A holiday favourite since Victorian times, Corfu lies in the Ionian chain of islands off the north-west coast of mainland Greece.
Corfu's popularity has exacted a high price over the years. This was one of the first of the Greek islands to be "discovered" by holiday firms and some say far too many of the island's beach resorts have embraced the downmarket demands of package tour operators.
This is largely true for much of Corfu island where beautiful bays of golden sand and pretty fishing villages have been overrun with cheap hotels and happy-hour karaoke bars.
It must be admitted, Corfu was once an embarrassing byword for bar-crawling British lager-louts on bargain booze holidays.
Fortunately, large parts of Corfu escaped the worst of the Brit invasions and some of the loveliest beaches and most romantic villages in the Greek islands can still be found here.
The most popular holiday hotspots are concentrated in the resorts that surround Corfu Town and along the island's north coast.
Visitors looking for more sedate resorts will find them all around the long coastline while many villages deep within the island's lush, green interior, have escaped the holiday hotel boom altogether.
Whatever holiday you prefer there are plenty to be found online these days. Corfu is also a popular destination for independent travellers and cheap rooms are found everywhere.
One of the most popular beach holiday islands in Greece, Corfu is pretty much awash with good beaches. Strangely, some of the most popular are not the best. Dassia and Ypsos, for example, are major holiday favourites despite having relatively poor beaches, although they do benefit from being near Corfu Town. Big sand beaches make their mark on the north coast, notably at popular package resorts of Roda and Sidari. West coast beaches are quieter but further apart and the further south you go, the wilder they get. The east coast has a clutch of resorts with Kavos a favourite with clubbers.
Kerkyra, or Corfu Town, is as pleasant a provincial town as you will find anywhere in Greece. Venetians, French and British have all had a hand in developing Corfu Town and the results are both impressive and attractive, especially since public buildings were given a major clean-up for an EU summit in 1994.
This is a large town of 40,000 dominated by double forts. The 13th century Neo Frourio (New Fort), with its dungeons and impressive turret battlements, is far more interesting than the older 6th century Paleo Frourio (Old Fort).
The focal point of Corfu Town is the Spianada, a public square and park – one of the biggest in Europe – where evening crowds can take a stroll as children play. Bizarrely, there is an English cricket field where matches are still played.
North of Corfu Town square is the French-designed Liston arcade, built to resemble the rue de Rivoli in Paris and packed with elegant cafes and restaurants. It's a pleasant place for a stroll but expect to pay the top price in this tourist honey-pot. The food can be bland and the service may be brusque.
Nearby is Georgian Palace of St Michael and St George which houses the wonderful Museum of Asiatic Art, one of the largest and best collections in the world. In fact, Corfu Town is noted for its many weird collections. The Ionian Bank houses a Museum of Banknotes and you can even find a Serbian War Museum (the Balkan Wars of 1915-17, not the more recent one).
The Byzantium Museum is housed in a restored 15th-century church and the Solomos Museum is dedicated to the island's poet. Also of note is the impressive St. Spiridon's Church, home to the long-preserved bones of Corfu island's patron saint.
A dreary highway that threads north through a commercial wasteland leading to the marina and ferry port of Gouvia is not the best introduction to the island of Corfu.
But just before Gouvia, and almost merged into it, is the busy resort of Kontokali which defies its cement-paved surroundings to offer some subdued nightlife, several good tavernas and fine views over the Bay of Gouvia.
Kontokali village has several shops and restaurants, the remains of a castle. The narrow streets end up at a couple of sand and pebble beaches, if you can see either for the grids of sunbeds.
It's shallow water between a couple of groins, and a watersports area is cordoned off to prevent accidents. Showers are available, and you can even rent beach towels.
The beach to the north of Kontokali is smaller and gets greater use from the locals. Further north along the coast are the ruins of an ancient Venetian shipyard.
Massively developed with tourist hotels, the resort of Gouvia, about 8km north of Corfu Town, boasts a considerable yacht marina overlooking the spectacular Komeno Bay.
Set among olive groves and pine forest, Gouvia has a good selection of bars and restaurants and a lively night atmosphere, but there is not much to do by day than to head off elsewhere.
