Παλαιοκαστρίτσα (Palaiokastritsa meaning old castle place).
Palaiokastritsa is located about 25 km from Corfu Town (15 km from Gouvia).
Consists of two headlands and five small coves. Beautiful surroundings, wonderful nature.
There is also a tiny harbour in the bay of Antypas where fishing boats anchor and yachts pass by. It also has a very attractive underwater world.
Beautiful scenery, and it gets more and more beautiful the higher you climb.
There are two places you have to visit while up there. The Monastery of Palaiokastritsa (Theotokos Monastery) and Aggelokastro, a Byzantine fortress.
This Byzantine Monastery dates back to 1225, however the current complex, the cells of the monks and the yard date from the 18th century. The monastery has a small ecclesiastical museum with rare Byzantine icons, holy books and other relics. Inside the monastery you can see a traditional olive oil press, also there is a small shop where you can buy olive oil, soaps and similar products. The road to the monastery passes through a forest of olive trees and cypresses.
The view from the monastery is wonderful and in the foreground one can see a small island that lay claim to being the petrified boat of Odysseus. There is also another legend; it says that during the Middle Ages Saracen pirates slipped into harbour to plunder the monastery. The abbot who saw the, went into the main church and made a plea to the Virgin Mary. When he went back, the miracle had happened. The pirates and their ship turned into stone.
The main church is very small, but worth the visit. Whether you are religious or not it doesn’t matter.
Just a reminder, if you are visiting the monastery you will have to cover yourself, a t-shirt and a skirt. If you’ve just come from the beach at the entrance you are able to borrow some clothes to wear. It doesn’t cost anything but it is proper to give a small contribution.
Outside the monastery you can find a lot of small souvenir stands, a beautiful garden and a few domestic animals. There is also a restaurant where you can sit down, have a meal or a coffee break and enjoy the view.
There are two beaches nearby, both small and pebbly and the water is
not warm cold! But it is so refreshing. Small tour boats can take you to various caves; blue and other, nearby beaches and so on. Take a chance, you never know what you will see.
In 2013 I took a small boat trip (a tour) to see the Blue Cave and the end of the tour was at “La Grotta Bar” founded in the late 60’s. The bar is very… what’s the word… hmm.. chill :) Have a beer, have a snack and just enjoy being there.
Unfortunately I didn’t go up to see the remains of the fortress (as mentioned before, no car, only two feet ). But there will be other opportunities.
The castle was built around the middle of the 13th century. Aggelokastro is one of the most important fortified complexes of Corfu. It was an acropolis which surveyed the region all the way to the southern Adriatic and presented a formidable strategic vantage point to the occupant of the castle.
The forts’ main purpose was to actually protect the inhabitants from the pirates and from the Venetians. For a little while it served as the island’s capital because the governor actually lived there. In 1403 from the castle, the locals successfully fought against the pirates of Genoa and kept the castle their own.
Further down hidden in a cave in a rock there is the chapel of (Ayia Kyriaki) St. Kyriaki. This was originally a hermitage and then converted into a chapel.
Hope you enjoyed it.
Good night from me :)