Discover Corfu island in Ionian
Travel Information about Corfu island Greece, Ionian: Corfu is the second largest of the Ionian islands and stands on the north westernmost side of Greece. The mesmerizing natural beauty and rich culture attract lots of tourists every summer. In fact, this was one of the first Greek islands that opened itself to tourism due to its historical connections to the European countries, particularly Italy and the UK.
According to an ancient Greek myth, Corfu island got its name from nymph Corkira, with whom Poseidon, the god of sea, fell in love and brought her to this present day island. The island of Corfu looks quite different from other Ionian islands because of the rich Venetian influence, which shaped the local culture. The Venetians ruled for more than 400 years, from 1386 to 1797. The Old Town of Corfu island is lined with beautiful multi-storied Venetian buildings, which stand along the narrow winding paths that take tourists back in time. The local cuisine also holds the tastes of some Venetian delicacies.
The Venetians were dethroned by the French army of Napoleon. The brief French rule ended with their defeat from the English, who made this island part of their protectorate. The island finally joined the Greek mainland in 1864, with the incorporation of all Ionian islands.
The rich historical past of Corfu island is vividly reflected in its many historical spots, starting from the two fortresses in Corfu Town till the ruined towers all over the island. The old and the new fortresses used to protect the island from enemy and pirate attacks in the Medieval times. Their summits offer amazing views of the town and the sea. Spianada Square, the second largest square of Europe, after the Square of Saint Mark in Venice, distinguishes for its green spots, the cricket court and the cafeterias in Liston, an arched copy of Rue de Rivoli, Paris.
Just behind Liston, there is the church of Saint Spyridon, the patron saint of Corfu island, with the tallest bell tower of the island. Such lovely churches are found in almost all streets of the town. The best spot to enjoy a coffee in Corfu Town is either Liston or Kanoni, the highest spot of the town, with amazing view to Pontikonisi and the church of Panagia Vlacherna. On the way to Kanoni, have a stop in the palace of Mon Repos, the summer residence of the former royal family of Greece.
The most famous tourist resort of Corfu island is Paleokastritsa, famous for its lush greenery, the wild mountains and impressive caves. Agios Gordis, Pelekas, Glyfada, Gouvia and Dassia are also nice places with many tourist facilities. Generally, the central and northern side of the island is more developed in tourism, while the southern side remains more traditional with picturesque villages, like Agios Mattheos, Mesongi and Boukari.
Beaches in Corfu island are not very large in size, but the water is crystal and the surrounding environment is green. In many beaches, there are beach bars and watersports, while in some others the ambience is secluded and totally relaxing.