Corfu is famous for being the greenest Greek island and nature-lovers instantly fall in love with Corfu’s countryside. The island’s natural landscape runs the gamut from lagoons and lakes to valleys and mountains. Some of the most unique natural phenomena can be found in Corfu, including a lake that borders a desert which in turn boasts juniper-tree thickets.
Lakes, lagoons and deserts
Part of the Natura 2000 network and a thriving and vital ecosystem, Korission Lake in the south-western part of the island is an important stop for migrating birds on their journey from Africa to Europe.
At certain times, over 2000 birds seek refuge in the Lake, including a wide variety of waterbirds, flamingos, and swans as well as falcons. After Korission Lake, head for the beautiful sandy beach nearby. Your detour will take you through a desert, as a stretch of Sahara-like sand dunes lies between the Lake and the sea, created as the sea slowly receded over the past 2 million years. A truly unique phenomenon of this desert is the Kedrodasos (literally “cedar forest” in English) where thickets of small cypress-like trees that belong to the Juniperus family sprout from the sand to compose a stunning, one-of-a-kind landscape.
Antinioti Lagoon in the north (close to Agio Spyridona and Almirou beaches) is another important habitat for Corfu’s bird population with over 96 rare species sighted here. This brackish lagoon is also part of the Natura 2000 network.
In the southern region of Corfu you’ll find Arkoudila forest with beautiful cypress trees. It’s an important ecosystem with significant biodiversity. Follow a very modest dirt road to Arkoudila and then hike through and admire the forest all the way to the coast where you’ll be rewarded with stunning views from a sharp cliff.
Mount Pantokrator in the north is the island’s highest peak at 1000m and is an interesting part of The Corfu Trail. Agii Deka and Merovigli mountains complete the island’s tableau of picturesque landscapes.
Discover a palette of ancient olive, cypress, pine and palm trees. A mosaic of bright yellows and reds drapes the countryside in spring (almost 6000 different kinds). Over 30 species of wild orchid dot the landscape, along with chamomile buds, lilacs, cyclamen, harebells and violets.