Corfu Wildlife

Corfu’s wildlife includes rare and colourful birds, snakes, lizards, fireflies, and insects, with plenty of places to watch the wildlife including lakes and lagoons.

White EgretWhite Egret

No-one should visit Corfu without reading Gerald Durrell's wonderful evocation of his island childhood, My Family and Other Animals. And if you have read it already, re-read it while you're actually on the island. You might wonder whether the 'other animals' he describes so vividly still exist in such profusion. He makes it sound like a Garden of Eden.

While a lot of habitat has naturally been lost as the population increases and tourism development has caused lots of building to take place, the wildlife is certainly still there. You only need to go to places like the Korission Lagoon, the Andinióti Lagoon or get walking in the real outdoors on the Corfu Trail to discover that the wildlife is still there in abundance. Even the Halikiopoulos Lagoon right by the airport runway is home to otters and rare white egrets.

Mount Pantokrator on CorfuMount Pantokrator on Corfu

Corfu’s Diverse Landscape

As is obvious when you visit the island, Corfu has a very diverse landscape, from lagoons to sand dunes, from cliffs to mountains to fertile plains. Diverse landscapes make for diverse wildlife, and birds are probably the easiest thing for the average visitor to spot. If planning to visit Corfu, leave room in your luggage for at least a small pair of binoculars. Spring and autumn are the best times, when migrating species add to the island's own native birds.

Some Cool Corfu Souvenirs

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Paleokastritsa Luggage Tag

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Corfu Cypresses Capri Leggings

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Corfu T-shirt

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Corfu Tote Bag

Corfu Town

This applies even in Corfu Town, where in spring the arrival of swifts, swallows and martins is indicated by the fast-flying birds screeching overhead and almost filling the skies as they search for insects early and late in the day.

Some of the most colourful species can be the hardest to spot, as they are less common than the 'little brown jobs' that flit through the olive groves and which might be olive warblers, Sardinian warblers or blackcaps. Their more colourful cousins include the kingfisher, hoopoe, bee-eater and, if you are very lucky, the shy golden oriole.

The Beautiful KingfisherThe Beautiful Kingfisher

The Call of the Owl

Some birds are more often heard than seen, especially the owl. All over the island you might hear at dusk and into the night the call of the fairly common Scops owl. Some islanders call it Yianni's owl, as they say its sound is like a woman calling for her lover: Yianni, Yianni. Also heard at night is the nightjar, a relative of the cuckoo, whose pinging call sounds like a bell or other metal object being struck.

Corfu SunsetCorfu Sunset

Where there are nightjars at dusk you might also see fireflies floating through the olive groves too. Some of the other smaller insects you might not want to get too close to, such as horseflies, mosquitoes, ants and wasps, not to mention scorpions – so be careful when picking up stones as they like to sit underneath. There are more beautiful creatures, and the graceful Swallowtail butterfly is quite common.

Our Pick of Greek Islands Guides

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Corfu’s Wildlife: Lizards

There are numerous varieties of lizard on Corfu, and scarcely a day goes by when you don't see one. You may prefer never to see a snake, but they are there too, mostly non-venomous. The notable exception is the sand viper, which is Europe's most poisonous snake. Few people encounter them as they are mostly nocturnal, but you should always take care when poking around in rocks or going through undergrowth where you can't see where you're putting your feet. That's when you'll discover that the 'other animals' are very much on Corfu still!

Greek LizardGreek Lizard

Other Corfu Pages

  • Greece Travel Secrets’ pick of where to stay in southern Corfu including hotels in Moraïtika, Paramonas, Messonghi, Agios Georgios, and near Benitses.

    Where to Stay in Southern Corfu

    Greece Travel Secrets’ pick of where to stay in southern Corfu including hotels in Moraïtika, Paramonas, Messonghi, Agios Georgios, and near Benitses.

  • Greece Travel Secrets picks where to stay in northern Corfu with budget and luxury hotels in Sidari, Daphnila Bay, Kontokali, Ipsos, Barbati and more.

    Where to Stay in Northern Corfu

    Greece Travel Secrets picks where to stay in northern Corfu with budget and luxury hotels in Sidari, Daphnila Bay, Kontokali, Ipsos, Barbati and more.

  • Greece Travel Secrets recommends where to stay in north-west and central Corfu including luxury mansions, inexpensive rooms, and resort hotels.

    Where to Stay in North-West and Central Corfu

    Greece Travel Secrets recommends where to stay in north-west and central Corfu including luxury mansions, inexpensive rooms, and resort hotels.

  • This is the Greece Travel Secrets selection of where to eat in northern Corfu, from classy restaurants and traditional tavernas to beachside fish tavernas.

    Where to Eat in Northern Corfu

    This is the Greece Travel Secrets selection of where to eat in northern Corfu, from classy restaurants and traditional tavernas to beachside fish tavernas.

  • Greece Travel Secrets has its list of favourite places where you can eat in north-west Corfu, including in Paleokastritsa, Pelekas, and Ayios Stefanos.

    Where to Eat in North-West Corfu

    Greece Travel Secrets has its list of favourite places where you can eat in north-west Corfu, including in Paleokastritsa, Pelekas, and Ayios Stefanos.

  • Donna Dailey of Greece Travel Secrets visits Albania by boat from Corfu Town, staying overnight and seeing archaeological sites with Sipa Tours.

    Visiting Albania from Corfu

    Donna Dailey of Greece Travel Secrets visits Albania by boat from Corfu Town, staying overnight and seeing archaeological sites with Sipa Tours.

  • The main two Corfu saints are Saint Spyridon, the patron saint of Corfu who saved the island four times from disaster, and Saint Theodora Augusta.