The beach is a bedraggled strip of pebble hidden under sunbeds with a steep drop into a sea that gathers a degree of rubbish. Drainage outlet pipes into the sea don't add much.
Souvenir shops concentrate along the short, narrow central street and the Ionian theme park at Danila Village boasts the crackpot 'Corfu Experience' featuring a reproduction Greek village (not even a hint of irony). The impressive Corfu Shell Museum has an outstanding collection but is precariously perched on a busy highway and the Louis Kerkyra Hotel has a water park.
Gouvia is on the main Green Bus route to northern resorts, and a timetable is posted near the Pippilas Restaurant.
Curving around the bay from Gouvia is the once picturesque promontory of Cape Komeno. Now dominated by the Grecotel hotel and bungalow complex the cape has little to please the eye these days unless you are a sucker for luxury hotel life.
Visitors looking for a base to explore the north-east of the island will find Komeno well situated for the task. The promontory is little more than scrub and rock but there are splendid views over the bay to Corfu Town to the yacht marina in Gouvia to the south, whilst to the north is the Gulf of Dassia and the holiday resorts of Dassia and Ipsos.
The hotel complex has the sea on both sides and there are many small inlets and bays for sunbathing. Most beach coves are shingle and stone but come with changing cabins and showers courtesy of the hotel.
The resort of Dassia, also spelt Dasia, has a large cluster of bars, restaurants and shops on either side of a very busy main road. Hotels line one side of the road and apartments the other with constant heavy traffic making it a nightmare to cross.
A network of footpaths lead down to Dassia beach – a long strip of stone and sharp shingle with just a little sand, about 200 metres long and 30 meters deep with the shallow waters backed by dramatic pine and olive topped cliffs.
A long cement path runs down the back of the beach but there are no showers or toilets. At the southern end is a small bay with a ruined Venetian boatyard, but it's a bit of a scramble to get there.
Dassia resort proper has a wide range of restaurants and bars, although it's mostly uninspired tourist fare. Many shops are given over to selling souvenir trinkets but the locals are known throughout Corfu for their friendliness.
Surprisingly, Dassia has little night-life despite the high tourist numbers, so visitors often hop to nearby Ipsos for clubbing. It is about 15 minutes on foot with fine views all the way.
Ipsos, or Ypsos, is the lager lumphead's paradise resort. A firm favourite of British package tour operators Ipsos boasts wall-to-wall burger outlets and karaoke bars. Expect smutty slogan T-shirts, blow-up turtles and plates piled high with chips.
The beach is a narrow, long strip of shingle and sand backed by a very busy road. The best bit is south near the harbour; it's quieter there, though not much. Another small harbour lies to the north.
There are watersports galore with jetties every 50 yards or so. Showers and toilets are available and there is lighting along the main Ipsos road where families must run a gauntlet of traffic to reach the tavernas and cafes away from the beach.
A downmarket atmosphere pervades Ipsos, but this is not Ibiza or Faliraki – the clubs close around 4 am. Tavernas sell basic, low-priced meals and bars boast giant TVs, all-day English breakfast, pool tables and gaming machines.
Select Ipsos ain't and if you want more than a tan and a hangover you may be disappointed. If it's cheap, cheerful and noisy you're after then Ipsos could be just the ticket.
The neighbouring resort at Pyrgi is just an extension of Ipsos; a little less hectic, a bit cheaper and Greek food on the menu now and then. What a contrast in the hills where the lovely village of Agios Markos is a step back in time and a step up in quality.
The long, straight and narrow kilometre of white pebble at Barbati is set away from the main road in a fine bay cloaked in pines.
Barbati beach is relatively quiet until boatloads of day trippers arrive from Kerkyra and Ipsos. There are showers and toilets at the back of the beach alongside cantinas and beach bars.
Three large complexes of apartments stagger up the hill, and the network of roads that feeds them provides plenty of parking.
The water is shallow on the east-facing beach but it does drop off steeply a little way out. Rocks at both ends provide interest and there are sunbeds and watersports.
Barbati village is set on the steep hillside between the main road and the beach with terrific views over the bay and plenty of shops.
