Corfu

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WorldMediterraneanGreeceIonian SeaCorfu

An online cruising guide for yachts sailing to Corfu.

Corfu
There are Port(s) of Entry here
39°36.278'N, 019°50.726'E Chart icon.png
lat=39.60463 | lon=19.84543 | zoom=10 | y
Greece Kerkyra S.jpg
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Corfu from Space

Corfu or Kerkyra (Κέρκυρα) is the northernmost and second largest, after Cephalonia, of the Ionian Islands. Its area covers 592 km2 and the length of the island is 217 km. It is mountainous with the highest mountain being Mt. Pantokrator (914 m) but there are several flat areas, the largest being the Ropa valley. There are two lakes: Korission and Antinioti, and four small rivers, often dry in summer at Potamos, Sidari, Messogghi and Lefkimi. The climate is mild without being bitterly cold in winter and the summers are humid. The heavy rainfall and the high humidity encourage the profuse growth of vegetation. Therefore, the island has a lot of greenery, even in the summer. It is the most densely populated area in Greece after the great urban centers of Athens and Thessalonica. According to the latest census figures, the population of the island is 105,000 with 35,000 people living in the town. In addition, it is the single most popular tourist destination in Greece, with over one million visitors to the island annually.

Berthing options on the island include the capital and main ferry terminal, Corfu Town, the small harbours of Kassiopi on the N coast of the island, Petriti on the SE and Palaiokastritsa on the NW coast and numerous attractive anchorages, especially those of Agni, Kalami, Kouloura and Ayios Stefanos at the NE tip and Ayios Yeoryios on the NW coast.

Charts

BA
206 Corfu: Channels
Imray-Tetra
G11 Nísos Kérkira to Nísos Levkas
NIMA
54280 Corfu Channel to Nisis Proti
Greek
2 Ionio Pelagos
10 Kerkyra
211 Kerkyra I. - Otranto Strait

Weather

Passages

Islands

  • Paxos or Paxoi - to the S of Corfu
  • Othoni - to the N of Corfu
  • Erikoussa - to the N of Corfu

Communication

  • Coast Guard - VHF channel 12
  • Olympia Radio - VHF channel 02, 03, & 64

Also see World Cruiser's Nets.

Navigation

See individual ports.

Entrance

If you are entering or exiting Greece you can either go to Corfu Town or to Gouvia Marina. The latter is generally easier for yachts.

Note: It is not necessary to berth in the marina to visit the Port Police. Many yachts anchor in the bay on the north side immediately before the buoyed channel into the marina.

Some non-EU flagged boats paid €30 and some paid €45 to Customs during the clearance process, and all paid an additional €15 to the Coast Guard for issuance of the Transit Log in April 2017. Receipts were provided.

Berthing

Ports

Key to symbols: |Port of entry icon – port of entry |Marina icon – marina |Anchorage icon – anchorage ||
  • Corfu Town Corfu Town /wiki/Corfu_Town Port of entry icon – port of entry |Marina icon – marina |
  • Kassiopi Kassiopi/wiki/Kassiopi Anchorage icon – anchorage |
  • Petriti Petriti/wiki/Petriti Anchorage icon – anchorage |
  • Palaiokastritsa Palaiokastritsa/wiki/Palaiokastritsa Anchorage icon – anchorage |

Marinas & Yacht Clubs

Anchorages

Gouvia

Gouvia/wiki/Corfu#Gouvia
Anchorage icon Gouvia [[Corfu#Gouvia|Gouvia]] (Γουβιά) 39°39.394'N, 019°51.302'E

Gouvia Bay is located five 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. Yachts are not permitted to anchor in the bay, but may anchor in the bay of

Ormos Kammeno immediately N of the entrance to Gouvia Bay. The location is convenient for visiting the Port Police in the nearby Gouvia Marina and also for the chandleries, shops, laundry outside the marina. Depths generally 6.0 – 10.0 metres. Holding is good in mud and weed. The anchorage is subject to water skiers and other power boats from the hotel at the east end of the bay. Gouvia Marina, one of the oldest in Greece, is the safest place to leave the boat for any period and explore this lush island.
Anchorage at N end of Agni Bay

Agni

Agni/wiki/Corfu#Agni
Anchorage icon Agni [[Corfu#Agni|Agni]] (Αγνή) 39°44.221'N, 019°55.937'E

Agni bay is the first of the anchorages on the NE tip of Corfu, heading N from Corfu Town. The S part of the bay is lined with tavernas, some with long jetties to the end of which a yacht may anchor and take a line with care. Depths at pier ends are 2.5 metres not the 4 metres advertised by the patrons. Most yachts tend to anchor off in depths of 8.0 – 10 metres. It is also possible to take a long line ashore on the S side, but this will leave you beam on to any swell. The holding is good in sand, mud and weed. Shelter is good from the prevailing NW winds, but, like all the anchorages along this coast, it is open E and S and is likely to be untenable in strong winds from that quarter. Also, like all the others, it is subject to swell from passing ferries and ships. Alternatively, it is possible to anchor with care off the small beach at the N end of Agni Bay. There is really only room for one yacht to anchor fore and aft here in 7.0 – 8.0 metres, but 2-3 can fit in if they each take a line ashore to the E side of the cove (the W side is steep-to and there is little to take a line to). Be careful to avoid the small mooring buoys used by visiting day boats. Depths here are 3.0 – 3.5 metres at 10 metres off the rocks. The holding is good in sand and weed once your anchor is through the weed. There is a cliff path from here round to the tavernas at the S end of the bay. Shelter is good from the prevailing winds, although an occasional heavy swell enters from passing ships.

