Greek Island Corfu Welcomes First Cruise Ship Of New Season
Passengers of the Costa Luminosa cruise ship wearing protective face masks make their way at the port of the island of Corfu, Greece, May 18, 2021. REUTERS/Adonis Skordilis
CORFU, Greece, May 18 – The Greek island of Corfu welcomed its first cruise ship of the new season on Tuesday, hoping much awaited tourists will help salvage losses incurred during 2020 due to the coronavirus.
Corfu port authorities said some 600 tourists from countries including Italy, France and Germany were on board the Costa Luminosa, operated by Italy’s Costa Cruises, and all safety measures were being adhered to in the port.
Some of the passengers expressed their delight at being able to travel again.
“It’s freedom, enjoying life, you really feel much better. You’re not in prison anymore, you’re free and that really does you good,” said French tourist Robert Maran from Lyon.
Greece opened its doors on Saturday to tourists from the EU and other key markets such as the United States, Israel and Britain, lifting the need for people to quarantine as long as they have been vaccinated or tested negative for COVID-19.
Costa’s first ship to resume cruises in Greece and the second to restart operations overall, is one of four scheduled to resume cruises this summer in the Mediterranean.
It set sail from the port of Trieste on May 16, and besides Corfu, will also stop in Athens, Mykonos, the port of Katakolon near Olympia in Greece, and Bari in Italy. It will operate until mid-November for some 27 cruises.
What To Do During My Cruise Stop In Corfu
Corfu Port is located very close to the Historic Corfu center, some may even like to walk from the cruise ship pier, out the port entrance and to their left ,by the seaside. Others may take the free bus dropping them off close to the center or may even get a taxi, available outside the passenger terminal.
Since visitors will only have a few hours available to see Corfu, it is best to stick to town, or closeby, unless they take an organized bus tour, that will pick them up at the port and at the end it will drop them off at the pier. You would not want to miss your departure time, would you?
A usual question is : “which beach should one choose to go for these few hours?” ,and the answer is that most of the good sandy beaches are located on the other side of the island, so it is either sightseeing around Corfu Town, or go to a beach and not have time for anything else.
If you are a beach type, then you have to visit Glyfada or Kontogialos, but even if it will cost you a bit more to go there by taxi , it’s better to take one, than using the Green Buses , , which will waste a lot of your valuable time on shore. Green buses serve the whole island rather efficiently, south and north part, but traffic and frequent stops will double your journey time.
BEACH ACCESS FOR THE DISABLED
Corfu Tour Guide—
What Is There To Do In Corfu On A Cruise Top Things To Do When You Are Visiting Corfu On A Cruise Ship
- Corfu Tours from Cruise Ships
A member of the sun-splashed Ionian Islands, the lush Green island of Corfu is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful islands of Greece. Among others, Corfu is famous for its stunning beaches, endless lush green landscapes and fascinating historical sights, all of which have turned it to one of the most popular cruising destinations in the Mediterranean. The island is also blessed with a multicultural heritage, with evident influences from the Venetians, British and French who all occupied the island for centuries and left something behind. These influences can be experienced everywhere – architecture, gastronomy, culture and language.
Are you visiting Corfu on a cruise ship and wondering what is there is to do in Corfu on a cruise? Corfu has something for everyone and if you are visiting for the first-time, it can be quite overwhelming deciding what to do and where to go. Read some of our best tips for cruise ship passengers visiting Corfu and explore with us the best things to do in Corfu if you are stopping on a cruise.
Tips for cruise ship passengers arriving in Corfu
Here are some of our best tips for cruise ship passengers visiting Corfu on a cruise ship aiming to make your arrival to Corfu as easy as possible:
If you want to read more details on how you can get around Corfu Cruise port, once you arrive, you can also check our ”Visiting Corfu on a cruise ship” blogpost.
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The Palace Of Saint Michael And Saint Georges
This elegant building sits prominently on the northern edge of the Esplanade Square, marked by a long colonnade in Doric style along the front. It was built in Georgian style in 1824 when the English occupied Corfu. Initially, it housed Sir Thomas Maitland, the first Lord High Commissioner, and later it became the home of the Greek Royal Family. It is also known as City Palace and was designed by Sir George Whitmore. It houses the Museum of Asian Art and the Municipal Gallery.
Palace of Saint Michael and Saint Georges
How To Get To Corfu From The Corfu Cruise Port
The Corfu Cruise Port is situated just over 1 mile west of Corfu Old Town. Local buses connect the port with the town of Corfu, and many cruise ships docking here offer free shuttle buses. Taxis are available at the cruise terminal, although the walk to town from the cruise port takes 2030 minutes.
