Corfu is one of the most popular and beautiful islands in Greece, attracting millions of visitors every year. It offers stunning beaches, picturesque villages, historic monuments, and vibrant nightlife. However, like any other destination, Corfu also has some potential risks and challenges that travelers should be aware of and prepared for. Here are some safety tips and precautions to take when visiting Corfu to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip.
Scams are not very common in Corfu, but they do exist. Some of the possible scams that you may encounter are:
- Taxi drivers overcharging you or taking a longer route. To avoid this, agree on the fare before getting in, use a metered taxi, or book a transfer in advance.
- Street vendors or beggars trying to sell you fake or low-quality goods or asking for money. To avoid this, politely decline their offers and walk away.
- ATM skimming or card cloning. To avoid this, use ATMs inside banks or reputable establishments, cover your PIN when entering it, and check your bank statements regularly.
Theft is not a major problem in Corfu, but it can happen in crowded or touristy areas. Some of the possible theft scenarios that you may face are:
- Pickpockets or purse snatchers targeting your valuables on public transportation, at the beach, or in shopping areas. To avoid this, keep your valuables close to you, use a money belt or a secure bag, and don’t leave your belongings unattended.
- Car break-ins or thefts targeting your rental car or its contents. To avoid this, park your car in a safe and well-lit area, lock the doors and windows, and don’t leave anything valuable inside.
- Hotel room thefts targeting your valuables in your room or in the hotel safe. To avoid this, use a reputable hotel with good security measures, lock your room door and windows, and don’t leave anything valuable in plain sight.
Driving in Corfu can be challenging and risky for several reasons. Some of the possible driving hazards that you may encounter are:
- Poor road conditions or signage. Some roads in Corfu are narrow, winding, steep, or unpaved. Some signs may be missing, damaged, or in Greek only. To avoid this, drive carefully and slowly, use a GPS or a map, and follow the traffic rules.
- Aggressive or reckless drivers. Some drivers in Corfu may speed, overtake, tailgate, honk, or ignore traffic lights. To avoid this, drive defensively and calmly, keep a safe distance from other vehicles, and don’t engage in road rage.
- Lack of parking spaces or high parking fees. Some areas in Corfu may have limited or no parking spaces available or charge high fees for parking. To avoid this, plan ahead where to park your car, use public transportation or taxis when possible, and pay attention to parking signs and meters.
Other Safety Tips
In addition to the above-mentioned tips and precautions, here are some other general safety tips to follow when visiting Corfu:
- Avoid demonstrations or protests that may turn violent. Stay away from downtown metropolitan areas such as Syntagma Square in Athens or university campuses where they may occur.
- Beware of violent anarchist groups that may join peaceful demonstrations or use university campuses as a refuge. They may attack police officers, government buildings, banks, or tourists.
- Be careful of homemade fireworks that may cause injuries during Greek Orthodox Easter celebrations at midnight on Holy Saturday. Wear protective clothing and eyewear and keep a safe distance from them.
- Follow basic health precautions such as drinking bottled water, washing your hands frequently, using insect repellent, wearing sunscreen and sunglasses, and getting vaccinated before your trip.
- Follow basic travel precautions such as having travel insurance , registering with your embassy , carrying copies of your passport and visa , having emergency contacts , and informing someone of your itinerary .
Corfu is a wonderful island to visit for its natural beauty , cultural heritage , and lively atmosphere . However , it is not without its challenges and dangers . By following these safety tips and precautions , you can minimize the risks and maximize the fun of your trip to Corfu . Have a safe and happy journey!