Last updated on January 28, 2023 by Wandering our World
Corfu and Mallorca (Majorca) are two of the top destinations that come to mind when thinking of a warm and sunny island destination. No wonder too! With swaying trees, exquisite shorelines, tropical cocktails, and fun beach parties, both destinations offer a classic island experience. However, both also have striking differences depending on what you are looking for.
For example, Corfu’s quaint setting is imbued with mystical Greek charm. The rugged mountains form an awe-inspiring backdrop and offer more hiking trails for nature lovers. It is cheaper than Mallorca as well, so you can have a much more comfortable and luxurious stay without destroying your budget.
On the other hand, Mallorca is a much larger island in Spain. The vast and majestic Mediterranean awaits your welcome there, alongside gorgeous limestone mountains that – while not having as many hiking trails as Corfu – still hold immense beauty.
Classed as one of Europe’s best beach destinations, Mallorca is also the perfect spot for solo travelers or young couples who are looking to mingle with locals and enjoy beach parties. Why? Well this island is known for its exciting nightlife!
Whether you are swaying towards losing yourself in mythical Greek tales and trails, or tapping your feet to Spanish beats, we’re here to help you make your final decision. So below we compare the beaches, activities, nightlife, food, and much more. By the end we’re sure you’ll know which island to choose!
- A Quick Overview
- Which Has Better Beaches?
- Which is Better for Hiking?
- Which Has Better Activities?
- Which Has Better Weather?
- Which Has Better Nightlife?
- Which Has A Better Food Scene?
- Where To Stay According To Your Budget
- Which Is Easier to Get To?
- Which Is the Better Choice?
A Quick Overview Of Corfu vs Mallorca
Corfu: A Quick Overview
Tucked along the northern end of the Ionian Sea, Corfu is a charming island with rich historic significance. Its remarkable architecture is shaped by English, French, and Venetian cultures making it a wonderful spot for history lovers.
It has timeless Greek charm which is reflected in its quaint towns and delectable food. But the highlight of the island is its stunning beaches and rugged mountains, which have made it one of the best destinations in Western Greece
Visitors also love to explore charming Corfu Town which is skirted by two towering Venetian fortresses, a French-style arcade, rustic medieval streets, and the wonderful St. Michael and St. George Palace.
We’ve found Corfu to be a cheaper vacation spot than Mallorca too, which means that you can have your pick of resorts and fine dining while still staying on a budget.
A Quick Overview of Mallorca
Mallorca (aka Palma de Mallorca and Majorca) is Spain’s Mediterranean crown jewel with its bright and sunny personality. It is one of the most popular Balearic Islands and you’ll find lovely beach resorts, spiraling limestone mountains, sheltered coves, and fascinating Roman and Moorish remains to explore.
The soulful hill towns on the island include Fornalutx – arguably the most stunning village in Spain – and the quaint stone-built Pollenca – home to music festivals and progressive art galleries.
The island is almost 6 times as big as Corfu as well, so naturally it offers more options for accommodation, activities, and exploration.
While we love the azure waters and gorgeous beaches of Mallorca, what really stands out here is the nightlife.
The island has world-renowned venues and clubs where you can party all night long and mingle with like-minded people. So if you’re looking for lively nightlife, this will be the best island for you.
It also tends to be a good vacation spot for families as there’s wide array of amusement areas, aquariums, and waterparks to keep the whole family thoroughly entertained when holidaying.
It’s also worth mentioning that while both islands have similar sunny weather, Mallorca is pleasant through autumn and winter as well, receiving more sunshine and much less rain compared to Corfu.
Which Has Better Beaches?
Both Corfu and Mallorca have amazing beaches that are well worth visiting.
Corfu has some of the best beaches in the world with diverse offerings for its visitors. You will find all kinds of beaches in Corfu whether you are looking for a fun party vibe or a soothing and natural setting.
Paleokastritsa is a vibrant beach resort area encompassing Glyfada, Agio Gordis, and Pelekas. The long shores of the beaches there on the western side are perfect for long moonlit strolls and romantic walks. On the other hand, there are more pebble beaches on the eastern side.
The beaches in Dassia, Kavos, and Kontokali also deserve special mention. The warm sandy coves there are bordered by mountains and lush forests, forming an exquisite and picturesque landscape.
