Plane Spotting Corfu Airport

Corfu, with its single runway, is one of the smaller airports in Europe. This runway is proudly called Runway 35 by the locals. How this single runway got its name is not clear – maybe it has the numbers 3 and 5 painted on the concrete. The runway of Ioannis Kapodistrias International Airport, as the airport of Corfu is officially known, is less than two miles long, which is actually really short. The rumour goes that it’s only the world's best and most experienced pilots who are able to fly to Corfu. That is what we call luck for the tourists and other travellers who want to visit Corfu.

Warm welcome at Corfu Greece

A nice detail is that a road passes the airport - perpendicular to the runway, which is less than a stone's throw away. On both sides of this road there are traffic lights. Some guests are visiting Corfu for the first time might frown a bit. Why does a straight stretch of road without a crossing have traffic lights? You must never ignore the red light or you will regret it. If an airplane takes off and the wind is south, it may just happen that your car is engulfed by the emission of the heavy roaring jet engines, which is quite an impressive noise and the heat is not healthy for either the car or its occupants. Therefore never break these lights. The simple fact that even the Greeks will stop for these lights, indicates that this is advisable.

Spectacular views at Corfu

pontikonissi corfuDespite the small scale of the airport, it is always busy, especially in the summer. Not surprising, since hundreds of thousands of tourists consider Corfu, this popular Greek island, as the ideal holiday destination. Given the small size of the airport it is therefore the ideal place to enjoy a couple of hours of plane-spotting. In Kanoni, just past the old Royal Hotel Corfu, there are a number of nice terraces where you can watch the flights coming and going. There you have - between spotting the planes - the chance to photograph Pontikonissi (better known as Mouse Island) and in the foreground the famous 12th monastery of our Lady of Vlaherna. The small islet of Vlaherna and its causeway is probably the most famous and photographed spot on Corfu. During the summer it is possible to take a boat ride from this causeway over to Pondikonissi and see the 13th century monastery there.
More spectacularly - in the eyes of this writer - is to walk on the dam below, right behind the runway and watch the aircrafts coming over you. If a plane starts from that side it may be advisable to wear a rain suit because of splashing water from the surrounding lake. This means that you can follow every step of the process easily without binoculars.

Leave a comment