A road trip can always be an exciting experience, especially on an island as rich in possibilities and natural beauty as Corfu, with a wealth of hidden wonders to be discovered along the way. The northern part of Corfu is known for its lush interior, sculpted by the rocky hills of Mount Pantokrator, descending all the way down to the coast and crystalline waters of the Ionian Sea and is always a good option for an all-day car tour.
A typical start for a road trip on the island would be Corfu town itself, given that it offers a wealth of choices for car rentals as well. Heading north from Corfu town, following the road signs to Kassiopi and within 15km approximately on the main coastal road, you will come across the first, popular seaside resorts closest to Corfu town, that is Dassia and Ipsos. You can easily stop here for a swim, though there are far more and better options further along the way. The road here starts to move uphill and curl, retracing the contour of the coast, lined by the foothills of Mount Pantokrator. At times, it may seem like a challenging drive, but the wonderful landscape can make it extremely rewarding. Your first stop can be Barbati for a morning swim. The pebbly beach of Barbati is lovely, fringed by the verdant hills of Mount Pantokrator and the beach bars found on its coastal strip offer sun beds and cool drinks for a relaxing break.
Moving on, head inland to explore some of the villages on the slopes of Mount Pantokrator, or even drive all the way up to the peak where a monastery stands and the views are simply stunning. Do not miss a chance to stop at the Old Perithia. The abandoned village is a protected site, where time has taken over the stone houses of Venetian architecture, with some of the best tavernas you will encounter on the island, serving traditional Corfiot dishes.
If you can wait a bit longer, you can stop for lunch in Nissaki or Kassiopi. Nissaki is considered to be one of the most picturesque spots in Corfu. It is followed by other seaside resorts each nestled in consecutive crescent coves, such as Kalami or Agni, which are equally worth your while if you have the time and feel like it. Kassiopi is the largest settlement of northeastern Corfu, with three gorgeous beaches, small shops, cafés and restaurants. From here you can either head back to Corfu town from a different road, rather than following the same corniche back, or continue your trip to the west.
The road here becomes wider, leading you past Acharavi and Sidari to two of the best places to watch the sun set from; the beach of Logas and the headland of Agios Stefanos. And if you are not feeling like calling it a day just yet, go for Arillas or back to Sidari for an thrilling night out, to finish off an exciting day.
If you choose to head west earlier, you simply cannot miss Palaiokastritsa and admire the dramatic landscape against a backdrop of sheer cliffs, shimmering under the sunlight, as well as the wealth of small hidden beaches, tucked in secret coves you can only discover while driving.
Remember to drive safe and enjoy the ride!