Corfu is an island in the Ionian Sea as many of you already know. There are so many beaches all over, only being a 20-minute car drive from wherever you are to the nearest view of the sea. There are a variety of beaches here in Corfu. Some being with big or small rocks. Some a mix of pebbles and sand. Others, you will need to hike for 10 minutes to get there, others an hour. There are also many beaches you can only get to by boat. However, for most of you, the typical beach is the sandy beach. Here in Corfu we also have plenty of those!
For a blog that gives you recommendations of beaches that are perfect for families click here!
Here’s a blog on Glyfada beach! A beach for everyone, Glyfada Beach, Corfu
Glyfada is a big sandy beach on the west coast of the island. It is right below the village of Pelekas and next to the popular nude beach Mirtiotissa. To get to Glyfada you have to drive up then down the long and windy roads of the mountain. Once you get there, you will be welcomed with plenty of parking ( if reached in the morning), usually free. There are some souvenir shops for a good time at the beach!
Before you go on the sand, take a moment and close your eyes. Think about how the sand feels on your feet, walking through it, as you get closer to the water. Be mindful. Then open your eyes and go! Now, while you are actually feeling it be mindful and enjoy this pleasant feeling.
There are many different places where you can hire some sunbeds if you’d like, but by far the best and most expensive is from the bar Pazuzu. They are luxurious sunbeds with big cushions and bamboo umbrellas. If you don’t mind some normal sunbeds and a regular umbrella for a normal price there are also plenty of those. If you want to get away from the crowd maybe buy an umbrella and walk all the way to one end of the beach and lay on your towels with no one in sight! Laying in the sand can be very relaxing. You will be far enough away, so all you hear is the waves of the sea.
What to do?
Here at Glyfada beach, there are plenty of things to do here. They have cafe/bars to grab a coffee. My choice would be a Freddo Espresso! You can also start out your morning with a nice cocktail, maybe a Mojito?
If you are the more active type, don’t worry! There are even more things for you to do here! Glyfada Beach has plenty of watersports, including hiring pedalos, canoes, paragliding, boat tubing, and more. Also, on land, there are things to do. There are a couple of volleyball nets and since Glyfada is sand and level ground it is the perfect beach to play racket ball. Greeks are obsessed with racket ball! You will see plenty of Greeks playing racket ball at all sandy beaches with sand! Sometimes you may see a group of people playing beach volleyball, don’t be shy and ask them to play. Greeks are very friendly and I am sure they will welcome you.
Soon, you will be getting hungry, so if you didn’t pack a lunch, there are a couple of Tavernas here where you can find a quick meal!
Any beach on the west coast of Corfu will have an amazing sunset, but a photo from Glyfada is a very memorable one! Coming to the beach in the evening is a nice relaxing way to spend it. It is not as hot and there are more locals than tourists at the beach at this time.
Kontogialo is close to Glyfada and is very similar. It is a long sandy beach, a little bit smaller than Glyfada and most of the locals go here. Kontogialo also has sunbeds, tavernas, and some watersports, but not in the capacity that Glyfada has.
Getting to Kontogialo is a little difficult. The road down can be really steep and narrow, with potholes. For this reason, many people choose to go somewhere else. Also, it is difficult to find free parking at Kontogialo because all the cafes and tavernas have the land for the parking and they charge.
Even more, people play racketball here than at Glyfada!
If you are looking for some good competition in racketball then this is your beach!
For your information: If you are afraid of being hit by a stray ball while relaxing on your sunbed/towel this is not your beach!
NOTE: Facing the beach, all the way to the left there is an area where there is free parking and a little separate beach that barely anyone ever goes to. It is calm and usually will have some shade!
Arillas beach is located in the northwest part of the island. Anywhere around here, you will find an amazing view of the sunset!
Arillas is another big sandy beach but also has some small and large pebbles. It is a very quiet beach with some sunbeds and water sports. There are also a couple of taverns and accommodations close by.