The marvelous beaches of Mallorca compete wholeheartedly with Corfu and it’s hard to say which is better. The entire island is lined with both rocky coves and pearly-sand beaches, making it one of the most popular beach destinations in Europe.
Visitors enjoy snorkeling and scuba diving in both island destinations too. But as Mallorca is quite large in comparison, there are naturally more spots to choose from.
The best snorkeling in Mallorca is on the south side of the island at Cala Santanyi, while the National Park of Cabrera is famous for scuba diving.
Afionas in Port Timone is a lovely spot for snorkeling and scuba diving in Corfu. You can reach there via a strenuous 45-min hike or a more leisurely boat trip.
However, for an area with better accessibility, head to Paleokastritsa to enjoy some quality diving and snorkeling in the vicinity of posh villas and high-end amenities.
|Some of Europe’s best beaches
|Idyllic long shores for romantic strolls
|More diving spots to choose from
|Smaller island with fewer diving spots
|Good for snorkeling and scuba diving
|Very pretty harbours with frequent boat tours
Which is Better for Hiking?
Corfu has arguably better hiking spots than Mallorca.
And we think the captivating natural beauty of Corfu is best explored by hiking its many trails. You can find many routes that are well-suited to all skill levels on the island that also showcase how beautiful this island is.
Besides the rewarding views of the ocean when hiking up the hills and mountains, you can also enjoy looking out for gorgeous plants and plenty of wildlife during your hike.
That’s because there are over 30 species of orchids on the island which will grasp the interest of anyone interested in botany.
But for history buffs, we think the Old Town Hiking Trail is perfect as it takes you through the rich history of the region.
Or if you want to enjoy a relaxing hike with the family without pushing your limits, try the beginner-friendly Vlacherna Trail. While for those looking for a challenge, we recommend the Mount Pantokrator Trail and its breathtaking views.
Mallorca also has some great hiking trails, but they’re not quite at the same level as Corfu. Still, you can find challenging yet beautiful trails on the island that’ll take you through quaint towns, idyllic countryside, and of course, past gorgeous coastline.
Which Has Better Activities?
Both Corfu and Mallorca are popular tourist destinations and offer a wide array of activities. While we have already discussed the snorkeling and scuba diving scene on the islands, there’s a lot more for those who prefer to stay on land.
Finding out the top activities on each island can help you work out which one is best suited to the holiday you want. We explore that next:
The Top Activities In Corfu
Corfu is packed with adventure-filled activities for adults and kids alike. For example, the island offers lovely glass bottom boat rides and horseback riding as well as swimming spots safe for kids.
The famous Hyropolis Waterpark is also loaded with fun-filled activities to keep the kids entertained. Relatively cheap compared to Mallorca, the majority of resorts in Corfu are also kid-friendly.
Here are the top highlights in Corfu to enjoy with your family and friends.
1. Corfu Old Town
Explore the beauty of Old Corfu by visiting the Old Town. Carrying treasures from as old as the 8th century BC, it is positioned near the entrance of the Adrian Sea and has a lot to offer.
Explore the old forts designed by none other than Venetian engineers. The marvellous architecture has a timeless rustic charm, and the fortified Mediterranean port offers many boat tours as well.
2. Paleokastritsa Beach
This beach deserves another mention for its beautiful horseshoe-shaped bay that offers a load of activities for the whole family.
The beach has crystal-clear blue water for diving and snorkeling, and the cliffs form an imposing backdrop perfect to stop by for some memorable pics.
3. Canal D’Amour
If you are visiting Corfu for your honeymoon, we highly recommend the gorgeous Canal D’Amour (aka Sidari). This romantic beach cove has unique rock formations and shaded umbrella spots on the shores as well as an adjacent bar.
Enjoy a wonderful swim with your beau and who knows – you might fall in love all over again as ancient legends state that two persons swimming together here will fall in love. Walk hand in hand on the pearly shores and discover sea caves or go for a dive in the clear waters.
4. Aqualand Corfu Water Park
No matter how much beach fun you are having, if you have kids, stopping by a water park is a must!
This one is loaded with a lot of slides perfect for both adults and children. The large wave pool and lazy river are also fun for the whole family.
