Visit the emerald isle, full of natural beauty
Corfu is a delightful place to begin a cruise. Cruises to Corfu are offered by many of the main cruise lines on their Eastern Mediterranean itineraries.
If arriving by plane, the descent to the runway alone is spectacularly scenic and is followed by just a short transfer to the relatively small cruise terminal, where you will be given a welcome drink and complete all required formalities before catching the shuttle bus to your ship.
You can choose to walk from the terminal, it’s not too far, and this will give you time to look around and admire the views.
It’s not always ideal to arrive at your cruise ship at sunset but in Corfu it’s almost a bonus as you will be greeted by that very special light that will make you want to get your camera out before you have even boarded!
The views from the ship itself, however, will depend on which side of the dock you are on. You may be unlucky enough to have a very large ship blocking your view of the surrounding coast. If so, you may have to make do with the views from the dock or hope that the offending vessel sails out before you do in the evening!
Corfu Town is not far from the port. Some cruise lines will provide a shuttle bus which will probably take you to the Old Fortress. If not, Corfu Old Town can be reached on foot or by taxi from the port. It is a flat walk of less than 2 miles which will take about 30-40 minutes. It is not a particularly pretty walk, however, so you might want to consider taking a taxi there and maybe walking back if you have enough energy left!
Alternatively there is the Hop on Hop off bus tours, which picks up just outside the main gate about 300m from the cruise terminal.
Map of Corfu Cruise Terminal and Old Town
Corfu Town is pleasant to walk around and has lots of shops for both the local and tourist market.
There is a ‘Petit Train’ which leaves from the Cricket pitch which will take you on a tour.
The Old Fortress is open to the public, nearby is a statue of Gerald Durrell, author of ‘My Family and Other Animals’.
A pleasant day out is to visit Mon Repos, birthplace of the Duke of Edinburgh.
This can be reached on foot through the park (see map) or take a taxi.
Walking through the park you will be able to see some of the remains of the ancient city of Corfu.
Mon Repos is set in shaded gardens and has very welcome air-conditioning and clean toilets! There is a small charge for admission.
Location of Mon Repos
On the return trip, stop off at one of the cafés with fabulous views over the sea or join the locals swimming at the nearby breakwater.
Cruises to Corfu will offer tours to visit the north of the island which allows the visitor to take in some of the most spectacular places on Corfu.
The tours will normally head to the Greek Byzantine Monastery where you will receive a traditional Corfu welcome.
The monastery is set in fragrant gardens where you will enjoy a guided tour.
The tours then head to Paleokastritsa, a quiet resort nestled in a beautiful bay.
An optional boat ride to the caves around the bay can be taken for a small extra charge, before heading to Bella Vista, the most famous viewpoint in Corfu.
Here, you’ll get some time to capture the magical views overlooking Paleokastritsa and the island’s west coast.
The return trip to your ship will pass through the mountainous area of Corfu giving superb views at each hairpin bend!
Another place that the tours visit is The Achilleion Palace is in the village of Gastouri. The palace was built at the end of the 19th century as a summer retreat for Empress Elizabeth of Austria.