From the south of Albania, Corfu is really close , so much so that you almost feel like you can swim there. And in fact the meaning of Ksamil – one of the most beautiful places in southern Albania where we stayed during our trip last August – is precisely ” six miles “, that is the distance that separates this Albanian peninsula from the Greek island. So we looked at this Greek island for a while from the beach and then, full of curiosity, we decided to reach it to see Corfu at least one day!
The first piece of information I share with you is that we didn’t swim there ! 😉 We instead chose to go to Corfu starting from Saranda – the city which is a few kilometers from Ksamil – with one of the fast hydrofoils that connect Albania with Greece in half an hour.
The second is that between Albania and Greece there is an hour of time zone , something to remember well if you decide to see Corfu in one day returning to Saranda for the night, in order to avoid losing the hydrofoil!
After the preambles now I try to give you some ideas on what to see in Corfu in one day , or at least I’ll tell you what we did. Because this island certainly deserves more time but there are many things that can be done and seen in Corfu even in one day!
What to see in Corfu in one day?
Having only one day available to see Corfu we have chosen to ignore the museums and instead focus on the city .
The city of Corfu itself, with its colorful houses and beautiful doors, is very characteristic and the historic center – the old town – is a maze of narrow streets that cross , between clothes hanging, white tables and old ladies dressed in black overlook the windows.
So if you love wandering around aimlessly and you are a bit photo addict like myself, my advice is to leave here to see Corfu in just one day.
Then, if you are not tired and want to hike a bit, I recommend that you climb to the top of the fortress and admire the city from above . I assure you that the view is splendid and it is worth it (even with a Potato on your back!)
At this point, if you still have some time and can resist the temptation to go back to the center to do some shopping in the little shops that sell adorable Greek-style dresses and trinkets of all kinds, my suggestion is to see a another piece of the island by moving to the Island of the Topi , in Greek Kanoni , which is near the airport.
Kanoni can be reached by first taking the bus and then renting a boat that will take you to the island and then return to pick you up. At the point where the buses stop, the glance is splendid, but I recommend you to go down the steep staircase and go and browse the white church that you will find along the pier. There you will find the boatmen who for a few euros will accompany you to the island, coming to pick you up shortly after.
If you still have a little time, you are not (too) tired and you want to see as much of Corfu as possible in one day, at this point you could go back to the city and go to see the Achilleion , or the old palace of Sissi.
The beaches of Corfu in one day: can you swim?
In seeing Corfu we have left out the sea but if your interest is to bathe in the splendid waters of the island I share with you what other travelers known on the ferry have told us: it seems that the beaches of Corfu are made of rocks and stones on the north side while the sandy beaches are on the south side.
Moreover, to reach them you will probably need a car because the most beautiful beaches are not easily accessible by public transport. However, if you are satisfied with a dip, a couple of beautiful beaches are located below the fortress , near the tourist port. We also saw someone bathing near Kanoni Island even if the water, personal opinion, was not the then memorable …
How to visit Corfu in one day: taxi or bus?
There are several ways to visit Corfu, if you only have one day and prefer to see the city you can take the taxis that you will find at the port or the buses . We moved with buses without problems, tickets can be purchased from the driver with a surcharge or in the markets .
To go to the city, take the bus just outside the pier in the direction of Piazza Spilla, while to go to the island of the Topi we took bus number 2 in the direction of Kanoni which can be taken not far from the fortress.
If you decide to visit the whole island consider hiring a car , we have seen several rentals just outside the port. We went back from the city to the port on foot , it is not very close but it is done (always with the usual Patato on the shoulders!)
Visiting Corfu with children: things to see and things to know
A fun way to visit Corfu town with children can be to take the little train on wheels that runs through the streets of the city.
If your children do not walk, keep in mind that it can be difficult to move around the old city with a stroller because there are climbs and stairs and that even the ascent to the fortress is not very easy with four wheels.
Finally, to go to the Isle of Topi, there is a fairly long staircase to go down to go down from the viewpoint to the pier.
If you decide to see Corfu in a day with the children and want to take a break with them, remember that there is a playground near the entrance to the fortress and some shady gardens.
How to go to Corfu from Saranda: things not to forget
As we told you at the beginning we visited Corfu during our holidays in Albania . In our case we reached Corfu starting from Saranda as this Greek island is really close. To get to the island of Corfu you can take the hydrofoil or the ferry (which also transports cars), in the first case the journey is very close and takes about half an hour, in the second case it is a little longer, almost two hours, and it is worth checking the times and days in which it is available.
We bought the one-way ticket at the Finikas ticket office located in Saranda behind the port, while we bought the return ticket in Corfu from Ionian . This is because in Saranda they told us that they couldn’t even get us the return ticket (honestly we didn’t understand why but we adapted …)
If like us you go to the ticket office of the port of Saranda to buy tickets to go to Corfu you will have to pay in cash (they did not accept credit cards when we went there!) And remember to bring your identity documents with you both when purchasing than at the time of travel . You will then have to arrive about half an hour before the departure of the boat for the passport control that will make you at the exit and entrance of the two countries.
Also remember that euros are in force in Corfu , not lekhs like in Albania!
Finally, don’t forget that between Albania and Greece, and therefore also between Saranda and Corfu, there is an hour’s time zone ! I know, it seems trivial but remember to update the clock to avoid problems with ferry timetables.
So far some advice based on our experience to go to Corfu from Saranda in Albania. Our personal opinion is that Corfu is worth seeing in one day even though the island deserves much more time. So for now we have told you about what to see in Corfu in one day but … who knows that soon we will not be able to talk about the island again! 🙂