There are certain pieces of information each tourist traveling to Corfu should learn, given that there is plenty of room for the unexpected to occur. Thus, in order to be able to cope with the various situations which might exceed their abilities, tourists might want to keep in mid the following travel tips:
European travelers know that Greece, Corfu included, has already adopted the European currency, namely, the euro. Those traveling to Corfu outside Europe should keep in mid that notes refer to 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 euro bills, whereas coins are represented by 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents and by 1 and 2 euro coins.
There are plenty of establishments providing currency exchange services, ranging from banks to exchange offices located in post offices and hotels. Banks are the only ones to exchange travelers’ checks, and they are known to offer the best deals for foreign currency too. The main drawback of banks in Corfu is that Corfu Town is the only locality on the entire island to feature banks. Generally, banks open between 8.30am and 2pm, but in peak season month, they may occasionally work in the evening or even on weekend mornings precisely to service tourists’ need of currency exchange.
Indeed, only the biggest restaurants, shops or hotels accept payments by credit cards, but all the other establishments somehow related to tourism only accept cash. Most ATMs accept Visa, MasterCard or Access cards, though cards endorsed by other major companies are also accepted. In the event tourists do not manage to get money from the ATMs, their remaining solution is to return to the bank, the only one giving cash inside being the National Bank of Greece (63, Voulgareos, Corfu Town, telephone number: 0030 26610 38597 and 42B, Alexandra, Corfu Town, telephone number: 0030 26610 34403), but the procedure is extremely slow, so prior measures must be taken in order to avoid such an event.
The post office in Corfu (located in 26, Leoforos Alexandrou, Corfu Town, telephone number: 0030 26610 25544) may prove to be at hand for packages which can not be delivered otherwise, and tourists should rest assured: its extensive program (Monday to Friday, from 7.30am to 8pm) gives anyone the possibility to resorts to the post services.
Most hotels, resorts and villas and, generally, all establishments offering accommodation services provide Internet access. Also, certain pubs or coffee shops feature the same facility, but there is no known open air area where the Internet can be accessed.
The main telephone office (OTE) (located in 3, Mantzarou, telephone number: 0030 26610 34699) is available Monday through Friday from 7.00am to midnight, to 10pm on Saturdays and holidays. However, metered phones are available within plenty of shops and street corner kiosks, so international calls should not become a problem once in Corfu.
The Tourist Police – the entity which is entitled to rate the hotels in Corfu – can be called on if necessary at 0030 26610 39503 or 0030 26610 30265, and it can also be reached by dialing 171 in order to obtain information and instruction in German, English, French and Greek. The Tourist Police can also be reached in view of reporting certain emergencies.
Hospitals and Health: All foreign tourists are advised to carry a health insurance policy, EU citizens included. There are medical centers in each important town and resort, and most doctors speak English, which is a relief for both patients and qualified personnel. The main hospital in Corfu (located in Polikhroniou Konstanda, halfway between the San Rocco Square and the Playtera Monastery) features a 24 hour casualty department which can be called on at 0030 26100 45811, but medical emergencies can also be signaled at 100, an all purpose number which is provided for all kinds of emergencies.
Despite lacking an own tourist office, Corfu features certain establishments able to take over the specific services of such offices. These establishments refer to the Greek National Tourist Organization office in Corfu (located in Rizospaston Vouleuton & Iakovou Polyla, 49100, telephone number: 0030 26610 37520, fax: 0030 26610 30298, official website: www.visitgreece.gr) and to various small kiosks which can be found in the San Rocco Square and on the Esplanade in Corfu Town. The so called private tourist offices in the major resorts of the island are also trustworthy, since they provide reliable information to whoever resorts to them.
Time zone: GMT 2 hours
The spoken official language in Corfu is Greek. However, most of the staff employed in major tourism institutions and establishments is English literate. On the other hand, tourists should not expect all people they must make contact with speak English.