Corfu, the island of the ancient Phaiakes, last stop of Ulysses on his long journey back home to nearby Ithaca, is a jewel of unparalleled beauty decorating the northwesternmost reaches of the Ionian Sea. The imposing castles with their nigh-impregnable walls, the traditional hamlets with the winding paths ?the so called ?cantounia?- the hospitable inhabitants with their unique temperament, and the notable musical and artistic heritage, create an atmosphere that quickly mesmerizes the visitor. The modern city of Corfu, capital of the island, combines harmoniously the romantic element with the cosmopolitan atmosphere, and attracts visitors from all over the world. Its tourist infrastructure is among the best in the Mediterranean. The prefecture of Corfu comprises of the Diapontia islands, the Paxi, and the Antipaxi. The population of Corfu is 111.975 residents, while it extends over 611 sq.km.
History - Culture
For those who seek an indication of how old the history of Corfu is, Homer provides them with an entire rhapsody of The Odyssey to answer their questions. This was once known as the Island of the Phaeacians, an ancient Greek tribe whose traditions and lifestyle is described as Homer relates how they displayed their hospitality to Ulysses. And though these tales come forth to us reflecting events dating as far back as the final two centuries of the 2nd millennia BC, it is evident that people have been living on this island since the Paleolithic period, while the island"s first significant period of prosperity is noted during the 8th century BC, when first Euboeans then Corinthians, settled in Corfu. Later on, Corfu developed remarkably to excel in navigation and agriculture, building a strong economy. It eventually became a celebrated member of the Athenian alliance, while in 302 BC it was turned into a Spartan military base. After it spent a short period of time under the rule of the legendary Dimitrios the Besieger, the island was invaded by the Romans who finally occupied it in 117 BC. Other important events that mark the history of the island are the raid of the forces of the infamous pirate Barbarossa in 1537, and the construction of significant buildings and fortresses by the Venetians, who had the island under their control during most of the middle ages. Corfu changed hands many times, and in 1864 ?the year when Corfu and the rest of the Ionian Islands were returned to Greece from English rule- it was finally reunited with Greece. The island has made invaluable contributions in the fields of education, literature and the arts, as major as great figures of these fields graduated from the noted academies established in Corfu.
An island of grace, glamour, beauty and charm, Corfu is a place that exudes a magnitude which distinguishes it as a cosmopolitan canter. In addition to the marvelous beaches and the abundance of rare natural beauties, visitors can also admire a great number of monuments dating back to the Middle Ages or much further into the past, as there are also many archaeological sites. All these establish Corfu as nothing less than a tourist"s paradise. One would have to compress 588 sq.km. of sights in a few lines of text in order to give a complete image of the island, which of course is not possible. Therefore, only an indication can be given of some of the most interesting sights that can be found in Corfu. The capital city with its historical centre is captivating. There is the old and the new Venetian citadel, the renowned palace of Mon Repos, the Ionian Academy and its surrounding environment. Visitors should not miss the noted "Lion of Menekratis", which is one of the most significant works of Corinthian art (7th century BC). In Aghios Gordios one should visit the "Balloon" (cliff with a remarkable view), and then the Canal of Love in Sidrai (an idyllic beach), as well as the lake of Antinioti in the area of Arahavis. Besides, there are many remarkable churches scattered all over the island, monasteries, picturesque villages and ruins dating back to the Neo-classical and Middle Ages. There is hardly anything more that a visitor can ask for when it comes to the island of Corfu and the alternatives it offers to any demanding visitor.
Corfu, a most popular destination for tourists from all over the world, has been always considered among the most developed tourist resorts in Greece and it is only natural that the island has been distinguished for its excellence in the fields of accommodation, entertainment, sports and shopping. The market areas on the island are impressive, offering such a variety of quality goods and services matched only by that found in large urban centers. there is a wide range of entertainment facilities such as bars, pubs, night clubs, taverns, and restaurants, accommodations of the highest standards, and a renowned luxurious casino. Smaller settlements, especially those built along the coastline, offer small or large resorts that can wonderfully accommodate thousands of visitors, pubs and bars, taverns, small markets and other entertainment opportunities. In addition to these, there is a fine road network and a convenient transportation service, as well as a number of specialized services provided in almost every major area. As for sports, visitors can find diving schools, water ski schools, and water sports activities on most of the beaches. There are also tennis courts in Kerkyra and in the upper-class hotel units of many different areas, basketball and volleyball courts, golf courses in Ropa, and football fields. Traditional festivals being held on the island are welcoming and colorful, and they take place quite frequently. Visitors are advised to try the local specialties such as the kumquat drink and sweets such as bergamot and nougat. Hand made ceramics, traditional yet fashionable, are works of art.
All year round flights are carried out to Corfu from Athens and Thessaloniki while there is bus service from Athens and Thessaloniki to Igoumenitsa from where ferries sail to Corfu. Ferries sail from Patra and Igoumenitsa to Corfu all year round.
There is a plane connection with Athens and Thessaloniki all year round. Ferryboats and speedboats link Corfu, Igoumenitsa, Sagiada, Lefkimi, Paxi, Amfilochia, Preveza and Brindisi (Italy) with frequent services.
In the capital one can find an Archaeological Museum with significant findings (statues, pots, idols etc), a Museum of Byzantine and post-Byzantine Art, a Maritime and Military Museum, a paper-money museum, the Museum of Asian Art and finally, the Dionysios Solomos Museum. In Aghios Gordios, one can visit the Historical-Folk Art Museum. The Museum of Ioannis Capo d"Istria is situated in Alikes (with personal articles and heirlooms on display).
Ecotourism, agrotourism, spiritual, cultural, caving, gastronomy, archaeology, sporting, (trekking, parapente, water sports, sailing, yachting, scuba diving, horse riding).
KERKYRA AREA CODE: 26610-
TOURIST POLICE: 26610-30625
TELECOMMUNICATIONS ORG.: 26610-30099
POST OFFICE: 26610-39604
PORT POLICE: 26610-33096
NATIONAL TOURISM ORG.: 26610-21521
PORT AUTHORITIES: 26610-33906, 23876
ΡΑΔΙΟ ΤΑΞΙ: 33811 - 33812 - 41333
ΝΟΣΟΚΟΜΕΙΟ: 45811 - 5