Agni Bay tavernas


Yachts anchored in Kalami Bay

Kalami

Kalami/wiki/Corfu#Kalami
Anchorage icon Kalami [[Corfu#Kalami|Kalami]] (Καλάμι) 39°44.522'N, 019°56.147'E

Kalami Bay is the next anchorage on the NE tip of Corfu, heading N from Corfu Town. It is the biggest of the anchorages here and can take perhaps 10-15 yachts before it begins to get crowded. Anchor 50 metres off the beach in 5.0 – 8.0 metre depths in sand and weed. Good holding once through the weed. It is also possible to take a line ashore to the rocks in the NW corner, where there are iron posts set into the rocks just S of the water skiing pontoon. The White House Restaurant, former home of the writer Lawrence Durrell, is excellent and well worth patronizing. Other tavernas, cafes and three good supermarkets ashore. Shelter is good from the prevailing winds, although an occasional heavy swell enters from passing ships.

White House Restaurant, Kalami Bay

Kouloura

Kouloura/wiki/Corfu#Kouloura
Anchorage icon Kouloura [[Corfu#Kouloura|Kouloura]] (Κουλούρα) 39°44.750'N, 019°56.480'E
Kolouri Bay is the third of the anchorages, just round the headland from Kalami Bay. Although a very beautiful little bay, the only suitable spot for anchoring, on the S side of the bay just N of the tiny small craft harbour, is now occupied with mooring buoys. Anchoring on the N side will make you unpopular (at least in the season) with the locals as it is a favorite swimming spot. Further out, clear of the beach, depths are 15 – 20 metres and only suitable for a lunch stop. One taverna ashore.
Ayios Stefanos from the anchorage

Ayios Stefanos

Ayios Stefanos/wiki/Corfu#Ayios_Stefanos
Anchorage icon Ayios Stefanos [[Corfu#Ayios Stefanos|Ayios Stefanos]] (Άγιος Στέφανος) 39°45.941'N, 019°57.034'E
Ayios Stefanoss or Agios Stephanos is the fourth and most northerly of the anchorage, lying about a mile N of Kaolouri Bay. It is around 500 metres SW of the dangerous reef of Ifalos Serpa, which extends 200 metres off the shore. The inner part of the bay is partly protected by a short breakwater, but depths in this part are too shallow for most yachts to anchor at barely 2.0 -3.0 metres. It is possible to anchor in the outer part of the bay in 4.0 – 5.0 metres, but more than five yachts at anchor here and the bay becomes crowded. Shelter is good from the prevailing winds, although an occasional heavy swell enters from passing ships. It also feels a little bleak in the outer anchorage. Cafes and tavernas ashore and limited provisions.

Ayios Vroulias

Ayios Vroulias/wiki/Corfu#Ayios_Vroulias
Anchorage icon Ayios Vroulias [[Corfu#Ayios Vroulias|Ayios Vroulias]] (Άγιος Βρουλιάς) 39°47.155'N, 019°56.205'E
Ayios Vroulias is an open bay on the N side of Corfu. It is sheltered from W-SW-S-SE. Anchor towards the SE end of the bay as there is more sand bottom tha in the W part. Good holding in sand and weed.

Ayios Yeoryios

Ayios Yeoryios/wiki/Corfu#Ayios_Yeoryios
Anchorage icon Ayios Yeoryios [[Corfu#Ayios Yeoryios|Ayios Yeoryios]] (Άγιος Γεώργιος) 39°42.697'N, 019°40.261'E
Ayios Yeoryios or Agios Georgios is a large and open bay on the NW side of Corfu, sheltered from the prevailing NW winds but open to the S-SW. The bay has a very slowly shelving sandy bottom and a long sandy beach. Anchor in 5.0 – 6.0 metres at the NW end for the best shelter from the prevailing winds. Holding is good in sand and weed.

Amenities

Also see each port above.

Facilities
Water At Gouvia Marina
Electricity At Gouvia Marina
Toilets At Gouvia Marina
Showers in Gouvia Marina
Laundry
Garbage ?
Supplies
Fuel At Gouvia Marina
Bottled gas ?
Chandlers
  • Gouvia Marina: they have a surprising variety of stock and can get most anything delivered from Athens next day
  • Corfu Town: has most of what a yachtie needs
  • Boatmans World: just outside Gouvia Marina is well stocked
Services
Repairs Gouvia Marina: It is small but excellent
Internet See individual port entries.
Mobile connectivity Good 4G signal.
Vehicle rentals At Corfu Town & Gouvia Marina

Provisioning

See individual port entries.

