If you seek to experiencee the magic of Corfu don't foget to visit some of its villages . On foot, on horseback, by bike, by motorbike or by car, leave the crowded beaches behind you for a while and indulge in genuine Corfu. In turn, it Corfu knows very well how to reward its lovers .
There are more than 100 villages and estates in the green environment of Corfu Paxoi Othonoi, Erikousa and Mathraki . Their character varies, according to their era of habitation. They can refer to the Byzantine era , to the Venetian era as well as to the popular architecture of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, while there can also be found traces of ancient or Roman era .
There are large villages, small fishermen's villages, settlements of immigrants or local residents with golden seals of Byzantine Emperors and Despotes. Centers of old powerful families or shelters of desperate bread-winners, the villages and settlements of Corfu have old stories to tell you , with pirates , publicans , rulers and slaves, conquerors and saviours, mortals and immortals .
The stone-made houses , the traditional square with the coffee shops , the neat churches , but mostly the hospitable, sweet people will enchant you and will make you feel at home .
Coming to Corfu and not visiting Afionas, is like going to Venice and not seeing the canals and the Rialto.
The traditional village of Afionas surrounds a peninsula at the bay of Agios Georgios at northwestern Corfu, thirty five km away from Corfu town and the airport. You will arrive after a picturesque journey through small villages and olive groves .
Only 7 km west of Corfu on the street to some of the most famous beaches of the island (Agios Gordios, Glyfada, Ermones) you will find the village of Agios Ioannis . Stop for a while at the village with the quiet small square and the picturesque tavern of Kostas, which has been working for 100 years (it first opened in 1908 ). Here bike riders from Northern Europe gather in the evening, as the village is a meeting point for cyclists .
A picturesque big village with old and new buildings. A tiled street leads to the Monastery of Pantokrator, on top of the hill and to the "Cave of the Sea", a cave which the locals say that it communicates with the sea.
The village was built in the late 16th century, after the attack of Barbarossa , who destroyed the original village" Zygonos ", which was at the wider region of the fertile field near the castle of Gardiki .
The castle belongs to the period of the Despotate of Epirus (early 13th century) and its shape is octagonal , with towers in every corner. If you see the fortifications of the castle, you will discover that they include part ans material of ancient temples.
The surnames of the inhabitants witness that they are descendants of the defenders of this castle .
On a hill in central Corfu, at a height of 440 metres, a few km of Corfu town and the airport, there is the traditional village Agios Prokopios , a village with approximately 400 permanent residents and a history of at least 700 years . The name is a lot more recent than the village itself, as for more than five centuries it was known as Psoraroi or Psorarou. In 1936, the
On the eastern part of mountain Istoni , next to the street from Corfu to Palaiokastritsa , at a height of 170 metres there is the traditional and well preserved village Doukades . It is 20 km away from Corfu town and the airport and approximately 4 km from Palaiokastritsa. A village at least four hundred years old .
The mountainous landscape of mount Pantokrator, with the thick vegetation giving it place to bare rocky scenery will charm you on your way up to Episkepsi, one of the larger villages on the slopes of the mountain.
Through olive groves, the village has majestic mansions and picturesque houses, pretty coffee shops and paths with stone tiles.
At Carnival several customs take place here , the most important of which being the ï Byzantine custom of the Priests' Dance.
Gaios is a picturesque village by the sea , and it is the capital of Paxos. Its picturesque port is hidden behind two tiny isles. On the former, the "isle of Virgin Mary " or " Nissaki ", there is the pretty and historic monument of " Panagia Bellianiton ". The latter , Agios Nikolaos, is the natural jetty of the port and it hides away the town and the boats from the ship passing by . On Agios Nikolaos isle there are two small churches, Agios Nikolaos and Agios Ioannis and the old Venetian castle (1423).
The picturesque village chosen by the Emperess of Aystria, Sissy, to find peace and the appropriate climate that would be beneficial for her damaged health. Here many important Corfiot families kept their country houses. The palace of the Emperess gave new life and wealth to the village which is today full of mansions and summer houses of the 18th and 19th centuries with distinctive marks of luxury .