Corfu belongs to the so-called group of big islands in Greece, the same as Rhodes, Evia, and Crete. This means that life goes on in winter as much as it does in summer since many people live on the island all year round.
Although Corfu can be considered a rainy place for a winter holiday, the fantastic green landscapes of the island, as well as the tranquil pace of life, transform Corfu into one of the most magical places in Greece that you can discover in winter. Let’s take a look!
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Where to Stay in Corfu
We have a full post on where to stay in Corfu Town here, but if you want our quick and easy top 3 picks, you can find them below.
Budget: Local Hostel & Suites
This brand new hostel (with private rooms available) is small, offering an intimate and personal experience with only 10 rooms. You can choose from a dormitory-type room or a private room with an ensuite bathroom.
Location is the name of the game here: it is very close to the port (great for doing day trips to other islands or even Albania!), yet it’s also located just 10 minutes from the heart of Old Town.
While it’s easy to walk to the Old Town, there is also a nearby bus stop that can get you back and forth from the town easily — great as taxis in Corfu are crazy overpriced, similar to many other touristic Greek islands. The facilities are all brand new because they just opened around August of this year, so you’ll enjoy comfortable and modern amenities.
All of their rooms have clean and crisp minimalist styles. They have a minibar that serves snacks during the day, and every morning, they offer coffee (with refills)! Past guests commended the cleanliness of the place – calling it squeaky clean! The only issue some guests found was that there can be some noise from the kitchen in the morning or at night.
Mid-Range: Corfu Mare Boutique Hotel
Despite being a short trip by bus or taxi to the heart of the Old Town from this hotel, it still gets plenty of guests for its phenomenal amenities. In fact, you should hurry if you see there’s a room available – virtually every past guest of this hotel says that it is 100% worth staying here!
Corfu Mare has multiple room types and configurations (with a total of 51 total rooms). For a more modern room, look to their junior suite for stylish vibes. Most of the rooms have simple, classic decor elements to make each room look elegantly fabulous. Their beds use Coco-mats for the mattresses: they’re made out of natural fibers, and they’re also very comfortable and sturdy.
All of their rooms and suites are fully equipped with all the best features you can expect for a mid-range priced hotel. Interconnected rooms are also available if you are a large group of travelers. The hotel is tucked away from the main streets of Corfu Town. You will love how enclosed and exclusive the entire property is, and the fact that there’s also free and secure parking.
Just be reminded that there’s not much in the way of shops and restaurants nearby, so you’ll have to head into the heart of the Old Town for more action. The main views of the hotel are its private pool, garden, and the sea nearby, so if you want Old Town vibes, other Corfu Town hotels may be a better fit. Still, it is a wonderful, classy, and affordable place to stay in Corfu Town — and that’s one reason of many that so many guests return.
Luxury: Bella Venezia
Bella Venezia is a luxury hotel in the Old Town of Corfu that showcases what a typical mansion looked like during the 18th century. It stands out from the other buildings in the town due to its peach-painted exterior. The location is also perfect, both nearby to the attractions in the Old Town plus easy access to a local beach.
It was recently renovated in just 2016, transforming it into the modern hotel is it now. It’s a cozy hotel, with just 30 rooms and 1 suite, so service is individualized and personal. In terms of style, the interiors are decorated with exquisite furniture and embellishments. The lobby showcases pure elegance and class with its style choices.
Their rooms have parquet floors, and some bed frames are made out of wood and others from iron. One thing’s for sure: the mattresses are soft and comfortable, and many of their past guests raved about it! The hotel mixes and matches different classic pieces to create that romantic and sophisticated style for all the rooms. Most of their rooms have a balcony and the views are mesmerizing!
Check out the fridge in the room for a complimentary bottle of wine or champagne, plus a bunch of gorgeous roses to welcome you on your first day! A/C and heating give you choice over the climate control to keep you comfortable regardless of the season.
You will love how they put tealight candles in the ensuite bathroom to make it even cozier, and toiletries and towels are for your disposal here as well. It also has an enclosed shower to keep the toilet area dry and comfortable.
What’s the Weather Like in Corfu in Winter
The island is located towards the north of the Mediterranean, closer to continental Europe. That makes the climate colder than what you could find in Rhodes or Crete.
Corfu is also known for the copious rain it receives from November until March, so bear that in mind when it comes to getting your luggage ready. However, the temperatures can be pleasant and higher than what you could experience in most European countries.
The average temperature is around 11°C, but it can go up to 15°C in the early afternoons. These make the weather quite enjoyable for sightseeing, driving around the island, or simply walk the streets of the old town, enjoying different outdoor activities.
Pros and Cons of Visiting Corfu in Winter
As with any other Greek destination, and most of all, as with any other Greek island, traveling to Corfu in winter provides excellent opportunities to explore a lesser-known side to it. Crowds are long gone leaving the island all to yourself, to a small bunch of other tourists, and to locals going about their daily life.
