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The Origin of the Island's Name

The island of Corfu is called Kerkya in Greek. The most popular explanation for the origin of the name is based in Greek Mythology.

Poseidon (see photo below) is supposed to have fallen in love with the beautiful nymph Korkyra, who was the daughter of Asopus, an important mainland river, and Metope, who was a river nymph. He abducted her - which seemed to be quite common practice with the gods at the time - and took her to an unnamed island.

Being completely in love with her, Poseidon named the island after Korkyra, and this gradually evolved into Kerkyra. They had a child called Phaiax, and the inhabitants of the island were thereafter named after him - Phaikes, which later evolved into Phaeacians.

So now you know!


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