Corfu Greece (or Kerkyra) is one of the most favorite destinations in Greece and the Greek Islands and attracts many tourists. Corfu lies to the north of the Ionian Sea at the entrance of Adriatic Sea. It is the second largest island in the group known as the Ionian Greek islands. Corfu is the island of miracles and wonders, where every moment the scene changes without affecting the harmony of the terrain.
Myth and reality
A beautiful island, part of the Ionian Islands and has a lot of verdant vegetation, amazing beaches, superb Venetian architecture, picturesque villages, lively nightlife and a great cosmopolitan way of life. From ancient times until today it has been a point of reference for all the elements which make up the human personality. Evolution, exploration, enjoyment, love, tradition, joy and surprise are all to be found here, caught in the wheel of time. Hyperbole? You can find that here, too, in the westernmost region of Greece.
The island is connected to the history of Greece from the beginning of Greek mythology. Its Greek name, Kerkyra or Korkyra, is related to two powerful water symbols: Poseidon, god of the sea, and Asopos, an important Greek mainland river. According to myth, Poseidon fell in love with the beautiful nymph Korkyra, daughter of Asopus and river nymph Metope, and abducted her. Poseidon brought Korkyra to the hitherto unnamed island and, in marital bliss, offered her name to the place: Korkyra, which gradually evolved to Kerkyra (Doric). Together, they had a child they called Phaiax, after whom the inhabitants of the island were named: Phaiakes. This term was transliterated via Latin to Phaeacians.
The District of Corfu (Corfu, Paxos, Antipaxos and the Diapontian Islands) extends over 640 square kilometers and has a population of 130,000, of which a third live in the town of Corfu. Almost without exception, the inhabitants are hospitable and kind, and their conversation is full of humor and spontaneity. In 2007, the city’s old city was designated for the UNESCO World Heritage List, following a recommendation by ICOMOS.
The city of Corfu stands on the broad part of a peninsula, whose termination in the Venetian citadel is cut off from it by an artificial fosse. Formed in a natural gully, with a seawater moat at the bottom, now serves as a marina and is called the Contra fossa. The old town, having grown within fortifications, where every meter of ground was precious, is a labyrinth of narrow streets. Paved with cobblestones, sometimes tortuous but colorful and clean, these streets are known as kantounia.
The old citadel is an old Venetian fortress built on an artificial islet with fortifications surrounding its entire perimeter. The interior has been restored and is in use for cultural events, such as concerts and Sound and Light Productions, when historical events are recreated using sound and light special effects. These events take place amidst the ancient fortifications, with the Ionian sea in the background.
The new citadel or Neo Frourio is a huge complex of fortifications dominating the northeastern part of the city. The huge walls of the fortress dominate the landscape as one makes the trip from Neo Limani to the city, taking the road that passes through the fish market. The new citadel was until recently a restricted area due to the presence of a naval garrison, but old restrictions have been lifted and it is now open to the public, with tours possible through the maze of medieval corridors and fortifications.
Your time in Corfu
Corfu Island combines history culture and modern life, all at the same place. Many monuments and sightseeing of great importance can be seen in Corfu island. Places such as Achilleion Palace, in Gastouri village, Kaiser’s Bridge, in Perama, Palaia Anaktora and Gardens at the center of Corfu Town. Furthermore the great Upper and Down square, called Spianada, the Old Town, now part of Unesco World Heritage are some of the places with importance and “must see” for a visitor of Corfu Island.
Don’t forget to taste all the local traditional products of Corfu Island that combine the past with the present. Olive oil, olives, ouzo, mandolato, mandoles, a variety of cooked pork meats, smoked and dry salami, sausages. Most of all the exotic trademark of the island the cumquat (Koum-Kouat), the miniature oranges. The island of Corfu can be reached by air from all around Europe or from Athens (daily service from Athens airport and more than 4 flights a day during summer season). You can also reach Corfu by ship from Patras and Igoumenitsa. As well as from Italy (Bari, Brindizi, Ancona, and Venice) and the former Yugoslavia (Bar, Dubrovnik and Split) with daily ferry routes to Corfu Island.