Corfu Island

Corfu (Kerkyra) is one of the most important and beautiful islands in Greece, perhaps the greenest island with dense vegetation and a well developed road network. Speaking about tourist development is one of the country`s cornerstones in tourism industry. It is an island with a long history, and has been notable in Greek culture and tradition for over 3000 years. It has been inhabited since the paleolithic era and later by the Phaeacians as mentioned in the Odyssey. Homer refers to it as Scheria, but the island also had the name Drepanon(sickle) at a time because it is shaped like a sickle. For most visitors the entrance to the island is the newly renovated international airport Ioannis Capodistrias, although the ferries from Italian ports are also extremely busy. The flight from most European airports takes between two to three and a half hours.

Where is Corfu?

Located in the north Ionian sea at the northwestern edge of Greece.It seems to be far away from Athens, and maybe nearer to Italy, but what it offers are well worth the visit. The flight from Athens takes 45 minutes. In recent years Corfu has become one of the favourite destinations for Greek tourists too, especially during the Easter holiday which has gained nationwide attention with it’s unique traditions, but also in August when Greek and Italian visitors mingle with those from further north. Since the Egnatia highway has been built it is easily accessible from residents of northern Greece. From the port of Igoumenitsa on the mainland there is a very frequent modern ferry service, some crossing to Corfu in just over an hour, ferries also land in the southern harbour of Lefkimi. The first view of Corfu from the sea is the medieval town of Corfu, the only Greek kastropolis (city surrounded by fortresses) maintaining intact its Venetian style with narrow streets (alleys) and tall buildings, a standard Italian rather than Greek city that has barely changed despite the intense development. The city offers numerous attractions and monuments that need days to explore and admire.

Where the name came from?

During the Middle Ages the island and the town took the name Corypho which means peaks, (Coryphai in Greek), due to the two peaks in the peninsula of the old fortress, or the two peaks of it`s highest mountain Pantokrator. It is obvious that from this name Corypho the current international name of Corfu was derived. Corfu Town has also the name Kastropolis which means a city inside castles, because in the past it was one of the few cities in the world surrounded by the walls of both the old and new fortresses.

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