Corfu (or Kerkira) island is one of the 7-“Eptanisa” major islands in the Ionian Sea, the most Northern and the second largest of the group lying just 1 NM off the coast of the Greek mainland and Albania.
Corfu is a mountainous island with impressive lush landscape, dense vegetation and wild plants. The island is said to be the greenest in Greece!
The capital, also called Corfu, is also the main port of the island. It is elegant town with unique atmosphere and plenty of facilities that cover even the most demanding tourist. Besides the crowded main town, there are also several remote smaller and bigger villages up to the hills or the sea. Such examples are Sinarades, Argyrades, Lefkimi and Agios Matheos.
Corfu island is reputed for its lively night life. The capital offers many cafes and a few bars. Most night-clubs and beach-bars are placed at the edge of the main town (at the road so-called “efthia”). Restaurants and tavernas with excellent food and service are also on hand in the capital and many villages.
The shopping hub of the Corfu Island is the town’s centre that represents all kinds of shops from jewellery and leather goods to ceramics and olive wood objects.
In conclusion, Corfu island is not only the best known and most visited of the Ionian islands but also a very attractive sailing destination for summer boat holidays in Greece.
The island of Corfu has pebbly and sandy beaches characterised by a distinctive diversity. The Eastern side offers calm and safe waters with many water sports facilities while the Western side offers vast, sandy beaches with rocky cliffs coming down to the sea. Most beaches such as Agios Stefanos, Ermones, Kalami, Roda, Arrilas, Agios Gordis, Barbati, Glyfada, Kavos, Palaiokastritsa and Sidari are well-organised with high-quality service.
During the summer period, the prevailing wind in Corfu island is the so-called Maistro which blows from North-West at force 2-5 Beaufort scale. On the contrary, during the spring and autumn the winds are also from South and their intensity is sometimes higher than summer period.
The climate in Corfu island is characterised by hot and sunny summers and mild winters with high figure of rainfalls. Corfu has also the highest humidity of all the Greek standards.
Corfu island has its private marina! Gouvia marina, situated 9km from the main Corfu town and the International airport, is fully organised offering facilities and services of high standards.
Anchorages: The main protected approaches are all found along the Eastern coast. On the West coast the yachts can safely anchor (or dock) at the bays of Paleokastritsa and Ag. Georgios.
Keep in mind: Lefkas marina in Lefkas island and Gouvia marina in Corfu island are our charter bases for the Ionian islands.
Corfu got its name from the mythologic Nymph Korkira the daughter of the River God, Aesopos. It is almost certain that Corfu was the Homeric Island of Scheria, the island of the Phaeacians and Nafsika who hosted and helped Odysseus on his return from Troy. The island was inhabited since the Palaeolithic Era before 3000 BC and the excavations have proved that the Phoenicians had sometime established in Corfu an important commercial and naval centre. The first Greek settlers were the Eretreans from Evia who moved there during the 8th century; they were followed by a group of refugees from Corinth who founded an independent colony on the island. The Corfiots allied with the Athens for a century or so, until the Macedonians and King Philip II conquered Corfu in 338 BC.
During the Byzantine period, which lasted until 1267 AD, Corfu was regularly subject to pirate raids and to attacks from barbarians, Goths or Saracens. Then Corfu came under Norman rule, followed by Venetian one till 1797.
Despite the fact that Corfu was never gained by Turks, its inhabitants gave a great help to the rest of Greek Revolution against the Ottoman rule in 1821.
In 1864, the Ionian Islands (group of which Corfu is part) became finally part of the New Greek State (Hellas).
In the 20th century, Corfu (and the rest of Greece) took part in the two World Wars and encountered severe damages. The Germans bombed the island heavily and burnt and deployed many beautiful and important buildings.
Corfu island has always been a cultural centre of distinction. The museums and the various sights are several and the most notable are located in the town. First stop, the Palace of St. Michael and St. George which houses the museum of Asiatic Art, the museum of Christian Art, the Archives of the Ionian Senate and the Corfu Public Library. Also, among the highlights are the Archaeological Museum, the old and new fortress, the Solomos Museum. Hundred churches and monasteries as well as different architectural styles (French, British, Venetian, Sicilian) are spots that attract thousands sightseers.
While you are in Corfu, make sure you visit Achilleion (summer palace of the Empress Elizabeth of Austria) and a boat tour to the famous Pontikonisi.
Tip: Take a walk at the main square of Corfu town from up the “spianada” place down to the cricket yard and have a coffee at the open cafes of “Liston”.
Corfu is the ideal island for water sports since it has many sport venues and recreational training schools. Most organised beaches have water sports equipment and provide visitors with non-stop hours of fun and entertainment. Visitors can find activities such as water skiing, kite surfing, paragliding, banana rides, ring boats, jet skiing and scuba diving.
Aqualand in Agios Ioannis beach is not just a common water fun park, but is said as one of the most amazing and adventurous experiences in the Med for children and adults as well.
There are several choices so as to rent a car, bike or a motorbike all over the place.