“There rose up large and lofty trees.
Pear trees and pomegranates
the brilliant golden apples
and green olives.
And winter or summer
fruit never failed these trees.”
Homer, The Odyssey, Book Seven
Corfu, the island of rich mythology and history, art and culture.
English, French and Venetians all passed through and left their mark on this island.
Mythical landscapes, historical monuments…
An island in an old country with ancient civilisation. An island with many names. From “Makrya” (Long), “Drepani” (scythe), ”Cassiopi” (named after the city), “Arpi”, “Keraina” and so on.
There is a myth relating to the Drepani in the “Argonautica” of Apollonius of Rhodes and in Hesiod’s “Theogony” telling how Cronos, urged by his mother Gaia (Earth) cut off his father Uranus’s genitals with a scythe in order to take revenge for the atrocities committed by him on Crono’s brothers. Various divinities were born from the drops of blood that fell into the sea, such as Aphrodite, the Nymphs and the Erinyes (Furies). The scythe that Cronus threw into the sea formed the island named after it.
The most famous name was Scheria, mentioned by Homer in the Odyssey.
Korkyra is probably of Illyrian origin. The earliest name Kerkyra, is thought to have come from the nymph Kerkyra who Poseidon fell in love with, and brought to a place where they were to unite and give birth to Phaecias; thus, the island got the name Phaeacia.
During medieval times the island was known as Koryfo (also the name of the Byzantine acropolis – the old fortress in Corfu), then it went from venetian Koryfou to Corfu, the name by which it is known today.
The northernmost island in Greece.
The north part of the island is wider and has more mountains. The southern part is less wide.
Summers are warm and dry, with blue skies and occasional breezes. Mountainous areas are cooler. The winters are mild, rainfalls occur from November till March.
Easter celebration is highly recommended (haven’t been there during spring time yet, but there is still time, right? )
I have been there three times; the first time I spent 3 weeks in July and August. One word: HOT! and wonderful…
Second time was in September; remember to take some warm clothes with you. The evenings and nights can get quite chilly. And 3rd time in June. It felt like warming up before the heated joy of July.
June and September were quiet months, not so many tourists. Giving you the opportunity to wander around the island with few interruptions. Not much traffic either. Not having problems finding available sun beds. Almost always available seats on the bus.
July and August are a bit more crowded. Whatever you prefer, nice and quiet or loud and colourful, Corfu has it all.
Beautiful architecture. Friendly people. Great food. Museums… you name it…
The patron saint of the island is St. Spyridon
How to get there? By plane, by boat, by your own yacht :)
How you get around the island? Your choice: bus, bike, taxi, rent-a-car, scooter, bicycle, boats…
As I mentioned before this year was my 3rd and definitely not the last one. I’ve simply fallen in love. The minute I win the lottery I am buying a house down there.
You know when you get that feeling of belonging somewhere . That is how I feel about Corfu.
This is the first of many more posts to come about Corfu. Hopefully somebody who hasn’t visited the island will get inspired to take a trip.