Located at the entrance of the ancient merchant port, where the current Halikiopoulo
Lagoon is located, the planes fly over it, within spitting distance, to the adjacent Corfu
The origin of the name
This tiny isle with its special shape is said to have taken its name from the fact that,
from above, it seems to have the shape of a mouse. Of course there are reports that
Pontikonisi’s name was derived from the monks of Pontic origin whose presence is
recorded during the 10th century AD.
The Mouse Island and its myth
What the average visitor of Corfu may not know, is that apart from the uniqueness of its
shape, its name and its chapel, is that the island is inextricably linked to mythology.
According to the myth, Pontikonisi was the ship of Odysseus, which transported the
legendary king of Ithaca and hero of Homer's epic poem, to the island of Phaeacus.
Then, according to legend, in a terrible storm the boat washed up on the shores of the
island and the god Poseidon turned it into this green rock, giving it its name.
Pontikonisi as a source of inspiration
Like many parts of the island, the famous Pontikonisi is believed to have been a source
of inspiration for a well-known painting. The painting by the Swiss painter, Arnold
Böcklin, one of his greatest works, which exists in several versions, seems to be
modeled on this image which is the central theme of the painting.
The chapel of the Pantocrator
The island is best known for the unique Byzantine chapel of the Pantocrator, which
dates to the 11th century and is open to visitors only every year on August 6.
Of course, there are many visitors to Corfu who do not spend the necessary time to learn more
about the beautiful Pontikonisi, and often confuse it with the Monastery of Vlacherna.
Nevertheless, this tiny, rocky island is definitely worth a visit.
Take a boat from Vlacherna Monastery’s pier, on the Kanoni side, and live your own legend through your short trip to Pontikonisi.
There is an air of peace and tranquility about this gem just waiting for you to discover.