Arillas village also offers a number of other activities including the Corfu Beer Brewery are here in Arillas. Every year they have a couple of Corfu Beer Festivals. Also, Corfu Buddha Hall is here in Arillas, which can be a nice destination for inspiring Buddhists!
Agios Georgios Beach
Agios Georgios Beach is also up in the northwest part of the island, but a little further down than Arillas. There is also an Agios Georgios down South. Agios Georgios up North is a big sandy beach with all the same things as Glyfada. Such as tavernas, sunbeds, watersports, souvenir shops, and more.
If you are a big HIKER then you can try the Donkey path from Makrades to Agios Georgios Beach or vice versa. You can continue on the road to Lakones where you will find a donkey path down to Paleokastritsa!
It is a long hike with many fantastic views, at some points it can get steep and really rocky.
Definitely be prepared with water, snacks, athletic shoes, and a hat!
Issos Beach is in southwest Corfu, in between Halikounas and Marathias beach. It is a very relaxing beach with huge open spaces and golden sand. When you reach this far down South the island starts to flatten out. The sea is very clear and you can walk for a while until you can’t touch your feet anymore!
There is a beach bar, where you can order a coffee, drink, or snack! If you want would rather lay on sunbeds instead of the sand, there is a rental service!
You don’t have to worry about parking because there is so much and it is all free!
There are some watersports where you can spend your time, snorkeling, windsurfing, etc.
It is known as a nudist beach so feel free to strip down, also beware!
Nearby there is a lake called lake Korrission that has a nice area to hike and you can witness some beautiful flamingoes. Also, if you are up for the walk about 15 minutes from the beach there is a nice restaurant called Amolofos.
Halikounas Beach is a very long sandy beach down south. It is the biggest beach in Corfu and is basically just a strip of sand with one side being the sea and the other being Lake Korrission. It is very close to the beach previously mentioned, Issos. Halikounas beach is a great place to go for a walk/hike being connected with the Corfu Trail!
Here, you won’t have to be worried about the crowds. Being such a big beach and all the way down South, many tourists do not attend this beach. Also, the water is very shallow and makes for a great place to enjoy it with your wife and children.
Make sure to pack a lunch and a cooler full of cold drinks because since it is a nature reserve, there are no hotels or restaurants here, so there is not much to find except for nature!
Agios Gordios Beach
Agios Gordios is your typcial tourist village. It has many hotels, Airbnb, restaurants, cafes, souvenir shops, and more. You will have to go up then down the big mountain to reach Agios Gordios, then at the end of the road, you will reach a big long sandy/pebbles beach. There are many sunbeds for hire and some water sports offered.
On the far right side of Agios Gordios, there is a shipwreck that is apparently a fishing boat. It is said that the boat is from Libya and used to transfer people from Libya to Italy illegally. One day, an engine broke and everyone aborted the boat leaving the boat to slowly drift the shore here at Agios Gordios. The boat showed up around 2014. However, in 2021 it disappeared again with the big waves in the winter. Now there are only some pieces.
Marathias is the biggest village in Corfu and has a very nice beach that is also down South, a little bit further than Issos and Halikounas Beach. It is a nice long sandy beach with sunbeds, cafes, and tavernas nearby. The water is crystal clear and very clean! You will have your own space here at Marathias Beach not having to worry about it being overcrowding. Also, there are showers that work!
Gardenos Beach is a lovely refreshing beach down South to get a breath of fresh air. With sunbeds at a fair price the soft sand, and the water very slowly getting deeper, you are bound to enjoy your day here at Gardenos Beach. There are some tavernas close by to ease your hunger!
Just so you know
There are many beautiful beaches that are a mix of sand and pebbles, but the beaches I described will be basically all sand as you get closer into the sea.
There are also many more sandy beaches in Corfu that I did not describe, but are worth the mention:
Santa Barbara Beach