Diapontia islands

Corfu is becoming a gateway for exploring the surrounding small islands, as well as mainland Greece. Ask around the ports of Agios Stefanos, Roda/Sidari or Corfu town and you can usually find a boat to take you north-west to the lovely Diapontia islands of Othoni (the biggest island, with many sea caves and impressive rocks), Erikoussa (the northernmost, with a picturesque port, Porto, and good beaches) and Mathraki (good for hiking and beaches). For northern Greece, the mainland port of Igoumenitsa can be reached by ferry within an hour from Corfu.

Nearest to Corfu is the Epiros region, whose capital, Ioannina, is built on the banks of Lake Pamvotis, where there is an inhabited island. Visit the museum of Ali Pasha, seven monasteries, and the Byzantine castle of Ioannina.

Inland, Meteora (meteora-greece.com) is the second-largest and most important complex of Greek Orthodox monasteries in Greece, and has Unesco world heritage listing. The six monasteries here make a viable day trip from Corfu, with an early start.