The night-life is low key but Corfu Town is only 20 minutes away on the daily bus. There is no taxi rank here but locals are happy to phone for you.
The shingle and stone beach at Nissaki is very pretty, sitting in a horseshoe bay with a taverna at one end.
Nissaki is Greek for 'islet', and so it once was before quarrying joined the islet to the shore and created the beach.
Don't confuse this with nearby Krouzari beach, which is much bigger and dominated by the ineptly named Nissaki Beach Hotel.
Nissaki is ideal for those who like it quiet, enjoy lovely views and want little more than a taverna and sunbed.
The resort is noted for its excellent tavernas, three close to the beach and two in the village. There is also a cafe and a minimarket.
The nearby beach at Krouzari is a long strip of steep sloping shingle. There are showers, changing rooms and toilets and tees behind provide natural shade.
There are the usual sunbeds and watersports you expect on a developed hotel beach.
Visitors to Kaminaki find a delightful, romantic bay of shingle and sand in an idyllic setting enclosed by olive groves and well sheltered from the wind.
Sunbeds are for hire and the beach has a single shower and but no toilets. Visitors can use the beach taverna and there is another taverna on the cliffs above.
A single mini market provides basic village shopping, and it's a steep drive down the hill to Kaminaki beach where there is limited parking.
Kaminaki is only a short coastal walk to the vast Nissaki Beach Hotel, so the beach tends to get busy later in the day, but this is still a place to chill and relax.
Agni is at the end of a very steep and twisting lane off the main coast road north-west of Corfu Town.
It's a small bay of pebbles with the odd patch of sand. Three tavernas open in the summer, all with views across to Albania.
Jetties have been built to accommodate the boats that regularly pull in here. Agni beach shelves deeply and the sharp underwater rocks make this an unsuitable beach for children.
Apart from the tavernas, the resort has no facilities. Agni has a beautiful and peaceful setting and a deeply relaxed atmosphere.
The beautiful bay at Kalami has a relatively long beach of white shingle liberally littered with sunbeds and with showers and toilets.
The resort has a strong literary connection with the Durrells – Lawrence and Gerald – who had a home here called the White House.
Once a quiet retreat, Kalami is now home to one of the biggest self-catering complexes on Corfu. It sprawls up the hillside, although expertly planted wisteria hides most of it.
The beach is stone and pebble, and Albania sits just two kilometres offshore. On the headland towards Kouloura are sheltered coves with flat rocks for sunbathing, but they can only be reached by boat.
Kalami village has mini-markets, shops and a couple of tavernas.
Around the headland from Kalami is the pretty fishing village of Kouloura. Not much of a beach, just a narrow strip of sand and shingle under the cliffs opposite the harbour.
But Kouloura enjoys a beautiful setting that oozes peace and tranquillity. Rocky coves offer snorkelling and sunbathing.
Much visited by boats, the bay can get dirty with fuel in the summer and sea urchins are a problem on the rocks.
No watersports, no bars, no clubs, one taverna and the nearest shop is a 20-minute walk to Kalami – heaven on earth some will say.
The 300-metre sweep of shingle at Kerasia is in a beautiful spot and ideal for those wishing to escape the crowds.
Surrounded by olive and pine, the beach is flat and water shallow, although it dips sharply after a few metres.
Kerasia has a single beach taverna and a small shop but not much else, although sunbeds are for hire and there is plenty of parking.
Prince Charles is an occasional guest of the Rothschilds, who have a large estate nearby but you are unlikely to find yourself sharing the beach with royalty.
Agios Stefanos is a lovely, isolated and secluded cove with a small, but attractive, pebble beach, not to be mistaken for the resort of the same name on the north-west coast.
There are four tavernas on the beach and a couple more in the village where there is also a mini-market and a few gift shops.
An upmarket resort that has earned the nickname 'Kensington-on-Sea', the luxury villas that dot the surrounding hills come tagged with very exclusive prices.
A prime target for day-trip boats, Agios Stefanos can get busy quite quickly. Sunbeds line the beach but the shingle drops very steeply into a deep sea, so it's not great for children.
