wildlife includes rare and colourful birds, snakes, lizards, fireflies, and insects,
with plenty of places to watch the wildlife like lakes and lagoons.
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 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
Paleokastritsa Luggage Tag
Corfu Cypresses Capri Leggings
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 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.
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.
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!
Where to Stay on Corfu
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
North-West Corfu’s beaches and villages include busy resorts, quiet beaches, hill villages, and places ideal for watching the sunset,
These fun facts about Corfu include how the island got its name, who wrote the Greek National Anthem, and the eccentric Englishman, the Earl of Guilford.
Corfu or Kerkyra is the main island in the Greek Ionian islands with Corfu Town being one of the most attractive of Greek island capitals.
Corfu writers and artists inspired by the island include both residents and visitors, like Gerald and Lawrence Durrell, Edward Lear, and Henry Miller.
Corfu Town is the capital of Corfu and of the Ionian Islands and has museums, two forts, several museums, churches, and many other attractions.
Corfu Town’s Old Fortress is the town’s most striking landmark, standing east of the Old Town on top of a rocky promontory.
Corfu’s special cuisine includes dishes like sofrito and pastitsade and the chance to try ginger beer and kumquats.
These Corfu shopping tips include advice on buying souvenirs like ceramics, jewelry, gold, silver, wood carvings, and food and drink, with tips on haggling.
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