Mount Pantokrátor 

Mount Pantokrator is the highest mountain on Corfu and it’s easy to drive to the top for spectacular views of Albania, Corfu, and even sometimes to Italy.

The View from Mount Pantokrator on CorfuThe View from Mount Pantokrator

It isn't just that Mount Pantokrátor is the highest point on the island. Visit the top and see the abundant wildlife, and the views which really make you appreciate the scenery in this part of the world, and you might understand why the monastery and mountain are named for Christ Pantokrátor: the Judge of All.

Top Tip

You might want to learn how to pronounce the name properly. The accent on the letter 'a' shows where the slight stress is on the word. In Greek all vowels are evenly stressed except for the one with the accent, which gets a little more emphasis and is usually the penultimate vowel in the word. So it's Panto-crater, and not Pan-tock-ratter.

The Dominating Mount Pantokrator

Flying into Corfu sometimes gives you a great view of its highest mountain, Pantokrátor. It is 906 m (2,972 ft) high, a whole 270 m (900 ft) higher than the second highest peak on the island, Áyii Déka. Its bulk totally dominates this north-east corner of the island, forcing the main road to stick very close to the coast, especially in a few places where the lower slopes come tumbling down almost to the sea.

Until recently, visitors had to walk to the top from one of the villages lower down, but a good concrete road now goes all the way from the village of Petália. It is a wonderful drive (see our Mount Pantokrator Drive), but many people still do hike up to the top for that personal sense of achievement.

Top Tip

You can drive right up the mountain these days, to the entrance to the monastery, but parking is along the roadside. The closer you go, the trickier it can be to turn round, and there are some steep drop-offs at the side of the road. Nervous types might prefer to park lower down, near a better turning point.

Numerous Orchids

Any time is a good time to visit the mountain and surrounding area, but the late spring months of April and May are the best times, when the flowers are really flourishing. The unspoilt slopes of Pantokrátor are a botanist's paradise at this time of year, and you won't even need to venture off the path to see orchids.

Among the ones growing here have been spotted both the brown and yellow bee orchids, man orchids, monkey orchids and tooth orchids. Other spring blooming plants include crocuses, iris, marigolds, borage, anemones, and gladioli.

Our Pick of Greek Islands Guides

Rough-Guide-Greek-Islands-2022.png

Birdwatching

Ornithologists can sometimes be seen scouring the skies with their binoculars, having perhaps spotted a golden eagle or an Egyptian vulture soaring on the warm thermals. Peregrine and other falcons occur here too, along with goshawks, buzzards, and kestrels. 

Less picturesque when you reach the top of the mountain are the radio and TV masts which were put up in 1971 and which mar the view of the monastery, requiring photographers to be creative in keeping them out of their shots. Perhaps one day when the world goes totally digital the masts can be removed to return the view to its former more natural look.

Admire the Views

Before visiting the monastery you will want to stop and admire the views. You can see all around the island, and to the east are the mountains of Albania which merge to the south into the mountains of northern Greece.

If you look in the other direction, towards the northwest, it is said that on a very clear day you can make out the coast of Italy, which is remarkable given that it is about 130 km (81 miles) away. Look south and you will make out the island of Paxós, and perhaps Lefkás beyond that.

Top Tip

You might want to take a sweater with you. Even on a warm day there can be a cool breeze at the top.

Monastery of Ipsilos Pantokrátor

After taking in the views, and perhaps a visit to the small café and the gift shop, you will want to allow time for seeing the small monastery church. It is only small but it is quite beautiful and historic, and shamefully ignored in many books about Corfu. 

The exact date when the monastery was founded is not known, but it is thought to be early 14th century. There are certainly documents from the 1340s indicating the collecting of money for the building of a temple on this spot, where buildings of some kind may have already been in existence.

Hidden Gem

Steps at the rear of the monastery church lead up to a platform which many people miss, yet it gives you a good overall view of the interior and brings you closer to some of the wall paintings.

Inside the church the walls are covered in frescoes, and some of them have been dated back to those earliest times. They really are breath-taking, beautifully detailed, and oozing history.

Taking a Break

There is a small café at the summit selling drinks, snacks, and light meals. How could you better a view like this?

There are a few other small buildings around the church, but nothing that can be entered as the place is still home to just two monks, who look after it and welcome any donations towards its upkeep.

Other Corfu Pages

  • The Corfu Trail runs from the southernmost point of Corfu at Cape Asprokavos and winds for 220km (137 miles) to the northernmost point near Andinioti Lagoon.

    The Corfu Trail

    The Corfu Trail runs from the southernmost point of Corfu at Cape Asprokavos and winds for 220km (137 miles) to the northernmost point near Andinioti Lagoon.