Neighbouring coves include the pretty Kerasia beach and horse riding is on offer at the nearby Emeritus Nature Reserve.
The narrow, winding road down to the beach is steep and difficult, not least because of the repeated urge to stop and take photos.
The north has the best and the worst of the landscape. For 10km or so out of Corfu town, the visitor is greeted by a dreary sprawl of hotels and apartments relieved only by occasional vegetation. Further north the highway peters out and the scene changes dramatically. An impressive rocky coastline is backed by the greenest of hills and a more typically Greek atmosphere in small pebble coves and dazzling turquoise waters. It is only in the larger resorts that Corfu slides back into tourist-driven tackiness.
The long and splendid bay at Avlaki tends to get missed by visitors thanks to its better-known neighbour Kassiopi and some poorly signposted roads.
A favourite spot for weekending Greeks, the narrow 800 metre-long beach is mostly shingle with sunbeds, boardwalks and a shallow sea for a few metres before dropping off sharply.
Avlaki is very quiet, but with more lively resorts are only a short walk away and visitors can always opt for a boat trip to Kerkyra.
There are canoes for hire and a sailing school, a couple of tavernas and a bar but no shops – the nearest is at Kassiopi.
A couple of small coves of rock and shingle lie beyond the headlands at either end of Avlaki beach.
The seaside resort of Kassiopi is dominated by big-screen TVs, discos that thump until dawn and karaoke bars – albeit on a smallish scale and nothing like resorts such as Kavos.
Kassiopi still finds room for traditional tavernas and regular visitors emphasise the relaxed friendliness of the locals.
The resort has a pretty waterfront but much of the village is thick with souvenir shops while a quartet of mini-markets meets the basic shopping needs.
Four beaches can be reached along footpaths around the headland but none are particularly pleasing. The main Kassiopi beach is pebble and has showers and toilets.
The other beaches have no facilities and better beaches can be found south at Avlaki and Koyevinas – a 20-minute drive.
Boat trips leave daily for Corfu Town and to other sands along the coast. Castle ruins overlook the harbour but there is little to see.
A tiny, peaceful bay until an 850-bed hotel complex sprang up, Agios Spiridon has gone belly up to the tourist trade.
The sandy beach is set in a small bay with rocks to either side. A longer and better beach lies about 500 metres to the west.
The shoreline on both beaches is shallow with rock pools to add interest and with sunbeds, showers, toilets, changing rooms and a cantina that opens in the summer.
Agios Spiridon village has a couple of mini-markets, a tourist shop and three tavernas – all highly recommended. In the nearby nature reserve, walkers will find plenty to admire on the local trails.
A nearby lagoon is home to the showy sea daffodil but do not pick any; they now very rare in Greece.
East of the protected wetlands of Antinioti, where birds nest in the broad lagoon, is the vast sandy beach of Almyros.
The western end of the seven-kilometre long sands is quiet with dunes and shallow water while the east has the hotels and restaurants, beach sports and windsurfing.
Pebbles are more marked in the centre where there is a sharp drop into the sea. In places the beach is wide but often there is just room for a single line of loungers.
Almyros is a good spot for visitors who like the combination of lively and quiet. Escape the crowds by walking west. There are good views across to the Albanian hills.
The approach to Acharavi has the immediate appeal of an M6 truck stop but appearances are deceptive. The village itself is tucked away from the main road, a quiet crescent of traditional tavernas and cafes behind the western end of Almiros beach.
The beach is sand and pebble and shelves gently into the sea. It's a clear favourite with families although stones lie underfoot so it's wise to have footwear.
The beach may be a relief from the dishevelled mess that flanks the highway but the village does offer a wide range of facilities including doctors, bank, post office and mini-markets.
In the hills behind the village walkers can get on the Corfu Trail and other excellent walking paths lead up Mt Pantokrator.
There are the remains of Roman baths nearby. A good water park (Hydropolis) is 10 minutes walk and many Acharavi hotels offer free use of the pool.
Roda is a small, pretty, but essentially charmless village with a large number of bars, restaurants and small shops about a three-hour drive from Corfu Airport along twisting roads.
