Korkyra Groves

location Europe, Greece
  • Distance

    148 Mi.

    (238 KM)
  • Days


  • % Unpaved


  • % Singletrack


  • % Rideable (time)


  • Total Ascent


    (4,805 M)
  • High Point


    (880 M)
  • Difficulty (1-10)


  • 7
    Climbing Scale Strenuous107 FT/MI (20 M/KM)
  • 6
    Technical Difficulty Moderate
  • 7
    Physical Demand Difficult
  • 4
    Resupply & Logistics Fair
About Our Ratings

Contributed By

Jake Dugdale

Jake Dugdale

Guest Contributor

Fortunate enough to have been based near the New Forest in the UK during the 2020 lockdown, Jake rekindled his childhood passion for cycling and hasn’t looked back. A couple of years later, Jake and his partner took time off work to cycle from the northern tip of Canada (Tuktoyaktak) to Vancouver and across the Rockies. With his addiction in full swing, his free time is spent planning future bike trips. You can follow Jake on instagram at @jake_is_outside.

Korkyra Groves is a weekend bikepacking route on the breathtaking island of Corfu, Greece. Often associated with sun-soaked beaches in the busier summer months, it also boasts a vast network of trails and paths perfect for a long weekend on two wheels. This route begins amid the charming architecture of the Corfu Old Town before taking riders on a captivating journey through diverse terrain, blending tranquil coastal tracks, dramatic mountain trails, and alluring villages...
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The island of Corfu, or Kerkyra, as it’s more aptly called in Greek, acquired its name from the enchanting nymph Korkyra, who discovered love with the sea god Poseidon. Under Venetian rule for centuries, it boasts a history steeped in the influence and governance of this powerful maritime republic.

Situated in the embrace of the Ionian Sea, this destination showcases numerous coastlines adorned with sandy and pebbled shores complemented by lush greenery that collectively crafts a stunning panorama. Renowned for its phenomenal architecture, the area also boasts a multitude of brightly coloured buildings lining narrow, cobbled streets harking back to the Venetian era. In the blistering summer heat, the island’s population sometimes triples in size with beach dwellers and tourists. However, during the milder seasons, the route offers a sense of genuine adventure and peace, minus the heavy summer footfall.

  • Korkyra Groves Bikepacking Corfu Greece
  • Korkyra Groves Bikepacking Corfu Greece
  • Korkyra Groves Bikepacking Corfu Greece
  • Korkyra Groves Bikepacking Corfu Greece
  • Korkyra Groves Bikepacking Corfu Greece

The pièce de résistance of cycling on the island is undoubtedly the picturesque coastline and undulating hills that characterize the landscape. The azure waters serve as a constant companion, creating a mesmerising backdrop for the ride. Cycling along the coastline, I was treated to panoramic views of crystal-clear waters, dramatic cliffs, and lush greenery, with the mighty peaks adding both a challenge and a sense of accomplishment with each ascent.

Route Difficulty

The route is roughly 60% unpaved with some of the tarmac’s surface resembling that of chunky singletrack (find photos of the “roads” in the gallery). Expect road conditions to be rather poor with cracks, grooves, potholes, and broken slabs. During the summer months, there will likely be an increase in cars to contend with on the paved sections, which can be challenging. Some of the off-road sections are far more suited for MTB tyres with loose rocks and stone formations breaking up the paths. The dirt roads were a real test for my bike, but that is my own fault due to my choice of carbon gravel rig (see Must Know tab for more on bike choice).

With steep flowing cliff faces and beautiful jagged shorelines come undulating, winding roads. This results in plenty of climbs on both tarmac and loose gravel. On the whole, the route is entirely rideable, although there may be a few hike-a-bikes to be expected. For example, on the way up to Old Perithia, the condition of the track is relatively difficult and may test you, depending on your fitness.

The route regularly passes through various villages and towns all across the island, so resupply is easy. The only thing to bear in mind is some shops will close earlier in more remote areas. It’s also worth noting that towards the end of the summer season, some restaurants close earlier, as I discovered when I completed the trip. Having said that, I had no trouble whatsoever in keeping stocked up. 

