CORFU ISLAND |  ΚΕΡΚΥΡΑ

GREEK ISLANDS | IONIAN

Published in Travel Guides

Booking.com
Corfu island,  κερκυρα, kerkyra, ionian islands, greece, hipgreece, old town of corfu

CORFU ISLAND

Its  beauty has drawn visitors for centuries

The blend of Ve­ne­tian, Eng­lish and French pe­ri­ods and styles in the Old Town, with its cas­tles, stone-flagged al­leys lo­cal­ly called ‘kandounia’ and the ar­cades will en­chant you. You will also be enchanted by  the sce­nic routes through the mag­nif­i­cent coun­try­side with lush green hills and superb deep­ly in­dent­ed coast­line with gor­geous beach­es.

OUR OPINION

Cor­fu is at­trac­tive as a hol­i­day des­ti­na­tion at eve­ry sea­son of the year. It has nat­u­ral beau­ty, spe­cial ar­chi­tec­tu­ral inter­est and a sophisticated life­style.  The island’s main points of inter­est are the Old Town, the green­ery, the love­ly land­scape and beach­es, as well as the tra­di­tion­al vil­lag­es of the inter­i­or. If it’s peace and quiet you seek, you should avoid the stretch­es from the town of Cor­fu as far as Ip­sos, Aha­ra­vi, Ro­da and Si­da­ri, and from Be­nits­es to Mo­rai­ti­ka and Ka­vos.

The most out­stand­ing scen­ery of the is­land is on its west coast, between Pa­leo­kas­trit­sa and Agios Gor­dis

CORFU HISTORICAL INFO

 

It is said that Cor­fu is the Ho­mer­ic is­land of the Phaea­ceans, the king­dom of Al­ki­noos. Ac­cord­ing to leg­end its Greek name de­rives from the nymph Ker­ky­ra, daugh­ter of the river-god Aso­pos, or Kor­ky­ra, with whom Po­sei­don, god of the sea, fell in love and whom he brought to the is­land.

In the 8th c. BC Ere­trian col­o­nists ar­rived and lat­er oth­ers came from Co­rinth. In the sub­se­quent cen­tu­ries Cor­fu evolved into a mar­i­time and com­mer­cial pow­er, which aroused the an­ger of the moth­er city of Co­rinth. In the na­val bat­tle of 644 BC between the two, it was Cor­fu who won the day. When in 299 BC the Il­lyr­ian queen Teu­ta at­tacked the is­land, the in­hab­i­tants re­quest­ed the aid of the Ro­mans who under the com­mand of the con­sul Ful­vi­us suc­cess­ful­ly re­pulsed the Il­lyr­ians and for the next five cen­tu­ries Cor­fu con­tin­ued in peace­ful co­ex­is­tence with Rome, be­com­ing a fa­vour­ite re­sort of the em­per­ors. In the 4th c. AD the is­land passed to the Byz­an­tine Em­pire and be­gan to de­cline due to re­peat­ed at­tacks by Goths, Nor­mans and Cru­sad­ers.

There fol­lowed the Ve­ne­tian dom­i­na­tion from 1204, the Byz­an­tine in 1214 and then that of the Ange­vins, French con­quer­ors of the king­dom of Two Si­ci­lies, in 1267 un­til the sec­ond pe­ri­od of Ve­ne­tian oc­cu­pa­tion be­gin­ning in 1386 and last­ing un­til 1797. It was thanks to the Ve­ne­tians that Cor­fu es­caped dom­i­na­tion by the Ot­to­mans, de­spite the latter’s sieg­es and at­tacks, and fol­lowed the ev­o­lu­tion of the West in the arts and sci­enc­es.

In 1797 the is­land was tak­en over by the French re­pub­li­cans who pub­lic­ly burned the Li­bro d’ Oro, the co­dex of the no­bil­ity, and al­so the deeds of land own­er­ship. How­ev­er, their poor ad­min­is­tra­tion dis­con­tent­ed the Cor­fi­ots and they turned to Rus­sia, who ad­vo­cat­ed the in­de­pen­dence of the Io­ni­an is­lands. In 1800, the Trea­ty of Con­stan­tin­o­ple creat­ed the in­de­pen­dent Sep­tin­su­lar Re­pub­lic which was dis­solved in 1807 by the French who this time ben­e­fit­ed the is­land with ma­jor pub­lic works. Af­ter Napoleon’s de­feat Cor­fu came into the hands of the Brit­ish, who al­so con­struct­ed im­por­tant build­ings, roads and the wa­ter sup­ply.

Even­tu­al­ly the Trea­ty of Lon­don in 1863 re­turned Cor­fu and the oth­er Io­ni­an is­lands to Greece.

 

CORFU IN BRIEF

 

Cor­fu is the part of Greece clos­est to west­ern Eu­rope, both geo­graph­i­cal­ly and cul­tu­ral­ly. It was the first ar­ea of the coun­try to be con­quered by the Ro­mans, who treat­ed their ac­qui­si­tion with be­nev­o­lence. In the course of its his­to­ry the is­land passed through the hands of the Ve­ne­tians, the French and the Brit­ish, who al­so in turn left the stamp of their cul­tures. The Cor­fi­ots have a long tra­di­tion in mu­sic, thea­tre and in­tel­lec­tu­al pur­suits. The Cor­fu Phil­har­mon­ic So­ci­ety was found­ed in 1840 and there are to­day doz­ens of bands on the is­land. In 1808 Greece’s first uni­ver­sity was in­sti­tut­ed, the Io­ni­an Acad­e­my and in 1815 the first School of Fine Arts, while the Read­ing So­ci­ety which con­tin­ues to flour­ish to this day, was al­so the first in­sti­tu­tion of its kind.

Cor­fu is 50 km long, 25 km at its wid­est and pro­duc­es olive oil, dairy prod­ucts, fruits and veg­e­ta­bles. The pop­u­la­tion is 110,000, of which 35,000 in­hab­it the town. The cli­mate is mild and hu­mid, thus ac­count­ing for the rich veg­e­ta­tion with nu­mer­ous va­rie­ties of trees, of which the olive trees — 4,000,000 ! — and cy­press dom­i­nate in the land­scape. The island’s size per­mits its vis­i­tors to choose the most suit­able spot for a hol­i­day, so that even in the  month of Au­gust when it is sub­merged by the hordes of tour­ists, any­one who so wish­es can find tran­quil­lity in iso­lat­ed ar­e­as.

 

Booking.com

 

2019 HIP GREECE LTD  -  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

©

2019 HIP GREECE LTD  -  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

©