It looks like an English seaside town with karaoke and bingo on offer in scores of British-theme pubs, many run by ex-pats.
Access to Roda beach is down steps from the main road where there is limited parking. The beach is sandy with pebbles at the eastern end with shallow water that's ideal for children.
A downmarket resort for years, Roda has made an effort to improve itself with some palm tree planting, seafront benches and regular daily beach cleaning.
A midnight restriction helps mitigate the nightly noise but the main Sidari road is bustling 24 hours-a-day.
The big guns of the British package firms have been trained on Sidari for some years and the once pretty village square is now lost in a hectic maze of happy hour bars, Brit-style pubs and trinket shops.
Sidari has three beaches. The first and least popular is near the old fishing harbour to the east. The central beach is a long sweep of sand with a vast array of watersports. To the west is the famous Canal d'Amour area, where sandstone cliffs are eroded into spectacular formations and where the small sandy coves are as attractive as they are overcrowded.
The resort's main street is narrow and busy and the restaurants and the bars that fringe it offer a diet of bingo, TV football and chips. Sidari is much the Greek Blackpool.
Sidari nightlife is cheap and cheerful too and enlivened by endless karaoke. The Sidari area is notorious for mosquitoes so don't forget the insect spray.
Peraloudes is a handsome village of traditional tavernas and cafes providing access to tranquil beaches and some lovely walks.
The main Peroulades beach is hardly that – just a narrow strip of sand below vertical cliffs that require a perilous descent down scores of winding cement steps.
The taverna above Peroulades beach offers stunning sunset views and lends the place its alternative name of Sunset Beach.
From rocky cliffs to long sandy beaches, the west coast has more to offer those looking to get away from the crowds on Corfu. Although tourism has spread, the grip is not quite so tight as it is in the east and south. It still has its low points but they are far less widespread. As mountains give way to farmland, and Corfu Town gets nearer, the desolation becomes more notable but, away from the crowds, visitors are rewarded by some of the most beautiful landscape and the best beaches to be found on Corfu.
The low-key key resort of Agios Stefanos is also called San Stefanos to distinguish it from the village of Agios Stefanos on the north-east coast.
Gentle hills roll down to a 500 metre flat and deep, sandy beach that remains quiet even in the high summer season.
Shallow water and gently sloping sands make San Stefanos a favourite for families and there are sunbeds on the beach which, at 70 metres deep, is big by Corfu standards.
The Agios Stefanos resort has some watersports and a children's play area. Tucked away from the main traffic routes and only approached along narrow lanes the resort tends to be quieter than most.
It has some good tavernas and small family hotels as well as the usual selection of shops and bars. Some outstanding scenery is on offer for hill walkers in this part of Corfu.
Arillas beach is flat and sandy and with very shallow waters, so it's great for families and it is backed by low rolling hills, except at the southern end where cliffs loom.
Beyond a rock outcrop at the northern end is an unofficial nudist beach where they get the best of the sand in a sheltered cove.
Walks along the headland from Agios Stefanos to the beach Arilas, or Arillas, are popular, with celebrated views and splendid sunsets.
The islet of Gravia just offshore and reachable for decent swimmers. Sunbeds, watersports, boats for hire and a water taxi to other resorts along the coast are all on offer.
The resort has a wide selection of mini-markets and a few shops selling souvenirs. Cafes and tavernas line the long promenade.
Agios Georgios is a sprawling resort at the mouth of a wide wooded valley. Don't confuse it with Agios Georgios to the south.
Many regard the long and gently sloping beach as one of the best in Corfu and it's a popular destination for young families.
The beach very long at 1.4 kilometres and wide too at 140 metres with families sticking to the centre, naturists to the north and fewer numbers on the narrow southern strip.
A river runs through the main resort where visitors will find the usual supermarkets, tavernas, bars and car hire. Mountain bikes are for hire and there is even a small bowling alley.
Afionas village, on the headland, has views over the bay and the 13th-century fortress of Angelkastro is a 30-minute car ride away.
Paleokastritsa is a firm favourite with British holidaymakers. Couched in lush countryside, it is one of the most scenic resorts on the Corfu. It is also very hilly and the lack of footpaths makes walking quite dangerous, especially at night.
