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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 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.

  • Corfu Town is the capital of Corfu and of the Ionian Islands and has museums, two forts, several museums, churches, and many other attractions.

    Corfu Town

    Corfu Town is the capital of Corfu and of the Ionian Islands and has museums, two forts, several museums, churches, and many other attractions.

  • 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 guide to southern Corfu’s beaches and villages includes busy resorts, quiet beach, hill villages and the southernmost tip of Corfu at Cape Asprókavos.

    Southern Corfu Beaches and Villages

    This guide to southern Corfu’s beaches and villages includes busy resorts, quiet beach, hill villages and the southernmost tip of Corfu at Cape Asprókavos.

  • Greece Travel Secrets picks the best time to visit Corfu, with a monthly summary of the weather, plus hotel prices and special events to help plan a visit.

    Best Time to Visit Corfu

    Greece Travel Secrets picks the best time to visit Corfu, with a monthly summary of the weather, plus hotel prices and special events to help plan a visit.

  • North-West Corfu’s beaches and villages include busy resorts, quiet beaches, hill villages, and places ideal for watching the sunset,

    North-West Corfu Beaches and Villages

    North-West Corfu’s beaches and villages include busy resorts, quiet beaches, hill villages, and places ideal for watching the sunset,

  • 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.

  •  Information for travelers on Corfu Food and Drink including restaurants and tavernas, Corfiot specialties, desserts, wine and other Greek drinks like ouzo.

    Corfu Food and Drink

    Information for travelers on Corfu Food and Drink including restaurants and tavernas, Corfiot specialties, desserts, wine and other Greek drinks like ouzo.

  • 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.

  • Southern Corfu has busy beach resorts like Benitses, historical buildings like the Achilleion Palace and Gardiki Castle, and wildlife at the Korision Lagoon.

    Southern Corfu

    Southern Corfu has busy beach resorts like Benitses, historical buildings like the Achilleion Palace and Gardiki Castle, and wildlife at the Korision Lagoon.

  • 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.

  • The best things to do on Corfu include visiting Palaiokastritsa, a day trip to Albania, seeing the Achilleion Palace, and the museums in Corfu Town.

    Best Things to Do on Corfu

    The best things to do on Corfu include visiting Palaiokastritsa, a day trip to Albania, seeing the Achilleion Palace, and the museums in Corfu Town.

  • Sidari is a popular holiday resort on the north coast of Corfu with beaches and unusual rock formations as well as plenty of places to eat and to stay.

    Sidari

    Sidari is a popular holiday resort on the north coast of Corfu with beaches and unusual rock formations as well as plenty of places to eat and to stay.

  • The Achilleion Palace is one of the most visited sights on Corfu and contains a museum and impressive gardens with wonderful views over the coast.

    The Achilleion Palace

    The Achilleion Palace is one of the most visited sights on Corfu and contains a museum and impressive gardens with wonderful views over the coast.

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. Greece Bans Sunbeds, Umbrellas, Bars on 198 Beaches

    Sunbeds, umbrellas, and all sorts of constructions have been banned on 198 beaches across Greece according to a joint ministerial decision signed this week by Economy & Finance Minister Kostis Hatzida…

    Read More

  2. 4 Guesthouses in Zagori that Are Worth Visiting

    Amidst the mountains and spectacular scenery, these four traditional guesthouses in the heart of Zagori, Epirus, offer the very best in Greek hospitality.

    Read More

  3. Greece’s 10 Highest Mountains

    From myth-laden peaks to rugged alpine trails, we explore ten of Greece's highest mountains, where untamed beauty and boundless adventure meet.

    Read More

  4. Paris 2024 Olympic Flame Lit at Ancient Olympia, Countdown to Games Begins

    The Olympic flame that will be burning for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games this summer was lit in Ancient Olympia on Tuesday, April 16. Located in western Peloponnese, Ancient Olympia is one of the most…

    Read More

  5. April 17 Greece National Strike to Affect Public Transport, Ferry Travel

    Public transportation in Athens as well as ferry travel in Greece will be disrupted on Wednesday, April 17, due to a 24-hour strike called by the General Confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE), the cou…

    Read More

  6. The Ikaria Way

    the-ikaria-way-front-and-back-cover-900.webp
    Greece Travel Secrets reviews the Greek cookbook, The Ikaria Way by Diane Kochilas, containing 100 delicious plant-based recipes.

    Read More

  7. Greece Announces Steep Fines for Beach Access Violations

    The Greek Finance Ministry announced this week that it would taking strict measures including fines of up to 60,000 euros to ensure that Greece’s beaches are always accessible to the public. Fines ran…

    Read More

  8. Cyprus-Greece Ferry Connection to Start on May 29

    For a third year in a row, the ferry service linking Cyprus with Greece is scheduled to resume operations on May 29. The Cypriot-flagged Daleela, which can transport 400 passengers and 200 vehicles, w…

    Read More

  9. Greece Aiming to Include Knossos on UNESCO’s World Heritage List

    The Region of Crete announced this week that all actions had been taken to include the world-famous archaeological site of Knossos on Crete on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

    Read More

  10. Two Top Floors of Athens Hotel Blocking Acropolis View Shut Down

    The Greek Tourism Ministry announced this week that it had sealed off the two top floors and the rooftop bar of a hotel in the center of Athens which were blocking views to the Acropolis.

    Read More