Getting from Italy to Corfu, Greece…and regressing to the 80’s

Getting from Italy to Corfu Greece

Getting from Italy to Corfu, Greece

Last week Lissette and I got on the ferry for Greece. The last time I was in Greece was 1987. At that time my mother was working in Zambia (in Southern Africa) and I was 20 years old and going to university in Montreal. I didn’t get to see her much but that year she suggested that we have a summer vacation together in Greece.

Note: if you just want to know how to get from Italy to Corfu (without all my memories)  just scroll down

We met up in Athens and spent 2 weeks in Greece. There were some highs and lows. All I remember of Athens was concrete, heat, and the biggest cockroaches I’ve seen in my life. In those days there was no internet and we came unprepared. We had no idea (even then) how busy the Greek Islands could be. We spent a night sleeping on the beach – in a sandstorm – on the island of Milos. Luckily we had brought our sleeping bags. I remember walking around in Santorini early in the morning, looking over the views of the black cliffs and the sea and being amazed by the incredible beauty of it all. 

But when I think of Greece I mostly remember a summer where I was plugged into my Walkman and listening to my music. I had brought all my favorite cassettes with me: “Eat ‘em up and Smile’ by David Lee Roth, “Reckless” by Bryan Adams, “Billy Idol” and Corey Hart’s “First Offense”. But my favorite by far was that David Lee Roth album. And my two favorite songs on that album were Yankee Rose and Big Trouble.

The funny thing is that taking the ferry back to Greece with Lissette it all came back. I couldn’t get those songs out of my head. I ended up downloading all the songs from the Eat ‘em up and Smile onto my ipod. I’m suddenly back to listening to David Lee Roth.

It’s funny how we associate memories and places to music. The following year I met my mom in Harare and we spent a few weeks doing a road trip through Zimbabwe. I remember at the time we would argue over music while in the car. She’d want to play Tracy Chapman. I had moved on to hard rock.

For those curious, here’s Yankee Rose by David Lee Roth. Looking at it I realize that he was ahead of his time. Just watch RuPaul’s Drag Race. Bet David Lee Roth never thought he’d be inspiring drag.



People may have come to this post hoping to get info on how to get to Corfu from Italy.

The best way is to take the Grimaldi Lines ferry from Brindisi. In summer they have a direct ferry to Corfu Town (Kerkyra) . But in the winter (we took it in March) you have to take it to Igoumenitsa on the mainland (the Grimaldi Lines ferry takes 8 hours). From Igoumenitsa you have to take another ferry to Corfu (they have one about every 2 hours..and it takes 90 minutes to get to Corfu).

A couple of tips:

In Brindisi

  • You can buy your ticket online but unless you can’print it out don’t bother – they won’t accept an eticket. As we found out, they’ll make you go back to the ticketing office where they’ll print out a ticket for you. Stupid. Cost was 40 Euro per person (March 2019)
  • The ferry terminal is far from town and you should take a taxi to the ticketing office. If you can, keep your taxi waiting so he can take you to the boat which is a good walk from the ticketing office.

Getting from Italy to Corfu Greece by boat

Above: the ship we took (source)

The ferry ride to Igoumenistsa gets very scenic when you cross the Adriatic. You’ll be descending down the Albanian coast which is lined with snow-peaked mountains.

Getting from Italy to Corfu Greece. Views


In Igoumenitsa

  • Your large ferry will be docking to the right of where the piers are for the smaller boats. When you get off the boat you’ll have to walk around, to the right, to get out to the street. From there you have to walk about 10 minutes to get to where the ferries leave for Corfu. There is a ticketing booth right there next to where the ferries dock.
  • Here’s the schedule for ferries leaving for Corfu.
  •  If you have time on your hands, there’s a nice cafe right across the street from the ticketing office which stays open late.

ferry from Igoumenitsa to Corfu.


In Corfu Town

  • We took the last ferry (at 23:30) and arrived at 1 am. There was 1 taxi waiting at the pier which we grabbed. It cost us 7 Euros to our apartment in the center. Note: As we later found out, you can walk to the old town. It’ll take 10 – 15 minutes depending on where you’re located. Corfu town is very small.


Related: All about Corfu


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regressing to the 80’s in Greece

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  1. When I first travelled, it was with a Walkman and cassettes. No word of a lie but I actually carried the cassettes in a fitted box. I took the cassettes out of their cases and ran a pencil through the middle to stop them getting messed up. It worked! Mind you, I also carried a shoe polishing kit on my first ever backpacking trip so who am I to give advice!

    For me, it was New Wave/New Romantic music (Duran Duran and that sort of thing) – wasn’t really into soft rock!

    1. I did the same with cassettes! I would even tape them up to fix a break in the tape, got pretty good at that. Didn’t travel with a show polishing kit though…you must have had fancy shoes for a backpacker.
      I liked Duran Duran as well but didn’t like many of the British New Waves bands. I have my limits 🙂

  2. Aw – 80’s music and OMG, the hair and clothes! There are so many songs I hear that instantly transport me back in time and to another place. How funny that you downloaded David Lee Roth to listen to during your trip to Greece. Myself, I like Van Halen better with Sammy Hagar and (siding with your mom) Tracy Chapman songs really bring back memories. I love how adventurous your mom is and that she shared/shares her enthusiasm for travel with you!

    1. I’m actually planning a trip to Germany with my mom for September – she wants to show me some of the small towns in the area where she grew up.
      I’m also lucky to have a wife who allows me to travel with my mother. Most wives aren’t that cool (although she might have an ulterior motive…like getting time by herself in Croatia 🙂 )
      And I like Van Halen with Sammy Hagar as well. I pretty much like pretty much of everything…but David Lee Roth was THE thing at that particular point in time.
      Thanks for the comment Anita.

  3. Nice legs! 🙂 I am always amazed sometimes at what triggers my memory, but you’re today will never appreciate all that :-). I like the trip down memory lane! Have fun in Greece.

  4. I remember that album, big fan. Fun, upbeat music and I think we all wanted to be David Lee Roth! 🙂 Brings back memories for me as well.

    1. Makes me feel a bit old. Still remember that walkman and always dropping it…or when the batteries started to die and the music would ssllooww ddoowwwnnnnnn…
      Kids today can’t appreciate all that.

  5. Frank, Wow 1987…I had just arrived in London then. Your mum is a very adventurous lady, I love that you travelled so much together. I often travel with my daughter, but haven’t traveled much with my son…well not just me and him on our own. Greece is a fabulous country to visit, the Islands are gorgeous. 80’s music bring back so many incredible memories 🙂

    1. My mom is very adventurous. She travelled for work around much of Africa and Oceania then, when she retired, moved to Chiang Mai. She’s now in Mexico. She’s never been conventional or scared!
      Any favorite 80’s music Gilda? You don’t look like a David Lee Roth fan…:)

        1. You’re Lissette’s kind of girl. I leaned towards hard rock: Def Leppard, AC/DC…but then I also loved Men At Work, Eddy Grant..I had varied taste.

  6. Thanks for the info on getting to Corfu Frank. One of the things I’ve had on the cards for a few years was to walk around Corfu. It’s tiny, you could walk the length of the island in one (long) day. But there are all the small villages and the people, so 1-3 weeks is better.

    Glad the ferry is only 1.5 hours, I have no sea legs.

    1. Apart from two HUGE fortresses, there’s not much to the town. But the geography is incredible between those mountains and the blue of the Adriatic.
      You hardly feel the waves Ted, been on a few ferries in the Adriatic and it’s generally pretty smooth. Nothing like the North Atlantic.

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