Spring Break in Corfu, Greece

The island of Corfu earned its pride of place in history as a bastion of European defense against every Ottoman Turk attack; today, it is still home to the only Greek city fortified within a castle. However, Corfu isn’t all history and ancient sculptures and monuments anymore. In fact, it is fast becoming one of the major Spring Break destinations for college students from across the world with a mind to party under the sun, on the sand, in the sea.

Set amongst the unbelievably beautiful blue of the Ionian Sea, the island features sights of natural beauty common to so much of Greece. To Spring Breakers, that just creates a visual wonderland to act as the background to the legendarily mischievous boat cruises, wild ATV safari adventures, wilder toga parties and general frivolity.

There are broadly three colors with which nature has painted Corfu – the shifting blue of the ocean, the shimmering light yellow of its endless miles of beaches, and the myriad shades of green of its thick Cypress forests that have earned it the name ‘Emerald Island’.

Within this tricolor canvas, the ouzo flows freely. There is no shortage of booze cruises if you want to experience the Ionian Sea as Odysseus probably did (Corfu was his last stop before returning home). For the landlubbers, a Corfiote Spring Break is awash with drinks at rock-bottom prices no matter which at which hotel, hostel or resort you stay.

The Spring Break season itself is a series of parties from the city to beach to sea and the party ambience makes it easy to overindulge. If you want to pace yourself, there is also a wealth of history to take in, especially in architecture.

Foremost of these is the Achilleion, a palace dedicated to mythological Achilles built by the Empress of Austria in 1889. It boasts unparalleled views of the city and south of the island. Wonderful statues of great beauty and realism abound throughout the complex. The verdant garden is especially gorgeous set against the brilliant blue of the sky.

Corfu’s old town is criss-crosssed by a maze of narrow streets and lanes that are begging to be discovered. Many fortifications from over a century ago still stand; the most memorable of these is probably the Venetian arsenal at Gouvia, well worth a visit.

If natural aesthetics are more your thing, the natural rock formations along the beaches are can be a source of both wonder and discovery. See the waves crash against giant monoliths or rush through channels it has worn away over the ages. The Agios Georgios Bay in the northwest of Corfu is one natural feature that should be on your itinerary. The view from the rise above the bay allows a picture-perfect view of the almost perfect crescent nature has carved.

There are two ideal periods to visit Corfu – between March and November, and between September and November. The periods in between feature extremes of weather which will detract from a full enjoyment of this perfect vacation destination.