Transportation

  • Flights - Scheduled and charter flights to the UK and other European countries. Domestic flights to Athens. Sea-plane to Patras. Please note that in the winter, flights are often canceled.
  • Ferries - Frequent ferries to Igoumenitsa on the mainland. Also ferries to Patras in the Gulf of Corinth and international ferries to Italy.
  • Buses - It is possible to get on a bus in Corfu that will take you to Athens. This can be more convenient than taking the ferry to Igoumenitsa and then having to find the bus station there.

Eating out

See individual port entries.

Tourism

History

According to Mythology, the name of Kerkyra in Greek is derived from the nymph Korkira, daughter of the Asopos River. Mythology says that Poseidon, the god of the sea, fell in love with the nymph, kidnapped her and brought her on the island which took it name. Homer’s “Odyssey” relates the island to one of the adventures of Ulysses. It is the island where he met Nausicaa, the daughter of the King Acinous.

The first Greek settlers were Eritreans from Euboea in the 8th Century. Later, a group of refugees from Corinth came on the island and founded a colony. The town, trading with all the towns of the Adriatic Sea, quickly became an important commercial center with a powerful navy. It also developed an important colonial activity and became independent from Corinth. The two towns became competitors and many conflicts took place between them. During an important battle, Corfu asked for help to the Athenians. The Athenian support to Corfu was one more reason for the rise of the Peloponnesian Wars. The alliance between the two towns lasted for almost a century when the Macedonians, under Philip II, won a decisive battle in 338 B.C.

The Macedonians conquered Corfu and put it under their protection. The island, in 300 B.C., was attacked and conquered by the Spartans. They were followed Illyrians and then by the Romans.The Romans ruled on the island from 229 B.C. until 337 A.D. During their rule the island had some autonomy but, in return, Corfu had to allow the Romans to use the town’s port and ships. Around 40 B.C., two Christian disciples of Saint Paul, Jasonas and Sossipatros brought Christianity on the island, built the first Christian church which was dedicated to Saint Stefanos and preached Christianity.

In 285 A.D. the Roman Empire was divided into the Western and Eastern Empires. The Eastern Roman Empire became later the Byzantine Empire and included the island of Corfu. The Byzantine period lasted until 1267 A.D. During this period, the island was constantly attacked by pirates, barbarians, Goths, and Saracens; no constant peace could be established.

The island also fell for a short period under the rule of the Normans and then Venetians. Half a century of peace followed the Venetian rule when a new threat from Sicily arose. In 1267, Charles of Anjou, the French King of Sicily, conquered the island of Corfu and attempted to replace the Orthodox religion by the Catholic. The Angevins dynasty persecuted the Christians Orthodox and all the churches were converted to Catholicism. The attempt of converting the people to Catholicism failed and the island of Corfu fell again, in 1386, under the Venetian rule. The Venetians were on the island from 1386 until 1797 while the rest of the Greece was under the Ottoman rule. During that period, the island was victim to many pirates’ attacks. The island had a feudal organization and was divided in three classes: the nobles, the bourgeoisie and the commoners. The nobles’ exploitation of the majority led to constant insurrections which were severely suppressed.

In 1797, after Napoleon Bonaparte conquered Venice and after the treaty of Kamboformio was signed, Corfu became part of the French State. Napoleon Bonaparte came on the island as a liberator and burnt publicly the “Libro d’Oro”, the book enumerating the Noble’s privileges. Two years later, in 1799, the fleet of the alliance of the Ottomans, the Russians and the English defeated the French and disembarked on Corfu.

On March 1800, the Septinsular Republic was established in Constantinople but the attempt failed in 1807 when the island was ceded to France again. It was a period of prosperity with agricultural improvements. The Ionian Academy was founded, schools were built and the public services reorganized. During this time, the English started occupying other Ionians Islands and finally occupied Corfu in 1815. The occupation was made official after the Treaty of Paris in 1815. During their occupation, the Greek language became official, new roads were built, the water supply of the town was organized and the education system improved with the founding of the first Greek University in 1824. Although the island of Corfu has never been controlled by the Ottomans, the inhabitants offered financial help to the rest of Greece which was still under the Ottoman rule and helped them to make the Greek Revolution for Independence.

The Ionians Islands were finally unified to the newly built Greek State in the 21 May 1864. In the 20th century, the island participated as the rest of Greece in the two World Wars. The island suffered great damages and the Ionian Academy, the Library, and the Municipal Theatre were burnt down.

Places to Visit

The whole island is interesting, if overcrowded. It is best to rent a car or a scooter and allow a few days for exploration. Many of the inland villages are most attractive. Corfu Town itself is a bustling center of activity. In the evening the old town becomes very much alive with numerous restaurants, cafes and bars setting out tables in every conceivable bit of space.

Friends

Contact details of "Cruiser's Friends" that can be contacted for local information or assistance.

Forums

List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)

Links

References & Publications

Comments

We welcome users' contributions to the Wiki. Please click on Comments to view other users' comments, add your own personal experiences or recommend any changes to this page following your visit.

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