Paleokastritsa

Sun, sea, sand, and scenery – Paleokastritsa has it all and is said to be one of the most scenic spots in the whole of Europe. It consists of six picturesque bays with sparkling turquoise waters, backed by sheer cliffs cloaked in emerald green…

Situated 16 miles north-west of Corfu’s attractive capital, Corfu Town, the resort runs along the coast road that winds among the cliffs and sheltered bays. Paleokastritsa is a hilly place full of twists and turns and unexpected views able to amaze even the most demanding customer. This large resort area is on the west coast of Corfu island and consists of six beautiful coves with sandy beaches, surrounded by green forests and olive trees. Local tavernas are renowned for serving up the town’s delicious lobster catches.

Apart from the natural beauty of Paleokastritsa you will find that this part of the island is the most developed one with a variety of tavernas and accommodation hotel resorts  scattered around the area, offering you all the facilities that you may think of Paleokastritsa walks are up to the promontory farthest north to find the charming Theotokos monastery, the 13th century Venetian Castrizza San Angelo, and to the hills beyond. You can reach Aghios Georgios with its enormous beach by water-taxi.

History

With a very rich history and culture accompanying the island, Paleokastritsa has a lot to offer to every visitor. It is certain that Corfu has been inhabited since the Paleolithic Age as archaeological finds in various parts of the island establish. Because of its geographical position, in the area of the central Mediterranean Sea, it has always been of great strategic importance.  A succession of foreign rulers from ancient times to 1864 followed when all the Ionian islands were united with Greece. Romans, Venetians, French and British became rulers of Corfu during the centuries. The marks of all the different cultures can still be found today on the island and that is exactly the reason why taking a trip to Corfu is very much like taking a trip back to the history and culture of Europe.

Be aware that the name Paleokastritsa was given to the monastery, according to the legend, because the icon of the hypothesis of Virgin Mary was found on the uninhabited hill and in that particular place they built the church.

The most enchanting place on Corfu Island is without a doubt Paleokastritsa. The landscape is so beautiful that this was first place on Corfu to be touristically developed. Its name is taken from the ruined 13th century Venetian Castrizza San Angelo. A British high commissioner, Sir Frederic Adam loved Plaeokastritsa so much that he popularized it in the 19th century. Mythology has it that Paleokastritsa is a possible site of the Homeric city of Scheria, where Odysseys was washed ashore and was discovered by Nausica and her handmaidens and welcomed by her father king Alkinos. Paleokastritsa has many breathtaking views that you can choose from.

One must-see view is from Angelokastro. It’s a marvelous castle that was built by Michael Angelo in the 13th century, Despot of Epirus, this castle provided shelter and protection to the local population from slaughter during the Turkish invasion in 1537. There’s a narrow land bridge which is the only access to the castle from the land. If you take a vehicle and drive to the top it will be a view that will be embedded in your mind forever.

Another aesthetic view is located on the north headland of the area on top of a cliff where you will find a Monastery. There, you will see a peaceful sunset overlooking the Ionian sea. The Monastery in Paleokastritsa is believed to have been established in the 13th century though the current buildings date from the 18th century …

In the Monastery you will find a small museum with Byzantine and Post Byzantine icons, the most notable icon is the beautiful Dormition of the Virgin Mary, jewel-encrusted, silver bound bibles and other religious items of the Greek Orthodox ritual. You will also find a prehistoric skeleton of the so-called “sea monster” with very large vertebrae and tusks. It is said that it was killed by a fisherman in the last century. The real beauty on the Monastery is the complex courtyards, archways ( decorated with beautiful flowers), monks, cells, oil presses, and the storerooms. When coming to Corfu, Paleokastritsa should be a must on your itinerary. A natural interweavement of history, romantic sunsets, lush vegetation, and the beautiful beaches is just a treat for everyone. You can take one of the small boats for a scheduled cruise around the sea cliffs and caverns and you will feel as if you were in paradise. Another choice is, to rent a canoe or paddle boat and just have a slow sail around … Paleokastritsa is considered one of the best spots in Corfu and the rest of Greece, for snorkeling and scuba diving …

Landscape

Paleokastritsa has long been considered one of the most beautiful villages in Corfu and is offering a variety of goods and activities to the visitor. While on holiday in Paleokastritsa you will have the chance to enjoy the stunning scenery with its endless sandy beaches, amazing nightlife and of course enjoy the facilities of all the hotel resorts of the area.

