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Kerkyra Island - Podikonisi

Kerkyra, also known as Corfu, is located on the Heptanese and is the biggest Prefecture of the Ionian Islands region in terms of population. The extension of its area is 641 square kilometers and it has a population of 107,592 inhabitants. It is constituted by Kerkyra, the second largest island of the Ionian sea after Cephalonia, and by the small islands Othoni, Mathraki, Erikoosa and the group of the Paxi – Antipaxi islands.

Of all the islands of Greece, the one that lies the closest to Albania and Italy is Kerkyra and it is connected by boats to both countries. From a financial perspective, the largest percentage of the inhabitants of Kerkyra work in agriculture or in tourism. They mainly cultivate olives, vines, fruit trees, potatoes and citrus fruits. Kerkyra has an important animal production as well; bee breeding and bird breeding have also been developed. With regards to industrial production there are olive oil factories, weaving factories, paper mill factories, dairy products factories, industry of pasta and ship yards. However tourism is the Prefecture most important industry and the islands of Kerkyra have become cosmopolitan travel destinations, famous all over the world.

A green rock in the middle of the sea is Kerkyra’s trademark. The legendary Podikonisi, at the entrance of the Chalkiopoulo lagoon is one of the sights you can admire but you can’t touch. As it is a natural museum, visitors are forbidden to walk and stay on its grounds so that the virgin habitat is kept intact. If you insist on visiting the island you should know that you are going to stay there just for a few minutes and under the guards’ strict monitoring. Unless you are lucky and you are in Kerkyra on the 6th of August, day of celebration for the monastery "The Transformation of the Saviour", when you can visit for adoration. It is the only day of the year that it is allowed to enter the interior of the island.

The monastery, built in Byzantine Rhythm is the unique building of the little island. You can get to Podikonisi, only during the summer, by boat from the cosmopolitan Kanoni, a place where you can enjoy the enchanting view of the green island from anyway; from the island of Vlacherna, where the monastery of the same name can be found or from Perama. During the last years works of infrastructure have taken place there, the marina being one of them, so that the boats can park with safety.

Podikonisi, Kerkyra’s most photographed sight, got its name because of its tiny size. However due to its Lilliputian dimensions it holds a magnificent role in the myth. In Homer’s Odyssey we learn that Kerkyra, the island of the Feaki, was the last stop for Ulysses in his much afflicted journey back home to Ithaka. According to the myth, Podikonisi was Ulysses boat in reality, which the god Poseidon transformed during a storm into the green rock we all know.


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Thursday, July 18, 2013