Corfu Wildlife

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

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.

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

Where to Stay on Corfu



Other Corfu pages

  • These Corfu shopping tips include advice on buying souvenirs like ceramics, jewelry, gold, silver, wood carvings, and food and drink, with tips on haggling.

    Corfu Shopping Tips

    These Corfu shopping tips include advice on buying souvenirs like ceramics, jewelry, gold, silver, wood carvings, and food and drink, with tips on haggling.

  • 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.

    Fun Facts about Corfu

    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 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

    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 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

    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.

  • 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.

  • Corfu writers and artists inspired by the island include both residents and visitors, like Gerald and Lawrence Durrell, Edward Lear, and Henry Miller.

    Corfu Writers and Artists

    Corfu writers and artists inspired by the island include both residents and visitors, like Gerald and Lawrence Durrell, Edward Lear, and Henry Miller.

  • The best things to do on Corfu include visiting Palaiokastritsa, a day trip to Albania, seeing the Achilleion Palace, and the museums in Corfu Town.

    Best Things to Do on Corfu

    The best things to do on Corfu include visiting Palaiokastritsa, a day trip to Albania, seeing the Achilleion Palace, and the museums in Corfu Town.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • There are three islands off the northwest coast of Corfu, Erikouusa, Othoni and Mathraki, popular with day-trippers from resorts like Sidari.

    Corfu Offshore Islands

    There are three islands off the northwest coast of Corfu, Erikouusa, Othoni and Mathraki, popular with day-trippers from resorts like Sidari.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 Town’s Old Fortress

    Corfu Town’s Old Fortress is the town’s most striking landmark, standing east of the Old Town on top of a rocky promontory.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Benitses is a popular resort town south of Corfu Town with its own marina, remains of a Roman Baths, an old town, and plenty of walks inland.

    Benítses

    Benitses is a popular resort town south of Corfu Town with its own marina, remains of a Roman Baths, an old town, and plenty of walks inland.

  • Angelokastro is a 13th-century hilltop fortress with breath-taking views near Paleokastritsa on the Greek island of Corfu in the Ionian Islands.

    Angelokastro

    Angelokastro is a 13th-century hilltop fortress with breath-taking views near Paleokastritsa on the Greek island of Corfu in the Ionian Islands.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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,

  • 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.

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