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Popular Things To Do In Corfu
Food and Drink in Corfu
If you go to a Corfu restaurant expecting to find only typical Greek staples like moussaka and dolmades on the menu, you’ll be in for a pleasant surprise. Corfiot specialities are very different from those of mainland Greece. Consider the island’s history, and you realize why.Like its architecture, Corfu’s cuisine reflects the many invaders who, down the centuries, strove to make the island their own. So, local specialties like pastitsado , Bourou-Bourou and savoro reflect the island’s Venetian heritage, while the local fondness for charcuterie and vinous dishes like sofrito comes from the French.
What of the British? Well, they bequeathed the Corfiots a love of puddings — though they made a style entirely their own. Over coffee, tuck into mandolato , tiganites or sykomaitha . Or enjoy ice cream, flavored by local fruits .
Wash it down with wine from one of the island’s small vineyards like Kakotrygis, a light dry white, or Petrokoritho, a gutsy red. And if you’d like to see where chefs get their ingredients, check out Corfu Town’s fish and vegetable market outside New Fort . Some stallholders cook fresh-caught fish, so you can do as the locals do and enjoy a tasty lunch on the hoof.
If you prefer to just wander about to see what you fancy, Kapodistriou Street and the Liston area itself are good hunting grounds for the hungry, as they are crammed with restaurants and tavernas. Just check the menus, have a peek inside and make your choice.
Regular Vs Luxury Cruises
Perhaps you are on a budget, or maybe this trip has been in the making as all-out bucket list extravaganza. Deciding what luxuries you want and how much you want to spend will affect the quality of your trip.
- Do you want a plain cabin, or do you want a suite?
- Are you up for a white glove service or can you navigate your own trip plans?
- Would you like all of your drinks, shore excursions, and gratuities to be included?
While regular cruises can cost half the price of luxury cruises or less, if you plan to enjoy a full bar every day, eat lobsters till you burst, and provide adequate tips to service people, you may end up paying closer to the luxury cruise price range anyway.
If you are an inexperienced cruiser, opting for the help of a cruise line travel agent can take a lot of the headache of planning your trip out of the equation.
After all, taking a cruise shouldnt be stressful, it should be the most relaxing and fun vacation yet!
Would you like to cruise in Greece?Let me know in the comments below!
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What Can I Do In Four Hours Or Less
Unesco-listed Corfu Town is one of Greeces most endearing island capitals. Make sure you spend at least an hour here. You dont really need a guide, though mark up a map of places of interest before you start your tour. Spianada Square more of a park is the centrepiece and narrow streets radiate off into the Venetian old town past churches and fine old buildings.
Have a coffee in the iconic Liston Café beneath the 200-year-old arches, then cross the park to view the impressive Old Fortress, which is open every day .
Nearly all cruise lines will offer a trip across to the bay and monastery of Paleokastritsa, sometimes billed as a countryside tour, starting at about four hours duration. Its a good option for an organised trip as you get to see some of the prettiest parts of the island. Even the inevitable stop at a touristy bar up a hill is worth it for the view of green hills and blue coves.
Another popular half-day trip is to Achilleion Palace, seven miles south of town, built for the Empress of Austria in the late 19th century. Its interesting, but can get very crowded if a few ships are in port.
Essentials For Your Adventures In Greece
Getting to Greece: Sail from one island to the other! Check Ferryhopper to book your ferry tickets in advance.Spending the night: Check Booking.com for the best accommodation deals.Top-rated tours: If you visit Athens dont miss this Acropolis Guided Tour. In Crete, check the amazing Balos Beach with this Boat Cruise. Wine lover? Splurge in this Santorini Winery Tour. To save time and money, get a convenient Combo Ticket Pass Athens.Need cash? Wise is the best online money transfer service with a debit card accepted all over Greece.See Greece at your own pace with a rental car: I use Discover Cars.
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Opening Hours And Holidays:
Public Services: open Monday to Friday, 8.00am â 2.00pm.Retail Stores & Specialty Shops: Monday to Friday, 9am â 1.30pm and then again from 5pm â 9pm. Saturdays, 9am â 2pm. Supermarkets: Monday to Friday, 9am â 9pm, and Saturdays, 9am â 6pm.Tourist Shops and Convenience Stores: most of these do not have official opening hours and are usually open from dawn to well after midnight during the summer months.For public holidays click here
Whats The Best Time Of The Year To Cruise To Greece
Cruise ship, Santorini.
Optimal weather in Greece varies from the mainland to the islands, but in general, the best times of the year to visit are April through mid-June, and September to mid-October.
This goes without saying, but the further south you go, the milder climate you will find.
Winters in Greece get cold, rainy, and sometimes snowy, mostly on the mainland. Summers can reach blistering hot temperatures that most people will not enjoy.
Besides, the central months of August and July are jam-packed with tourists. If you can only travel during those months, make peace with the fact that youll find crowds.
Add some patience to your packing list, and youll be fine.
No matter when you go, be prepared for warm weather, a few chilly nights , and some rain if you travel in winter.
Whenever traveling by sea, be ready to protect your electronics from the moist and salty sea air.
