Greece is More than Santorini….Exploring Corfu
I’ve been wanting to do some island hopping in Greece, but while doing some research I learned that ferry’s to all the Greek Island’s don’t necessarily run every day, so you could be stuck on one island for a couple of days, which isn’t a bad thing but I was limited on time. I only had 4 days over the Labor Day weekend and wanted to make the best of it.
Everyone wants to go see Santorini, and I do too, but I really wasn’t in the mood for the tourist crowds. I started looking on Ryan Air for cheap tickets….to any destination really, I just needed my flight dates and times to match up…well I came across Corfu Island, Greece. Round trip tickets out of Milan – 105 euro!!! #AWESOME
Next step was finding a hotel in a central location – close to public transportation, restaurants and close any must sees and/or things to do on the island. 95% of the time I use expedia.com to book hotels and I always look up the reviews on TripAdvisor before making my selection. After searching a few days…on and off… I decided on Glyfada Beach Hotel. The reviews were great, price was only $64.80 a night which included continental breakfast, free parking and wi-fi. #WINNER!
And we were off!!! Once we landed, we opted to take public transportation to the hotel vs a taxi. The hotel was about a 30 minute drive from the airport. A taxi was 35 euro……or the bus 2,40…………..bus it is!!! No need in wasting money, right??? From the airport we walked the the Green Line Bus Terminal, which is about a 10 minute walk. From the bus station we took the bus from Corfu to Glyfada…the ride was approx 45 min with a few stops along the way. Glyfada is the very last stop and you will know when you have arrived….everyone gets off at this stop for the beach.
We arrived at the hotel a little early (check in was at 2pm), but they agreed to hold our bags until we were able to check in and pointed us in the direction of food, because we were starving! Less than a 2 minute walk to from the hotel is a beautiful, clean and uncrowded beach!! Umbrellas and chairs are available for rent for the day for 3 euro or less and the price even goes down after 6pm! Don’t want to rent a chair or umbrella?? NO PROBLEM, there is plenty of space to bring your own umbrella, towel or blanket.
On your way to the beach from the hotel you have to pass the Glyfada Beach Restaurant. The food is excellent……they have everything from traditional greek dishes, gyros, fresh fish, grilled meats to burgers, pizza and fries. But the best thing about this restaurant are the views overlooking the sea. We ate most of our meals there solely because of the stunning views! If you take a stroll down the beach, there are lots a water activities available…a giant floating obstacle course, paragliding, jet skiing…..there are also a couple (not many) other restaurants and hotels. The beach is really peaceful and relaxing, additionally most of the restaurants have ocean front views…..it’s very romantic watching the sun set in the evenings. The are also a couple of convenient stores located along the beach for purchasing water or if you need something you may have forgotten back home.
So far the hotel location was perfect. Now for the check in……once we got in our room…I was pleasantly surprised. It was very clean!!! With a $65 a night fee you have to wonder sometimes. Towels and linens were changed daily, wi-fi as promised was free and strong, and breakfast was ok….I won’t complain. The hotel also offered a few excursions, horse back riding, a day boat trip to the island of Paxos and even a day trip to Albania.
We decided to take the day cruise with Joy Cruises to Paxos because it was only 35 euro per person and I considered it meeting my “Island Hopping” goal! LOL It’s a 3 hours cruise one way to the island. You stop for an hour to swim at one location.
They made it seem like you stopped at a second location to go swimming in this cave, but in actuality, the front of the boat peeked its nose in the cave for pictures and we went on our marry way.
The last stop was actually on the Paxoi Island and you had free time for about 2 hours, so you could walk, shop and/or eat. Then you were back on the boat for the 3 hour journey back to Corfu. The views and the water was absolutely amazing!!! But the jury is still out on whether the trip was worth it. Bus picks you up from the hotel at 9 am and you don’t get back until 8pm, no food included, but you can buy plenty of snacks on board.
On our last day we rented a 4-wheeler. We had been trying to rent one all weekend, but the companies that delivered to our hotel were sold out until our last day. Sadly, this was the highlight of our trip. Renting a 4-wheeler is the best and cheapest way to get around the island to explore. We asked the hotel rep where we should go, she gave us a few pointers and we took off. Whether you are driving a car, scooter or quad just follow the signs on the road. The signs on the island are awesome, no GPS needed. I just wish we would have been able to get the 4-wheelers so much sooner and we could have explored every crack on Corfu, but this is a great reason to go back!
To me the people weren’t that friendly, kinda reminded me of the folks France, but everyone speaks english. All in all, I loved Corfu! I would go back in a heartbeat. I would classify this as a relaxing vacay…..LOTS of beaches, sunbathing and eating! Rent a quad and explore the island. Enjoy! #stayhomeforwhat