The resort is spread over three large bays and they are big enough to soak up the visitors. The main beach is a narrow horseshoe crescent of shingle backed by a large hotel and car park.
The water is deep but sunbeds and plentiful and showers and toilets are available. Boats leave regularly for trips to nearby caves, grottos and small beaches. The usual tourist watersports are also on offer including scuba diving.
The other two bays – a smaller but sandier one to the north and another sandy strip around the headland are served by taxi boats and take the overspill from the main beach.
Tavernas are notoriously expensive and are a few music bars on the edge of the resort. Overlooking the bay is a 13th-century monastery, a favourite with coach parties.
The monastery has some impressive icons, a carved wooden ceiling and a bizarre sea monster. The paved gardens have remarkable sea views but there are even better views at nearby Lakones and the villages beyond.
Liapades, or Liapathes, is a picturesque resort set in a sheltered bay, sadly dominated by a large hotel complex. Mercifully it's not a high rise but it still doesn't do much for the views.
The beach at Liapades, often referred to as Paradise beach, is mostly soft sand with a few stones and the waters are very shallow, ideal for children.
Large rocks either side of the bay add interest and there is parking close to the beach. Visitors report that wasps are a problem, no doubt nesting in the nearby pines.
The village is about a kilometre inland from the beach, but still worth a visit. It's a typical Greek village of narrow streets and whitewashed homes and has some good tavernas.
Busy Ermones has been rather overrun by hotel complexes in recent years. It's a small 300-metre cove surrounded by steep hills now littered with hotels and apartment blocks. German tour operators dominate here.
It is a steep descent to the beach and the Ermones Beach Hotel boasts a small funicular railway to ferry the guests down the almost vertical cliffs.
The beach is sand and shingle, clean but divided by the Ropa river that cuts its way to the shore here. The beach shelves gently, so it's safe for children, and rocks invite exploration at either end.
Sunbeds, toilets and showers are available and there is parking above, although there are very steep steps to negotiate. Windsurfing and boat hire are on offer. The beach has three tavernas and three more above. After dark, the place thumps to the hotel discos but there is no other entertainment and for shopping, there is just one mini-market.
OK if your choice is an all-inclusive package deal but otherwise there few good reasons to visit Ermones.
Author Lawrence Durrell once described the tiny sands at Myrtiotissa as "perhaps the loveliest beach in the world" which is going it a bit.
Relatively tricky to reach and requiring a scramble down the cliff face from the village at Vatos, the narrow but pretty stretch of sand is pocked by mighty boulders and overlooked by scrub-covered cliffs.
Once a well-kept secret, the beach is now regularly invaded by day-trip boats and gets seriously crowded in the high summer. But the beach still has great charm, despite the crowds, although it is best enjoyed at the end of the day when the boat trippers have left.
Mrytiotissa beach is still quiet enough to be a favourite haunt of nudists, but these have tailed off the beach has grown in popularity. The beach cantina is noted for excellent snacks.
Reached down a steep, winding road, Glyfada has a one-kilometre beach of golden sand that shelves gently to the sea, very attractive to families. There are the usual sunbeds and watersports.
Glyfada is hugely popular, especially with Italians, and it can get very crowded in high season.
The Louis Grand Hotel which takes up a mammoth portion of the beach. The small car park that sits nearby can soon reach full capacity and finding a place to park can be a pain later in the day.
Although the waters are shallow at first they deepen sharply further out and the beach is notorious for strong currents at the northern end, with warning flags for swimmers.
Facilities like showers and toilets and a beach taverna are available along with all the watersports you expect on a big fashionable beach.
On the headland is a large rock formation that's a recognised spot for show-off diving displays by young bucks.
The hilltop village of Pelekas sits on the west coast, south of Glyfada and almost opposite Kerkyra, around 15 kilometres from the capital.
The beach, also called Kontogialos, lies below the village and it's a 10-minute walk down the hill to a wide crescent of sand with sunbeds, showers and toilets.
There are four tavernas and a hotel behind the beach as well as boat rental and a variety of watersports on offer.