    Two Corfu Saints

    The main two Corfu saints are Saint Spyridon, the patron saint of Corfu who saved the island four times from disaster, and Saint Theodora Augusta.

  • From Nero to Nicolas Cage, the invasion of Corfu goes back to Roman times and through to Hollywood today!

    The Invasion of Corfu

    From Nero to Nicolas Cage, the invasion of Corfu goes back to Roman times and through to Hollywood today!

  • The Corfu Trail runs from the southernmost point of Corfu at Cape Asprokavos and winds for 220km (137 miles) to the northernmost point near Andinioti Lagoon.

    The Corfu Trail

    The Corfu Trail runs from the southernmost point of Corfu at Cape Asprokavos and winds for 220km (137 miles) to the northernmost point near Andinioti Lagoon.

  • The Achilleion Palace is one of the most visited sights on Corfu and contains a museum and impressive gardens with wonderful views over the coast.

    The Achilleion Palace

    The Achilleion Palace is one of the most visited sights on Corfu and contains a museum and impressive gardens with wonderful views over the coast.

  • Southern Corfu has busy beach resorts like Benitses, historical buildings like the Achilleion Palace and Gardiki Castle, and wildlife at the Korision Lagoon.

    Southern Corfu

    Southern Corfu has busy beach resorts like Benitses, historical buildings like the Achilleion Palace and Gardiki Castle, and wildlife at the Korision Lagoon.

  • This Southern Corfu drive starts and ends in Moraïtika, taking in hill villages, secluded beaches, lovely views, and a visit to Gardiki Castle.

    Southern Corfu Drive

    This Southern Corfu drive starts and ends in Moraïtika, taking in hill villages, secluded beaches, lovely views, and a visit to Gardiki Castle.

  • This guide to southern Corfu’s beaches and villages includes busy resorts, quiet beach, hill villages and the southernmost tip of Corfu at Cape Asprókavos.

    Southern Corfu Beaches and Villages

    This guide to southern Corfu’s beaches and villages includes busy resorts, quiet beach, hill villages and the southernmost tip of Corfu at Cape Asprókavos.

  • Sidari is a popular holiday resort on the north coast of Corfu with beaches and unusual rock formations as well as plenty of places to eat and to stay.

    Sidari

    Sidari is a popular holiday resort on the north coast of Corfu with beaches and unusual rock formations as well as plenty of places to eat and to stay.

  • Paleokastritsa is on the west coast of Corfu and is one of the most popular holiday spots. This page gives information on beaches, boat trips, weather and map.

    Paleokastritsa, Corfu

    Paleokastritsa is on the west coast of Corfu and is one of the most popular holiday spots. This page gives information on beaches, boat trips, weather and map.

  • Northern Corfu is the most diverse part of the island, with Corfu's highest point, Mt Pantokrator, and beach resorts like Sidari and Palaiokastritsa.

    Northern Corfu

    Northern Corfu is the most diverse part of the island, with Corfu's highest point, Mt Pantokrator, and beach resorts like Sidari and Palaiokastritsa.

  • If you want to tour northern Corfu in three days you can see busy resorts, quiet fishing villages, Mount Pantokrator, and the Andinioti Lagoon.

    Northern Corfu in Three Days

    If you want to tour northern Corfu in three days you can see busy resorts, quiet fishing villages, Mount Pantokrator, and the Andinioti Lagoon.

  • There are two sides to every Greek island, the tourist and the traditional, and this drive from Corfu Town through northern Corfu shows the two faces of Corfu.

    Northern Corfu Drive

    There are two sides to every Greek island, the tourist and the traditional, and this drive from Corfu Town through northern Corfu shows the two faces of Corfu.

  • Northern Corfu’s beaches and villages include busy resorts and secluded beaches, with several hill and mountain villages well worth visiting.

    Northern Corfu Beaches and Villages

    Northern Corfu’s beaches and villages include busy resorts and secluded beaches, with several hill and mountain villages well worth visiting.

  • North-West Corfu’s beaches and villages include busy resorts, quiet beaches, hill villages, and places ideal for watching the sunset,

    North-West Corfu Beaches and Villages

    North-West Corfu’s beaches and villages include busy resorts, quiet beaches, hill villages, and places ideal for watching the sunset,

  • Mount Pantokrator is the highest mountain on Corfu and it’s easy to drive to the top for spectacular views of Albania, Corfu, and even sometimes to Italy.

    Mount Pantokrátor

    Mount Pantokrator is the highest mountain on Corfu and it’s easy to drive to the top for spectacular views of Albania, Corfu, and even sometimes to Italy.

  • This Mount Pantokrator drive takes you to the top of Corfu’s highest mountain with wonderful views to Albania, mainland Greece, and around Corfu.

    Mount Pantokrator Drive

    This Mount Pantokrator drive takes you to the top of Corfu’s highest mountain with wonderful views to Albania, mainland Greece, and around Corfu.

  • The Korission Lagoon on the west coast of Corfu is also called Lake Korission and has abundant wildlife, especially birds, and one of the best beaches on Corfu.

    Korission Lagoon

    The Korission Lagoon on the west coast of Corfu is also called Lake Korission and has abundant wildlife, especially birds, and one of the best beaches on Corfu.

  • Kassiopi is a popular tourist resort on the northeast coast of Corfu with a sandy beach, Byzantine fortress, old church, and lots of places to stay and to eat.

    Kassiopi

    Kassiopi is a popular tourist resort on the northeast coast of Corfu with a sandy beach, Byzantine fortress, old church, and lots of places to stay and to eat.

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