Family Vacations to Corfu, Greece

Family Overview - Corfu, Greece
Climb to the top of Corfu Town's Old Fortress and enjoy beautiful views of the island. (Corel)

Corfu Family Travel Tips

  • Enjoy sun and fun on golden sand beaches.
  • Ogle the massive sculpture of Medusa at the Archeological Museum.
  • Take in the sweeping sea views from the Old Fort and the New Fort.
  • Splash around in a water park.
  • Watch a local cricket match.

The northernmost Greek island and part of the Ionian chain off the mainland's western coast, Corfu, known to locals as Kerkyra, is a lush island with mountains in the north, farms filled with groves of silvery olive trees in the center, and beaches on the shores. There have always been legends about Corfu. Jason and the Argonauts took refuge on Corfu in their quest for the Golden Fleece, and Odysseus came ashore before returning to Ithaca. Today, the allure is a heady mixture of history and present-tense vacation adrenaline.

Families come here for sun and fun. However, choose your location carefully. Overdeveloped budget resorts crowd the shore in certain areas and some beaches consist more of shells than sand. Several of the family-friendly, sandier beaches lie on the island's somewhat less-developed western coast. Agios Stefanos, also known as San Stefanos, features a sandy beach with a gentle underwater slope that creates a shallow area. Agios Giorgios, a long and broad beach with golden sands, is rated among Corfu's best. Families with young children flock here. If you start walking the shore with your kids, however, turn around before you reach the northern end, which is popular with nudists. Another top spot for visitors is a long stretch of golden sand known as Glyfada. Kids may be mesmerized by the divers who arc into the water from a 40-foot-high rock. And if your kids won't swim in anything but a pool, Aqua Land Waterpark, Agios Ioannis, in the island's center features six pools, 16 waterslides, and splash areas for little kids.

Eventually even the best beach aficionados have to get off the sand and out of the sun. When you do, visit two of Corfu Town's museums. The highlight of the Archeological Museum is the nearly-room-size pediment of Medusa from the 6th-century Temple of Artemis. Carved snakes twist in her hair and around her waist. Even kids blasé about sculpture will be impressed. The museum also displays bronze figures of warriors and a marble head of Dionysius among other finds. The Museum of Asian Art contains an eclectic collection of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean objects such as masks, screens, and porcelain.

What else to do that's not water-related? Climb to top of the Corfu Town's Old Fortress, which dates to the 8th century, for scenic sea views as well as the views from the 16th-century New Fort.

Stroll the streets of the Old Town, savoring the ambiance and the varied architecture, a reflection of the island's many conquerors. Taken over by Romans in 395 B.C., and ruled by Venetians from 1396 to 1797 when Napoleon conquered the island, Corfu came under British rule in 1815. Check out the Cricket Field to see if there's a match you can watch. For more sweeping views, drive the twisting road laced with wildflowers to the top of Mount Pantokrator.

Tip: Take certified 'tweens and teens diving off the coast.


Away.com's resident family expert Candyce Stapen has written the book on family travel, having authored some 1,400 travel articles and 27 books, 26 of them on family travel. She is the winner of the 2004 "Caribbean Travel Writer of the Year for North America" award and a three-time winner of the Society of American Travel Writers' Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism award. Her articles have appeared in publications including Nick Jr , FamilyFun , Parents , Better Homes & Gardens , Conde Nast Traveler , National Geographic Traveler , and the Family Travel Network , among others. Her book, the National Geographic Guide to Caribbean Family Vacations is available from Amazon.com.

Published: 26 Nov 2007 | Last Updated: 17 Aug 2012
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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