The fishing harbour to the south adds interest and the beach of Yaliskari, just around the headland, has impressive rock formations.
Pelekas village has an authentic Greek character and it is noted for its sunsets. Here sits the Kaiser's Throne, a lookout tower on an outcrop of rock that was a favourite spot of Kaiser Willhelm II.
The Corfu southerly beach resorts are found below a line that drawn from Kerkyra in the east to Pelekas in the west. The eastern side of the long peninsula was the first to attract package tourism and the results in many resorts were tacky, tawdry and tatty. The market has changed and Corfu locals now look to attract more upmarket clients. By way of contrast, the western coast is both wild and uninhabited, yet still wildly popular, mostly among the Greeks themselves.
The resort at Agios Gordios is noted for its 600-metre long sandy beach and relaxed atmosphere. The soft sand and shallow water are ideal for families and children.
Empty coves can be found north and south and attract naturists. Some interesting beach rocks lie at the southern end, with the Ortholithi, the trademark standing rock, upright in the sea.
The main Agios Gordios beach can get quite busy and there are beach tavernas and watersports on offer. A single road leads inland lined with tavernas, shops and mini-markets. Parking can be a problem as the narrow road is a dead end at the beach with little room for turning a car.
Most nightlife is at the north end of the resort, although this only amounts to a few music bars.
The bus to Corfu Town runs five times a day in the summer season and is reliable enough for a day out.
The small, protected, sandy beach of Yaliskari lies to the north. Pine trees sweep down to the water and a couple of cantinas provide meals and drinks.
About six kilometres south of Agios Gordios the beautiful beach of Paramona sits below the village at Agios Mathaois. It is only a small and narrow strip of sand but it's in an idyllic setting.
Paramona has developed as a small resort in recent years with holiday hotels, apartments and some beach tavernas. There is parking on the road and showers on the beach.
More remote beaches lie further south at Prasoudi and Skidi but require a 30-minute walk through olive groves to get to them.
Prasoudi has become popular, blessed with fine golden sand and a couple of beach cantinas noted for their seafood. Standing rocks offshore add interest, with parking at the taverna, although it's a steep scramble down to the sands. No buses go here.
South of Paramona the hills are left behind and open spaces beckon at the ruined Byzantine fortress of Gardiki which overlooks the salt water lagoon at Limni Korissa or Lake Korison.
The lagoon is now a nature reserve and home to turtles, lizards and migrating birds. Wide, soft sands run for miles, with lake and sea separated by a narrow strip of dunes and a rough road.
The Korrison lake was created by the Venetians who flooded the marshy plain behind harvest the salt, a much sought-after commodity in Venetian times.
Today, this is a wild and unspoiled area with few visitors, although a mobile cantina springs up in the summer to serve basics near the Gardiki end of the beach.
Agios Georgios is often called St George to distinguish it from its namesake in the north. It's a popular beach resort for late-night drinking, clubbing and karaoke.
It's nothing like Kavos, only 20 minutes away, and appeals more to the middle-aged than the muddle-brained.
The north end of the long sands is called Issos beach and it's overseen by a large hotel complex. The south is known as Golden Beach which merges into a string of sandy stretches variously known as Maltas or Marathias and Santa Barbara.
Agios Georgios itself has plenty of popular tourist attractions – tavernas and bars, karaoke, widescreen TVs, beach sports, doughnut sellers, souvenir stands and day trips on offer from the local travel agents.
Paragliding and jet skis are popular pursuits at this long and straggling resort that has become a favourite of Brits.
A walk to the inland village of Argirades will reward the visitor with astonishing views, some lovely cafes and a taste of traditional Corfu village life.
Beach Kavos beach is not the best on Corfu. The first thing to hit you on arrival in Kavos is the rank smell of the rotting black seaweed washed up on the nasty Kavos beach. It's augmented by the stench of broken drains, foul toilets and a Kavos main street permanently lined by stale vomit.
Desperately dire and unrivalled for ugliness, Kavos is a fit place for the mentally challenged 18 to 30-year-olds that it attracts by the thousand. Gangs of youths looking for a "larf" give Kavos the hostile air of an English soccer town on match day.
