Belles on Location

Corfu Part Three: A Trip to Mouse Island

Last Updated on

Part Three of Krista’s travels to Corfu:

It was a gloriously hot day in Greece as my friends and I decided to leave our pool side oasis and start exploring the beautiful island of Corfu.

Cybermetes Krista ("cybermetes" is the Greek work for boat captain!)

As we tossed around ideas, my brother mentioned a place called Mouse Island. As soon as he spoke those words, I simply had to see it. Who could resist such a name?

I was especially excited when I learned we had to take a boat to get there. I love boat rides and take one whenever possible. Whether it’s a simple Washington ferry or a Venice gondola, if there’s a boat ride available, I’m taking it. So off we went, clambering down smooth stone steps to the beach and securing two Euro tickets from an obliging chap in a floppy hat. Imagine my delight when he not only gave us a ride, but handed the wheel over to me!

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

According to legend Mouse Island was formed when the ship that had taken Odysseus back to Ithaca on route to its home port was turned to stone by Poseidon. Poseidon was angry at being defied by the Phaeceans.

 

I loved it! The sun glinting on the water and cool breezes tossing my hair as we bobbed over the waves to Mouse Island. Also known as Pontikonisi, Mouse Island is a tiny spot of land a short distance from the Convent of Vlachernas. It is known for the marvelous 11th or 12th century Byzantine Monastery of Pantokrator that’s blindingly white winding staircase looks like a mouse’s tail from a distance.

The bright white tower Monastery of Pantokrator is often referred to as the mouse's tail. What was originally named the island of Pontikonisi was called Mouse Island because from a distance the small island resembles a mouse.

We eagerly climbed out of the boat and spent a happy 45 minutes on the deserted island, exploring to our hearts content. The Monastery itself sits at the top of the mouse tail staircase and has commanding views of the nearby hills and shoreline. The rest of the island is given over to lush meadows, towering trees, and a trail that meanders along the rocky coast.

A trail winds its way around Mouse Island's Rocky Coastline

 

It was worth every bit of that two Euro ticket.

*All photos by Krista Bjorn

About the author

I am a wood-burning artist, goat farmer, writer and photographer of all things food, travel, and lifestyle. Born in Canada, raised in the USA, and shaped by my European roots, I now live on a goat farm in Queensland, Australia with my husband, where I celebrate anything that leads to healing, thriving, and loving. For more visit: Rambling Tart

This article has 7 comments

  1. barbara

    There is a Rat Island in Auckland (NZ) harbour. It is the shape of a rat.

  2. Gourmantic

    I like the historical aspects behind the name. They make you think about travel in ancient times.

    Enjoying your posts on Corfu, Krista 🙂

  3. Krista

    That’s so cool, Barbara! 🙂 I was in NZ but never made it to Rat Island. Will have to do that next time. 🙂

  4. Krista

    Me too, Gourmantic! 🙂 I love the stories behind things too. They make stone walls or white-washed buildings so much more interesting. 🙂

    I’m so glad you’re enjoying these posts! Thank you for reading! 🙂

  5. Pingback: Blinded by the Beauty of Corfu

  6. Saviour Pirotta

    Hi, Nice pics but you have two major errors in your piece. The monastery is not actually on Mouse Island. The building with the mouse tall staircase leading up to it is a small chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The rock that legend has it is Odyyseus’ petrified ship is actually in Paleokastritsa. Just thought you might want to amend.

  7. KEYVAN

    Hi.thanks for lovely pictures.There is also a very beautiful peacock which lives in mouse island too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *