The best beaches in Corfu - Citimarks

Paradise on earth

Port timoni beach
man sleeping on bench


"The whole Mediterranean - the sculpture, the palm, the gold beads, the bearded heroes, the wine, the ideas, the ships, the moonlight, the winged gorgons, the bronze men, the philosophers – all of it seems to rise in the sour, pungent taste of these black olives between the teeth. […] A taste as old as cold water."
Lawrence Durrell, Prospero’s cell, Faber & Faber Limited, 1945.
chapter 1

Exhilarating nature

This abundant vegetation, the intoxication of spring overlooking the snowy mountains of Epirus, the perfect composition of the seascapes, all this range of senses… everything can take you to the limits of seduction.

In Corfu, everything exudes a grace born by a harmonic blend between Greece and Italy; the campanile of Saint Spyridon and the oval face of the villagers who walk barefoot on the streets; the amphora or the white tin over a woman’s head who walks with the allure of a Goddess; the farmhouses with the big colonnade canopy; the embrace of Garitsa bay; the semi-tropical garden at Monrepos royal mansion; but also the simple cornfields in the plain of Ropa, lined by gray olives trees, in a frame of bucolic hills.

[…] This emerald freshness is a medicine. Levitating high above the rocky Ithaca or the shores of Parga, Corfu looks like a basket of grass tossed over the waves.

Raymon Matton,
Corfou, Institut Français d’Athènes, 1960, in Κωνσταντίνος Τσουμάνης, Η Κέρκυρα μέσα από τα μάτια των περιηγητών, Έψιλον, 2010

This island is too charming. She looks like a woman who knows how pretty she is and, eager to charm, does not stop smiling to emphasize the humid transparency of her eyes, the beautiful pink color of her lips and the two rows of pearls she holds in her mouth. […]

Here you will find rays, perfumes of roses and orange trees, delicious shades; water is everywhere, lively, melodious and exquisite; groves full of chattering birds; the soft, blonde light is an incessant care. From the top of the citadel, the entire island thrives like a big garden of a green color that evokes the magnificent velvets with which Veronese carved the dresses of his patricians; here and there, blue lakes and white villages will appear; the valleys are deep, the hills are light, graceful, clad in fields of green; rocks rarely appear, but when they do, they have a placid and kind allure; one cannot imagine Milton’s Eden or Theocritus’ Tempes to look any differently. But decidedly, this island which was Corckyra and the Pheaecia of Alcinoüs does not belong to Greece. The Gods that we adore in this ever-flowering garden are not our Gods.

You get out of the city by any gate and you immediately find yourself in an ocean of greenery, oaks, young elms, bay trees, enormous lemon trees, bushes of roses adorned with purple flowers, as large as water lilies, forests of pink and white acacias, azaleas, eucalyptus, magnificent bouquets of palm trees. Each farmer has his own vegetable garden, maintained with perfect care […].

We walk in a world of perfumes. The freshness of the lawns reminded me of the English gardens, although the Corfiot ones are united like large pieces of velvet. The edges of the streams are starred with daisies, anemones, bells; clouds of birds twist and turn while they are singing in the middle of forests of reeds.

[…] For me, the greatest charm of Corfu is the blue sea that can be seen from everywhere: not only from all the summits, but from forests, gardens, and countless views through which the shiny tablecloth appears like a polished mirror. In Pantaleone, the eye discovers the Adriatic stretching out like an immense channel between the beautiful mountains of Albania and a pale purple line that is Italy. A rock rises from the middle of the sea looking like a ship in full sail…

Joseph Reinach,
Voyage en Orient, Charpentier, 1879, in Hervé Duchêne, Le voyage en Grèce : Du Moyen-Age au XXème siècle, 2003

a flowery window in Corfu
a flower pot in Corfu
a flowery alley in Corfu
a picturesque cafe in corfu
chapter 2

Ulysse's refuge

The most famous of wrecks was that of Ulysses. […] After 18 days in the sea, after Calypso’s cave, the straits of Scylla and Charybdis, Sicily of the Cyclopes…at last, before Ulysses’ eyes, an island appeared in front of his eyes, an island dominated only by the happiness of life.