Expect shops selling lewd T-shirts, video bars named after TV sitcoms and lager swilling bozos trying to match IQs against sandal sizes. Men usually outnumber women about 10-1 so boys are far more likely to get tanked up than chatted up.
The Kavos resort is a single busy street – no pavement – with scores of music bars (80 at the last count), dance clubs and karaoke cafes that go mental from 11.30pm to sunrise. Club and bar touts are the usual problem – some will forcibly drag you in.
Visitors complain that drinks are watered down and 'free shots' are mixed with meths to cut costs. Food in Kavos is almost exclusively pizzas, burgers, kebab and chips.
Thieving is common and walking at night is dangerous on the narrow road as half-wit boys outgun each other on quad bikes. It all makes for a very exciting atmosphere on the narrow Kavos drag as those youngsters spill out of the bars to dance in the street.
The beach at Kavos is notoriously is poor, covered in rotting seaweed, fag ends, beer cans and condoms. It can be used as a nighttime toilet by drunken clubbers.
Boat trips are a way to escape Kavos – those to Parga, Paxos and Blue Lagoon are recommended. Don't consider a Kavos holiday out-of-season – the place shuts like a clam when the kids leave.
The lovely village at Lefkimi is well off the beaten track and a step back in time. Donkeys are still used as transport and you may even spot the odd Greek in traditional costume.
Lefkimi village has two striking churches, Agios Theodoros is found in the main square and the distinctive orange dome of Agios Arsenos can be seen for miles around. Some ancient Venetian salt pans nearby are currently being restored.
The village has a long harbour serviced by a river and boat trips visit regularly. Small beaches and fishing harbours are at nearby Petriti and Boukari.
The resort at Moraitika has now virtually merged with neighbouring Messonghi about 30km south of Corfu Town.
The shingle and sand beach is always busy with the massive 2,000-bed Messonghi Beach Hotel nearby and it has all the facilities associated with a fashionable hotel centre.
The resort at Messonghi, once a quiet backwater village, has been swallowed up by its neighbour and is considered the more peaceful end of the resort. It's off the main road, so it tends to be quieter.
The beach is long and sandy having more shingle and pebble than its neighbour. There are changing rooms and showers and no end of beachside tavernas.
There is a large mini-market in the centre of the village and several small shops. Visits to the hillside village of Khlomos are popular.
Visitors can also head up one of the steep lanes to the unspoilt village Ano Moraitika where whitewashed houses are decked in flowers and visitors can enjoy some decent tavernas.
Agios Ioannis is fast developing tourist resort that sits on the east coast about halfway between Messonghi and Benitses. This is one of the most attractive areas of the island and has been growing rapidly in recent years and now boasts plenty of amenities.
Agios Ioannis beach is relatively small, about 200 metres long, mostly shingle but with some good sand with a quay at the southern end. Shallow waters make it good for families and children.
A small parade of tavernas and bars, some shops, a mini-market are built along the back of the beach. Plenty of hotels have sprung up too and many of them have commandeered sections of beach.
Watersports are available and a bus service goes to Moraitika and Benitses if you fancy a change of scenery.
Agios Ioannis is about 18 kilometres from the Kerkyra down the east coast and just beyond the tunnel five kilometres past Benitses.
Benitses was once the favourite haunt of the downmarket holiday client but it is slowly reverting to a more grown-up way of life.
The resort at Benitses is about a kilometre long, strung along the east coast about 12 kilometres south of Corfu Town. The southern end still clings precariously to its ignominious past with a string of brash music bars and cheap tavernas.
But the Benitses old town has miraculously recovered some of its pre-60s charms and the houses today are fairly drowning in cascades of flowers as the locals try to shake off the tawdry past.
Most of the beach at Benitses is pebble and shingle with a very steep drop into the sea, so it's not great for families with children.
There are the usual sunbeds and plenty of water sports such as paragliding, water skiing and pedaloes as well as small sea jetties that are good for diving off.
Many tavernas at the harbour end of Benitses have improved so much in recent years that they are now even frequented by locals and Benitses can make a suitable choice for those seeking a good island base with lively nightlife and plenty of late-night bars.