Just like many of the bigger Greek islands, Corfu remains pretty much alive during the whole year. Oftentimes only touristic shops will be closed, leaving you free to enjoy authentic gems not geared for tourists. Could it get any better?
There will be a more reduced offer when it comes to accommodation, yet it will also be easier to get super-convenient fees for that room with a view that looks impossible to afford in Summer.
You will find bars, restaurants, cafeterias, and tavernas all year round, while prices will be more affordable. Undesired touristic traps will usually be closed off-season, leaving you with much less of a risk of coming across a bad dining experience. A trip to Corfu during the cold season guarantees that you’ll save on accommodation, car rental, food, and more.
The Best Things to Do in Corfu in Winter
Corfu is a fairly big Greek island with activities taking place all year round. Choosing the capital of Corfu as the place to stay when visiting the island can help you pack your winter holiday with many things to do, taste, and enjoy during your trip.
Discover the Old Town of Corfu
The Old Town of Corfu is one of those amazing traditional settlements in Greece you don’t want to miss during any time of the year.
The city, which tends to be overcrowded in summer, portrays a completely different vibe. There’s not the heavy traffic you might encounter in August and streets are often empty. You can get lost walking the romantic alleys, visiting the Jewish quarter, or exploring the two unique fortresses that overlook the coast of the island.
Those willing to go shopping will be happy to discover authentic artisan shops that sell products made in Corfu using the island’s raw material, including soap made from local olive oil or koumquat liqueur, one of the best-known local souvenirs.
In winter, you won’t be required to book a table at any restaurant and you will be often offered a small variety of dishes to choose from. Rest assured that they are all extremely fresh and completely authentic.
Immerse in the Green Corfiot Nature
There’s nothing like winter to immerse in the marvellous green landscapes that the island offers. Although the weather can be rainy, you just need a good pair of rain-boots, an packable umbrella, and a comfortable raincoat to explore the lush, green scenery of the island, the nostalgic cloudy skies, and the deep blue sea in the distance.
Don’t let the rain prevent you from venturing along the fantastic mountain trails of Corfu to explore the local trees, bushes, and herbs that grow on the island.
If you’re the romantic type, you’ll most definitely enjoy the solitary beaches on Corfu. And although it does rain on the island, that does not mean that you won’t find sunny days during your trip. Pack a good bottle of Greek wine, some local cheese, and other winter veggies and head to one of the many famous beaches of Corfu for a unique picnic by the sea.
An excursion in the open will clearly expose Corfu’s varied environments made of rocky coastlines, soft lowlands, and mountains.
Experience Life in a Traditional Village
Greek traditional villages are the right place where to go to discover the most authentic traditions that have been sadly lost in other corners of the country.
Corfu is one of those places where tiny, lost hamlets can surprise you with the sight of beautiful chapels, imposing and unknown monasteries, and some of the best tavernas in the whole country.
If you’re eager to taste the authentic flavors of Corfu, do yourself a favor and leave the city. Head to the mountains to taste savory winter stews, soups, and rich winter delicacies that you only find in these forgotten areas.
Those who enjoy this kind of holiday can rent a cozy home, equipped with a fireplace, and thus spend one of the most memorable winters in their lives. Places such as Afionas, Lakones, near Paleokastritsa, or Palia Perithia (Old Perithia) are among the most unique villages on Corfu, places where time does not seem to go by at all.
Enjoy Sidari Minus the Hordes of Tourists
Sidari is undoubtfully one of the most romantics spots in Corfu. During summer, the area turns into a popular tourist resort, thanks to the spectacular wild landscape of stunning beauty.
When you visit Sidari, don’t forget to explore the remains of the Venetian castle and the almost unknown village of Agrafi with traditional alleys and picturesque houses.
Busy and noisy in summer, the area is heaven in winter for a romantic escape. In fact, Sidari is right next to the famous Canal d’ Amour, where you can explore and admire the bizarre geological formations. Sidari is quite easy to reach by car or with a local bus as it is located only 37 km northwest of Corfu Town.
Check the Over 30 Churches in Ano Korakiana
Old Greek Orthodox Churches can hide impressive icons and refined religious arts and crafts that you wouldn’t find anywhere else. If you are interested in learning more about the local beliefs and deeply-rooted religious traditions, take a day trip to the mountain village of Ano Korakiana.
Better-known for the 37 churches that populate the village, Ano Korakiana is a delicious little village that you will simply adore. The village has a long tradition when it comes to crafts such as ceramics, folklore music, and dances. Behind this picturesque view of the village, there’s also an important past that not many are aware of.
The village was established back in the medieval times and became a striving and powerful center during the British occupation of the island. Today, it’s still possible to admire the antique homes of noble families who left a fantastic heritage of well-preserved houses dating from the 17th and 18th centuries.
Explore Liapades and Sip its Wine
Another traditional place worth a visit in Corfu in winter is Liapades. The village is the third most important town in Corfu and it stands only 5 km from Paleokastritsa, no more than 20 km from the town of Corfu.