The landscape around Paleokastritsa is still as beautiful as you will find in all of Greece. It is famous for its breathtaking beauty and magnificent scenery.

Sheer cliffs and rugged headlands are interspersed with coves or silver sand coiled between mountains cloaked in emerald green. If you head upwards on a long and twisting road, will arrive at “Bella Vista”. From here, perched high above Palekastritsa’s coves you can view the scene in all its magnificence.

Paleokastritsa Beaches

Paleokastritsa is known for its superb beaches, with blue-green waters and picturesque rocky bays. Apart from the main beach, there are narrow paths leading to other smaller coves, draped in olive, cypress and lemon trees. Rocks provide great points for diving, however, another popular activity is snorkeling. Although all beaches are public, the hotels with secluded coves and access via their properties tend to have sunbeds and sun umbrellas more readily available. Charges normally apply.

Paleokastritsa Beach

Beach location: Paleokastritsa consists of a series of deep bays and magnificent cliff-sides, on the west coast of Corfu. Follow the main road north from Corfu Town. At Gouvia, the road splits into two and you follow the left-hand fork, signposted for Paleokastritsa. This is another main road which takes you directly to Paleokastritsa’s beautiful series of green, tree-lined bays after about 20km. Disabled access: There are rising gradients throughout the resort. Most accommodation is on the top of cliffs, with stiff walks down to the sea. Not recommended for those with mobility problems, wheelchairs or heart conditions.

Car parking: There are large car parks at the harbor and, elsewhere, you may be able to cheat and park in a hotel’s car park. Otherwise, park on the roadside where possible.

Food outlets/restaurants: A wide selection of eating possibilities within a short distance of each of the bays. Sand/pebbles/shingle: A series of bays, each with its own character. Often pebbles or shingle with some sand. The beaches get very busy in the high season. Sunbeds/umbrellas: Yes.

Showers: Yes. For toilets use snack bars and tavernas. Safe for children: Most bays are relatively safe with placid seas suitable for novice swimmers under supervision.

Watersports: Yes. Main users: Tourists. Well cared for: Yes.

Mooring for boats: There is a small harbor which gets very busy. It’s also possible to moor off in the sheltered bays but you need to be extremely vigilant for rocks.

Next to quayside/harbor: Paleokastritsa’s harbor area is relatively unobtrusive in terms of its impact on the environment. Significant levels of boat traffic pass through, however.

Storm drains/outlets into the sea:  None observed.

Natural shady areas: Although the beaches themselves tend to be open, the hillsides that surround them are tree-lined, providing some shade. Any other facilities: Full resort facilities but spread over a wide area. Distance to main resorts: 0-3 km. depending on the location of your accommodation.

Public transport: Bus service and taxis prowl. Taxi rank at Paleokastritsa harbor. Blue Flag: No

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Angelokastro

A visit to Angelokastro (or Agelokastro) is a must if you have a vehicle. Angelokastro is a spectacular Byzantine castle that was built in the 13th century by Michael Angelos, Despot of Epiros, and provided shelter for the local population during many invasions. It protected the local population from slaughter during the Turkish invasion in 1537. It is built on a steep hill about 150 meters above the sea, and it is surrounded by water on three sides while a narrow land bridge provides the only access to the castle from the land. It offers beautiful panoramic views of the entire area of Paleokastritsa.

Arillas

Arillas is located at the northern end of the west coast of Corfu, in a distance of 39 km for the Town. It is a small attractive village, most visited by families and couples, who are looking for quiet and relaxed holidays. The beach is considered to be one of the most charming ones on the island. You can also visit one of the neighborhood beaches near to Arillas, such as Aghios Stefanos with shiny blue waters or Afionas, a small peninsula with clear crystal waters and enchanting view. From here one can also visit one of the nearby beaches, such as Aghios Stefanos with a long long and sandy with shiny blue waters, the pebbly beach of Afionas, a small peninsula with clear crystal waters and enchanting view or Aghios Georgios of Pagi with golden sand and the verdant landscape of Corfu for a backdrop. The beach has been awarded the Blue Flag.

