Last updated on May 2nd, 2021 at 09:15 pm
Mouse Island (Pontikonisi)
Everybody knows the picturesque Mouse island or Pontikonisi as the locals call it, at the entrance of Gulf of Halikiopoulos, front of the airport runway, along with the neighboring Vlacherna.
It is the most characteristic landscape of Corfu.
Mouse island is the first thing that every new visitor sees when approaching Corfu airport, it sits literally in the geographical center of the island, very close to the town, between Kanoni peninsula, Perama, and Benitses
On the top of this tiny rocky islet, there is the 11th century Byzantine Church of Pantokrator surrounded by dense vegetation, It takes some effort to climb the many steps needed to reach the monastery.
Due to the fact that Pantokrator church was actually a monastery with monks, visits to the monastery are restricted except only on the 6th of August, when the Church is celebrating.
But in reality, the church remains open to the public all year round. The rest of the island can be visited too at any time via some small boats that sail regularly from the beach below Kanoni and the Vlacherna island.
Today, there are no monks living there, but the gentle staff of a small cafe bar that is on the island. These can be considered as the only residents of Pontikonisi.
This tiny island is a peaceful place, full of greenery and an ideal spot to relax for a couple of hours. Τhe ticket for the boat to take you there cost no more than 2€
The name probably came from the size and especially the shape of the island as it looks from above, although in our opinion the island even with a large dose of imagination does not look at all like a mouse.
Another theory says that in the 11th century in the monastery there were many monks from the Pontos area, so in the beginning, the name was Pontonisi that transformed to Pontikonisi, sounds more convincing about the origin of the name.
The island also resembles a boat, so the following mythological approach suits nicely.
Homer tells in Odyssey, that Phaecians (The ancient Corfiots) helped Odysseus (Ulysses) to return home to Ithaca transferring him there with one of their boats, the gods became displeased by this and transformed the returning ship into stone when it entered the port and before the sailors could disembark.
This petrified boat according to Greek mythology is the Mouse Island.
However mythology is not reality, Pontikonisi along with the next to it Vlacherna which is a flat tiny islet connected with the land via a small bridge, is extremely picturesque and together with the surroundings is the most known scene that since many decades identifies Corfu worldwide.
It is a small islet opposite Pontikonisi and it is connected with Kanoni via a 300 meters small walk-path.
On Vlacherna islet there is a Church with a nice high bell tower, devoted to Virgin Mary, constructed in the 17th century as a replica and named after Panagia Vlacherna in Constantinople.
The Church has an impressive woodcut temple and beautiful frescoes inside.
Vlacherna islet is small, only about half the size of Mouse island but it looks about the same because most photos are taken from Kanoni with which is closer.
Photos from Mouse island and Vlacherna
See more Sights in Corfu
Mon Repos Palace is a neoclassical building at the east of Paleopolis, the Corfu ancient city.
Built at 1830 by the British Commissioner Sir Frederick Adam in the beginning of the peninsula of Kanoni opposite the ruins of Paleopolis….… Read More
Another example of the high capacity of Venetians in fortification, and an architectural marvel of art built by the Venetians and with the physical labor of the inhabitants from 1576 until 1645… Read More
This was originally a natural promontory offering in its rocks protection for the residents of the 5th century AD when the ancient city of Corfu was moved here after the destruction of the ancient city by the Visigoths.… Read More
Annunziata, a monument of pan-European significance. At the intersection of Evgeniou Voulgareos and Vrahliotis streets in Corfu, is the Annunziata, a church devoted to the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary as well as to Santa Luccia, it was the Catholic Church of Lontsiada as the Corfiots knew it.… Read More
10 km south of the city and three kms north of the village of Benitses on the edge of the village of Gastouri sits the beautiful Achilleion(Achillion) Palace.
It was built by Empress Elizabeth of Austria who became known as the sad queen Sisi.… Read More
If you fancy a journey in your imagination explore the site of the ancient city of Corfu, known as Paleopolis (Old City).
It was discovered after archaeological excavations during the last century. The city was founded in the 8th century BC by Dorian Greeks from Korinth.… Read More
Due to rich historical and cultural heritage, the museums in Corfu are many and offer a wide variety of exhibits from Neolithic times to the present, there are also cultural museums dedicated to the rich intellectual life of the Ionian Islands, a bright example is Corfu Reading Society.… Read More
On an island like Corfu, with huge rainfall and rich and inexhaustible water table, one would expect that the water supply of the city of Corfu with plenty of good quality water would be an easy task, but this is not the case.… Read More
Roman remains are not something many visitors associate with Corfu, but traveling around you can get glimpses which show you that their occupation was definitely not a quick holiday stop! Many conquerors have left their marks on the island.… Read More