August 2021 archive

A guide to Corfu island, Greece

Corfu island

A guide to Corfu island, Greece

During my brief stay on Corfu island this summer, my focus was on exploring the neighboring islands of Paxoi and Antipaxoi, accessible from Corfu. Despite the brevity of my visit, it turned out to be an adventurous experience filled with unexpected twists and turns, all of which I’m excited to recount in this blog post. Join me as I share my photos and offer valuable tips on accommodations, dining, and more. Keep scrolling for the full scoop!

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Corfu island
Corfu island
 

A guide to Corfu island, Greece

Dreaming of turquoise waters, historic towns, and a vibrant culture that would make you want to pack your bags right now? Then let me take you on a journey to one of the most beautiful islands in Greece. This comprehensive guide to Corfu Island, Greece is your ticket to uncovering the hidden gems of this Mediterranean paradise.

Corfu island

HOW TO GET TO CORFU ISLAND

Corfu has an airport, so that makes everybody’s life easy. There are flights from Athens International airport, but also direct flights from many European capital cities.

A guide to Corfu island, Greece: where to stay

If you visit Corfu island and you wish to stay in the heart of the old Town, Liston Suites Corfu is all you need! Don’t look any further.

Nine modern and comfortable apartments situated in one of the most distinctive areas of Corfu town centre. The four photos that you see below are taken in the apartments Mon Repos and Merchant.

The location of Liston Suites Corfu is ideal for exploring the Old Town as well as other interesting sights and tourist attractions on Corfu island.

Fun fact is that every person who was passing by the pink building of Liston Suites Corfu, was stopping to take one picture (some took more) of the pink building. It is that pretty! You will be tempted to do that too! 

Book your stay in Corfu with Booking.com

Corfu island
Corfu island
 

A guide to Corfu island, Greece: WHERE TO EAT

I visited two restaurants in Corfu and I loved them both.

One was very close to the room I stayed at, therefore I spotted it while I was passing by. And the other one was a recommendation of a local friend. The one which was close to my room is called Limoncello and the other one is called The Venetian Well.

As I said, I loved them both, just keep in mind that The Venetian Well is a bit pricey. But it’s also one of the most historical and beautiful restaurants in Corfu town! So you get what you pay… they say!

Below: photo of the interior of Gabao Corfu where I had breakfast! 

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Corfu island

Why Corfu Island should be your next Greek Island destination

The crystal clear Ionian Sea

One of the biggest draws to Corfu Island is undoubtedly the crystal clear waters of the Ionian Sea. With shades of blue that will take your breath away, the sea here is perfect for swimming, snorkelling, or simply admiring from the shore.

And if you want to explore beyond Corfu Island, nearby Paxoi and Antipaxoi are both worth a visit. The smaller of the two, Antipaxoi is just a short boat ride from Paxoi, and is known for its stunning beaches and turquoise waters. Take a swim in the Blue Lagoon, or simply enjoy the peaceful surroundings of this beautiful island.

Book your stay in Corfu with Booking.com

Corfu island

Paxoi, on the other hand, is a little larger than Antipaxoi, but no less beautiful. Here, you can discover hidden coves and beaches, take a boat tour around the island, or simply soak up the sun on one of the many sandy beaches.

No matter which of these islands you choose to explore, you’re sure to be captivated by the crystal-clear waters and natural beauty of the Ionian Sea. So why not make Corfu Island your next Greek Island destination and experience it for yourself?

Book your stay in Corfu with Booking.com

Corfu island

The Venetian architecture

One of the most striking features of Corfu Island is the influence of the Venetian era. The Venetians ruled the island from the 14th to the 18th century, and their architectural influence can be seen all over the island. The Old Town of Corfu is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is known for its unique Venetian architecture, including the two fortresses that guard the city.

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Liston Suites Corfu Old Town

Corfu Old Town strongly resembles an Italian city. The streets are narrow and winding, with colourful buildings that have arches, columns, and balconies adorned with flowers. The mix of Venetian and British architecture makes Corfu a unique destination and an excellent place to explore on foot. Stroll through the streets and discover the charm of Corfu.

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Corfu island

Some of the most impressive Venetian architecture on the island can be seen at the Achilleion Palace, which was built for Empress Elisabeth of Austria in the 19th century. The palace features statues and paintings that reflect Greek mythology, and the gardens offer breathtaking views of the Ionian Sea.

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Corfu Old Town

Remember what I wrote at the beginning of this blog post? Many unexpected things happened during my stay in Corfu. I had dinner on my own at Limoncello restaurant. On the table next to mine, there was a couple having dinner. I stole a glance at them and continued with my dinner. I think they were also tourists.

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Corfu Old Town

Important info: I don’t know them in person. I don’t know who they are. They probably didn’t know who I am either. Also, this couple never talked to me. I don’t even remember how they look like. We didn’t exchange a word.

