Paleokastritsa is both the most popular and most attractive resort on Corfu’s west coast. Many regard it as the most beautiful spot on the whole island.
One of the first to fall for its charms was Sir Frederick Adam, British High Commissioner to the Ionian Islands in the early 19th century. Its appeal then lay in its steep wooded slopes, blue sea and several lovely bays with bathing beaches. One problem was its comparative inaccessibility, so Sir Frederick had a road built to the village, with the ostensible purpose of erecting a military convalescent home there. The home was never built, but Sir Frederick now found it much easier to take his regular picnics in Paleokastritsa. Such illustrious travellers as the Empress Elizabeth of Austria, Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany and the English writer and artist Edward Lear soon followed in his footsteps.
Beaches and Boat Trips
Today there are fewer trees and many more buildings, but the setting has lost none of its beauty. Paleokastritsa is more of a family resort than many on Corfu, as the swimming is safe in any of its three main coves – Agia Triada, Platakia and Alipa – and off other minor beaches around, although the waters here are notably cold. The beaches are a mix of sand, pebble and shingle, most of them served by a taverna and other facilities – boat trips, water-skiing, canoes and a diving school – in summer.
From the harbour you can take boat trips along the coast to look at the many grottoes in the vicinity, and out around the Rock of Kolovri, which – like Mouse Island off Kanoni – is said to be the petrified ship of Odysseus.
The palace of Alcinous, King of the Phaeacians and father of Nausicaa (who discovered Odysseus after his shipwreck), is reputed to have stood nearby. According to another legend, the Rock of Kolovri is the ship of an Algerian pirate intent on looting the monastery on the headland. As the ship approached the shore, it was turned to stone in answer to the prayers of the Abbot. Today the rock is the haunt of seabirds.
The town itself now has plenty of hotels to choose from, plus villas and rooms to rent. Anyone who is not fully fit should note that some streets are very steep. There is no lack of bars and tavernas and, while it does not attract young single holiday-makers, Paleokastritsa’s popularity makes it a place to avoid if your aim is to find peace and quiet. That having been said, there are quieter beaches a short walk away, and the town’s spectacular location does make it a good base for walkers.
Getting to Paleokastritsa
Paleokastritsa is on the west coast of Corfu, and is about 16 miles (26 kms) from Corfu Airport. Because you’re going across the island on some slow roads, the drive should take about 45 minutes.
Where to Stay on Corfu
Some other Corfu pages
Greece Travel Secrets’ pick of where to stay in southern Corfu including hotels in Moraïtika, Paramonas, Messonghi, Agios Georgios, and near Benitses.
Greece Travel Secrets picks where to stay in northern Corfu with budget and luxury hotels in Sidari, Daphnila Bay, Kontokali, Ipsos, Barbati and more.
Greece Travel Secrets recommends where to stay in north-west and central Corfu including luxury mansions, inexpensive rooms, and resort hotels.
This is the Greece Travel Secrets selection of where to eat in northern Corfu, from classy restaurants and traditional tavernas to beachside fish tavernas.
Greece Travel Secrets has its list of favourite places where you can eat in north-west Corfu, including in Paleokastritsa, Pelekas, and Ayios Stefanos.
Donna Dailey of Greece Travel Secrets visits Albania by boat from Corfu Town, staying overnight and seeing archaeological sites with Sipa Tours.
The main two Corfu saints are Saint Spyridon, the patron saint of Corfu who saved the island four times from disaster, and Saint Theodora Augusta.
From Nero to Nicolas Cage, the invasion of Corfu goes back to Roman times and through to Hollywood today!
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.
Southern Corfu has busy beach resorts like Benitses, historical buildings like the Achilleion Palace and Gardiki Castle, and wildlife at the Korision Lagoon.
This Southern Corfu drive starts and ends in Moraïtika, taking in hill villages, secluded beaches, lovely views, and a visit to Gardiki Castle.
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.
Northern Corfu is the most diverse part of the island, with Corfu's highest point, Mt Pantokrator, and beach resorts like Sidari and Palaiokastritsa.
If you want to tour northern Corfu in three days you can see busy resorts, quiet fishing villages, Mount Pantokrator, and the Andinioti Lagoon.
There are two sides to every Greek island, the tourist and the traditional, and this drive from Corfu Town through northern Corfu shows the two faces of Corfu.
Northern Corfu’s beaches and villages include busy resorts and secluded beaches, with several hill and mountain villages well worth visiting.
North-West Corfu’s beaches and villages include busy resorts, quiet beaches, hill villages, and places ideal for watching the sunset,
These fun facts about Corfu include how the island got its name, who wrote the Greek National Anthem, and the eccentric Englishman, the Earl of Guilford.
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 writers and artists inspired by the island include both residents and visitors, like Gerald and Lawrence Durrell, Edward Lear, and Henry Miller.
Corfu’s wildlife includes rare and colourful birds, snakes, lizards, fireflies, and insects, with plenty of places to watch the wildlife like lakes and lagoons.
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’s Old Fortress is the town’s most striking landmark, standing east of the Old Town on top of a rocky promontory.
Corfu’s special cuisine includes dishes like sofrito and pastitsade and the chance to try ginger beer and kumquats.
These Corfu shopping tips include advice on buying souvenirs like ceramics, jewelry, gold, silver, wood carvings, and food and drink, with tips on haggling.
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