Lefkimmi is the second largest village on the island after the Town of Corfu. Lying at the southern tip of the island, Lefkimmi has essentially resulted from the unification of five villages (Riglades, Anaplades, Agioi Theodoroi, Melikia, and Potami). Its port connects southern Corfu with Igoumenitsa on the opposite coast. Daily ferry services, serve all those travelling from the mainland to the south part of Corfu and vice versa. The area is known from the ancient times. At the Strait of Lefkimmi took place the famous battle between the Corinthians and the Athenians during the Peloponnesian War. Lefkimi was also the scene of a rescue operation in World War II, when a Lancaster bomber crashed. Locals rescued the crew, hid them, and then led them to a safe place where they boarded on a British submarine.
Lefkimmi is set in a fertile plain full of olive groves, citrus trees and vineyards. A river runs through the eastern part of the town where local fishermen moor their wooden boats, creating a very picturesque sight. The paved piers are lined with cafes and restaurants where you can sit and enjoy a drink or a genuine Corfiot meal. Wandering through the narrow streets you can see old mansions, Venetian-style buildings, squares and beautiful churches. To a large extent, Lefkimmi has remained untouched by mass tourism and still keeps its old traditions. You can still see old women carrying goods on their donkeys in the streets and elderly men drinking ouzo in the traditional bars. It offers a good choice of bars and restaurants; however, you can hardly find any late-night bars and clubs. If you are keen on this kind of entertainment, go down to Kavos and you won’t be disappointed.
Near the village there is a lighthouse and a salt pan, an important wetland where flamingos, egrets, and many migratory birds stop to rest. The nearest beaches are Molou bay, just 2 kilometers away and Alikes bay. Lefkimmi is connected with Corfu Town with regular bus services. The small town is overall a quiet and relaxing place away from the cosmopolitan resorts of the island.
A large village with distinctive architecture, Sinarades has been declared a traditional settlement and truly, a stroll in its picturesque alleys is one you will never forget. Sinarades was built during the Byzantine years and probably its first residents came from Southern Italy. In 1669 refugees from Crete settled in the village. Even today in Sinarades the surnames ending in – akis, such as Vasilakis and Doukakis (Cretan surnames), are still maintained. In Sinarades you will find all the features of the local architecture of the Corfiot countryside: stone houses, roof tiles in the color of ochre of Byzantine type, small doors with embossed marbles, exterior, stone stairways, which end up to a veranda, the so-called «bonjo» and of course, the arches on the ground-floor of the houses.
Another distinctive characteristic in the architecture of Sinarades is the very dense layout of the houses which were stuck one to the other. In Sinarades there are 12 churches. In the center of the village dominates the three aisled basilica of Agios Nikolaos and Agios Spyridonas on which you will see an impressive, ecclesiastical organ that comes from Italy. In Sinarades is also situated the most significant Folklore Museum of the island which is housed in a traditional house where the visitors can admire the furnishings of the houses of the village from the 18th century but, also objects from the rural life during this era.
The village also has its own philharmonic which was founded in 1961 and participates to this day in all the important events of the region and the entire Corfu. Sinarades, which is built on a verdant hill, is situated above the famous Ai Gordis beach and Gialiskari but, it is not visible by the sea. From the position of «Aerostato» (Hot-air balloon) just outside the village, the view of the verdant coastline is enchanting. Just below this location is the verdant islet of Kyra Dikia, which was named after the church of the island, dedicated to Panagia. Off the islet of Kyra-Dikaia, on the northwest, there are two rocks in between, which according to tradition, fishermen had found the body of a bride which was kidnapped by pirates on her wedding day. Ever since, those rocks were called «The stones of the bride». Sinarades, which is at a distance of about 13 kilometers from the city of Corfu, is an ideal destination for those who wish to discover the Corfiot countryside and its villages. In the village you will find some hotels and rentable rooms, taverns and restaurants and also whatever you may need during your stay in a tranquil village.
4. Corfu (town)
Easter in Corfu is unique celebration that you have to experience even for once in your life for a number of reasons: the custom of throwing "botidon" where from the balconies of the houses and the streets the residents throw the canoes full of water for to make a big noise and to expel the evil, the "Lazarus Carols" in Campello, the reconstruction of the earthquake that followed the Resurrection of the Lord, the grandiose philharmonic of the island singing mourning marches and the fireworks in the evening of Anastasis in the crowded square. Together with many other unique customs in the world, they make the city one of the best destinations worldwide.
Kalami is a small coastal tourist resort on the northeast coast of Corfu, about 32 km from Corfu Town and 6 km from Kassiopi. The picturesque village is located in a lush area, chosen by many painters in order to capture its beautiful landscapes. For many years Kalami used to be the favorite destination and the place of residence of Lawrence Darrell, the famous author of the “Alexandria Quartet». The author's house, known as the white house, is described in the book "My family and other animals". The white villa operates nowadays as a guest house and a restaurant. The mansion of the Rothschild royal family is also located in the village.
Despite its prized reputation, Kalami still continues to maintain its sense of peace and beauty. Almost untouched by mass tourism, the area retains its pure character. Kalami is the perfect choice for relaxing vacations, families and excursions in nature.
Right in front of Kalami spreads a divine pebbly beach with crystal clear waters. A variety of water sports facilities are available, so if you like water adventure this is the right spot. Other than that, the sea around the village is a favorite spot of diving lovers due to the rocks in the sea and its amazing seabed. Along the waterfront there are many traditional tavernas serving fresh fish, small shops and cafes. Do not miss to visit the picturesque little port of Kouloura that lies almost 1 km away.