Liapades is one of the most traditional settlements in the Ionian islands which remains pretty forgotten by mass tourism. The atmosphere is that of a quiet settlement with stunning natural beauty.
Considered to be one of the oldest villages of Corfu, Liapades is known for the excellent wine produced in the region, so it’s totally worth a visit if you’re also visiting Corfu to enjoy a journey through the Corfiot tastes.
Check out the Achilleion
When visiting Corfu, don’t overlook one of the most inspiring buildings on the island. Once the summer residence of the Empress of Austria, the Achilleion, is a fantastic Neoclassical palace constructed with Italian taste and touches, and based on the theme of the Greek hero Achilles.
The building features regal statues inspired by Greek mythology, unique gardens with palm trees and fountains, and an impressive colonnade with a unique aristocratic style
Inside the Achilleiom you can check the museum featuring objects that belonged to the Empress as well as to Kaiser Wilhelm II.
Visit the Famous Church of Saint Spyridon
Back in the Old Town, the most prominent church in Corfu is Saint Spyridon, which features the highest bell tower in the Ionian region of Greece with its distinctive red roof. The church dates back to 1580 and is better-known for hosting the relics of the saint that made it to the island all the way from Constantinople.
The church was constructed using fine marbles and features stunning ceilings as well as paintings from the 18th century, all features that make it one of the best places to visit in the old town of Corfu.
As you just could see, winter can be a great seasont to explore Corfu surrounded by a heavenly landscape and a peaceful atmosphere. Are you planning to visit any time soon?
5 Things to Bring with You to Corfu
If you’re planning a trip to Greece, you’ll want to pack all the normal essentials, but here are a few things we strongly recommend bringing that may not have crossed your mind. For more packing tips, check out our complete Greece packing list.
– A physical guidebook, in paper or on Kindle. We own and love Lonely Planet Greece for this region and strongly recommend it to supplement blogs. Blogs are great, but a combination of a blog and a guidebook is key to having the best access to information easily at your fingertips.
– A water bottle with a filter. While generally, the tap water in most of Greece is drinkable, we generally recommend using a water bottle with a purifying filter to reduce your plastic consumption and ensure you won’t drink any funny-tasting water on your stomach that could make your trip unpleasant! There are places in Greece, especially on the islands, where the water tastes like minerals or have been desalinated and have a funky taste.
We recommend the GRAYL water bottle – it filters water perfectly in an instant so that you can even drink from lakes, bad taps, etc.
– Motion sickness pills. Often, Greek roads are winding, especially around the coast. If you have a weak stomach as we do, save yourself and bring some non-drowsy motion sickness pills.
– Travel safety items. We think Greece is safe to travel, but at the same time, it never hurts to be prepared! Some people like to carry money belts, but neither Stephanie or I use these. Instead, we both carry the same PacSafe anti-theft backpack (the small bag pictured above).
It has locking zippers, slash-proof construction with metal mesh hidden in the fabric, and tons of other smart security features — all while being cute and stylish enough to be our everyday bag. We recommend it highly for both male and female travelers, as it’s neutral enough to be unisex. We also strongly recommend travel insurance! Our recommendation is at the bottom of the post.
More Greece Travel Resources
First read our guide to planning a trip to Greece, which covers visas, budgets, vaccines, and much more. We also have a separate guide to tipping in Greece so you know what to give to different servers and staff while you’re here.
Next, you’ll want to read our all-season Greece packing list.
We have more Corfu content on the way, but for now, check our guide to accommodations in Corfu Town.
If you know you’ll be spending time in Athens, check out our Athens Instagram guide, the best Athens day trips, and our complete Athens hotel guide. We also have a guide to the best things to do in Athens in winter.
We also have Athens safety tips so your trip can be hassle-free. We are currently working on our mega-post of things to do in Athens as well as our itineraries, so stay tuned!
We publish new content about the Balkans almost every day! For more information about traveling to Greece and the Balkans, bookmark our Greece and Balkan travel pages so you can find out what’s new before your trip.
Don’t Forget About Travel Insurance!
I’m sure you’re aware that it’s a good idea to have travel insurance for traveling in Greece, the Balkans, or anywhere in the world!
Stephanie and I have both been paying customers of World Nomads for the last three years. We love the peace of mind it gives us in case of emergencies, accidents, illnesses, theft, or trip cancellation or disruption.
While Greece is safe, there’s always a risk inherent in everyday travel like theft or injury, so it’s better to play it safe.
Pin this Guide to the Best Things to Do in Corfu in Winter For Your Next Adventure in Greece!
Gabi Ancarola is a translator and travel journalist living in Crete. She regularly writes about the island for several magazines about travel, gastronomy, and hospitality. She has published several travel guides about Greece and runs a local gastronomy tour in Chania. She loves cooking local dishes, taking photos, and driving on the mountain roads of Crete.