Route Development: My partner recently moved to Corfu for work fresh off the back of our first big bikepacking trip across Canada. I coupled my first visit to see her with a few weeks on two wheels to get stuck into the landscape. My first two weeks were spent doing short overnight trips to scout out different parts of Corfu and get lost all over the island. After a few alterations and tips from Dimitris at The Cycling Route, my final week was spent completing the route.

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  • Highlights


  • Must Know


  • Camping


  • Food/H2O


  • Trail Notes


  • Coffee to start at Cafetierre in Corfu Old Town.
  • Early stop off at Golden View for a secondary caffeine fix before the big climb to Pantokrator monastery.
  • Aptos Bakery for a glucose top-up after the sliding downhill from the monastery.
  • Calorie load with a Zorka a type of seasonal veg pie. Whatever is fresh on the day is what you’ll find enclosed in golden pastry. Delicious. Unmissable.
  • Chlomos Village stands out among the villages of the island with its predominant Venetian architecture and the harmonious hues that grace its houses, making it one of Greece’s most enchanting villages. Perched at an elevation ranging from 270 to 320 meters, it has rightfully earned the moniker “Balcony of Corfu.” The breathtaking views from this vantage point are truly enchanting!
  • Inea Yoga, where you can take some time off the bike to rest the legs just off the coastline in Agios Georgios. A bit of mindfulness, mobility, and some of the best food on the island. The perfect place to heal the aching body. They have drop-in sessions as well as some prime accommodation and tasty treats.
  • Byzantine Fortress of Gardiki. Gardiki Castle is recognized as among the most significant architectural remnants of the Ionian Islands. Situated near the village of Agios Mattheos on the southwest coast of Corfu, Gardiki Castle holds historical importance in this astonishing island region. The fortress served as a sanctuary for the people of Corfu, offering protection against pirate attacks. It also played a crucial role in the defensive strategy of the Corfiots before the onset of Venetian rule.
  • Donkey path north of Makrades is one of the more challenging sections on the bike. However, the views were second to none overlooking the Northern Agios Georgios. FYI, there are two towns with the same name on the island!
  • Cape Drastis boasts enchanting white cliffs sculpted by nature and extending into the serene turquoise waters of the Ionian Sea. This unspoiled cape offers magnificent natural scenery. As it is difficult to access via car, it’s an easy task on bike. Positioned in the northernmost part of Corfu Island, just beyond the village of Peroulades, it provides an ideal destination for relaxation, swimming, snorkelling, and cliff jumping.
  • Old Perithia is a charming, crumbling village that will instantly transport you back to an era when the seas were infested with pirates. Nestled at an altitude of 440 metres on the slopes of Mount Pantokrator, it presents sweeping views along deep cobbled streets surrounded by the alluring, attractive rolling highlands.
  • The Cycling Route Bike Shop. As mentioned in my route development, I haven’t met a more passionate bike shop owner. Dimitris is purely committed to promoting cycle tourism across the island of Corfu. That being said, if you didn’t want to fly in with your bike, he has a whole host of epic rides to facilitate your trip.
  • Best time to ride: The very start of the summer season (May/June) or at the tail end (September) would be the best time for cycling. In the middle of summer, the temperatures soar well into the 30s Celsius, and the island is teeming with tourism, so better to avoid.
  • The Korkyra Groves Route starts and ends in the capital, Corfu Town. Along the eastern side, multiple ferries arrive from both mainland Greece and Albania, making it easily accessible by car. However, if you want to fly in, the Corfu airport is located just south of the city.
  • Best bike: Due to the dramatic change in road surface, a hardtail would be best. There were times I was praying for my rigid Surly Krampus over my carbon gravel bike. Low gearing was a game changer.
  • Temperatures: I made the mistake of taking a few too many layers, which I barely touched. Even in the middle of the night at the end of October rolling into November, it was a balmy 20 degrees.
  • Guiding and logistical support: I found little information about the off-road riding around Corfu but managed to source Dimitris and The Cycling Route. He was an absolute godsend in giving some great route suggestions/alterations as I had spent the week carrying my bike and hiking down trails trying to build a route. I cannot stress how much help this guy was. I stopped by initially for a few pointers and ended up sharing stories and caffeine over a few hours.
  • Safety and security: I was warned about some of the drivers, but over the two weeks I actually spent cycling on Corfu, I experienced nothing out of the ordinary. All vehicles gave me a pretty wide berth when I was on the roads. To be fair, for the most part, most of the time, the roads I used were extremely quiet or in such disrepair I would be surprised to see cars driving down them.
  • Cash/Card. It’s worth carrying some cash for some of the smaller local towns on the outskirts of the island, especially if you plan on travelling outside the main holiday season.
  • Travelling to and from Corfu is easily accessible via plane or ferry from the main land. Both modes of transport land you right at the start of the ride in Corfu Old Town.
  • While Greek law and official tourist/campsite guidelines prohibit wild camping, it is a common practice across the country. If done discreetly and with care to avoid close proximity to operational campsites, you are likely to encounter no issues, especially outside the peak summer season.
  • I wild camped most nights and was recommended spots by locals all throughout my trip, whilst creating the route and also on my extra rides. I experienced nothing but warmth, friendliness, and assistance.
  • Additional campsites are marked on the map.
  • Water is plentiful all over the island, with regular grocery shops to restock and refuel.
  • Tap water is perfectly drinkable, it just tastes a little different due to its high mineral content. I drank both bottled and tap and felt fine. I carried a Sawyer squeeze as backup but never used it.
  • Food isn’t a big concern; it’s really not necessary to carry much due to the number of markets dotted along the route.