7. Palia Perithia
Palia Peritheia is situated on the attractive north east corner of Corfu, and just below Mount Pantokratoras, the tallest mountain of the island. The ruined village is the oldest example of the original mountain villages of Corfu. According to records it was first inhabited in the mid-14th century but it is believed to have been inhabited many centuries before.
Most of the approximately 130 stone houses of Palia Peritheia, built according to Venetian prototype, are now fallen into ruins. The village which is not visible from afar was built during the pirate threats in the Mediterranean and its houses are well hidden on the slopes of Pantokratoras, at an altitude of 440 meters. Approaching the ghost-village, surrounded by lush vegetation, you will feel the atmosphere of the past and you will step back in time wandering among ruined mansions covered with wild grass and trees, narrow stone paved alleyways and numerous old churches. It is said that the village was named after the many churches surrounding it in a circular way: peri (around) + theia (holy)= Peritheia.
It is worth visiting the old school, a building of special architectural interest. In Foros, the main square of the village, you will find tavernas serving delicious home-cooked meals during weekends in the summer months. Palia Peritheia was permanently abandoned by its inhabitants during the 60s when the last families settled in the seaside, contemporary village. In recent years an effort has been made for the restoration of many of the houses since the owners are trying to bring the village back in life. The village which is best visited by car is 8 km away from Kassiopi and 50 km from the city of Corfu.
Protected Historical Monument - ΦΕΚ 210/Β/1-3-1980
8. Old Town of Corfu
Protected Historical Monument - ΦΕΚ 445/Β/29-6-1970
The little village Lakones lies on the north west coast, about 25km from Corfu town. It is a listed, traditional, picturesque village with a long history, built on the slope of a verdant mountain, offering impressive views of the coves of Palaiokastritsa. Old stone houses of the 18th and 19th centuries on both sides of the narrow main road, cobbled streets, colored shutters and elderly women still wearing traditional Greek dresses, compose the scene of the picturesque village.
Although there is more than one theory as how the name derived, the most common one says that it came from the first inhabitants of the village who were from Lakonia in Peloponnese. On their trip to Southern Italy, they were caught in a storm and they settled on the coast, in the place where Palaiokastritsa lies now. But due to the fear of pirate raids they moved the village to the mountainous area. According to another theory the name derives from the Michala family with origin from Oitylo. This family was the first to settle in the village after being chased from Lakonia.
For hiking lovers there is a path that connects Lakones with Paleokastritsa. On the road towards the village there are plenty of viewing points and it is well worth stopping off to see the spectacular view. One of the most important attractions, is the Folklore Museum, housed in the building of the Music Club "Lakonites". It hosts a large collection of photographs, traditional costumes, everyday objects and archives. In Lakones you can find some traditional cafes and tavernas as well as a few small hotels and rooms to let.
10. Agios Stefanos
Agios Stefanos Sinion is a small traditional fishing village with a picturesque harbor. It is set in a peaceful bay, surrounded by verdant hills, on the northeastern coast of Corfu between the beaches of Kerasia and the famous Kassiopi from which it is only 3 km away.
Overlooking the Ionian Sea, Agios Stefanos has been established as a first-class resort. The majority of the accommodation is built on its slopes and is based in private villas owned by affluent Greeks and foreigners. The wider area from Barbati to Avlaki has been dubbed "Kensington-on-Sea" by the English press and media. It is named after the famous Kensington area of London which wealthy tourists prefer to frequent.
It is a quiet destination, with buildings that retain their traditional architecture. Combined with the more modern elements of the luxury villas, give the village a unique color. The village is an ideal destination for families and for all kind of people who seek peace and relaxation while enjoying the atmosphere of the lush and stunning landscape.
On the left side of the bay there is a small, pebbly beach where parasols and sun beds are available. Along the coast there are a few cafes and bars as well as some traditional tavernas, all ideally located on the harbor front, offering traditional food and fresh fish. The tiny village is quite far from the main road from where the buses pass, heading to Kassiopi and to the city of Corfu, so a car would be useful for local transportation and for exploring the picturesque villages and the beautiful unspoiled beaches around the area.
North of Agios Stefanos, are situated two important ecosystems, lake Akoli and lake Vromolimni, which are connected by a network of paths that lead to some of the most beautiful and secluded beaches of the island in the area of Erimitis. At the end of the trail is the tranquil Avlaki beach.
11. Agii Deka
The picturesque village of Agii Deka (Ten Saints) nestles on a hill some 150 meters above sea level, on the eastern slope of the namesake Agii Deka Mount, 15 km south of Corfu Town. The village was founded by Cretans who moved to Corfu after the conquest of Crete by the Arabs in 823 AD. It is believed that it was those Cretans who brought the icon of the Holy Ten Martyrs to Corfu, from where the village took its name.
Agii Deka is a quiet village that retains elements of its traditional Corfiot architecture with scenic alleys, old stone houses and shops. It is one of the most charming villages of the island with breathtaking views of the surrounding area, the neighboring villages, Corfu Town, and the airport. There is not much to do in Agii Deka, apart from wandering through the narrow alleys and tasting the authentic Corfiot cuisine in one of the traditional tavernas of the village. The village's beauty inspired Oscar Wilde in 1877 to write the poem "Santa Decca".