Paleokastritsa is one of the most famous places on Corfu. Bays and sandy beaches, olive groves, lush hills and rocks in the sea and dreamy bays for boaters form a wonderful backdrop that enchants visitors to the island.
Paleokastritsa is the area that everyone visits, even if they are only on the island of Corfu for 2-3 days. Especially the view from the top is magnificent superb. According to historians, Paleokastritsa was the capital of the island of the Phaeacians when Alcinus ruled.
Information about Paleokastritsa
Paleokastritsa is 25 km from Corfu Town and can be reached via the Corfu – Paleokastritsa National Road motorway. The area became famous due to the English travellers and artists in the 19th century who were inspired by the dreamy and romantic surroundings. The English also built the first road in the area, connecting the fortified monastery of Panagia (Virgin Mary) with Corfu Town.
Paleokastritsa began to develop after 1950, and tourist establishments, restaurants and accommodation began to appear.
The men’s monastery of Panagia of Paleokastritsa, which for years was the only building in the area, was founded in 1228 and houses a large collection of Byzantine relics and icons as well as a mammoth skeleton. In the courtyard there is a large fountain into which visitors can throw coins and make a wish.
Today, the monastery is visited by tourists, but not only for worship purposes. The area where the monastery is located offers a panoramic view of the Ionian Sea and is an ideal place to enjoy the beautiful sunset before heading back to the city.
The landscape of Paleokastritsa
The interesting thing about Paleokastritsa is that it has remained virtually unchanged by the huge tourist development. Although businesses have invaded this part of the island and built many hotels, bars and restaurants, Paleokastritsa is still the most lush part of the island with its forests and olive groves that harmonise perfectly with the blue sky and the sea.
There are six bays in Paleokastritsa. There is also a picturesque little port that resembles a classic and traditional fishing port of the Greek islands. Characteristic of the landscape is, of course, the turquoise waters of the Ionian Sea, as well as the beautiful sandy beaches. If you have heard the rumour that Corfu has cold water, it’s probably because of Paleokastritsa – the water is for the adventurous and those who are not put off by low temperatures.
However, Paleokastritsa owes its reputation to its seabed, as the rocks jutting into the sea form caves and underwater wells as the locals call them, which are a prime destination and attraction for divers from all over the world. From Paleokastritsa you can take a short trip by boat to see the beautiful caves and rock formations in the water.
You will also see the small island of Petrokaravo, which lies just outside the entrance to the small harbour. According to legend, Petrokaravo was an Algerian pirate ship that ran aground off the coves of Paleokastritsa after the prayers of the monastery’s abbot.