Edward Lear vividly describes the magic of Corfu: "Anything like the splendour of olive-groves and orange-gardens, the blue of the sky, the violet of the mountain, rising from peacock-wing-hued sea and tipped with lines of silver snow, can hardly be imagined ..."
The island of Corfu (also called Kerkyra) is one of the most popular destinations of Greece and attracts every year thousands of visitors.
Corfu is the northerly of the Ionian Islands group and lies at the entrance of the Adriatic Sea, in front of Albania. The island is the second largest of the Ionians after Kefalonia. It has an area of 592 sq. km, a coastline of 216 km and a population of approximately 120.000 inhabitants, 30.000 of which are living in the capital.
The island is characterised by a Mediterranean mild climate with lot of rainfalls in winter. There is, for that reason, dense vegetation and an abundance of wild plants. The island is considered as the greenest in Greece. Literally drowned in vegetation, with rich olive groves, thickly wooded hillsides and marvelous beaches, Corfu.
The capital and main port of Corfu is the largest town in the Ionian Islands. It is one of the most elegant and impressive towns in Greece and has an architecture influenced by all the civilisations that once occupied the island such as the Venetians, the French and the English.
It is a town of unique charm and character which reminds towns such as Naples.
More information about Corfu (city) can be found here.
Places to Visit
- The Museum of Asian Art: Being the only one of its kind, it was founded in 1927 after the donation of 10.500 items by Gregorios Manos. Until 1974 it was a Chinese and Japanese Art museum, but it was then enriched with other private collections. It is housed in Saint Michael and George Palace.
- Byzantine Museum: It is housed in the Church of the Virgin Mary Antivouniotissa and houses an interesting collection of icons and ecclesiastic items from the 15th to the 19th century.
- The Banknote Museum showcases a collection of Greek coinage from 1822 to the present day.
- Dionysios Solomos Museum: The national Poet of Greece left Zakynthos and moved to Corfu, important intellectual centre of the Ionian Islands in those years. Solomos lived in a state of self-imposed isolation, and Corfu offered him the ideal environment to work on his studies in poetry. Today his house hosts a museum dedicated to his honor.
- Casa Parlante is the most alive historical museum in Corfu. In the unique architectural setting of a classical mansion in the historic Old town of Corfu, the everyday life of the island's 19th century nobility is recreating.
- Mon Repos Estate, in the splendid park of Palaiopolis, houses part of the Archaeological Museum with exhibits from the ancient town of Corfu.
- The Old Fortress (Palaio Frourio): The Old Fortress, located on the eastern side of Corfu's (Kerkyra's) port, was built initially during Byzantine times. It was reinforced by the Venetians and later by the British. It had a moat and a draw bridge, which has now been replaced by a steel bridge that connects the fortress to the city. The most significant monuments in the fortress premises are: the central gate, the Savornian, Martinengo and Mandrakios ramparts, the land and sea towers, St. George's Church, the Roman Temple, the prison, the British hospital and the British barracks. The fortress is also home to several public offices such as the Municipal Library, the Archives, the Byzantine collection, the Conference Center, as well as the clock tower and the lighthouse.
- The New Fortress (Neo Frourio). The construction of the New Fortress in Corfu Town began in 1576 and was completed in 1645. The fortress overlooks the old port and is considered a masterpiece of fortress architecture. The most significant attractions of the New Fortress are: the British barracks, the underground stoas, water ducts, ammunition storage rooms etc. The Museum of Ceramic Art is housed here. Theatrical performances, exhibitions and concerts are also held on the fortress premises.
- The Byzantine Church of St. Jason and St. Sosipatros. A beautiful Byzantine domed church was built in the 11th century and filled with Byzantine art of the 11th and 12th centuries. The church is situated in Corfu Town (Kerkyra).
- Patounis Soap Factory. It is among the very rare factories that make soap the traditional way and the only one that he knows about is in Aleppo in Syria. The soap is produced with olive oil and caustic soda in heated tubes. Basic, pure and natural ingredients are used for the soaps and no additives are used unless specifically stated.
The climate of the archipelago of Corfu is warm Mediterranean. The summer is warm and relatively dry with a blue sky, often cooled by seasonal breezes, offering the ideal conditions for surfing, while rarely is it interrupted by rains. The mountainous areas are cooler. The winter is mild. Rainfall occurs mainly from November till March. On average, there are 3000 hours of sun per year with an average daily sunshine duration of 8.5 hours. Spring and autumn are the best times to visit Corfu. Conditions are once more ideal from the end of August until mid-October as the season draws to a close.
The average weather around the conference dates:
|Mean max. temperature (°C )||24|
|Mean min. temperature (°C )||13|
|Mean num. of raindays||11|
|Mean daily sunshine duration hours||7|
|Average sea temperature (°C)||18|
Shop's & Bank Working Hours
|Banks:||Daily from||08:00 - 14:30|
|Shops:||Monday - Saturday||09:00 - 14:30|
|Tuesday - Thursday - Friday||17:00 - 20:30|
Eating and Drinking
The most popular dishes of Corfu are:
- Pastitsada: The original version is cooked with rooster while the one from the city is cooked with veal. This dish is cooked with tomato sauce, garlic, onion, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, bay leaves, pepper and a little vinegar. It is served with thick spaghetti.
- Sofrito: Thin slices of fried veal with white sauce of white wine, lots of garlic and lots of parsley.
- Bourdeto: Fish, usually scorpion or dogfish, cooked in a sauce of onions, tomato and hot red pepper.
- Bianco: All kinds of medium and small fish and potatoes cooked in a sauce of garlic and lemon.
- Bakaliaros with Skordalia: pancakes of salted cod fish with very spicy garlic paste.
Wines: Corfiots are particularly proud of their island wines; among the best are wines such as Theotoki, Grammenos, Liapaditiko.
Tsitsibira, the Corfiot Ginger Beer. Ginger beer is a traditional and tasty refreshment drink that is produced only in Corfu. It was first introduced to the islands during the British rule (18th century) and it is made till today. It is mostly consumed in summer as it is very refreshing.
Koum Kouat. The Kumquat is a unique small tree bearing tiny oval fruits. Corfu is virtually the only place in Europe where kumquat is cultivated. It mainly grows on the northern part of Corfu. It is the only fruit of the Citrus family that is eaten with the peel, which is rich in essential oils and vitamin C. Its distinctive bittersweet zesty flavour makes it the perfect ingredient in deserts and salads and is a favorite for marmalades, sugary and other traditional sweets as well as liqueurs.