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The Corfu Trail: essential facts and top tips

Suitable for both novices and experienced walkers, this marvellous trek explores Corfu from toe to top – far south to far north – in 10 memorable day stages. Read on to find out everything you need to know before embarking on the route.

What?The Corfu Trail
Where?Corfu is the second-largest island in the Ionian Sea and the seventh-largest in Greece.
Start point?Kavos/Potami (most south-eastern point of the island)
End point?Old Perithia/Agios Spiridonas
How long is the route?150km (93 miles)
How long to complete?10 days
How hard is the route?Suitable for novices and experienced walkers
How many stages are there?10 day stages, ranging from 11 to 22.5km
Is the route waymarked?Waymarks are not that frequent, but are yellow metal plaques marked with 'CT' and black arrows. Painted yellow arrows or blotches are also encountered at irregular intervals, but these may be easily confused with the lemon-tinted lichens that colonise many a tree or rock. Some strategic points are marked by cairns. The route description is purposefully detailed to make up for the dearth of waymarking.
What accommodation is available?There is an excellent choice of reasonably priced hotels and family-run guesthouses. Camping is definitely an option for the Corfu trail.
What time of year?The best time to go is May-October, when everything is functioning and in full swing. Walking on the island is possible year-round, but much of the accommodation and restaurants closes down in late October and does not open again till late April/May.
Route highlights?Coastal paths and beaches, olive groves and wooded hills. Plus plenty of Greek food! The 911m Pandokratoras mountain in the northeast, a vast limestone massif looking to the Albanian coastline, and dominating stunning stretches of coast; gorgeous beaches of golden sand on the island's west coast; Paleokastritsa and its beautiful bays; the Angelokastro fortress; Cape Drastis and Porto Timoni.
Dos and don'tsAllow plenty of time for wrong turns, fallen trees and mud after heavy rain: these can hamper progress. Carry all you rubbish with you. Avoid treading on the nets in olive groves – they're expensive. Carry a good supply of euros in cash. Don't expect everyone to speak English: find time to learn some Greek expressions.

The Corfu Trail: stage breakdown

Stage 1: Kavos to Potami

Time: 4hr 15min
Distance: 14km
Ascent/descent: 230m/230m

This excellent opening stage to the Corfu Trail leaves the popular beach resort of Kavos via a crumbling 18th-century monastery on a cliff top. After a plunge through woodland comes a quiet beach at the foot of brooding eroded cliffs. A steep climb leads to a belvedere hamlet followed by a wander through olive groves to photogenic Potami. On a canal-like river not far from the eastern coast, this is one of the string of six laid-back, connected villages that comprise Lefkimmi, Corfu’s second largest settlement. Allow a full day for this stage as it is surprisingly tiring.

Stage 2: Potami to Agios Georgios south

Time: 4hr 30min
Distance: 15km
Ascent/descent: 160m/160m

This is a varied stage that sees the CT wending its way through the maze of Lefkimmi, with its countless churches, before embarking on a traverse from the east coast via the rural valley of the Gardenos river. Then it’s over a headland to reach Corfu’s glorious southwest, with vast golden beaches and the low-key beach resort of Agios Georgios south. Well-deserved swims can be enjoyed along the way thanks to a long spell along the sand. Several alternative accommodation options are passed en route.

Stage 3: Agios Georgios south to Paramonas

Time: 4hr 15min
Distance: 15km
Ascent/descent: 100m/80m

Sandy beaches, flower-smothered dunes and placid Lake Korission, which is home to water fowl, make for a magnificent start to this stage. By all means walk the opening section in sandals. The latter part is on quiet inland roads shaded by olive trees on the slopes of Prasoudi mountain before the conclusion at Paramonas and a small beach. Waymarking is sorely lacking throughout so follow directions carefully. Alonaki Bay is a lovely alternative place to stay en route.

Stage 4: Paramonas to Dafnata

Time: 4hr 40min
Distance: 14km
Ascent/descent: 620m/340m

After heading steeply up and over a panoramic ridge the CT loops decidedly inland through a string of quiet villages and rural landscapes, crossing the island almost to the eastern coast. The day’s conclusion is the lofty village of Dafnata, boasting marvellous views over Corfu Town and its bay.

Stage 5: Dafnata to Pelekas

Time: 5hr 30min
Distance: 17km
Ascent/descent: 600m/700m

A strenuous but rewarding day, with much ascent and descent. The lovely start crosses Agii Deka, ‘ten saints’ mountain, often referred to, on account of its peaceful monastery, as Pantokrator, or Christ depicted as Almighty ruler of the universe. Confusingly, the name is almost identical to that of Corfu’s principal peak, Oros Pandokratoras.

