A lovely boat trip across the Ionian will take you to the island of Corfu. It is the second largest of the Ionian Islands, and, including its small satellite islands, forms the edge of the...
A lovely boat trip across the Ionian will take you to the island of Corfu. It is the second largest of the Ionian Islands, and, including its small satellite islands, forms the edge of the north-western frontier of Greece
The island's history is laden with battles
and conquests. The legacy of these struggles is visible in the form of castles
punctuating strategic locations across the island. Two of these castles enclose
its capital, which is the only city in Greece to be surrounded in such a way.
As a result, Corfu's capital has been officially declared a Kastropolis
("castle city") by the Greek government. Corfu was long controlled by
Venice, which repulsed several Turkish sieges, before falling under British
rule following the Napoleonic Wars. Corfu was eventually ceded by the British
Empire along with the remaining islands of the United States of the Ionian
Islands, and unification with modern Greece was concluded in 1864 under the
Treaty of London.
Corfu is a very popular tourist destination. Up until the early 20th
century, it was mainly visited by the European royals and elites, including
Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany and Empress Elisabeth of Austria; today it is
also widely visited by middle class families (primarily from the UK,
Scandinavia and Germany), leading to mass tourism. It is still popular with the
global elite however, and in the island's northeast the homeowners include
members of the Rothschild family and Russian oligarchs
In 2007, the city's old city was designated for the UNESCO World Heritage List, following a recommendation by ICOMOS.