century, this building has an interesting museum, outer lying gardens infused with jasmine and glorious 360° views of the Ionian Sea.
Best place to kayak in Corfu: Kassiopi
Kassiopi, a quaint village on the affluent north-east coast of Corfu, offers ample opportunities for kayaking. Spread between a thin strip of shingle beach and a sheltered harbour, the translucent, calm waters of Kassopeto have attracted travellers since Roman times. With a spattering of local Greek tavernas and charming embroidery shops, the village is watched over by the towering Byzantine ruin, Kassiopi Castle.
Grab your kayak and set off from the horseshoe-shaped harbour buzzing with local fishermen towards untouched blue coves and hidden bays around the area. In the distance, you will also have the beautiful landscapes and scenic views of Albania as a backdrop. Late in the afternoon, we’d recommend taking a romantic walk around the headland towards the secluded Kanoni and Battaria beach just in time for sunset.
Best place for paddle boarding: Gaios
Located on the east coast of Paxos, Gaios, the islands main port town is one of the most picturesque areas near Corfu for paddle boarding. The quintessential Greek harbour village of Gaios, boasts a beautiful array of neoclassical, biscuit-hued villas along the promenade and pond-like waters allowing even the most unsteady paddle boarders a great afternoon out on the water.
On towards the south coast of Paxos, the sheltered bay of Mongonisi’s vibrant blue waters easily rival the Caribbean. Even though it’s beach is manmade, this doesn’t stop travellers from lingering throughout the afternoon, renting kayaks, SUP’s and pedalos for a fun-filled afternoon.
Best place for a Greek party: Agni Bay
After you’ve had your fill of all of the action-packed activities your Ionian adventure has to offer, head to the lively shores of Agni Bay on the north-east of Corfu, for a night you won’t forget. At Nikolas traditional Taverna, the crowds flock every Thursday night to enjoy syrtaki Greek Dancing, traditional Greek lamb with tzatziki and some well-earned Mythos beer!
Feeling more like a personal invite to a family get-together, than your run-of-the-mill restaurant, the friendly atmosphere in Nikolas is nothing short of contagious. As soon as the “Opas!”, rhythmic clapping and plat smashing begin, you know you’re in for a local treat like you’ve never experienced before.
Best place for a romantic dinner with a view: Parga
Views don’t come much better than those from Filomila Ristorante in Parga. Nestled in amongst the Paragea Old Olive Oil Factory and Parga Castle, the hillside restaurant overlooks low slanting pines onto Valtos Bay, showcasing some of the most transparent waters in the Ionian.
Filomila’s striking blue-washed walls lure in locals and travellers alike for fresh Mediterranean cuisine, with its eclectic mix of Italian and Greek staple dishes. Come before sunset, to snag a front row seat to Parga’s daily coral-coloured light show. For a truly local experience, we’d recommend trying fresh mussels with ouzo and creamy moussaka over a bottle of crisp white wine. If you’re looking for somewhere to up the romance, look no further than Filomila.
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