Corfu (Kerkyra in Greek) is situated in the northeast of Greece and is the most northerly island of the seven Ionian islands. It has an area of 592 km2 and a coastline of 217 kilometers. Northeastern Corfu is 3 kilometers away from Albania. The beautiful green island is a popular holiday destination for many people. It has its popularity primarily due to the beautiful sandy beaches, green forests and the relatively short distance from Italy. Many tourists visit Corfu by boat from Italy. The western coast is steep and the eastern coast is flatter. To the east is Corfu Town with imposing fortresses, traditional buildings, landmarks and cosmopolitan squares. Also outside the town of Corfu the island has a lot to offer and the natural beauty and the sights are more than worth it.
Past in the Present
Corfu the past lives in the present. Events that are celebrated for hundreds of years are still celebrated in the same traditional way. The four processions for Holy Spiridion are very popular occasions. The two processions which take place at Easter form part of a series of religious and cultural events, this included “throwing pots” on Saturday morning before Easter. In summer there are many village festivals with traditional music and dancing, while the lambs turning on a spit and give a special smell and feel to the warm nights.
Corfu is a fantastic destination for hikers. Not for nothing is it called “the greenest piece of Greece” and “flower island”. The combination of nature and culture make it a walker’s paradise. In spring and autumn all kinds of flowers are blooming.
Corfu has 15 philharmonic bands, performing in the streets and giving concerts many times a year. Corfu Town, the vibrant center of the island, is on the UNESCO heritage list. In the town are a number of museums.
Swimming and Diving
Corfu is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea, in this region called the Ionian Sea. The seawater is very clear (especially on the west side of the island) and in the summer and autumn has a lovely temperature. So it’s good swimming (and snorkeling) here. On the west side there are rocks, between large and small coves. In these bays is often found a beach.
The nearby village Liapades has 15 beaches. Some of them are only accessible by boat, but some also by car, bicycle or on foot.
Corfu has a very extensive system of roads and paths. In addition to an extensive network of paved roads, there are many dirt roads, passing through olive groves. So it is a great island to cycle around. For the gravel roads is a mountain bike the most suitable. However, you must have a bike with many gears. An easy drive can be found in the plain of a former lake: the Ropa Valley. A bike ride through this valley and the villages along it requires less effort. Also, to reach Corfu town by roads is easy. When you go to the north, you have to cross the ridge via the Troumbeta Pass. Very nice but tiring.