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The Venetian Well restaurant OLD TOWN CORFU

When I finished with my meal, I asked for the bill. The waiter came to me and said: The couple that was sitting next to you paid the bill….

I got a shock. This couple paid my bill and left. Never in my life I dared to think that something like this could ever happen. They paid my bill and disappeared.

One thing I can say with certainty is that I will never forget what they did! And I also do believe that this has a deeper meaning for me. It happened so that I can learn something out of this.

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The Venetian Well restaurant OLD TOWN CORFU

A guide to Corfu island, Greece: what to eat

If you’re a foodie, then you’re in for a treat on Corfu Island. The local cuisine is heavily influenced by its history of being a Venetian colony, and you can expect to taste a fusion of Greek and Italian flavors.

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The Venetian Well restaurant OLD TOWN CORFU

One dish you shouldn’t miss is Sofrito, which is a local specialty made from thinly sliced beef cooked in white wine and garlic.

Another must-try is Pastitsada, which is a pasta dish topped with a tomato-based sauce and either beef or rooster.

Seafood lovers should try Bourdeto, which is a spicy fish stew made with red pepper flakes and vinegar.

For a truly authentic experience, head to one of the local tavernas and try the set menus or “meze,” which are a selection of small plates to share. And don’t forget to wash it all down with some local wine or ouzo.

Paxoi Antipaxoi islands photos and travel tips
Paxoi Antipaxoi islands photos and travel tips
 

DAY TOURS FROM CORFU ISLAND

From Corfu old Town you can easily hop on to Paxoi. And from Paxoi you can easily hop on to Antipaxoi. Ok, let’s take it step by step. Book your ferry tickets from Corfu to Paxoi with Joy cruises Corfu. On their Facebook page, you will find their everyday ferry timetable.

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Paxoi Antipaxoi islands photos and travel tips

HOW TO GET FROM PAXOI TO ANTIPAXOI

From Paxoi to Antipaxoi, there is a local small boat that you can take from the main square of Gaios. This local boat brings you to Antipaxoi. Or you can rent your own boat and a skipper, like we did for one day!

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Voutoumi beach Paxoi Antipaxoi islands

DISCOVER PAXOI ISLAND

In addition to Corfu Island, the nearby islands of Paxoi and Antipaxoi also showcase Venetian influence. The capital of Paxoi, Gaios, is a picturesque town with colourful buildings, narrow streets, and a beautiful waterfront.

Antipaxoi is a small island with only a few houses, but it’s known for its pristine beaches and crystal clear waters, making it an ideal day trip from Corfu Island.

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Voutoumi beach Paxoi Antipaxoi islands

The beaches of Corfu are some of the most beautiful in Greece, if not the world. With over 200km of coastline, there is something for everyone, from long stretches of golden sand to hidden coves and rocky shores. Some of the most popular beaches include Paleokastritsa, Agios Gordios, and Glyfada.

But the real gems of the area lie on the nearby islands of Paxoi and Antipaxoi. These two tiny islands can be reached by ferry from Corfu, and offer some of the most pristine and untouched beaches you will ever see. Voutoumi Beach on Antipaxoi is a must-visit, with its crystal clear turquoise waters and soft white sand.

On Paxoi, the beaches of Monodendri and Plakes are also worth checking out.

Monodendri is a beautiful sandy beach with stunning views of the turquoise sea and the surrounding green hills. Plakes is a small, secluded beach with crystal clear waters that is perfect for snorkelling and exploring the local marine life.

No matter which beach you choose, you are sure to be blown away by the natural beauty and clear waters of this region. So pack your beach bag, slather on some sunscreen, and get ready to experience some of the most beautiful beaches in Greece.

Book your stay in Paxoi island with Booking.com

Voutoumi beach Paxoi Antipaxoi islands

If you are looking for the perfect Greek Island destination, then look no further than Corfu Island! Located in the Ionian Sea, Corfu is a beautiful island that offers visitors stunning beaches, crystal clear waters, and a vibrant culture.

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Voutoumi beach Paxoi Antipaxoi islands
Voutoumi beach Paxoi Antipaxoi islands
 

There are plenty of activities to do on Corfu Island, from exploring the historic Old Town to lounging on the sandy beaches. Plus, with nearby islands Paxoi and Antipaxoi, there are plenty of opportunities for exploration and adventure. With its stunning scenery and vibrant culture, Corfu Island is the perfect place for your next Greek Island holiday.

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Voutoumi beach Paxoi Antipaxoi islands

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Liston Corfu Old Town

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Disclaimer: my stay at Liston Suites Corfu was an invitation. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This blog post is NOT sponsored. It contains affiliate links. I get a commission if you make a purchase through the links which comes at no cost to you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for using my links. All photos are taken and edited by me.