The route then heads downhill to touch on a string of villages, including well-served Sinarades. A scenic path above the coast precedes a lengthy inland stretch through olive groves: all ends happily at Pelekas, an attractive mountaintop village sitting high over the west coast and well adjusted to tourist needs. There are no intermediate accommodation options on this long stage: one way to shorten it would be to take a bus from Sinarades to Corfu Town then another bus out to Pelekas.

Stage 6: Pelekas to Liapades beach

Time: 6hr
Distance: 22.5km
Ascent/descent: 500m/700m

This roller-coaster stage gets off to a superb start, dropping in on the diminutive yet divine Mirtiotissas beach, ‘perhaps the loveliest beach in the world’, according to Lawrence Durrell. Sadly winter storms have drastically reduced the size but thankfully little of the charm of what is nowadays Corfu’s unofficial nudist beach. Next comes a stiff climb over a panoramic saddle before a wander across the Ropa valley plain, flat as a pancake and ringed by modest hills. The day’s conclusion is gorgeous if tiny Liapades beach, set among sheer cliffs. This is an especially long stage, and waymarking scarce on the ground. En route are several villages with cafés and facilities.

One way to shorten the day’s load is an overnight stay at peaceful Kellia, or a little further on at Vatos. Another is to catch the bus from Kellia to Corfu Town and change there for the Liapades village run: then it’s a 1.5km walk down the road to the beach.

Stage 7: Liapades beach to Agios Georgios north

Time: 3hr 30min
Distance: 11km
Ascent/descent: 320m/320m

A very lovely and not particularly tiring stage commencing with a climb to a belvedere village with extended views over the Paleokastritsa bay and rocky coastline. On and off stretches of tarmac lead to one of Corfu’s best-preserved and scenic ‘kalderimi’, an old donkey track. The day concludes very satisfactorily at the long sandy beach of Agios Georgios north, set in a beautiful bay. Alternative accommodation is available en route, 2km after Lakones.

A tempting option that lengthens the stage by 1hr 30min goes to the ruins of the renowned Byzantine fortress of Angelokastro, set on a dramatic rock perch south of Krini.

Stage 8: Agios Georgios north to Sokraki

Time: 5hr 40min
Distance: 18km
Ascent/descent: 1000m/550m

Today the trail leaves the west coast behind to head eastwards inland through woodland, quiet villages and the inevitable lovely olive groves. A series of lanes and paths are followed on what is rather a tiring day as extra time may be needed for hunting around for elusive waymarks. The stage concludes at a tiny, peaceful mountain village in a lovely world of its own. A special spot.

If needs be, a handy exit point about halfway is Rekini, where the regular Roda–Corfu Town buses stop.

Stage 9: Sokraki to Old Perithia

Time: 5hr
Distance: 13km
Ascent/descent: 600m/600m

The opening section of this splendid stage is a jaunt through a sun-blessed valley crammed with vineyards to the sleepy village of Spartillas. At this point the CT embarks on a tiring 600m ascent to cross Mount Pandokratoras, a rugged limestone massif and Corfu’s highest elevation with dramatic stark landscapes – and splendid far-reaching panoramas, although the clutter of aerials on the top lessens its attractiveness. Fine settled weather is essential: low cloud can make orientation tricky, as both landmarks and waymarks are few and far between.

On the whole paths and waymarks are fairly good. The day concludes at the atmospheric, semi-abandoned village of Old Perithia (Paleá Períthia) on the mountain’s northwestern flanks. Note that as accommodation in Old Perithia is limited (see below), two alternatives are suggested: either detour from Spartillas to attractive seafront Barbati, where there are more places to stay. Not an unpleasant option, as this entails a semi-rest day by a beach then a taxi back up next day. Otherwise be prepared for a double stage and proceed all the way to the CT conclusion – an additional 3hr 30min.

Stage 10: Old Perithia to Agios Spiridonas

Time: 3hr 30min
Distance: 12km
Ascent/descent: 150m/550m

This magnificent conclusion to the Corfu Trail initially follows the village of Old Perithia’s ancient access way, plunging down a deep wooded valley to quiet hamlets. Follow route directions carefully, as waymarking is not especially abundant on this stretch.

At last down at the sea, the trail wanders along a beautiful sandy beach then the lovely rocky coast with secluded coves to Corfu’s northernmost headland, before a fitting conclusion at Agios Spiridonas (sometimes spelt Agios Spyridon), named after the island’s beloved patron saint. This northern coast is an inviting place to spend a couple of days to unwind.

Walking and Trekking on Corfu - Front Cover

Walking and Trekking on Corfu

The Corfu Trail and 22 day-walks


Guidebook to 22 day walks on the Greek island of Corfu and the Corfu Trail, a 150km route described in 10 stages. The day walks are spread across the whole island and visit olive groves, coastal paths, sandy beaches, lush green hillsides and picturesque villages. The Corfu Trail runs the length of the island from Kavos north to Agios Spyridonas.

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