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Corfu was colonized by Corinth in 734 BCE, but developed into a powerful State, which threatened the mother city. A naval victory by the Corinthians over the Corcyraeans in the Sybota Islands (probably round the mouth of the River Kalamas, which is now silted up) was a major factor in the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War. In 229 BCE the island was captured by Rome, and when the Empire was finally split in two in 395 became part of the Byzantine Empire.
The medieval name of the island, now the accepted English name, is believed to be derived from the Greek Koryphi (Peaks).
From 1386 to 1797 Corfu was held by Venice, thereafter it was briefly part of the Napoleonic empire; and in 1815, together 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, so that it has preserved few relics of ancient or medieval times.
An attractive excursion from Corfu town is to the villa of Akhillion, 16 km south. This villa in Italian Renaissance style, situated at an altitude of 145 m, has magnificent gardens and panoramic views.
Three kilometres further south is the charming fishing village of Benitses and its remains of a Roman villa.
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.
Gouvia is located 5 nm north of Corfu town and features a Venetian arsenal of 1716.
One can climb to the summit of Mount Pantokrator for a 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 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.
↑ Aerial photo Gaios on Paxos island.
↑ Aerial photo Gaios on Paxos island - closer in.
↑ Aerial photo Gouvia bay on Corfu island.
↑ Aerial photo Lakka on Paxos.