5. The Espalanade and Liston
Tucked between the old fortress and the Old Town is the Esplanade. It is a long green square holding the remains of a 17th-century Venetian fortifications.
On its western boundary is the Liston – a sophisticated arcade also taking its roots from the French period. It is reminiscent of the Rue de Rivoli in Paris and exploring its breathtaking architecture is a treat for all the history lovers out there.
Corfu has a lot of forts and palaces, but this one really stands out, so definitely make it a priority. The Neoclassical palace gets its name from the hero Achilles who helped build it with Raffaele Caritto – an Italian architect.
It has meaningful illustrations and sculptures inspired by Greek mythology. Guided tours are available that take you through the sprawling gardens enhanced with balustrades, fountains, a colonnade, and statues studded with trimmed cypress trees and palms.
Finally, stop by the quaint fishing village of Corfu to soak in the sun and explore the castle built in the 14th century by the Venetians.
The village is off the northeast end of the island and offers enthralling views of the island. It also has a lovely fishing harbor on its east end.
The Top Activities In Mallorca
The stunning beaches of Mallorca are complemented by its fun land activities. The island has wonderful Spanish architecture, wineries, secluded coves, and fresh produce farms. So you can easily find adventures that match your personality and mood.
Whether you are looking forward to some soul-searching while exploring ancient towns, or just a light-hearted time with friends while grabbing coffee and taking pictures, Mallorca has something for everyone.
Here are the best activities in Mallorca:
1. Explore The Capital City – Palma
Palma gives a true Mallorca experience. The bustling city has quaint street-side cafés, gorgeous Spanish architecture, and a multitude of shopping options.
Explore the Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma, an expansive Gothic Roman Church, and try delectable Spanish food in one of the many outdoor restaurants. At night, the city lights up with street musicians and artisans selling their crafts.
2. Bellver Castle
The 14th-century Bellver Castle is a well-preserved royal fortress with an imposing circular structure. The castle has a sprawling central courtyard studded with three towers that open up to views of Palma Bay.
Explore this delightfully round and beautiful castle along with the Palma Museum of Municipal History with artifacts from the Spanish, Roman, and Arab periods of Mallorca’s history.
3. Port de Soller
Port de Soller is a wooden tram running between two mountain ranges. With a rustic old-world feel to it, the tram is a lovely little spot for taking pictures and exploring the narrow-cobbled streets of the island adorned with cafés, ice-cream stores, and quaint Spanish cottages.
It leads to the Plaza constitucion which is the main plaza of Mallorca. With a hot and happening vibe, you can enjoy street performances here while feasting on tapas and margaritas.
4. Coves del Drach & Dels Hams
After you are done exploring above land, it’s time to go underground to discover even more beauty and enchantment!
These caves take you closer to nature but are still developed enough to offer shops, food outlets, and bathroom facilities with many guided tours also available.
Make sure to gear up and wear good shoes as the rocky terrains poses a challenge as you discover the alluring otherworldly stalagmites and stalactites. If it’s your lucky day, you might even catch a concert in action at the underground lake!
5. Serra de Tramuntana
This beautiful mountain range forms the backbone of the island and highlight its best aspects. For this reason, it was honored as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2011. Looming over the sea, the mountain range stretches over 90km.
The best way to explore it is by renting a car and taking the scenic roads. The ranges are also loaded with landmarks like rustic hilltop villages, an ancient watchtower, a few hidden restaurants, wineries, and the tranquil Lluc Monastery.
Which Has Better Weather?
Corfu and Mallorca offer exactly what you would expect on an island vacation – lovely and sunny tropical weather.
Corfu can be slightly warmer than Mallorca in summer, but it also tends to receive more rain in autumn and winter.
On the other hand, Mallorca maintains pleasant sunny weather throughout the year with much less rain and more sunshine through autumn and winter.
The best time to visit Corfu is in summer and spring, while Mallorca has nice weather throughout the year.
Which Has Better Nightlife?
Both Corfu and Mallorca offer vibrant nightlife, but Mallorca exceeds expectations with its world-famous clubs and venues. The capital city Palma as well as Magaluf are the top spot for nightclubs.
