To Lazareto! Sail until the doctor comes!

Sailing to Lazareto Corfu

To Lazareto! …

… Sailing until the doctor comes? …Anyway! Always! With Fabien for the first time. Fabien works as a technician in the marina, can sail, but was in the harness for the first time yesterday. After the first wobble in the familiarization phase, he was always safer and we could “board” over the waves to Lazareto at speeds of up to 10.5 knots! No, of course not to the hospital! Lazareto means a small island near Corfu. It is located about two nautical miles northwest of Corfu town in the bay of Gouvia, about 1.4 km from the east coast of the island of Corfu. It is a popular anchorage in front of Marina Gouvia.

Tracking while sailing to Lazareto
When sailing to Lazareto, my camera recorded speed and position. This data can be integrated in the video below or, as here, in a satellite image and thus visualize the speed. The color of the track indicates the speed. Quite publicly now my driving style … Bad turn angle, right? Monitoring? Not at all!

Eventful history of the islet of Lazareto

During the Venetian rule in Corfu, Lazareto served as a health and quarantine island and was given this name. The Venetians founded a monastery on the island in the 16th century, but only remnants have survived. The first leprosy station was built here later. After the conquest of Corfu by Napoleonic troops, the island was occupied by the Russian Navy and the buildings were used as a military hospital. At the time of the Ionian Republic, Lazareto was used again as a medical island. A concentration camp was established on the island during World War II and the island was also used as a prison island during the Greek Civil War (1946-49).

Lazareto today

Today there is a ruin of the Church of Saint Demetrius on the island. Former prisoners and descendants of the fatalities founded the Lazareto Association in 1976 and built a memorial for the victims of the shootings. The island is state owned and was designated a National Historic Monument in 1992.

Map of Lazareto on Google Maps:

[su_gmap address=”Lazareto, Griechenland” zoom=”13″ title=”Lazareto, Griechenland”]


Oh there it was the bad word again … Quarantine. Fortunately, the hard restrictions are largely over for us in Corfu. The curfew is lifted. Since May 5th, private boats up to 7 meters can be sailed again. But when you drive past the quarantine island of Lazareto, you start to think as you did today and then with epidemics and the sick. At that time it was the only way to bring the sick to an island and thus separate them from the healthy. Of course, Greece’s success in fighting the disease is also due to its topography. People live scattered on many small Greek islands and it is not really cramped here without tourists. Anyone who during the lockdown z. B. came to the island of Corfu, was placed in home quarantine. In the Middle Ages when this islet got its name, there were no vaccines. There was only one way: as a sick person you had to go to this island. There was only death or immunization in the midst of the dying.

Pest control today

Today, thanks to the Internet, knowledge about the spread of the disease can be exchanged worldwide within seconds. Searching for the vaccine is limited to months. And even without a vaccine, we are not thrown back in time by the Venetians and do not have to lock the sick to an island. Modern technology can provide security against the plague and at the same time freedom and economic development of society. Distribution channels from Corona can e.g. soon to be discovered and contained via app with Bluetooth. Yes, data creates transparency and also enables monitoring. But the price, whether it is simply a technical gimmick when sailing or ensures everyone’s health, is quite another.  The vaccination opponents and everyone who is now gathering in the marketplaces in Germany to demonstrate against the corona measures can be suggested the alternative before the modern age. How about a stay on a “plague island”? But please not our Lazareto near Corfu!