Mathraki History

Mathraki History
About the history of Mathraki island, Greece

There is no record in the history of Mathraki that the island was inhabited in the ancient or the Medieval times. The long distance from mainland Greece and the piracy, which was much active in the Greek seas till the mid 19th century, prevented people from residing in Mathraki. In fact, the three islands of the Diapontia complex (Mathraki, Othoni and Ereikoussa) were not inhabited till two centuries ago and were used only as middle stops in long sea voyages.

It is recorded that the first of three islands to be inhabited was Othoni. People from Corfu and from the mainland coasts of Parga started to live in Othoni to get away from the Ottoman rule. At the end of the 19th century, the inhabitants of Othoni went to the close islands of Mathraki and Ereikoussa to cultivate the vast groves of olive trees. Along time, people started to live permanently in Mathraki and built houses there.

This is how Mathraki eventually got inhabited. Today, it is still an isolate island whose inhabitants are limited to the basic comforts. Electricity came in Mathraki in the 1970s and most people go to the neighbouring Corfu for their everyday needs, even for a doctor. The permanent residents, who are about 100 in number, occupy with fishing and olive tree cultivation.

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