Its mountains stop the clouds and its fields turn green under the rains. The gardens overflow with fruits, the olives drink from the sea. Torrents hurtle down the mountains, while digging their riverbeds inside a thick, red soil. Everywhere, there are natural peaks […] and meadows where sheep graze; vines that descend the steep slopes of the mountains; villages with climbing vine; lonely beaches where dead logs recline their smooth and gray branches and surrender them to the caress of the sea […]. Ulysses discovers everything we still discover three thousand years after him.

Corfu, glistening under the autumn rains, exuded, on that beautiful December morning, a blue breath that hovered over the pine trees. We move between the village ladies, sitting cross-legged to pick olives through the stones. Underneath their white head scarves which are tied around the neck, their faces, with their strong and harmonious features, are slightly tanned. […] This island expressed abundance, a calm happiness whose roots are hooked in a soil that is solid and rich.

I remember Nausicaa’s words about her people, the Phaeacians: the long-sighted, skillful people in the art of weaving cloth and rigging ships, with a poor inclination for matters of war.

The Gods chose Corfu as the place for Ulysses to return to the mortals, as a way to forgive the great hero. They offered a paradise to an exile; it was a paradise on a human scale in which wine, fruits, oil and herbs are cultivated and harvested with effort and intelligence, instead of appearing with a simple wave of a magic wand.

Michel Déon,
Le rendez-vous de Patmos, La Table Ronde, 1971

If you walk in Corfu’s countryside, the colors and scents of autumn will welcome you with their caress to tell you how sweet life is when nature and man shake hands.

Pavlos Paleologos,
Corfu my love, Saliveros, 1958
a corfiot beach
kids diving in corfu
a Corfiot beach in Monrepos
Palaiokastritsa beach
chapter 3

The Royal Villa

Opposite the arch, on the other side of the road, the gate of the Monrepos royal villa appears. The splendid exuberance of vegetation of this park makes one think of Alcinous’ famous gardens as described in the Odyssey: “There, says Homer, grew large flourishing trees; some produced pear and pomegranate, others beautiful oranges, sweet figs and green olives. Never have these fruits ceased producing, they lasted all winter long and all summer long; the breath of Zephyr gave birth to some and ripened others; in the place of an aged pear, a new pear has grown; in the place of an aged apple, an old grape or a fig, a new apple, grape and fig. At the far end of the garden there was an orchard that produced abundantly all year round…those were the splendid gifts of the gods in the Alcinous residence”.

[…] Of course, there are, in the world, villas more beautiful and rich […]; But what magnificent vegetation…what a jumble of greenery under the palms and the banana trees… The wisteria bushes are to dream of; fragrant daphne; lovely thornless Banks’ roses; orange, lemon and fig trees, like those of Alcinous. All the plants that a moist soil can produce under a fiery sky grow freely […] in a harmonious mix that rarely disturbs the gardener’s pruner.

The very position of Monrepos, in front of the sea, is idyllic. Through an orchard of olive trees, a path descends gently, under the shade of large trees, to the water’s edge. In the center of the park appears the villa, the casino as they call it – that is to say the little house – the summer residence of King George, built by his predecessor Sir Thomas Maitland.

After having walked along the park of Monrepos for nearly a kilometer, the road that runs halfway up the peninsula crosses meadows shaded by beautiful olive trees. Here and there, vegetable gardens and a few farmhouses with very low ground floors and walls featuring ancient fragments. These huts are partly hidden under the rose bushes, cactus and cypress trees that surround them. Roses abound, there is a real profusion of them. The air is fragrant with their scent.

Arthur de Claparède,
Corfou et les Corfiotes, H. Kündig, 1900
the alley towars mon repos villa
Mon repos villa
mon repos villa
mon repos balcony

Corfu for nature lovers

Discover Corfu’s most stunning beaches, exuberant nature and intoxicating gardens.

More from the Greek Islands