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Greece Travel Guide


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Corfu (Kerkyra)

Corfu town

Introduction to Corfu

The island of Corfu in the northwestern corner of Greece is among the greenest and in the eyes of many, among the most beautiful island in the country. With more rainfall than any other Greek island, there is a variety and abundance of plant life like few other places in Greece. Corfu lies only a few hours by ferry from Brindisi or Bari in Italy (rather longer from Ancona or Venice), and for many tourists it’s the first – or even only – part of Greece they see. Well, if you are only going to see one place in Greece, Corfu (also called Kérkyra) is not a bad choice. Some of the most amazing beaches in the Mediterranean are on Corfu, and while tourism has completely taken over most of the coastal areas, many inland villages are surprisingly unspoiled. On the eastern side of the island, facing Albania and Greek Epiros, the land slopes gently to the sea, though most coves and beaches are short and pebbly. But the western side is much steeper and more dramatic, with many coastal cliffs ending in secluded bays or more open, sandy stretches lapped (or not infrequently, lashed) by the Ionian Sea. Off the far northwest tip are three inhabited satellite islets, again with excellent sandy beaches.

The northern two-thirds of Corfu are hilly, with a summit in 914-meter Mt Pandokrátor, but south of the secondary peak of Ágii Dékka the landscape is much flatter. Cooler than most islands in the summer (though often tryingly humid), Corfu is a nice choice for people who are afraid they may not be able to handle the heat of southern Greece. It is also one of the most popular islands in Greece, and you will share it with lots of other people from mid-June to early September. But if you like people then you will find them in some of the most beautiful resorts and hotels in Greece. Corfu's six-month olive season is the longest of any island in Greece and lush vineyards cover the island. They also grow many other fruits and vegetables because of its climate and extremely fertile soil. Those of you who have read Homer will remember that this was his last stop before getting back to Ithaka a couple hundred miles south, and he could not wait to get home. But for some people Corfu is heaven.

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