What Was Corfu Called in Ancient Greece?

Corfu is a Greek island located in the Ionian Sea, off the northwestern coast of Greece. It is known for its rich history, picturesque landscapes, and stunning beaches.

However, what was Corfu called in Ancient Greece? Let’s take a closer look.

The Name of Corfu in Ancient Greece

In ancient times, Corfu was known as “Korkyra” or “Kerkyra” in Greek. This name derives from the mythological figure of Korkyra, daughter of Asopus and river nymph Metope. According to legend, Poseidon fell in love with Korkyra and abducted her, taking her to this beautiful island.

Ancient History of Corfu

Corfu has a long and rich history dating back to ancient times. It has been inhabited since the Paleolithic era but it wasn’t until the 8th century BC that it became an important center for trade and commerce.

During this time period, Corinthian colonists settled on the island and established a powerful maritime state known as Korkyraean civilization. The city-state prospered through trade with other Mediterranean powers such as Egypt and Carthage.

Corfu in Mythology

As previously mentioned, Corfu has a strong connection with Greek mythology. Apart from Korkyra herself, it is also said that Odysseus landed on the island during his long journey home after the Trojan War.

Legend has it that he was offered hospitality by King Alcinous who ruled over the island at that time. The king’s daughter Nausicaa fell in love with Odysseus and helped him return to Ithaca.

The Legacy of Ancient Corfu

The legacy of ancient Corfu can still be seen today through its many archaeological sites such as the Temple of Artemis, the ancient city of Palaiopolis, and the Roman Baths.

The island has also been influenced by various civilizations throughout its history such as the Venetians, French, and British. Today, Corfu is a popular tourist destination that attracts millions of visitors each year.


In conclusion, Corfu was known as “Korkyra” or “Kerkyra” in ancient Greece. Its rich history and mythology have left a lasting impact on the island’s culture and heritage. From its Corinthian settlers to its connection with Odysseus, Corfu is a fascinating destination for anyone interested in ancient Greek history and mythology.