The Greek island of Corfu is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe and is well-known for its party resorts. But tucked away to the east coast of the island lies Messonghi, a resort that champions a slower pace of life and complete relaxation. Lush green hills and olive groves help set the scene in this understated former fishing village.
Sun-seekers will enjoy a soft, sandy beach that hardly overcrowds – even in the height of summer – and offers views towards the Greek mainland and parts of Albania. If you somehow manage to pull yourself away from the sun lounger, there are a few local shops dotted around the village to keep you occupied, whether it’s browsing for souvenirs or sampling the treats at the local bakery.
The charm of Messonghi doesn’t solely lie in its scenic surroundings - the friendly locals add plenty of character and zest to the area, and a selection of traditional tavernas serve up a range of cuisines that cater to most tastes. Even if it is parties that you seek, the lively resort of Moraitika is located a stone’s throw away and affords holidaymakers the opportunity to enjoy the best of both worlds.
A Messonghi holiday is a tempting visit during any time of the year, but from April through to October you can expect temperatures between 25 and 40 Celsius. Whether it’s full-on relaxation or a quiet base from which to explore, you’ll wish you had just a bit more time in Messonghi.
Located just one kilometre away, Moraitika is the closest town to Messonghi - in fact, a river only separates it. There’s a more up-tempo vibe here thanks to a strip of bars and restaurants set along the seafront - and the area is generally more built-up than its laid-back neighbour. If you want an alternative to the hustle and bustle, there is an old village perched on the hill above the main strip which has a selection of small markets and tavernas. Oh, and let’s not forget the sweeping views of the coastline.
Corfu Town (Kerkyra)
With influences from Venice, Naples, France and even the UK, Corfu Town is doused in history. Also known as Kerkyra, the town encompasses many winding cobbled streets and features two 16th century fortresses on two separate hills. It’s home to some of the best restaurants on the island, as well as an eclectic mix of shops, from quaint markets to high-end boutiques. There is a host of events taking place in Corfu Town throughout the year, including the Corfu Carnival, which happens between February and March.
Perhaps the least ‘touristy’ area on the island, Lefkimmi’s population consists mainly of locals who permanently reside in this picturesque town. Just because it’s slightly off the beaten track doesn’t mean you should ignore it altogether: it happens to be the island’s second-largest town. Whether it’s enjoying the long golden stretch of beach, or just wandering around and admiring the traditional settings that date back to the 15th century, a visit to the real Corfu should be high on your to-do list.
It might not be the part of Corfu most suited to ‘culture vultures’, but if it’s all-night partying that gets you in the mood, Kavos is the place to be. The resort is popular with those seeking adventure and nightlife – and it certainly won’t disappoint. There is a myriad of nightclubs that go on from late until the early hours of the morning, a seemingly infinite number of restaurants and bars, and plenty of activities, including the 75,000 square metre Aqua Land Waterpark. Watch out for the splash!
While the word ‘extreme’ might not resonate with Messonghi, there are a few activities here that will get your heart pumping. Paragliding is a must for thrill-seekers, while there is a family-run diving school for the deep-sea explorers amongst you. If heights or the depths of the ocean don’t take your fancy, jump on a pedal boat and stroll across the sea, take a cruise along the Messonghi river and explore the Corfu coastline, or do a spot of snorkelling in the crystal clear waters.
Mainly consisting of sand with some shingle, the beach is one of the main attractions in Messonghi. Offering a relaxed and secluded surrounding when compared to many of the island’s other beaches, it’s easy to lose a day lying on the soft sands with a good book (or Kindle). The beach looks particularly magical at night when it’s lit up by a bright moon.
Lake Korission is located around five kilometres from Messonghi and is the largest lake on the island. Expect to make some flying friends while visiting: there are 126 different species of birds including ducks, flamingos, Eurasian widgeons, Kingfishers and Great While Egrets.
It’s safe to say that the Greeks love their food – and take it very seriously. Expect an authentic Greek culinary experience in Messonghi, from moussaka to tzatziki - and lots of bread, oil and olives. Of course, the hotels also offer a selection of cuisines to cater to all tastes, just in case you fancy a burger and fries.
The traditional restaurants are known as tavernas, and you can expect to find several top-notch ones in Messonghi. Vine Garden is a friendly, family run restaurant and bar that is covered in, you guessed it, grape vines. Memories Restaurant enjoys a location on the seafront – we recommended it if you want to impress your partner with a romantic meal set to the soothing sounds of the waves hitting against the shore while you dine.
Messonghi is an ideal destination for those who want to enjoy peace and quiet, as well somewhere that's close enough to the nightlife so you won’t miss out.
If you want to book the best Messonghi trip, easyJet holidays provide you with all the tools, helping to save on your holiday when you book the flight and hotel together.
Messonghi is just one of the many resorts in Corfu. Fancy discovering what else the island has to offer? Have a gander through our other Corfu guides.