Corfu

The “Queen of the Ionian”, where beautiful landscapes, amazing beaches, picturesque villages, elegance, and class combine with the smiley and happy people of the island.

Since antiquity, the island is called the island of music. The name of the island in Greek is, Kerkyra and the name Corfu (mountain/hilltop) comes from the Byzantine name of the island, due to the two mountain tops that a visitor can see when reaching it.     

Studies have shown human traces on the island since the Paleolithic period. The island is identified as the ancient island of Scheria where Phaeacians lived and are mentioned by Homer and Orpheus.

Its huge historical background cannot be described in few lines. Its significant presence throughout mythological/historical/modern years has covered thousands of volumes, written by important historians, Greeks, and foreigners.

The birthplace of the first governor of modern Greece, Ioannis Kapodistrias, was along with the other Ionian Islands, the first free Greek state (1800-1807). The first university of Modern Greece and the first Opera HouseSan Giacomo– were established in Corfu.

The island was occupied by Normands, Venetians, French, British, Russians until it was part of Greece in 1864. The old city, still inhabited, is on the UNESCO world heritage list. One of the worldwide famous tourist destinations, Corfu was actually, the first Greek island to welcome tourists at the beginning of the 1950s.    

Corfu is 233 n.m. from Athens and is 592 km2. Nowadays has a population of approx. 105.000 and is one of the most highly inhabited islands of the Mediterranean. The capital of the island is Kerkyra. Above Corfu, there is a group of tiny islands (Mathraki, Erikoussa, and Othoni) that are in the far west part of Greece. 

Discover Corfu

We’ll mention only a few of what a visitor can see but our advice is to check and discover that magic island on your own.

  • Explore the Old City, with its historic Venetian houses, wells, the Liston, the old Fortress, the church of Saint Spyridon (patron saint of the island), and Spianada the biggest square of the Balkans.
  • The Vlacherna Monastery, the “trademark” of Corfu, on the tiny Pontikonisi (Mouse Island) that myth says is the sunken ship of Odysseus.
  • The Archangelos Castle, the castle of Archangel Michael, and the Church of Saint Georgios, a Doric-style temple, built in the 19th century.
  • The Achilleion Palace, built for Empress Elisabeth of Austria, better known as Queen Sissy.
  • Palaiokastritsa, the village that according to the myth, its beach was the last spot that Odysseus visited before leaving Scheria. There is also there a monastery dated since the 13th century.
  • Mount Pantokrator, the highest peak of the island
  • Kassiopi, the picturesque village that you’ll fall in love with.
  • The Old Perithia, an abandoned village that is “a designated area of natural beauty” under Mount Pantokrator.
  • Korission lake, to the south of the island, a unique natural inhabitant.
  • The river of Lefkimmi, to the south with its fishing boats and the tiny bridges.

The beaches 

 57 beaches are famous. We’ll mention only a few of them.

  • Palaiokastritsa, with its green cliffs and icy cold waters.
  • Canal d’ Amour beach, with its sand-colored walls.
  • The amazing beach of Mitriotissa (or Mirtidiotissa) with its emerald waters.
  • Aghios Gordios, a sandy beach surrounded by impressive rock formations.
  • Kavos, the south end of the island 
  • Arillas, a well-protected beach 
  • Barbati, with its green-blue waters 
  • Marathias, with its crystal clear waters
  • Issos, a magnificent beach with its endless golden seashore 
  • Dasia 
  • Aghios Georgios ton pagon 
  • Acharavi

Activities and Events

The island is so vivid all year round that a visitor will only be pleased and satisfied and that explains a large amount of Europeans and Americans that have chosen Corfu as their home.

You can play cricket in the Old Town, participate in a Vespa Rally, taste local cuisine and wines, watch folk festivals, classical and traditional music concerts, go trekking and do sea sports, visit the numerous bars/clubs. 

If you prefer nature, you can then wander through the 500-year-old olive trees and cypress trees, watch whales and dolphins swimming close to the island, smell a thousand flowers in Springtime.

In case you visit the island during the Greek Orthodox Easter watch the amazing litanies accompanied by the famous Philharmonics of Corfu and the Byzantine custom of throwing clay pots from the windows in the Old City.

 

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