Corfu

Location

Corfu is the second largest of the Ionian Islands and, including its small satellite islands, forms the edge of the northwestern frontier of Greece. The island is part of the Corfu regional unit, and is administered as a single municipality. The municipality includes the island Corfu and the smaller islands Ereikoussa, Mathraki and Othonoi. The principal city of the island and seat of the municipality (pop. 32,095) is also named Corfu.Corfu is home to the Ionian University. Corfiotes have a long history of hospitality to foreign residents and visitors, typified in the 20th century by Gerald Durrell’s childhood reminiscence My Family and Other Animals.



The North East coast has largely been developed by a few British holiday companies, with large expensive holiday villas. Package holiday resorts exist on the north and east coasts. At the other end of the island, the southern resort of Kavos also provides tourist facilities. Up until the early 20th century, it was mainly visited by the European royals and elites, including Emperor Wilhelm II of Germanyand Empress Elisabeth of Austria; today it is also widely visited by middle class families (primarily from the UK, Scandinavia and Germany). With the advent of the jet airliner bringing these groups relatively affordable ‘package holidays’, Corfu was one of the primary destinations for this new form of 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.


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