If you are visiting the Greek Island of Corfu and want to get to know the best places in Corfu Town like a local then look no further than Corfu Walking Tours. We had the pleasure of being hosted by Nausica of Corfu Walking Tours on our recent visit to the island and I can confidently say her food tour was the best experience of our 10 day stay on Corfu.
Corfu Walking Tours have several itinerary options including two food tours. One is very much focused on the amazing food of Corfu Town. The other is the Corfu Food & Cultural Tour which highlights some of the main sights in Corfu town between food stops. We got to experience the Food and Cultural Tour.
Cultural Stops in Corfu Town
Corfu Old Town is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site. It is around old town where most of the stops on the Corfu Food & Cultural Tour are located. The UNESCO listing centres mainly around the architectural influence of different cultures. This can be seen when walking around Corfu Town as the various different types of architecture remain in excellent condition.
Our tour began at the Old Fortress in Corfu Town which is conveniently located next to a huge car park if you’re driving. Although entry into the Old Fortress is not included in the tour it is worth going back to visit in your own time, it’s inexpensive and has some fantastic views!
The Palace of St. Michael & St. George
Before heading into the narrow streets of Corfu Town we also had a quick visit to The Palace of St. Michael & St. George. The Palace of St. Michael & St. George is located off the same square as the Old Fortress. It is 200 years old and was originally the residence of the British Lord High Commissioner. To further see the British influence on Corfu, opposite the Palace (where you may have parked your car) if you look closely, you will notice a cricket pitch there.
If there is one place to see and be seen in Corfu Town it is at one of the cafes in the Liston. Over 200 years old and originally built by the French the Liston is an arcade filled with fashionable cafes.
Although we didn’t stop to try any of the cafes here during the tour we did return and can tell you that it’s not just all show – you can get a decent coffee here. Although it will cost you a bit more than other places in town.
St. Spyridon Church
One of the most popular churches in Corfu Town is located down one of its narrow passages. If it’s not pointed out to you then it would be easy to just walk past but you would be missing out. We didn’t take photos inside out of respect for people worshiping there – and there were many. The inside of St. Spyridon Church is small but beautiful and it’s very old – over 500 years old.
At the opposite end of Corfu Town to the Old Fortress is the New Fortress. You pass through the Jewish Quarter to get here and the food tour has some great stops in this area of town.
The New Fortress is an imposing structure however we preferred looking around the Old Fortress. Looking from the sea if you visit Corfu by ferry or cruise ship you can see both the New and Old Fortresses protecting the city like book ends.
Food to try in Corfu Town
At the end of the food tour I couldn’t remember being so full. We got to try around 30 different foods, drinks and sweets around Corfu Town over a 4 hour period. There are 6 food stops on this tour well spread out around Corfu Town so between these and the Cultural Stops you really do get a good feel for the place in a short time with Corfu Walking Tours.
I won’t be divulging all the locations Nausica took us to on the tour – you will have to book yourself. I will share some of the best and most unique foods we got to try on the tour though.
We got to try at least 4 different drinks and these demonstrated Greek, Italian and British influences on Corfu.
Ouzo was one of the drinks we got to try obviously but I can say there are better options here on Corfu that will not be typically found elsewhere in Greece.
From the Italian influence we got to try some Limoncello. Having tried Limoncello in Sorrento and Capri I found the offering here in Corfu to be just as good. I couldn’t give a higher recommendation than that because Limoncello in Italy is excellent.
Something we didn’t expect was Kumquat Liquor – the kumquat is a big deal in Corfu and it’s used to flavour a host of different foods and drinks, it’s even made into sweets which taste fantastic. The Kumquat Liquor we tried came in two versions – traditional and with cream. I preferred the cream option but both were pretty good!
If you’re wondering about the British influence then it is non other than ginger beer. Ginger beer is a very popular soft drink across the island and you will find plenty of places selling it in Corfu Town. We got to try some at our first food stop of the tour.
Greece is well known for excellent pastries and Corfu is no exception. We tried them all from small spinach pastries (spanakopitakia), feta pastries (tiropitakia), cream pies (bougatsa) and a couple of different types of baklava. I have a sweet tooth so my preference was for the baklava and bougatsa however all of the pastries we tried were excellent and obviously very high quality, crisp and full of flavour.
If you’re a sea food fan you’re in for a treat. As you may expect of a Greek Island the sea food here is high quality and plentiful. We tried a range of sea food at a local tavern accompanied by some traditional side dishes – tzatziki and Greek salad.
The sea food options consisted of sardines, calamari, prawns and taramasalata. For those who don’t like sea food there was also a veal pastitsada which is a bit like a hearty beef stew dish.
Olive Oils and Spices
You can’t not try olive oil while in Greece. Although Corfu may not be as famous for olive oil as elsewhere in Greece we were happy to find that the olive oil from Corfu was still high quality.
At the same stop where we tried the olive oil we also got to smell some of the local spice mixes that were for sale – we even bought some to take home. Having now cooked with them ourselves I can 100% recommend buying spices from this stop on the tour or even buy online through their website Sweet and Spicy. The owner mixes the spices herself to her own recipes so you won’t find these anywhere else on the island – or elsewhere.
Sweets and Desserts
My favourite part of any food tour, this Corfu Food Tour included is desserts. Nausica did not disappoint and we got to taste so many new sweets and desserts during our tour.
We tried a range of sweets, some of which we recognised such as caramelised almonds, nougat and a greek version of churros (Tulumba)
There were more sweets and desserts we didn’t recognise than those we did however including Greek yoghurt with spoon sweet, a raisin version in our case. Spoon sweets are very very sweet, they are preserved fruits and are used as small treats in many Corfiot homes.
Another small and unusual sweet was the vanilla submarine called a ypovrichio. Ypovrichio is a traditional Greek sweet which is served in cold water. A spoon of vanilla is placed in the water – like a submarine. You eat it a bit like a lolly pop and rest it back in your water glass between tastes.
Something I’d heard of but never dreamt of trying was a lotus. The lotus fruit is increasingly popular in Corfu with many locals eating this fruit. It was very juicy and not too sweet. The lotus fruit had quite a mild flavour unlike any other fruit I had tried before. If high sugar sweets aren’t for you then the lotus fruit just might be.
You can’t have dessert and not include ice cream. As we were in Corfu the only flavour ice cream to try is obviously kumquat. We got quite a taste for kumquat while staying on Corfu having not been a big fan of it beforehand. The kumquat ice cream was very tasty, perfect for the hot Greek Island weather!
Thoughts on Corfu Walking Tours – Food and Culture Tour
Sometimes I find that food tours are overpriced for what you get. However I can honestly say that this food and culture tour with Corfu Walking Tours is well worth the price tag. Not only will you be guided around Corfu Town by a local they only do small groups so you will never be with more than 8 or so other people. The small group size allows the tour to move at a good pace so you get plenty of stops. You also get to visit some hole in the wall places only locals would know about – and large groups couldn’t fit in.
If you are planning to visit Corfu for your next holiday I won’t hesitate in recommending this Corfu food tour for you. I’d go as far to say that for the amount included in this tour and the quality if it was a larger company the price would be much higher. So support a local business and book your tour in Corfu with Corfu Walking Tours.