Corfu (Greek: Κέρκυρα, Kérkyra) is a Greek island, the second largest of the Ionian Islands, in the Ionian Sea. Its northern part lies off the coast of Sarandë, Albania, from which it is separated by straits varying in breadth from 3 to 23 km (2 to 15 mi), including one near ancient Butrint. Corfu’s southern part lies off the coast of Thesprotia, Greece. The island is part of the Corfu Prefecture and includes twelve out of the sixteen municipalities or communes in the prefecture, also comprising the communities of Ereikoussa, Mathraki, Othonoi, and Municipality of Paxoi, which all represent different small islands, known for their beauty.
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Sailing Holidays Corfu
Corfu – Κέρκυρα – Kerkira is the northest and most important of the Ionian Islands, and is situated only 1 nm away from the coast of Albania and the Greek region of Epirus (mainland Greece). It houses one of the main charter bases for most yacht charter companies, and offers gentle green uplands in the south and rugged limestone hills in the north, rising to 911 m in the double peak of Pantokrator.
Lefkimmi port, is 24 nmi from Paxi, just “around the corner” you will Benitses, where you can moor, and enjoy the local tavernas and amenities. Later on, you can sail towards the famous Pontikonisi(in English “Mouse Island”), and then towards the Old Fort, where there is a marina. You can spend some time admiring the old town of Corfu before heading to the main port where the ferries and cruiseboats dock. Finally, in Gouvia Marina, the first private marina in Greece, you can find a place among more than 1.200 boats, while being close to the airport in case it is your “end station”.
History of Corfu
Τhe present name of the island is believed to derive from the Greek “Koryphi” (meaning “Peak”), which was its name during the medieval period.
From 1386 to 1797 Corfu was held by Venice, thereafter it was briefly part of the Napoleonic empire; and in 1815, along with the rest of the Ionian islands, it was assigned to Britain. It was reunited with Greece in 1864. In the course of its eventful history the island was frequently devastated and plundered, fact that resulted into preserving few relics of ancient or medieval times.
The island’s capital, Corfu (Kerkira), is beautifully situated on a promontory on the east coast, dominated by the Neo Frourio (New Fortress). The ancient city is farther south. Corfu is the seat of both a Greek Orthodox and a Roman Catholic archbishop.
Ports and Local Amenities
The old harbour of Corfu just east of the customs harbour, has the best shelter for the prevailing northwest winds.
Gouvia marina is a major base for skippered, crewed and bareboat yacht charters in the north Ionian sea. The other bases are Lefkas and Preveza, further south.
Gaios is the principal port of Paxos Island. On the islets off the harbour are a Venetian fort and the former Monastery of the Panayia. You can moor right in the middle of the busy touristy scenery of this charming place.
Near Corfu you will find the westernmost place in Greece and largest of the Diapontian Islands, the island of Othoni. There you can discover picturesque villages and ruined Venetian castles, definitely worth visiting.
Paleokastritsa – on the West side of Corfu Island – is a lively and attractive tourist resort dominated by the Monastery of Panayia Theotokos on a high crag. Near the village there are seacaves. From here it is a 1.5 hours climb (with guide; stout footwear required) to the ruined Angelokastro Castle ( with lovely panoramic views). Lots of caves can be reached by tender or RIB.
For those pursuing scenery views, you can climb to the summit of Mount Pantokrator to enjoy the beautiful view of the surroundings and an abandoned monastery of 1347.
The village of Kondokali – adjacent to Gouvia – is nowadays more German or English than Greek. Fortunately, the facilities are excellent. Gouvia is located 5 nm north of Corfu town and features a Venetian arsenal of 1716.
From the harbour you can either go towards the east, passing by the old royal palace, or south-east along Odos Nikiforou, the town’s busy main road.
An attractive excursion from Corfu town is to the villa of Akhillion, 16 km to the south. This Italian Renaissance style villa, situated on an altitude of 145 m, has magnificent gardens and boasts panoramic views. Three kilometres further south, is the charming fishing village of Benitses and its remains of a Roman villa.
The Corfu Yacht Club is usually for member only, but the smaller Naok Yacht Club at the other side of Cape Sidhero has a few berths for visitors.