A Guide To Snorkeling In Corfu

There is never a dearth of things to do in Corfu. And why should there be? An island surrounded by crystal waters and home to the staggering natural beauty of cliffs, coastlines, and bays, Corfu is a great place for adventures. From scuba diving to snorkelling, from hiking to shopping, Corfu has it all. However, water-related activities trump the long list of things to do in Corfu. The underwater biodiversity, sheer beauty, and clarity make scuba diving and snorkelling enjoyable and memorable.

Why Snorkel in Corfu?

Underwater beauty
The location and climate of Corfu make it an ideal location for snorkeling. The island is blessed with a number of remarkable beaches with clear waters. Undoubtedly the 217km long coastline gives ample opportunities to explore the waters. The clarity of the waters is the key to getting stunning underwater views while snorkeling. Surrounded by the Ionian Sea, Corfu has warm temperatures and high rainfall. During August the temperatures are around 27 degrees and visibility in the water is 20m and more. Also, during the summer,z the wind is less. All of this helps in maintaining posture and balance while snorkeling. Besides, the climatic conditions are also ideal for sustaining marine wildlife. The shores along the island are thriving with schools of fish, corals, and many other underwater living wonders.

Best Snorkeling Spots in Corfu

1. Nissaki Beach

Located on the island's northeastern coast, Nissaki is 21 km from Corfu Town. It is a little cove that is surrounded by rocky cliffs and gorgeous azure waters. This pebbled beach does not experience strong winds, and the water is perfect for swimming and snorkeling. Also, it is one of the cleanest beaches and has been awarded the Blue Flag award for its clean waters. An amazing spot for beginners to snorkel, the clear, clean waters are shallow, and one only has to walk into the water and still manage to watch a shoal of fish and other marine life.

There are usually more fish around the right side of the beach. One might spot some of the marine life while snorkeling including the Sargo, Salema Porgy, Ornate Wrasse, Saddles Seabream, Damselfish, and more. There is also a tavern atop one of the rocky hills on the beach. A great place to hang out after a satisfying snorkel and enjoy a quiet sunset.

2. Paleokastritsa

Caves at Paleokastritsa

It seems Paleokastritsa was tailor-made for underwater adventures. Probably the best place in Corfu for diving and snorkeling, Paleokastritsa combines bays, rock formations, and several beaches. There are enough snorkeling spots in the area due to the topography of the land. Also, Paleokastritsa is a tourist area. Hence there are restaurants, shops, hotels, etc., in the village, making it easy for especially families to opt for snorkeling here.

The waters are shallow, more so in the bay areas where scores of fish swim around. Also, Paleokastritsa is 24km from Corfu Town, and the beaches are easily accessible.  There are essentially five beautiful bays that can be visited while in Paleokastritsa. The Agios Spiridon Bay is the most popular, especially if children want to try snorkeling. The waters are calm and shallow, and there are small caverns to discover underwater. The Agios-Petros beach is comparatively quieter, and moving westwards, one reaches the Ampelaki beach. Ampelaki has its own diving school and also organizes snorkeling trips. The Alipa beach is to the east, and further from it comes the Platakia beach which is a haven for snorkelers. Rock pools and cragged seabed is ideal for sighting shoals of fish. Finally, there is Lagrotta Bay, accessed after a descent of 142 steps. This bay is the best for snorkeling, diving, and rock jumping.

3. Kassiopi

Snorkeling at Kassiopi

Kassiopi is located northeast of the island. A tourist town and a fishing village it is home to some wonderful beaches that are excellent for snorkeling. Bataria beach is the most popular in the village and a great place to snorkel. The Kanoni Beach is not too long. But it has many coves which help distribute the crowds. It also has all the other beach facilities and a fantastic view of the Albanian Mountains. The Pipitos beach is on the west of the town and is recommended for experienced snorkelers because of its rocky coast. One can spot turtles, urchins, seagrasses, and more.

4. Porto Timoni

Located near Afionas, the Porto Timoni is also known as the Afionas Twin Beach. Porto Timoni is a double bay separated by a small sand isthmus bar. This beach is for those looking for some real adventure. You cannot drive all the way to the beach, but you need to hike for 25 miles downhill from the main road. Another easier way to reach Porto Timoni is to take a water taxi from the Agios Georgios beach. Besides marine life, small underwater caves and rock formations can be explored while snorkeling. Also, since there are twin beaches facing the east and the west, snorkelers are spoiled for options. However, this beach is not ideal if you are looking for practical amenities. There are no restrooms or any other beach facilities here. The entire experience is a raw adventure of untouched beauty for those who are ready to dive in.

5. Agios Georgios

The Agios Georgios beach is relatively less crowded and one of the finest places to snorkel. Another Blue Flag Beach the waters are exceptionally clean and clear. Snorkeling is also suitable for children and beginners. The 3km beach itself is vast and offers several facilities. There are sunbeds, umbrellas, and taverns on the beach. Also, the Agios Georgios Bay area has many hotels, family-run accommodations, restaurants, and bars. There are also souvenir shops and rental car and bike companies.

6. Yaliskari Beach

Snorkeling in Greece

Located near Avramis, Yaliskari beach is a tranquil spot for snorkeling. The shallow waters are ideal for beginners and children. The soft sand and the wild setting add to the ambience. However, it is a relatively smaller beach with only 20-25 car spaces in the parking lot. But if you want to escape the crowds, then snorkeling at the Yaliskari beach is worth a try.