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Visit Symi island

Visit Symi island

Visit Symi island

I remember I was in Athens International Airport when I laid my eyes on a photo of an advertisement and I couldn’t figure out which island was pictured on that photo. I spontaneously asked a random person who was working in the store located right next to that photo. Which island is this, I asked! Symi, she said!

I always knew it, that I had to visit Symi! But that picture in that precise moment made it even more clear to me! We have to visit Symi! And finally we made it this summer!

Symi was the third stop of our Greek island hopping! In this blog post you will find my photos and my best travel tips, so that you can get well prepared for when you decide to visit Symi island! Read on to learn more about the many things to do on this charming Greek island.

Visit Symi island

HOW TO GET TO SYMI ISLAND

This stunning island is located in the Southern Dodecanese, north of Rhodes and close to the coast of south-west Turkey. With its crystal-clear turquoise seas, lush cypress trees, and pretty fishing villages, Symi is the perfect place to relax and unwind.

Getting to Symi can be an adventure in itself, as the island can only be reached by boat.

Visitors can fly to Rhodes island and then catch the ferry to Symi.

I think this is the best way to get to Symi island. Take the airplane from Athens to Rhodes and then take the ferry Sebeco or Dodekanisson Seaways to Symi. The ferry only takes one hour and twenty minutes. 

Once you arrive at the port, you will be greeted by the sight of small harbours and colorful buildings that reflect the island’s authentic charm.

Visit Symi island
Visit Symi island
 

WHERE TO STAY IN SYMI ISLAND

We stayed at Limani Life, but we fell head over heels for 1900 hotel! They both belong to the architect Dimitris Zographos, who we had the honour to meet in person!  Book your stay at 1900 hotel, opt for the grand suite 1901, and book as many nights as possible.

One of the most popular choices is the monastery grounds, which offer a peaceful retreat away from the hustle and bustle of the town. With rooms costing around 20 euro, it’s an affordable option for those looking for a simple and tranquil stay.

Regardless of where you stay, you’re sure to be surrounded by the island’s unique beauty and charm.

Book your stay in Symi island with Booking.com

Visit Symi island
Visit Symi island
 

WHERE TO EAT

Symi offers a wide range of dining options, with its restaurants and tavernas offering delicious traditional Greek dishes.

For seafood lovers, a visit to one of Symi’s tavernas near the harbour is a must. Fresh seafood such as squid, octopus, and prawns are the main dishes on the menu, but don’t miss the chance to try their famous lobster spaghetti.

If you’re in the mood for some meat, the island has some great options too. Some restaurants serve classic Greek meat dishes like moussaka, souvlaki, and gyros.

For vegetarians, there are many delicious options such as Greek salad, fava, spanakopita, and dolmades. You’ll also find a variety of vegetarian-friendly dishes at many of the island’s restaurants.

To top off your meal, try some of the delicious traditional desserts. Loukoumades (Greek doughnuts with honey), baklava, and galaktoboureko (a sweet semolina custard in filo pastry) are popular choices.

Symi also has a few great cafes where you can enjoy a coffee or drink, or even grab a quick bite to eat. Many of the cafes and bars offer beautiful views of the harbour or sea.

Dining in Symi offers a fantastic culinary experience. With fresh, delicious ingredients and traditional recipes, you’re sure to have a memorable meal on the island.

Visit Symi island

These are the restaurant we visited during our stay

Haritomeni in Ano Symi – our by far favourite restaurant on the island for the view, the lovely staff, the owner and the food of course!

Manos Fish Restaurant – For the best sea food on the island!

Bella Napoli Trattoria Italiana – For pasta and pizza!

Taverna restaurant International – a lovely traditional Greek taverna!

Elpidas Kafeneion – where the locals hang out!

Most of the restaurants do not have a website. But if you google them, you will find an address, a telephone number or a Facebook page. Or simply ask the locals…

Visit Symi island

Visit the Panormitis Monastery in Symi island

Visit the Panormitis Monastery, one of the most important religious sites in the Dodecanese. The monastery is a Byzantine-style church that dates back to the 18th century and is dedicated to Saint Michael. The monastery’s museum houses a collection of religious artefacts and iconography.

Symi island Greece

ONE DAY ISLAND TOUR FROM SYMI ISLAND

If you’re staying on Symi Island, then taking a day tour to the nearby islands is a great way to explore more of this beautiful region. Here’s a suggested itinerary for a one-day island tour:

Start your day early with a delicious breakfast in Symi. Then, head to the port to board a boat for your day tour.

Check out Poseidon excursions. Ask them which are the available excursions. You will have the chance to see unique landscapes, swim in crystal clear waters and have lunch on the small island of Sesklo.

