So you decided to go to Corfu and you’re looking for a place to get some sun and splash around in the Ionian Sea? Hopefully you’re reading this before you arrive in Corfu and not when you’re already sweating buckets in the sweltering and mostly beachless Corfu Town. While Corfu Town beaches may not be the most spectacular, they do exist and they can even be enjoyable if you know where to find them.
Best beaches in Corfu
The bad news is that the best beaches in Corfu are not in the capital. If the extent of your planning of a beachy Corfu vacation was to fly into CFU or ferry into the port, then you should probably keep researching. Many of the most popular beach towns are on the north and west part of the island. These include Sidari, Paleokastritsa, Glyfada, Acharavi, and Kassiopi. To the south, there are stretches of beach in Benitses and Kavos, which is one of the most popular party towns in Corfu.
While I can’t vouch for all of the beach villages in Corfu, I did spend a few days in Paleokastritsa and it is an absolute paradise compared to what passes for a beach in Corfu Town. It has several scenic beaches surrounded by lush greenery and dramatic cliffs which are accessible on foot. From Paleokastritsa, you can also get to several remote beaches tucked under the rocks that are inaccessible except by boat. So you can imagine that after experiencing that, the beach scene in Corfu Town left something to be desired.
Where are the beaches in Corfu Town?
The good news is that all is not lost. While beach real estate is far more limited in Corfu Town than elsewhere on the island, there are a few spots where you can lay out and get in the water, though they may not all be named or labeled on Google Maps.
This beach may not look like much from the grounds of the Palace of St. Michael and St. George, which towers above it, but it’s actually pretty comfortable if you can find a spot to plant yourself. The beach is public but also technically inside Imabari Seaside Lounge and Bar. The large wooden deck from which you can access the water is covered in loungers and tables that belong to the bar. The good thing about this is that you can use the bathroom and order food or drinks.
The bad news is that all available places to hang out may quickly get snapped up. In fact, we went at 10 am when Imabari opened and evidently, people had been entering through the employee entrance to get a lounger and umbrella because everything was full. If you walk past the deck area, you’ll find a narrow pebbly beach. You can still go in and out of the water even if you’re sitting at the bar or a table, but if you want to lounge on the deck with an uninterrupted view of the Old Fortress, then arrive early!
The strip under Veranda
If you’re headed from Faliraki Beach toward the direction of the Old Port, you’ll find a long narrow strip of pebbly beach just under the scenic Veranda restaurant. It’s not the most luxurious and you won’t have access to any beach infrastructure like showers or bathrooms, but if you bring your own towel (and possibly an umbrella), it’s not a bad spot to take a dip on a hot day.
Vido (or Vidos) Island is just off the coast of Corfu – 2 km away to be exact. A ferry over from the Old Port is just a couple of euros and takes less than 10 minutes. In addition to hiking through the nature preserve, Vido has some beach access with limited sunbeds and umbrellas available for rent along with a taverna where you can have some refreshments. The small island also has some natural beaches that are accessible on foot where you can actually enjoy a quiet and scenic few hours.
You have to traverse the middle of the island to get to them, which will take you through an old Scout camp and some abandoned buildings that date back to World War I when this served as a quarantine camp for people with typhoid. The island is not so much uninhabited as it is mostly abandoned, so the vibe might be more horror movie than it is luxurious beach escape, and the beach may be covered in seaweed as its not regularly maintained.
The Contra Fossa canal was built to separate the Old Fortress from the rest of Corfu. When you’re walking to the Old Fortress, you’ll walk over an iron bridge that connects the fortress to Spianada Square. You’ll see small boats docked on either side of the moat, along with what appears to be a narrow shanty town of makeshift houses. If none of this sounds like a terribly appealing place to slather on sun lotion and lay out by the beach, you’re not wrong. However, should you have nowhere else to go, the water’s edge on the Spianada side of the moat has a pebbly area where you can go swimming.
Corfu Sailing Club
This Corfu Town beach is inside the Old Fortress near the Corfu Sailing Club Restaurant, and the only way to enter is through the Old Fortress entrance, which means it’s subject to a fee. You can either visit the beach on a day you’re checking out the sites in the Old Fortress, or you can tell the person at the gate that you’re going to the marina to avoid paying. Once inside the fortress, you need to walk toward the marina. Just before you enter the restaurant area, you’ll find a short stretch of beach. As with the others, it doesn’t have any special facilities and it’s not maintained as a beach, but it does allow you to easily get into the water.
Mon Repos Beach
Mon Repos Beach is a sandy beach south of the Anemomilos Windmill where you’ll find a beach club with food, drinks, and sunbeds available for rent. It doesn’t have the greatest reputations – despite looking nice, the facilities are worn, the showers and bathrooms are not the cleanest and are not always available.
Some people skip the overpriced rentals and bad service and lay down a towel on the rickety pier or south of the beach club on the free and even more poorly maintained strip of beach. The water quality is better around Faliraki. Despite being sandy around the area of the loungers, the seabed is rocky and has a lot of seaweed, so you don’t want to forget your water shoes. On the plus side, the water is warmer because it’s shallow.
Though Curfu Town is dripping with charm and you can’t go wrong with the local restaurants, the local beaches leave something be desired. If you came to Corfu for some fun in the sun, I hope you still have an opportunity to venture out of the capital. Otherwise, Corfu Town beaches are still better than no beach at all.