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Pontikonissi/Mouse Island

What to do & see

According to some legends Mouse Island, or Pontikonissi as it is known locally, is actually the ship that brought Ulysseus to the Island of the Phaeacians, as the natives of Corfu were known in ancient times. The story goes that after a terrible storm, Ulysseus and his crew were shipwrecked right there, close to the ancient city, and Poseidon, wishing yet more revenge for the blinding of his son Polyphemus the Cyclops, turned the ship into stone, lest they use it to sail yet again. Stone ship or not, it is possible to visit Mouse Island by one of the little boats going there from the little quay next to the other great landmark you will find here, the Vlacherna Monastery, dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The monastery, built on a little islet and accessed by a short quay over the rocks, is arguably the most famous picture associated with Corfu, and its image adorns countless souvenirs and postcards. The best place to see all this, is from the Cafe up at Kanoni, where you can grab refreshments, coffee or icecream while watching the famous view. For those who are interested in plane-spotting, Kanoni also overlooks one end of Corfu Airport’s runway, allowing you to actually watch planes touch down or take off from a vantage point above. There is also a small bridge joining the Kanoni side to Perama, across the Chalikiopoulos lagoon. It is here, along the lagoon’s muddy shores that Gerald Durrell, then a young boy, took his first steps towards becoming one of the world’s greatest naturalists and conservationists.

Highlights

  • Mouse Island
  • Vlacherna Monastery
  • Airport/airplanes
  • Chalikioulos Lagoon

Getting Here

By car make your way towards the airport, and passing in front of it towards town you will see signs towards the right, leading the way to Kanoni and Mouse Island. By bus, first take the number 8 bus into town, stopping at San Rocco Square, make your way to the Liston Square and take number 2a bus from there to Kanoni. Alternatively you can also use one of the Hop-on/Hop-off bus lines, enjoying other sites and a multilingual audio commentary.