A day tour to the nearby islands of Symi is a great way to explore more of the region and soak up some Greek island vibes. With beautiful scenery, delicious food, and interesting cultural sites, it’s a must-do for anyone staying on Symi Island.

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Symi island Greece

BEST THINGS TO DO IN SYMI ISLAND

One of the most rewarding experiences when visiting Symi is exploring its town on foot. The first place you should start is the port area of Symi town, which is full of traditional neoclassical houses and small fishing boats. You will feel like you’ve been transported back in time!

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1900 boutique hotel photos
1900 boutique hotel photos
 

From there, the famous 500 stairs lead all the way up to Chorio, which is the upper part of Symi town. The climb is not easy, but the view from the top is breathtaking! Once you reach Chorio, you should explore the ruins of the Venetian Castle. It’s a perfect spot to enjoy a picnic or watch the sunset over the Aegean Sea.

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1900 boutique hotel photos

Another way to explore Symi Island is to go on a boat trip to visit the island’s secluded beaches. Some of them can only be accessed by boat, and they are worth the trip! You can relax in the sun, go snorkelling, or even cliff jumping. It’s an adventure that you won’t forget!

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1900 boutique hotel photos
1900 boutique hotel photos
 

Visit Symi island

While in Symi, you should also check out the souvenir shops and bring back a unique memento from your trip. From handmade ceramics to traditional jewellery, you can find something for everyone.

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Greek island hopping

But most importantly, don’t forget to talk to the locals! Symi is a small island, and everyone knows each other. They are always willing to share their stories and give you tips on where to go and what to do. It’s an authentic experience that will make your trip to Symi even more special.

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Greek island hopping

Swimming and Sunbathing in Symi island

Symi Island is not just known for its beautiful architecture and scenic landscapes, but also for its amazing beaches. One of the most popular sandy beaches on the island is Nos Beach, which is located just 300 metres away from the capital and main port.

This family-friendly and organised beach offers sunbeds and umbrellas for visitors, making it the perfect place to spend the day relaxing under the sun. If you are looking for a secluded spot, then the small bay of Panormitis, located 12 km south of the town of Symi, is an excellent choice. You can get to this beautiful bay either by car or by boat.

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Greek island hopping

However, it’s worth noting that nudism is not accepted by the locals due to the religious symbolism of the monastery.

Pedi Bay is another stunning location that’s just a three-minute drive or 20-minute walk from Nos. Alternatively, taxi boats from the harbour can take you there in just 20 minutes. The beach here is perfect for families with young children, as it’s safe and there are sunbeds and umbrellas to rent. Additionally, there’s a tavern nearby where you can enjoy some delicious Greek cuisine.

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Greek island hopping

Visit Symi island

For those seeking more adventure, there is a huge bay accessible by taxi boat. However, it’s important to note that the last boat for the harbour departs at 6:30 pm. Although the beach here isn’t the most comfortable for families with children due to the lack of sand, it’s definitely worth a visit if you want to explore more of the island. It’s also recommended to wear shoes instead of flip-flops due to the pebbles on the beach.

Greek island hopping

Visit Symi island

Whether you are looking for a peaceful place to unwind or an adventurous spot to explore, Symi Island has something to offer everyone. So, pack your bags and head over to this stunning Greek island for an unforgettable vacation experience.

Greek island hopping

Book your stay in Symi island with Booking.com

Symi photos and travel tips

SUPPORT MY WORK

If you enjoy my content and you’d like to support this channel, so that I will be able to continue offering you that kind of content for free, please consider using my AFFILIATE LINK on Booking.

When you make a booking with BOOKING.COM using my link, I earn a small commission at NO additional cost to you.

Alternatively, if you enjoy my travel stories, tips and photography, you can say Thank you by offering me a ‘virtual’ coffee here.

In case you’d like to book me as your photographer in Vienna, you can find more info here.

Please have a look at my portfolio, if you’d like to know more about my photography work.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for using my affiliate link!

Symi photos and travel tips

A THANK YOU NOTE

This trip wouldn’t have been realised without the help and support of the Deputy Mayor Mr. Nikitas Gryllis and the Mayor Mr. Lefteris Papakalodoukas whom we would like to thank wholeheartedly for making it happen!  

Symi photos and travel tips

Please take a moment to share this blog post with your friends and family on your Facebook profile. They might also be looking for inspiring travel stories and exceptional travel photography. Sharing is caring.

*Disclaimer: My stay in Symi island was a press trip in collaboration with the Deputy Mayor Mr. Nikitas Gryllis and the Mayor Mr. Lefteris Papakalodoukas. All words, comments and thoughts in this post are my own. This blog post contains affiliate links. I get a commission if you make a purchase through the links which comes at no cost to you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for using my links.

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