The following is a suggested four-day itinerary with moderate daily mileage to accommodate diverse terrain, uphill climbs, and hot weather. This ensures ample time to savour the gorgeous scenery, relish the journey and, of course, enjoy the pastries.

location Corfu Town to Agios Georgios

Day 1 (35 mi +4,210 ft / 56 km +1,283 m)

The off-road adventure commences just a short three-mile jaunt from the bustling cobblestone streets of Corfu Town. A few options for morning coffee en route should sufficiently prep the adrenal glands for the ascent to the Pantokrator Monastery. As the day progresses, the route seemingly leads towards the lively party scene of Kavos at the island’s southern tip. However, fret not, as a detour inland towards the charming village of Chlomos steers you clear of the bustling nightlife. A rugged descent through scenic olive groves eventually guides you to the picturesque coastal town of Agios Georgios.

location Agios Georgios to Palaiokastritsa

Day 2 (37 mi +3786 ft / 60 km +1154 m)

Following a restful night by the coast or nestled under the olive groves, start your day with a leisurely morning, perhaps indulging in yoga and a nutritious meal at INEA. As you journey northward, be captivated by the steep cliffs below cascading into crystal-clear seas. The route alternates between chunky gravel and a narrow coastal road running parallel to the Corfu Hiking Trail. After a steep descent to Mirtiossa beach, take the opportunity to grab some lunch and a refreshing dip before continuing your journey to Palaiokastritsa, where you can round out the day’s adventures. 

location Palaiokastritsa to Old Perithia

Day 3 (38 mi +4685 ft / 61 km +1428 m))

The day begins with a gradual ascent out of town, setting the pace for what lies ahead. However, the real excitement unfolds just beyond Makrades. A thrilling descent along a coastal cliff demands your full attention, navigating through loose and challenging terrain, yet the breathtaking view of the sprawling beach below makes it all worthwhile. Undoubtedly, the highlight of the day awaits at Cape Drastis, where the area’s unique geology has sculpted a mesmerising series of rock formations extending into the sea, offering unparalleled panoramic vistas. Upon reaching Sidari, the route transitions to tarmac for approximately 13 miles, leading you just past Perithia. It’s advisable to replenish your supplies of food and water along this stretch, as the final leg of the day culminates with a demanding but picturesque climb to the ancient village of Old Perithia.

location Old Perithia to Corfu Town

Day 4 (38 mi +3137 ft / 61 km +956 m)

As you approach this stage, you might welcome a more leisurely stretch. You have the choice to complete the ascent to the island’s pinnacle, the Monastery of Pantokrator, providing panoramic vistas of the entire island. Alternatively, you can skip the out-and-back climb and proceed to the exhilarating descent from Sokraki. Along this route, you’ll traverse a winding road offering sweeping views, making for a thrilling ride back

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