From Arillas resort you can visit the Byzantine monastery of Paleokastritsa and islands like Paxos and Kefalonia by boat. Buses run to Corfu Town and Aghios Stefanos.

There are water sports such as windsurfing, sailing, and waterskiing however it can be rough when a west wind blows.

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Paleokastritsa Monastery

It was founded in the 13th century and stands on top of a cliff in an idyllic setting. It has a beautiful inner courtyard. It is a great place to enjoy a peaceful sunset overlooking the Ionian sea. There is a small museum in the monastery with Byzantine and Post-Byzantine icons and there you can see a skeleton of a mammoth (or some other prehistoric fossilized beast) in the center of it.

According to the legend the monastery was built in 1228 and there are many legends supporting this, but also written documents describe the common life of the monks. The hill provided a natural fortress, a barrier, a rampart for the protection of ‘Paleochora’, the name given to the original site of the village located on the eastern hill around Alipa Bay. The church of Paleokastritsa celebrates every Good Friday of Easter week, the day of Zoodochou Pigis and on that day the area becomes a magnetic pole for the inhabitants of the island and for the tourists as an opportunity of pilgrimage, local atmosphere, and fun. Concluding, of Corfu painters, carried on the tradition from the 19th century to our own times, proving that the island has a rich cultural tradition with a particular love in fine arts.

Paleokastritsa things to Do

Paleokastritsa Night Life

Paleokastritsa will certainly keep you busy. Night-life here is relaxed, with a good choice of bars, tavernas, and excellent seafood restaurants, as well as a popular disco on the outskirts of town. Find popular bars, as well as good nightclubs to the amazing resorts of Paleokastritsa, which is offering you the chance to experience unforgettable moments and combine relaxation and tranquility with an excellent quality of entertainment. For those who prefer the nightlife, bars with mainstream music and affordable prices keep Paleokastritsa awake for more fun.

Shopping

With a wide range of goods to offer, from top designer labels and exquisite haute couture clothes to the best local products from wine to leather clothes, Paleokastritsa has something to offer to everyone. An inspiring display of art and crafts can be found in shops all over the island. Be aware that you will find a variety of tourist places selling all local products which will undoubtedly amaze you! Excellent gift ideas for your close ones can be traced to the various shops of the island, but one thing is for sure, in Paleokastritsa even if you are not a shopping fanatic, you will definitely become one.

Favourite Walks

Visitors can head towards the marina where they can see some very luxurious boats. Overlooking the bay is also a 13th-century monastery, which is a very favorite destination. However, traffic spoils the atmosphere. In the monastery of Paleokastritsa, there are some rare icons. The wooden ceiling is also curved and there is also a bizarre sea monster. The most impressive attraction is considered the paved gardens which offer a magnificent sea view. The village Lacones also offers spectacular views and so the villages beyond, where there are some notable tavernas to visit.

Eating out/Dining

In Paleokastritsa, there are several good tavernas but they have not considered the best option because they are quite expensive and without children’s menus. There are also a few music bars on the edge of the resort. A nice place for relaxation is Petrino bar, a converted stone house with a small garden. It can be found at a distance of 1.5km east along the main road from the village. By the Lakones turning is Paleokastritsa’s one nightclub, the Palco Club, a small disco-bar with a garden, which opens and closes late.

Water sports in Paleokastritsa

Most places have water sports facilities that provide visitors with endless hours of fun.

You will find activities such as:

  • Pedaloes
  • Paragliding
  • Ring boats
  • Banana rides and trampoline
  • Horse riding
  • Mat rentals and snorkel gear
  • Water ski
  • Boat rides
  • Jet skiing
  • Kayaks

Who is the resort for

Despite the fact that the beach gets very crowded there is enough space to contain them without feeling too busy. Night noise can be a problem sometimes. Most of the people gather on the main beach, a relatively narrow horseshoe crescent of shingle backed by a large car park choked with coaches.

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wind: 2m/s W
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