A few summers ago, I went to Corfu island in Greece for a one-week wedding celebration. I had close to no idea what to expect because I'd never been there before so when I came back I put this together for anyone else who was in the same boat as me.
Some friends are going soon (who also don't know Corfu) so I decided to update and republish this feature in case any of you are going this summer as well.
Where in the world is Corfu, & what's so special about it?
Turns out Corfu is the second largest Greek island located in the Ionian Sea. It is green and lush with everything that the Mediterranean can offer. It's sprinkled with little houses, villas and tiny, and calm town squares making it a perfect place to escape the daily routine of city life.
The perfect escape it was. Apart from attending wedding parties, we spent our days engaging in Corfu's 5 main activities: swimming in the crystal clear waters of the Ionian Sea, tanning under the sizzling sun, binging on fish, calamari, moussakas and pitas in little family-owned taverns, beach hopping around the island on speed boats, and of course carelessly sleeping most mornings away.
What am I supposed to pack for a one-week stay in Corfu?
After doing proper research, it turns out the island's climate and topography madly resemble those of Lebanon, so I decided to pack as If I were traveling to Beirut, where I'd spend most of my days at the beach.
I can proudly say that after being to Corfu and back, I managed to pack like a pro!
Here are 16 essentials to pack for a weekend in Corfu (including if you're invited for a wedding).
1. Tons of swimsuits. Trust me, the more the merrier. You will spend most of your days on the beach or traversing from one beach to another, so you’d want to mix it up.
2. Beach dresses, playsuits, cover-ups, kaftans, kimonos, tunics, shorts and loose long tops. Basically, the kind of items you’d easily chuck on and off at the beach.
3. A couple of short, light, colorful summer dress that will bring out your tan as you stroll down the narrow town streets, dine in candlelight at local Greek restaurants, or sip Margaritas at Petros's old bar.
4. Throw in a couple of i-shirts, t-shirts, shorts and mini skirts - you'll find a use for them somehow.
5. Just in case, grab a couple of light sweaters that will keep you warm. It’s Europe, you never know when it might rain on your parade.
6. Comfy flats, such as Toms, Plimsolls, moccasins, sandals, ballerinas, or slippers for daytime.
7. Shamelessly pack those jelly sandals. Corfu's beaches are mostly rocky and you will need a pair to get in and out of water, that is - if you'd like to get out bloodless. By the way, these jellies by Sun Jellies are really cool; someone should bring them to Lebanon.
8. SPF 50 for the face. I will go ahead and assume that you don't want to look 50 in your 30s. If you agree, then make sure your face is always protected from its worst enemy.
9. Body and facial moisturizers are a must. The sea and the sun will leave your skin dry and itchy. You will need something to remedy that.
10. You don’t want to leave without mosquito spray or cream. From personal experience I can tell you that Corfu’s mosquitos are relentless bastards. You don’t want to end up looking like you’ve got an unattractive skin disease.
11. Leave some space for a big book. Undoubtedly it will serve as an enjoyable read, but there's also a high chance it'll be used to smash spiders and bugs crawling into your room without any invitation whatsoever.
What do I wear to a beach wedding in Corfu?
If you are invited to a wedding celerabtion on Corfu, here's the low down.
12. The dress: Go for a colorful, light, flowy dress. Seriously you don’t have to splurge – remember you are on the beach; you can get away with a simple beach dress. These 3 dresses from H&M would do just fine if you ask me.
13. The shoes: Stick to either crystal-embellished or beach wedge sandals. In an effort to not overdo it, I chose to go with Toms although I did pack my wedges. Turns out shoes are not really a big issue; an hour into the wedding everyone kicked off their shoes and danced away in the sand. PS: just so that you know, the bride was barefoot the whole time.
14. The accessory: leave those diamonds behind and pack lots of long golden chains, earrings and a statement jewelry pieces.
15. The hair: You don't need to spend so much time on your hair. Keep it down and simple, tie it into a volumised ponytail, or make a nice French braid pulled to one side.
16. The make-up: If you choose to apply make-up, go for light eye shadow and thinly applied eyeliner. If you want to add a pop of color, focus on the lips, and go for a bright orange or red lipstick.