Corfu (Kerkyra in Greek) is one of the most popular destinations for tourists in Greece. This is the northernmost and second largest island of the Ionian group, with an area of 593 square kilometers and population of approximately 108,000 inhabitants.
Corfu is divided into three parts by two mountain ranges. The northern part is mountainous, the central is hilly and southern - flat. The climate of the west coast is more moderate than that of the east, but generally the island is characterized by hot summers and mild winters the rain season lasts from October to April. On the northern coasts winds appear frequently and form waves. The southern waters are calmer.
It is believed that the island was named after the nymph Korkira who, according to mythology, was kidnapped by Poseidon and forced to live on the island. The name Corfu has been given the Venetians who ruled the island from 1401 to 1797 and left their style in architecture. The island was conquered also by French and German, and in 1944 it was returned to Greece and program for its development as a tourist destination started.
The capital of the island is called Corfu Town(Kerkyra). Other better-known villages are Paleokastritsa, Kavos, Sidari and Kasiopi.
Corfu can be reached by sea or by air. The island has an International Airport - Ioannis Capodistrias, and fast ferries with the name Flying Dolphins connects Corfu with the Greek town of Igoumenitsa on the mainland and the town of Sarande, Albania. The ferries going from Igoumenitsa to the island arrive either at the port of Corfu Town, or the port of Lefkimi in the southeastern part of Corfu. The ferries which arrive at the capital`s port are bigger and more expensive the ones that travel to Lefkimi are smaller and cheaper and the journey takes about half an hour less.
Local transport on the island is well organized and if you do not have a car you can travel by bus from one place to another at very affordable prices.
Places of interests to visit (beaches are not mentioned here) are the capital Corfu Town (with its old town, the fortress and other monuments), the large water park Aqualand Corfu (15 km from the capital), Achilleon Palace built for the Austro-Hungarian Empress Sissi, which now functions as a museum (10 km south of Corfu Town), Paleokastritsa with its famous coves and landscapes, and the old fortress Angelokastro. Speaking generally, the western coasts are sandy, wide and larger but the resorts are more peaceful. Eastern resorts are located next to each other, they are more populated but the beaches are either pebbled or mixed.
Caution: On the island there are several places with duplicated names, so be very careful when you book and make sure you go to the right place. Some tourists are surprised in the last moment when they find out that place at which they arrived is actually 60 km from booked one. Corfu has two resorts called Agios Georgios, one is on the northern coast and the other one - on the southwestern. In the northern part of the island there are two villages named Agios Stefanos, one on the eastern coast and the other one on the western. Also, the resort of Agios Gordios is often confused with Agios Georgios which is quite different location, although both are on the western coast.