7. Kerasia Beach

Kerasia beach is another beach that doesn’t get too crowded. This pebble beach is surrounded by olive and eucalyptus trees. The edges of the bay are the best spots for snorkeling and sighting the octopus is quite common here. Exceptional visibility and clarity make it one of the off-beat spots for snorkeling.

8. Kalami Beach

Snorkeling in Greece

Kalami Beach is large and one can often spot yachts and boats in the middle of the waters. With no currents, Kalami beach is perfect for snorkeling and other water adventures, such as kayaking, swimming, and water skiing. While snorkeling do not miss going near the rocky sides as there are large schools of fish found here.

9. Avlaki Beach

Though not too busy, Avlaki beach has all the beach facilities, such as restrooms, sunbeds, umbrellas, etc. The shallow waters that lack rocks or sand give clear views of the fish.  Besides, one can try canoeing and sailing as well.

10. Syki Bay

Located in northeast Corfu Syki beach is one of the island's hidden gems. However, here the waters are a tad bit colder because of the entry of fresh water from one side. Yet, the calm clear waters are wonderful for snorkeling.

11. Mirtiotissa Beach

Fish in cave

A sand paradise, Mirtiotissa beach is considered one of the best beaches in Corfu. But it is also a great place for snorkeling. The lush green surrounding environment is an added advantage, along with the clear waters.

12. Rovinia

To reach Rovinia beach, one has to hike for a distance. However, the walk is worthwhile, for you are greeted with beautiful scenic views. Rovinia beach is also a wonderful spot for snorkeling. Kids can enjoy the shallow waters as adults move deeper inside.

13. Paradise Beach

Vertical cliffs along the shore and white sands! That is Paradise beach, a grandeur spot for snorkeling and other water adventures. The visibility is excellent, and the sea caves make it all the more exciting. Paradise beach is accessible only by boats or water taxis.

14. Corfu Town

Corfu Town

In case, you do not have much time then there are snorkeling opportunities within Corfu Town itself. The sea around the Old Fortress and the Faliraki beach offer snorkeling and other water activities.

Snorkeling Operators in Corfu

If you want to try snorkeling in Corfu, then finding the right tour company or agency is essential yet simple. Most tour companies have a website that can be found online. You can also book the tour once you arrive in Corfu by visiting the tour companies' offices in person.

Some of the snorkeling tour companies are listed below:

Corfu Sea Land Activities & Rentals - https://www.corfuactivities.com/index.aspx

Achilleon Diving Center - https://tauchen-korfu.com/snorkelling-by-boat/

Corfu Trips - https://www.corfutrips.com/trip/58/snorkeling-in-corfu.aspx

Check Yeti - https://www.checkyeti.com/en/d/2431/19315

Apollo Dive Center - https://www.corfudive.com/try-diving/corfusnorkelling/

Duration and Cost of Snorkeling in Corfu

Underwater fish

Most of the tours take the visitors on a boat to the snorkeling spot. Some of them also arrange for snacks and drinks on the boat. Also, all tour companies provide snorkeling equipment and have brief instructions and introduction sessions for snorkelers. The tour companies also arrange for group snorkeling so you can dive and swim along with family and friends. Most of the snorkeling sites are children friendly too. So, you can have the entire family together to experience this amazing underwater excursion.

A snorkeling trip can last from about 2-5 hours. This includes the time taken on the boat to reach the snorkeling spot and back to the shore. The cost per person may range from 30-50 Euros for adults and 20-30 Euros for children. However, the cost and duration are dependent on the snorkeling spot. For instance, if you are staying in Paleokastritsa, some tours may also offer to pick up and drop off at your hotel. However, if you choose to snorkel along beaches that are not within the town limits, the time and cost may rise.

Snorkeling Tips

  • Book the snorkeling session in advance. It is always advisable to do so, especially during the peak tourist season.
  • Always listen to your instructor and follow all guidelines to the tee. Ensure you have all the required equipment and safety gear before proceeding into the water.
  • The snorkeling spots in Corfu are safe. However, be aware of the current and wind conditions. It is good to understand how far you are from the coast.
  • If you are a beginner or not a great swimmer, stick to the shallow areas of the snorkeling sites.
  • Avoid snorkeling near boats or jagged rocky areas, especially if you are a beginner.
  • Do not disturb the wildlife and ecosystem. You must observe the marine ecology from a distance, but touching the animals or in any way disrupting their habitat is highly objectionable.
  • Though not mandatory, it is better to know how to swim. Many tour companies offer snorkeling to only those who know how to swim. However, if you are not a swimmer, then choose a snorkeling tour that is for non-swimmers.
  • Many diving centers also conduct snorkeling tours. If you plan to do both or some in the group prefer diving, then you can choose a diving center or tour accordingly.
  • If you wear glasses, then while snorkeling you must wear lenses.
  • Some tours also offer a boat ride to the snorkeling site, even if you do not want to snorkel.
  • You definitely want a picture of yourself underwater! Tour companies often offer photography services, that are included or additionally charged.
Underwater adventures are undoubtedly special. And when the waters are as clear and the marine life as vibrant as in Corfu, there is no thinking twice about taking the plunge (quite literally). Though Corfu also has several diving sites, snorkeling is for those who are still warming up to the world of underwater wonders. Do not miss out on snorkeling to watch the opulent natural beauty that is on wide display in the waters around Corfu!

This post was published by Tasneem

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