Corfu is the second largest of the seven Ionian Islands. Otherwise known as Kerkyra, the island is rich in culture and history. Dubbed the emerald isle, Corfu is one of the greenest islands in Greece. We’ve collated a list of our favourite trivia and facts about Corfu, take a look below! History lovers this is for you 🧭⏳
1/ The birth of Prince Philip 👑
In 1921, The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, was born on the island of Corfu. There is a small metal plaque beside the entrance of Mon Repos Palace, commemorating his birth.
2/ Corfu and occupation ⚔️
Whilst the island was occupied by the Romans, Byzantine Empire, the Venetians, the French and the English, Corfu is the only Greek island which successfully resisted several occupation attempts by the Ottomans.
3/ The invasion of Corfu 🏰
During WWII, Corfu was invaded by Italy, as part of Mussolini’s quest to reinstate the Roman Empire. After Italy’s surrender in 1945, the German’s sent around 5000 of Corfu’s Jewish population to Auschwitz.
4/ The origin of the name “Kerkyra” ✒️
The Greek name for Corfu, Kerkyra, is related to two gods in Greek Mythology: Poseidon, the god of the sea, and Asopos, the god of the Asopus rivers. According to the myth, Poseidon fell in love with the nymoh Korkyra (daughter of Asopos), and abducted her.
5/ Gold for olive ? 🕊️
During the 1300s and 1700s, legend has it that the villagers were paid a gold coin for every olive tree that they planted. There are now estimated to be as many as 4 million olive trees on the island, with 3% of the world`s olive oil coming from Corfu.
6/ Corfu is home to a world heritage site 🏆
The Old Town of Corfu is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The fortifications and buildings here, which go back to the 8th Century BC and the Byzantine period, constitute an architectural example of outstanding universal value.
7/ Kumquats 🍷
Corfu is famous for its kumquats, a small orange like fruit, native to Southeast Asia. It was brought to Corfu by the British botanist, Sidney Merlin, in 1860. Kumquat liqueur is a trademark of Corfu, and has a very sweet and slightly acidic taste. Be warned, it is very potent!
8/ Mouse Island ⛰️
If you travel to Corfu by plane, the island of Pontikonissi is one of the first things you’ll see. Its name translates literally to “Mouse Island’, due to the island’s mouse-like shape. It’s very small, and the only building is a Byzantine chapel built in the 11th or 12th century.