Few places in Greece have been photographed as much as the islet of Pontikonisi, or ‘mouse island’.
This small piece of land, which is a trademark of Corfu, is a stone’s throw away from the coast.
However, very few people know that the islet’s only permanent resident is a lucky peacock.
Brought in by a sea-taxi driver in 2008, the peacock, named Kaiser, enjoys his days in the serene surroundings of the islet which is full of tall cypress trees and other plants of rare beauty.
For this reason, this island is considered a natural reserve and it is not allowed for visitors to disembark for long, only spending a little while under strict surveillance by guards.
The name Pontikonisi derives from its shape because if someone sees it from high above, it looks like a mouse.
Pontikonisi has been associated with many legends over the years. One is about the ship that brought Odysseus to the island of Corfu. During a terrible storm, Odysseus was washed ashore and the god Poseidon turned his boat into the green island.
During the 18th century the now-ruined Monastery of Pantokratoras was built on Pontikonisi, with a church devoted to the Metamorfosis of Sotiros which is celebrated on August 6. On this day, as an exception, visitors are allowed access to the island for the religious celebration.