The Magaluf strip invites party people from all over the island to have a memorable night filled with drinks and dancing. Punta Ballena is the main strip, and it is loaded with over 50 bars, tattoo parlors, nightclubs, and the best fast-food options on the island.
If you are short on time, we recommend the Oceans Beach Club, Piano Bar, and BCM Planet Dance as some of the best nightclubs on the strip. Some of these bars are even open in the daytime! However, the best time to visit is from 11 pm to 6 am.
Corfu also has many nightlife offerings and attracts young people looking to blow off some steam in the summer. The popular nightlife spots are in Ipsos, Kontokali, Kavos, and Sidari. These places have a lot of clubs open throughout the night and even during off-seasons.
However in general, Corfu has a more laidback nightlife compared to Mallorca.
Which Has A Better Food Scene?
The food choices in Mallorca and Corfu are actually wildly different!
Corfu is a foodies heaven. The island’s local dishes are quite delectable and carry influences not only from its Greek roots but also from France.
Enjoy these Mediterranean flavors in dishes like Sofrito (garlic-seasoned beef), Pastitsado (red wine stew), and Veal Fricando (beautifully roasted veal).
Mallorca has classic Spanish offerings. From tapas to empanadas, tacos, burrito bowls, and paella, you will find everything here and more.
Most dishes are centered around fish, pork, and vegetables with homely and comforting flavors.
Of course, the main cities have plenty of fast-food choices to keep the whole family happy. But in general, foodies tend to gravitate towards Corfu more than Mallorca.
Where To Stay According To Your Budget?
A similar set of options are available in Corfu and Mallorca. Corfu tends to be more affordable than Mallorca though with diverse, family-friendly, and all-inclusive options available.
Travelers have also found dining and shopping options cheaper in Corfu. However, as Mallorca is a larger island, there are more options available to choose from depending on your budget.
To help you out, here’s some of the best options for each island:
Corfu: Our Recommendations
With gorgeous sea views, fantastic amenities and a massive infinity pool perfect for photos and utter relaxation, staying at the five-star Angsana Resort & Spa is one of those things we should all do at least once in our lifetime. Luckily this is luxury at a price many can afford. See photos and rates here!
If you want to be based in the heart of the action rather than by the beach, then staying at New York Luxury Suites in Old Corfu Town could be perfect. The suites themselves are tastefully done and sit in a superb location. See photos and rates here!
Mallorca: Our Recommendations
The adults-only Melbeach Hotel & Spa is a great luxury option (but without a huge price tag) which has one of the most beautiful swimming pool views in Spain! Sat right beside the beach, with gorgeous sea views, expect to be taking photos every day when staying here. See photos and rates!
For a budget option that still has sea views, beach access and swimming pools, you can’t beat Hipotels Bahia Cala Millor. It’s set directly in front of Cala Millor Beach in eastern Majorca and is also located next to the Natural Area Punta de n’Amer. See photos and rates!
Which Is Easier to Get To?
Both Corfu and Mallorca are popular tourist destinations that are easy to get to.
Corfu International Airport (Ioannis Kapadistrias) receives flights from many European cities as well as domestic flights from Athens, Thessaloniki, and Preveza all year round.
The airport is only 3km from Corfu Town and you can easily reach your accommodation via taxi, public bus, or car. The bus station is conveniently located at the airport’s entrance.
Corfu has many ports so you can reach the island by ferry as well, with a typical duration of 1-2 hours depending on where you are coming from. It is also reachable from Italy from the ports of Ancona, Venice, and Bari too.
When talking about Mallorca, flying is the fastest way to reach this beautiful island destination. Palma de Mallorca International Airport stays quite busy throughout the year with flights from many major European cities. Direct flights are available from Spanish cities like Valencia, Barcelona, and Madrid too with only 1-1.5 hours of flight time.
You can also reach the island by ferry as the mainland has two ports – Valencia (takes 8-9 hours) and Denia (takes 5 hours).
Which Is The Better Choice?
The choice between the two solely depends on what kind of experiences you are looking for.
Generally, couples and families enjoy Corfu more than Mallorca, while solo travelers, groups of friends, and party people enjoy the lively and contagious vibe of Mallorca and its nightlife options.
In terms of cost, Corfu has cheaper accommodations, food, and shopping available. So if you want to stay on a budget then Corfu is a good option.