  • This drive to Palaiokastritsa starts at Corfu airport and takes you across the Ropa Plan and through hill villages before returning to Corfu Town.

    Drive to Palaiokastrítsa

    This drive to Palaiokastritsa starts at Corfu airport and takes you across the Ropa Plan and through hill villages before returning to Corfu Town.

  • The Korission Lagoon on the west coast of Corfu is also called Lake Korission and has abundant wildlife, especially birds, and one of the best beaches on Corfu.

    Korission Lagoon

    The Korission Lagoon on the west coast of Corfu is also called Lake Korission and has abundant wildlife, especially birds, and one of the best beaches on Corfu.

  • The best beaches on Corfu, chosen by Greece Travel Secrets, include Paleokastritsa, Mirtiotissa, Sidari and Cape Asprokavos.

    Best Beaches on Corfu

    The best beaches on Corfu, chosen by Greece Travel Secrets, include Paleokastritsa, Mirtiotissa, Sidari and Cape Asprokavos.

  • Donna Dailey of Greece Travel Secrets visits Albania by boat from Corfu Town, staying overnight and seeing archaeological sites with Sipa Tours.

    Visiting Albania from Corfu

    Donna Dailey of Greece Travel Secrets visits Albania by boat from Corfu Town, staying overnight and seeing archaeological sites with Sipa Tours.

  • Corfu or Kerkyra is the main island in the Greek Ionian islands with Corfu Town being one of the most attractive of Greek island capitals.

    Corfu

    Corfu or Kerkyra is the main island in the Greek Ionian islands with Corfu Town being one of the most attractive of Greek island capitals.

  • Corfu olives are an important part of this Greek island's economy, with an estimated 3-4 million trees producing olive oil of exceptional quality.

    Corfu Olives

    Corfu olives are an important part of this Greek island's economy, with an estimated 3-4 million trees producing olive oil of exceptional quality.

  • If you want to tour northern Corfu in three days you can see busy resorts, quiet fishing villages, Mount Pantokrator, and the Andinioti Lagoon.

    Northern Corfu in Three Days

    If you want to tour northern Corfu in three days you can see busy resorts, quiet fishing villages, Mount Pantokrator, and the Andinioti Lagoon.

  • Corfu’s special cuisine includes dishes like sofrito and pastitsade and the chance to try ginger beer and kumquats.

    Corfu’s Special Cuisine

    Corfu’s special cuisine includes dishes like sofrito and pastitsade and the chance to try ginger beer and kumquats.

  • Corfu Town’s Old Fortress is the town’s most striking landmark, standing east of the Old Town on top of a rocky promontory.

    Corfu Town’s Old Fortress

    Corfu Town’s Old Fortress is the town’s most striking landmark, standing east of the Old Town on top of a rocky promontory.

  • Angelokastro is a 13th-century hilltop fortress with breath-taking views near Paleokastritsa on the Greek island of Corfu in the Ionian Islands.

    Angelokastro

    Angelokastro is a 13th-century hilltop fortress with breath-taking views near Paleokastritsa on the Greek island of Corfu in the Ionian Islands.

  • Corfu’s marine life includes dolphins, loggerhead turtles, and rare Mediterranean monk seals.

    Corfu’s Marine Life

    Corfu’s marine life includes dolphins, loggerhead turtles, and rare Mediterranean monk seals.

  • This is the Greece Travel Secrets selection of where to eat in northern Corfu, from classy restaurants and traditional tavernas to beachside fish tavernas.

    Where to Eat in Northern Corfu

    This is the Greece Travel Secrets selection of where to eat in northern Corfu, from classy restaurants and traditional tavernas to beachside fish tavernas.

  • Information for travellers to Greece on Corfu festivals and events including Easter, the Feast of St Spiridhon, Carnival and Name Days.

    Corfu Festivals and Events

    Information for travellers to Greece on Corfu festivals and events including Easter, the Feast of St Spiridhon, Carnival and Name Days.

  • The First Corfu Beer Festival took place in Arillas in North West Corfu and celebrated the beer of Bavaria and of Corfu, in the Ionian islands of Greece.

    Corfu Beer Festival

    The First Corfu Beer Festival took place in Arillas in North West Corfu and celebrated the beer of Bavaria and of Corfu, in the Ionian islands of Greece.

  • Greece Travel Secrets picks where to stay in northern Corfu with budget and luxury hotels in Sidari, Daphnila Bay, Kontokali, Ipsos, Barbati and more.

    Where to Stay in Northern Corfu

    Greece Travel Secrets picks where to stay in northern Corfu with budget and luxury hotels in Sidari, Daphnila Bay, Kontokali, Ipsos, Barbati and more.

  • From Nero to Nicolas Cage, the invasion of Corfu goes back to Roman times and through to Hollywood today!

