The Greek islands are a popular destination for people looking for great scenery as well as charming history. And two of the most popular are Corfu and Kefalonia! Both of these islands are lovely and have plenty of unique experiences to offer, so how are you supposed to choose between them?
Well luckily we know Greece and her islands well, and are going to help you make that decision!
Below we pit Corfu vs Kefalonia. We look at which island has the better beaches, activities, resorts and more!
Corfu or Kefalonia: Which Has the Better Beaches?
Both of these islands have lots to offer in terms of beaches due to the gorgeous water and lush green backgrounds that they boast. However many consider Kefalonia to have more options in terms of giving specific experiences, for example being able to find a private secluded beach or a family friendly one, etc.
Corfu doesn’t have as many diverse options as Kefalonia, and tends to be more packed with tourists. Kefalonia also has the more pretty beaches and beach villages in our opinion, with its golden sand and stretches of dazzling white pebble beaches. However as Corfu is the bigger island, it definitely has more beaches to choose from.
However for us, Kefalonia probably wins in the beach department. But there are great beaches on both islands.
Glyfada Beach in Corfu is one of the most popular beaches on the island. Not only is the sand soft and aesthetically pleasing, but the water is calm and shallow for several metres which makes it a fantastic swimming spot. Additionally there are several restaurants nearby where you can go to eat. It’s an all-round good day out.
Corfu’s Limni Beach Glyko may be one of the most beautiful beaches in Greece – this double beach is flanked on either side by a bay with a sea colour palette of different blues.
One of the more secluded beaches in Corfu is Avlaki Beach which is a local treasure that many tourists don’t know about. While this is a pebble beach, the water is pristine, and there is even a small pier to help you get into the water and enjoy it yourself. You can also hire a kayak or canoe to explore some of the nearby coves.
In Kefalonia, Myrtos Beach is a must visit. It’s actually one of the most photographed beaches in Greece due to the contrast of colors between the ice-blue waters, long white pebble beach, and forest covered cliffs behind it. Just keep in mind that you’ll need to bring your own form of shade because there is very little on the beach itself.
If you’re willing to travel a little out of your way then you should definitely visit Fteri Beach. After a drive and then a forty minute walk you’ll stumble across a beach surrounded by beautiful cliffs, full of pure white pebbles, and featuring neon blue water. Definitely worth the trip – plus it’s rarely busy.
For a nice easily accessible beach in Kefalonia, with lots of sand for sunbathing, then check out Makris Gialos.
Corfu or Kefalonia: Which Has the Better Attractions?
As with many of the Greek islands, there are plenty of things to see and do in both Corfu and Kefalonia. So when it comes down to which island has the better attractions and things to do, it’s really down to personal preference. Although as the bigger island, we think Corfu probably has more choices of things to do and activities.
Below are some of the best things to do and see in each island, to help you make a decision on which one is best
In Corfu you must check out Spianada Square. It is actually the second largest square in Europe, and while you’re there you can experience some of the finest dining that Corfu has to offer in the various cafes and restaurants. Cricket is played on the Esplanade located on the square, and it’s one of the few places in Greece where the sport is played.
More active travelers might enjoy heading to Dassia Beach and renting the stand-up paddle boards that are there. This makes for a great workout and the clear blue water of the sea is very beautiful. While you’re at Dassia Beach you could also try out parasailing since it’s another service on offer there. Enjoy flying over the ocean surrounded by beautiful views!
A more historical location in Corfu is Angelokastro, a castle built in the 13th century and which sits more than 300 meters above sea level. In fact this whole island is dotted with an array of ancient castles, monasteries and fortresses, so if you’re a history buff you will love this place!
Corfu is also a great island to visit if you want to spend time in nature. If feeling adventurous you can make the journey to the top of Mount Pantokrator. It’s the highest peak on the island and you can reach the top by driving, taking a minibus tour, or hiking. The breathtaking panoramic views of the island and across the sea are worth it. There’s many superb hikes on the island, as we’ve written about before.
Kefalonia has some wonderful places for any nature lover too. We recommend visiting Mount Ainos, which any nature lover will enjoy. This is the only National Park located on a Greek island, and it protects a type of fir tree, Abies Cephalonica, that only grows in Kefalonia. There’s plenty of wildlife to enjoy in the park, and there are even some ruins of an ancient temple as well as some ancient monasteries.
Right outside Sami you can find the Bavarian Horse Riding Stables where you can learn how to ride and then enjoy a tour of the island on horseback.
And if you’re near the area of Sami then you should also check out Melissani Cave which is surrounded by trees and has a lake inside of it. If you visit at noon the sun overhead hits the water and illuminates the entire cave in an enchanting blue light!
Corfu or Kefalonia: Which is Easier to Travel To?
Some of this depends on where you’re traveling from. In general though, these islands are both fairly easy to reach.
Corfu probably does have more options all year around, alongside seasonal travel routes that exist only in high season.
There is an airport in Corfu that has flights coming from multiple destinations in Europe so you’ll probably be able to find a direct flight to Corfu with relative ease. Plus all-year long you can catch a flight to Corfu from Athens, Preveza, Thessaloniki, and several major European cities.
It’s worth noting that the airport is located about 3 km away from Corfu Town, but you can easily catch a public bus from the station that is next to the airport or take a taxi. If you would rather travel by ferry instead of a plane then there are several options, and you can find ferries heading to Corfu from multiple cities including Igoumenitsa and Venice.
Kefalonia does have less year-round flight options than Corfu, only receiving flights from Athens, Corfu, and Zakynthos. But during the summer months you can catch a flight from many European cities. And when it comes to ferries, there are plenty of options leaving from various ports on the Greek mainland, as well as some fellow Ionian islands, and the Brindisi port in Italy.
Corfu or Kefalonia: Which Has the Better Resorts?
Once you reach the island of your choice you’re going to need a place to stay, so which of these fine islands has the better resorts? The answer to this is that both islands have great options for accommodations although Corfu does have more of them.
The main difference is that Kefalonia has less options outside of its main tourist hot spots, whereas there are many easy-to-reach options in Corfu no matter where you are. Overall you’ll probably still be able to find a place to stay that fits your needs in either island, so let’s discuss some of our favourite options in both of these destinations.
One of the most popular places to stay in Corfu is the Delfino Blu Wellness Boutique Hotel. Here you can choose between apartments, studios, and suites. And at the hotel you will also have access to a breakfast area, restaurant, a swimming pool with a bar, a fitness center, a sauna, library, and more. A luxury option in Corfu is Aquis Pelekas Beach Hotel which features a great view of the Ionian Sea. There are almost two-hundred guest rooms available, and the hotel boasts a swimming pool, two bars, and two restaurants.
The Emelisse Nature Resort is a fantastic option if you’re staying in Kefalonia. The resort’s grounds include pools for both adults and children, restaurants, bars, a fitness center, a tennis court, a spa, and even an outdoor cinema. As far as a luxury option in Kefalonia, F Zeen Boutique Hotel is a great choice. It is an adults only hotel, but it offers fantastic sea views from the balconies and patios. Plus there’s also two swimming pools.
Corfu or Kefalonia: Which is the Better Choice?
Whichever island you choose you’ll have a great time. That said, there’s notable differences between both that will influence your holiday choice.
Corfu, as the larger island, has better hiking and walking opportunities and more beaches, and has more accommodation options. There’s more options for activities and things to do in Corfu than Kefalonia too.
Kefalonia, however, has arguably the better beaches and has many great resort options and things to do too.