Thinking of booking a trip to Arillas on Corfu? Here’s what to expect from this scenic beach resort.
Where is it?
Arillas is on Corfu’s north-west coast, in between Agios Georgios Pagon (NW) and San Stefanos.
What’s the vibe like?
Of all the resorts in Corfu’s north-west, Arillas has the most upmarket feel (though it’s not in the same league as the posh northeast) and has slight boho leanings.
It’s the home of holistic travel agency Green Corfu. There are a few boutiques selling attractive kaftans and wraps, the Malibu cocktail bar is all buddhas and exotic greenery, and there’s yoga if you look for it.
Keep an eye out too for the vegan-friendly cafe too, the fusion restaurants, the meditation centre, the microbrewery, and the recycling centre.
You’ll find all the standards too of course – traditional tavernas, gyros, boat trips, pool bars.
There are many cafes and bars along the beach and it has a bit more of a buzz than its neighbouring resorts (though it’s still not party central). Arillas does cater to the package tourism crowd – mainly Brits – but it also attracts plenty of people booking independently.
The bus to Arillas also stops at the beautiful hillop village of Afionas, and you can find boat trips along the coast, so if you intend on spending a lot of time exploring the wider area then it makes a good base.
What’s the beach like?
The beach has soft golden sand and shallow seas. In some places the sand has a clay consistency.
It’s west-facing so has excellent sunsets over the uninhabited Gravia islands and the more distant Diapontia islands.
Arillas beach is long, straight, and relatively narrow – particularly in the organised areas right in front of the resort.
But Arillas’ USP is the large section of unorganised sand that sits underneath the steep cliffs on its northern end. This scenic and sheltered spot has an incredible natural feel and is unsurprisingly popular with the clothing-optional crowd as well as people walking in the hills behind.
The main part of the beach is family-friendly and relaxed. The main road runs alongside, separating the sand from the cafes and restaurants and providing plenty of parking.
Activities and amenities
Wind-powered watersports are available, but for jetskiis you’ll have to visit nearby Agios Georgios. Boat rental is available and there’s a concrete jetty for smaller boats.
There are several boat trips on offer to beaches in the wider area, including the popular Porto Timoni. This is the only way to see Porto Timoni without the hike. Both private and group boat trips are available.
Walking is a popular pasttime. To the north are dirt tracks that take you up the cliffs to Cape Kefali where you’ll find a lighthouse and a chapel, and you can walk down the other side to San Stefanos.
The Arillas Trail is a recent addition.
To the south you can walk up to Afionas and on to Porto Timoni.
In the autumn Arillas hosts the Corfu Beer Festival as well as a wine festival.
There are several minimarkets with a good range of food, as well as a few bakeries and the microbrewery for local beer. Arillas also has a pharmacy and a doctor.
Transport and accessibility
From the airport:
Arillas is served by Corfu’s Green Bus system. There are daily buses from the KTEL bus station just outside Corfu Town. Buses are less frequent on Saturdays and don’t always run on Sundays. Tickets are around €4 one way.
Sometimes during peak summer season there are extra bus routes available linking popular resorts but check before you go as these aren’t always operating.
Most of the businesses are located by the beach but Arillas is located in a flat fertile valley and accommodation extends quite far back with plenty of space for villas, self-catered options, and car rental.
The road runs the length of the organised section of the beach but not the quieter parts at either end. Arillas is flat and relatively compact with plenty of parking for cars and bikes along the main road. There are a few steps down to the beach from the main road.
There is no Seatrac.
Prices in Arillas are average for Corfu, and it has a reasonable range of options. There’s nothing high-end in Arillas but you will find cheaper meals at Greek tavernas and cafes as well as slightly more expensive options at specialist restaurants.
Where to stay
The beach is relatively long but most of the accommodation is in the central part, although some villas are further up the hills behind.
There are plenty of villas available:
For central and stylish try the the upmarket apartments at Emar Corfu.
Small and friendly family-run hotels include:
Studios and apartments are easy to find on Booking.com.
All images © The Mediterranean Traveller