    The Invasion of Corfu

    From Nero to Nicolas Cage, the invasion of Corfu goes back to Roman times and through to Hollywood today!

  • This Mount Pantokrator drive takes you to the top of Corfu’s highest mountain with wonderful views to Albania, mainland Greece, and around Corfu.

    Mount Pantokrator Drive

    This Mount Pantokrator drive takes you to the top of Corfu’s highest mountain with wonderful views to Albania, mainland Greece, and around Corfu.

  • Greece Travel Secrets has its list of favourite places where you can eat in north-west Corfu, including in Paleokastritsa, Pelekas, and Ayios Stefanos.

    Where to Eat in North-West Corfu

    Greece Travel Secrets has its list of favourite places where you can eat in north-west Corfu, including in Paleokastritsa, Pelekas, and Ayios Stefanos.

  • Kalami in north-west Corfu is a hidden gem which many people know about because writer Lawrence Durrell once lived here in The White House.

    Kalámi

    Kalami in north-west Corfu is a hidden gem which many people know about because writer Lawrence Durrell once lived here in The White House.

  • Corfu writers and artists inspired by the island include both residents and visitors, like Gerald and Lawrence Durrell, Edward Lear, and Henry Miller.

    Corfu Writers and Artists

    Corfu writers and artists inspired by the island include both residents and visitors, like Gerald and Lawrence Durrell, Edward Lear, and Henry Miller.

  • This Southern Corfu drive starts and ends in Moraïtika, taking in hill villages, secluded beaches, lovely views, and a visit to Gardiki Castle.

    Southern Corfu Drive

    This Southern Corfu drive starts and ends in Moraïtika, taking in hill villages, secluded beaches, lovely views, and a visit to Gardiki Castle.

  • Northern Corfu is the most diverse part of the island, with Corfu's highest point, Mt Pantokrator, and beach resorts like Sidari and Palaiokastritsa.

    Northern Corfu

    Northern Corfu is the most diverse part of the island, with Corfu's highest point, Mt Pantokrator, and beach resorts like Sidari and Palaiokastritsa.

  • The Corfu Climate page describes the hours of sun, the rain, the winds, to help you plan the best time to visit this Ionian island.

    Corfu Climate: Sun, Rain, Winds

    The Corfu Climate page describes the hours of sun, the rain, the winds, to help you plan the best time to visit this Ionian island.

Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.

Latest Posts

  1. Travel + Leisure: Four Greek Hotels Among Best in the World and Europe

    The World’s Best Awards by Travel + Leisure recently ranked four Greek hotels among the best in the world and Europe, honoring them for their luxurious atmosphere and top-notch hospitality.

    Read More

  2. Seaplane Test Flights Connect Skopelos, Alonissos, Skyros

    Greek seaplane company Hellenic Seaplanes on Friday laid the groundwork for some of the Greek islands that will welcome seaplanes and carried out its first flights between three islands of the Sporade…

    Read More

  3. AirDNA: Greece’s 3 Cities with Affordable Airbnb Rates

    Iceland, Monaco, the UK, Greece, and Spain are Europe’s most expensive countries for short-term rentals, according to analytics experts AirDNA.

    Read More

  4. Santorini Cannot Support Even One More Hotel or Airbnb Bed

    Santorini is now coping with the repercussions of overtourism generated by cruise ships and day-trippers from Crete and other adjacent islands.

    Read More

  5. 9 Tasty Stops in the Cyclades for Authentic Flavors

    Restaurants, tavernas, and grocery stores that highlight the local flavors of the Cyclades.

    Read More

  6. Where to Eat on Symi

    taverna-o-meraklis-symi-2.webp
    Greece Travel Secrets picks where to eat on Symi, down by the harbour or in the upper town, and whether you like fish, meat, vegetarian, traditional or modern.

    Read More

  7. Restaurants with Acropolis Views

    gb-roof-garden-restaurant-dusk.webp
    Greece Travel Secrets chooses its top ten Athens restaurants with Acropolis views, perfect for dining by day or by night, including places with Michelin stars.

    Read More

  8. The Ilisian: Reimagining an Icon of Modern Athens

    The former Hilton Athens is being transformed into a multi-faceted destination that aspires to forge exciting new connections between the Greek capital and the rest of the world.

    Read More

  9. Athens Acropolis Offers Exclusive Private Tours for VIP Visitors

    Controversial €5,000 VIP tours of the world-famous Acropolis of Athens spark debate over the commercialization of Greece’s historic monuments.

    Read More

  10. Uber Expands ‘Boat’ App to Santorini, Corfu and Athenian Riviera

    Travelers visiting some of the most popular Greek islands can now enjoy their summer excursions by using the Uber Boat App to rent a speedboat to explore beach clubs, scenic coves, and remote locales…

    Read More