Meet CORFU


THE PREFECTURE
The prefecture of
Corfu (Kerkyra) is situated in the Ionion Sea at 19 22E and 20 06E lat. and 39 96N and 39 54N long. It includes the island of Corfu, the islands of Paxos, Antipaxos and their smaller islets Discalia, Panayia and Exolithro all of which are found to the south of Corfu whilst the outlying islands, Othoni, Ericousa and Mathraki are situated to the northwest. The west coast of Othoni is also the westernmost point in the State of Greece.
The prefecture of Corfu covers an area of 634 sq. km. and has a population of 107592 (1981) , equivalent to 167,9 residents per sq. km.Corfu is the seventh largest Greek island, and the second largest after Cephallonia of the Ionion islands. It is found in the north of the Ionion Sea, opposite the coastline of both Greece and Albania, separated by the Corfu Channel. Corfu itself has an area of 592,1 sq. km. and a coastline of217 sq. km.

GEOLOGICAL STRUCTURE
The terrain is varied. In the north Mount Pantocrator rises to 906m., in the centre smaller hills rise to 576m., while in the south a series of hills, not rising to more than 250m., stretch down the island ending at the headland of Asprokavos (south) and Lefkimis (southeast). In no particular arrangement, large valleys dot the landscape , characteristically like the one around lake Korission situated close to the southwest coast.

CLIMATE
The island enjoys a mediterranean climate with mild winters and refreshing summers. However humidity is high owing to warm southwesterly winds (especially in the winter when winds can reach 8 Beaufort) and northwesterly winds (like the "maistro" of summer reaching force 4 Beaufort) causing heavy rainfall from time to time apart from the mid-summer months. The annual rainfall for Corfu (1,183mm) is the highest in Greece.
The relaxing but rich coutryside, the glorious beaches and many other wonderful sights have made Corfu one of the most beautiful islands in the Mediterranean and one of the most often-visited places in Greece.

ECONOMY
The economy of the island is mostly based on agriculture and tourism (the last few years have seen a reversal of this situation), and there has been a reduction in the development of industry, manufacturing, pastoral farming, trade, merchandise and fishing. Mineral wealth, on the other hand, is non-existant.

AGRICULTURE
Two- thirds of farmers are involved in olive cultivation, which stems from the time of the Venetian occupation.Olive groves cover one- third of the area of the island.

PASTORAL FARMING
Corfu is well-known for its dairy products such as butter and graviera cheese. However few people earn their income this way as in past times families did not have access to grazing land for cattle and sheep.

FORESTS
Forests cover 4% of the total area of Corfu.

MANUFACTURING AND INDUSTRY
During the 60's efforts were made to develop industry chiefly in the agricultural sector with the creation of olive-mills, soap factory ,a rope manufacturer, paper mill and various outlets selling dairy products. Today many of the above have diminished.

FISHING
Much fishing is done in the rich fishing grounds off the south of Corfu whilst in the north lobster is caught.

BEEKEEPING
The rich flora of the island combined with the cultivation of trees have helped develop the beekeeping industry, producing top- quality honey thereby improving the position of the farmer.

TOURISM
The development of tourism has led Corfu to hold the second place, after the Dodecanese, for the number of visitors. The income earned through tourism represents a significant part of the income for the residents and takes second place only to revenue from agriculture.

COMMUNICATIONS
Corfu has daily flights to and from Athens, with 3-4 flights in the summer and two in the winter. By sea Corfu is connected to Patras, the other Ionion islands, Igoumenitsa and the Italian ports of Ancona and Brindisi.Road connections within the island are good.

EDUCATION
Apart from compulsory education lasting nine years (Primary, Secondary,High) Corfu also has the Ionion University, Higher School of Tourism and Higher Nursing School.

RELIGION
The official religion of the Greek State is Greek Orthodox. Apart from Orthodox churches on the island there are also several Catholic, Protestant , Anglican, and Jewish churches as well as other smaller groups who meet regularly.