The island of Corfu is one of the most famous sailing destinations of the Ionian Sea. Majestic beaches, beautiful sunsets and sapphire waters wait those who plan to sail the Ionian waters. Do not forget to visit the island of Ithaca, the home of Odysseus and to try the famous local cuisine and drinks in the island of Corfu.
Corfu is the northernmost of the Ionian Islands found off the north-western coast of mainland Greece and south of Albania. Plan your boat holiday in Corfu in the summer for superb beach and sailing weather.
Corfu International is the island’s main airport, and is located just 15 minutes away by car from the island’s main marina at Gouvia. You can also reach Corfu by boat from Igoumenitsa on the coast of mainland Greece.
Anchorages in Corfu can be found in the towns of Agni, Kalami and Kouloura, but you can also enjoy hopping around the Ionian Islands and visiting mainland Greece where you’ll find a number of well-equipped marinas and bays for overnight stops.
What to do and see in Corfu
The Old Town of Corfu, a World Heritage Site, is made up of a wonderful ensemble of beautiful Baroque and Venetian buildings. Enjoy wandering around the cobblestone streets, passing through Liston and Splanada or visiting one of many archaeological or art museums before departing on your yacht charter holiday in Corfu.
Take in the sun on Corfu’s beaches or enjoy watersports such as windsurfing. The southern beaches are generally more popular, with sandy shores and several seafront bars, restaurants and resorts. You’ll have the choice of sandier shores to the west, such as Issos and Prasoudi, or the quieter Messonghi and Halikounas beaches.
For nature enthusiasts, head to the mountains in the north of Corfu to enjoy hiking or biking trails that take you through the island’s rugged, yet beautiful, landscapes. The trail around Mt Pantokrator offers breathtaking scenery and is a great way to see more of this charming island. The small town of Acharavi on the northern tip of Corfu has some of its best water parks as well as museums and bars. Alternatively, Adios Georgios to the north-west is a great destination for hiking from the shore to the inland mountains.
A Sail the Ionian Sea yacht charter also gives you the unique advantage of being able to visit the nearby islands, including Paxi and Lefkada at your own leisure.
The Ionian Sea remains a great cruising location due to favourable weather conditions and calmer seas than the nearby Aegean. To see the best of the Ionian Islands, start at Gouvia Marina and work your way south to Sivota, Port Gaios and Lefkas, the second largest on the island chain.
From Lefkas, enjoy safe and easy sailing along the canal. You can make stops at the small harbours in Lygia and Nikiana before heading out to the nearby islands of Meganisi and Kalamos. On Meganisi, you can make a visit to the historic Papanakolis sea cave.
Continue south, stopping at Vathi and Zakinthos, with its remarkable Venetian Fortress and the stunning Blue Caves that rises from the sea. A boat trip to Zakinthos is not complete without a visit to the iconic Navagio or Shipwreck beach.
Sailing conditions in Corfu
The waters around Corfu are generally calm and make for enjoyable boat trips in Greece. Tides are low, reaching 0.5m at the extreme, but usually far lower. The Ionian Sea generally experiences a north-west to west-north-west wind that ranges from 10 to 15 knots. It should be noted that winds in northern Corfu can blow strong at times, making for an exciting sailing trip. Air temperatures on the island of Corfu are at an average of 25°C in high summer, but often into the 30s. The average sea temperature is a pleasant 25°C or so.
The south of Corfu is a popular area for yacht charters thanks to the region’s excellent summer weather and easy sailing conditions with calm waters and ideal wind speeds. This is a preferred sailing destination in Greece for beginner sailors or those looking for a more relaxing boat holiday. Sailors in the area need only to watch out for occasional gusts when travelling alongside mountainous areas. Anchoring is possible at all the major ports, and each island is well provisioned with harbours for stopping at your leisure.