Where to stay, when and how to organise your trip? I'm offering you few practical information before you travel to Corfu - let me know if they are helpful in comments.
I came to Corfu on a spontaneous girls' weekend away and apart from enjoying the beaches, the plan was to sightsee, and get to know the island. As it was very last minute decision, the flight prices were quite high so we decided to save on the accommodation. And the cheapest one we found was in the South of the island in the small town of Kavos. Which turned out not to be the best choice.
How to travel around Corfu?
The best option I think of recommending would be to rent a car. If you want to be flexible, as well as you aim to see other parts of the island (it was the north part of the island in our case) then car is the best option. We learnt that bus system may not be reliable and also takes longer. Renting a car cost us £70 plus E30 for petrol (we drove around 300 km) - I think this is affordable for the flexibility you get. My only tip would be to be careful with scooter drivers and quad drivers (yes they were on the road), also town streets are very narrow with cars parked on the sides.
Where to stay on the island?
We stayed in the South of the island because we were looking for cheap hotel last minute, it turned out that Kavos had the affordable places so we booked the hotel without checking the reviews.
Photo: Windmill in Corfu Town, end of promenade
Kavos is a party town, our boat captain called it Blackpool of Corfu, which if you are familiar with party scene in England you will know what it means, essentially party hard! Picture this; it is a place where youngsters who just reached legal age of drinking, flock to Kavos to party wild and hard. The clubs are open till very early hours of the morning and you have a strip with all sorts of clubs with party hosts harassing you to get inside with 3 cocktails and 3 shots for a fiver. I hope I painted the picture? There's very little of Greek or Corfiot culture in Kavos. If you are looking to relax or have a good night sleep - this might be difficult in Kavos.
I would say stay away from the South (especially from Kavos) unless you are looking for exactly that experience. If I come back to Corfu, I will look for a hotel in the North of the island
However, a great boat trip departs from Kavos which takes you to Paxos island. The benefit of leaving from Kavos is that you are the first boat to reach caves, the stop over for swim, and Paxos island.
Photo: Achilion palace
How long do I need to visit the whole island?
I think one week is more than enough. We stayed there 3.5 days and had intense days with some time at the beach. Having a week means you could see everything and have few extra days for beach and relaxation. We have not see everything we wanted to see.
When is the best time to go?
If you are looking for a quieter time on the island, shoulder season would be perfect, April to May and September to October. It is very warm at this time of the year and the sea is definitely still warm (I heard in April - May sea is a bit chilly). I was in Corfu in the middle of September and had 30 C degrees heat. As it is outside the main season, the prices might be slightly lower (and the roads are quieter :-) ) .
Photo: Port in Gaios, Paxos Island
What's worth seeing on the island?
I recommend you to read my article linked here, or email me for a free map with all the points I am mentioning. However, if you are not ready to read the whole article yet, my recommendations are:
north of the island, where you can find Canal D'Amour - canal of love
‘drastic’ cliffs and “7th Heaven” Cafe (for me a bar) where you can admire amazing sunset (you can see it on my IG highlights story)
Achilleon - museum and palace of Austrian empress Katherine, called Sisi (13 min drive from the airport)
tallest mountain on the island - details of why you should climb it in my earlier mentioned article.
south tip of the island with ruins of the Monastery
boat trip to Paxos island with caves
village of Palaiokastritsa with bay and paradise beach, which is also said to be mythological place of where Odysseus met Nausicaa.
What to try in Greek cuisine?
Fresh sea food, fresh fish, souvlaki, gyros and tzatziki and all types of meze (greek pita bread with different dips). Corfu has also its own cuisine called Corfiot which you can see very often on restaurat's menu.
How long should you plan for sightseeing Corfu town?
I think one day is enough. If you want to visit all the museums maybe you need a little bit more. We did not see the museums, but we were wandering local streets instead and on the promenade along the town, sipping on coffee with the view of Old fortress, and had long lunch and some spot of shopping (you know women and shopping and they disappear).
For all mythology enthusiasts, Corfu has a lot of stories connected to Greek mythology and Odysseus, so if you are a fan of Greek mythology, you may want to visit sites with this approach.