Welcome to our website, dear readers. Corfu (officially called Kerkyra) is a Greek island located in the Ionian Sea. It is the northernmost and second largest island among the Ionian Islands.
There is plenty to see and do here, from diving in the deep sea to exploring Venetian architecture.
And today we decided to take a closer look at this Greek island. In the article we have collected the most interesting facts about Corfu.
One of the national heroes of Corfu is the Russian admiral Fedor Ushakov, a famous naval commander who has not lost a single battle and has not lost a single ship in his entire career. It was he who in 1799 liberated the original Greek island from French occupation, and the locals remember this to this day. Every year, days of memory of the holy righteous warrior Fyodor Ushakov are held here.
For four centuries it belonged to Venice, which was then an independent state. The fortifications built by Venice served well: the Ottoman Empire captured mainland Greece, but the Turks were never able to take Corfu. They tried many times to capture the city, but the fortress held out. This was especially important for Europeans, since in that era the city of Corfu was considered something like the westernmost stronghold of European culture, opposing the Ottoman Empire. And unlike the rest of Greece, Corfu never fell under Turkish rule.
Corfu is a pioneering island for Greece, especially when it comes to sports. While Greece is famous for hosting the first Olympic Games in the world, it was Corfu that started the development of tennis in the region, thanks to the arrival of an English club there in 1896.
Corfu has had many famous residents and historical figures. But perhaps most famous in recent years is the late Prince Philip Mountbatten, Duke of Edinburgh, husband of Britain’s Windsor Queen Elizabeth II.
Corfu is famous for its vibrant flora and fauna. In fact, over 6,000 different plants can be found here, most of which are unique. Endemic orchids grow on the island, which cannot be found anywhere else on the planet (at least in the wild). 83 species of butterflies have also been recorded here.
The island is known not only for its beaches, of which there are more than 100, but also for the fact that here is the famous UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is the old town of Corfu, which according to UNESCO is considered one of the most impressive in Greece.
The island has an airport. It was founded in 1949 and was named after the first ruler of independent Greece – John Kapodistrias. This airport has the shortest runway in Europe and one of the shortest in the world.
Mandolato is a traditional Greek nougat made with honey, sugar, nuts, dried fruit and flavored with vanilla, almonds or orange blossom. They say that the most delicious mandolato comes from Corfu.
According to historical sources, the earliest mention of Corfu is the Mycenaean Greek word ko-ro-ku-ra-i-jo (“man from Corfu”), written in the Linear B syllabary, c. 1300 BC
According to Strabo, an ancient Greek geographer, philosopher and historian who lived in Asia Minor during the transitional period of the Roman Republic to the Roman Empire, the ancient city of Corcyra in Corfu was actually the mythical island of “Scheria” that Homer wrote about. The Odyssey mentions that the Phaeacians lived on the island of Scheria, which is believed to be a reference to the earliest inhabitants of Corfu.
Here is the Ionian University, the origin of which was the Ionian Academy, the first university of the modern Greek state. The Ionian Academy was an institution that maintained the tradition of Greek education while the rest of Greece was still under Ottoman rule. Founded by the French during their reign on the island, the Ionian Academy became a university during the British administration in 1824.
In the Middle Ages, the Latins gave the island and the city the name “Corytho”, derived from the Greek word “Korifai” or “Korfes”. Coryphaeus is an ancient Greek word for “Peaks” or “Peaks”, paraphrased by the Latins to “Corytho” and later to “Corfu”.
Therefore, if we talk about the meaning of this name, then it literally means “Island of Peaks”.
As we have already noted in the introduction, the official name of Corfu is Kerkyra (Κέρκυρα). This name is of mythical origin. According to legend, the nymph Kerkyra (daughter of the river god Asopus and the river nymph Metope) was kidnapped by the god of the sea, Poseidon (Neptune, as the Romans called him), who brought her to this Greek island. Later, Poseidon and Kerkyra had a son, Phayax. It is he who is considered the founder of the feacs, the first inhabitants of Corfu, of which Homer spoke.
It is the second largest of the Ionian Islands and the seventh largest island in Greece. Its area is 593 km2 (146,500 acres).
The length of the island in a straight line from north to south does not exceed 61 km, and the maximum width is 27 km. Beautiful and rich in beaches, the coastline has a total length of 217 km.
The road network is not always in the best condition, but very dense.
The northern part of the island is mostly mountainous, while Mount Pantokrator dominates in the northeast. The highest peak of this mountain is at around 914 meters above sea level. This mountain is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the area.
The southern part of the island is mostly flat (with the exception of a few hills on which the villages of Chlomos and St. Matteos are located).
The rest of the island is a fertile plain with small hills. This concludes our article, dear readers. Thank you for choosing our website for your important information.