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Top Food And Drink Spots Near The Corfu Cruise Port
Be sure to try each of these traditional Greek delicacies while youre in Corfu. Try a few traditional dishes for you to try as you travel, like gyros, souvlaki, and more. What could be better than an appetizer of bubbling, fried cheese melted in a small pan? Saganaki is served with pepper and lemon juice and eaten with bread. Dont miss the chance to drink ouzo in Corfu. In modern Greece, ouzeries are like cafés and can be found in nearly all cities and towns, including Corfu. Ouzo is traditional aperitif. Slowly sip with appetizers like octopus or calamari.
Pane & Souvlaki
Address: 77, Gkilford, Kerkira 491 00, Greece
A budget option in Corfu Town, serving skewers of tasty meats, warm pita, and all the Corfu classics. Unfussy and simple with outdoor seating available to people-watch in Old Town.
Address: Skaramagka 367, Kerkira 491 00, Greece
This highly-rated bakery in Corfu has many options for treats, including vegan options, on the island. Traditional baklava, sweets made with Greek yogurt and honey, and much more is available for every level of sweet tooth, plus find a few savory options like spinach and cheese pies here too.
Address: Nikiforou Theotoki 6, Kerkira 491 00, Greece
Chrisomalis has been open for 150 years in Corfus Old Town. Try traditional dishes in an authentic, unassuming tavern setting.
Local Flavors And Corfiot Food
Don’t forget to âtasteâ the island as it is filled with local delicacies and traditional Corfiot food. Dishes like Pastitsada and Sofrito are mouth-watering traditions found in most restaurants on the island. In Corfu Town, the cruise traveler will find excellent restaurants to savor local flavors. .
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Cruise Ships Docking In Corfu
Bus tickets on local buses cost 120 Euro. Port of Call Corfu Greece Cruise ships dock at the New Port of Corfu Neo Limani which is situated about a mile west of Corfu old town.
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Explore Corfu Old Town On Your Own
The second largest Ionian Greek Island, Corfu is as beautiful and serene a Greek Island as you can imagine. With mountains as a backdrop, a panoramic drive around the island lends breath-taking views to each turn. Castles are as common as the ancient monasteries that dot the roads and mountainside. A day in Corfu can be as relaxing or as driven as youd like.
Most cruise ships anchor offshore or dock near the Cruise Terminal in Kerkira . From where you exit the ship or leave the tender, you can either walk or take a shuttle bus to the Cruise Terminal, where shore excursions depart.
At the terminal, your cruise ship will most likely offer another shuttle that makes day-long runs back and forth from the terminal to near the entrance of the Old Fortress in town. Its about a 3 1/2 mile walk if you prefer.
Instead of a shore excursion, here is what you can do to spend an entire afternoon just soaking up the brilliant Grecian sunshine. Walk along the millennia-old paths of this small Greek island. Try new foods and drinks. Buy a bag of pistachio nuts.
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Why Choose A Private Shore Excursion In Corfu
The answer is simple. Because you can make the most of your time in Corfu, and most importantly, you can tour the island your way! Corfu is an island that offers something for everyone from historical sites and museums to beautiful sceneries. A shore excursion will give you the opportunity to visit all the landmarks you wish to see, and not only. Visit a picturesque village, take a walk at an idyllic beach, admire the rich nature and the lush mountains and get to know the Greek and Corfiat culture. You have the ability to see as many stops as you want and stay there for as long as you like, without having to wait for anyone.
Travel Plans For Greecemore Resources To Organize Your Trip
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Greek Islands Cruises: Best Cruise Port Destinations In Greece
When considering traveling by cruise to Greece, there are so many destinations to visit that you need to make sure you choose a cruise stopping at ports with your top attractions.
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Get A Taste Of Corfus Most Famous Landmarks
You dont have to do any prior research before coming to Corfu. On arrival at Corfu Port well discuss and create a route that will satisfy your individual interests. To get a little taste of what you can expect when visiting Corfu weve created a list that should be on everyones itinerary when visiting Corfu for a few hours:
The Old Town of Corfu is a cultural UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2007. This ancient city is of high historical significance. Its strategic position in the Adriatic Sea played a crucial role in the 8th century BC. There are three forts located within the town that served to defend the maritime trading activity in Corfu and preserve the interests of Venice against the Ottoman Empire. As a fortified Mediterranean port, Corfus town and port constitute areas that are picturesque and merely authentic.
In the heart of the old town is situated the second largest square in Europe, the beautiful and green Spianada. This square is a gem next to Corfus famous street, Liston, built by the French in the 19th-century.
Old Fortress in Corfu Town
New Fortress in Corfu Town
The great New Fortress was also built by the Venetians in 1577 to protect the city against the Turks. You can wander through the empty stone halls and passages and or reach to the top to take some amazing pictures from above of the old town and its numerous distinctive buildings and houses.
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