Date: Oct 17th-18th/2020
Place: Looming Mountain Pantokratoras
The sunny bright Saturday's weather was most enticing for a climb drive up the island's highest Mount Pantokratoras . Especially, as the departure of our grands, back to Israel, has dampened a bit our spirit.
Furthermore, the growing silence and void of their sweet voices and the withdrawal from our grand- parental sitting responsibilities, made us a bit giddy...
Leo at the plane's cockpit o the way back to israel
The 911m high Pantokratoras mountain is located Northwest of the Corfu town and is the highest point of the island.
The scenic peak of the mountain offers 360 degrees of amazing Island’s panoramic views, and along the panoramic mountain's road the old timeless traditional villages nest peacefully, and are worth a visit.
Our climb ride up the curvy steep mountain started off Acharavi Town, through most quaint villages of Lafki, Eriva, Petalia and Perithia.
Lafki is a picturesque old mountain village built at an altitude of 420 m and known as a settlement since 1347, when its inhabitants along with the residents of Palia Perithia participated in the construction of the Monastery of Pantokratoras at the top of the mountain. Old stone houses hidden away by trees, picturesque coffee shops and small taverns depict the scenery with the unique view towards the north-eastern shores of the island.
Palia Perithia (old Perithia) The "ghost" village, in ruins today, is one of the most valued architectural ornaments of Corfu, as it maintains an unchanged atmosphere and the art of another period. The approximately 130 ionic ancient houses of the village are made of stone and are built according to Venetian prototypes.
The village was built during the pirate threat in the Mediterranean (14thc) and its houses are well hidden in the slope of Pantokratoras, at an altitude of 420 meter
A strange road display of old pots and pans, by a Laftaki's charming house and garden, captured our curiosity, so we stopped by the roadside to inspect.
An old villager woman came out to greet us and gestured to follow her into the garden , where proudly she showcased her homemade delights.
From the cornucopia of olive oil bottles, olives in a jar, qualcast jam and liqueur as well as herbs variety, we left with only a bottle of Olive oil, and already worrying about the overweight we have accumulated during this stay...
The lower slopes of the mountain are forested with Olive trees, Cyprus trees vineyards, small vegetable gardens, and clusters of cyclamen (Rakafot), crocus(Carcom) and other beautiful colorful wildflowers.
Further up the mountain the vegetation changes to much lower Mediterranean evergreen shrubs, and much higher above it, the greenery gets scarce while huge serrated grey rocks bulge from the barn rugged terrain.
Food begging street Cats, swarms of Bees and armies of Mosquitoes are the main wildlife, we continuously encountered, and needed to be defended against, in nature, at the peripheral villages, and in all town's restaurants...
Pantokratoras Ipsilou monastery majestically decorates the baldy top of the mountain, against the background of huge spiking antennas and communication transmission equipment.
Stunning views of all over the Corfu island, as well as Paxi island (South Corfu) Diapontia islands (North Corfu) as well as Albania coastline and towns are in clear view, and are a true feast for the naked eye.
The curvilinear way down the mountain took us southeast, via the villages of Spartilas, Prygi and all the way to Ipsos Bay, town and beach.
Strynilas small restaurants offer traditional food of Corfu like rabbit, lamb, wild boar and red deer, which rather than on a plate, prefer to see live and free in nature.
Situated below Pantokratoras mountain only 14 km from Corfu town, Ipsos has been known as a party resort.
It is a very lively touristic and commercial town along the East coast of Corfu
The village behind the beach is developed, has a very long beach, many kinds of shops, restaurants and the many bars, pubs, and several disco clubs offering wild nightlife.
The pebbled beach stretches along the roadside and the very large crystalline bay. The sea is clean and shallow.The far side of the beach near the picturesque fishing port and harbour’s small pier is quieter with many boats parked there.
Als restaurant where he had a great lunch, is right by the beach
Als - in Pirgi
+30 266 1093 390 +30 697 5597 061
At Als we had the good fortune to encounter Martin and Marian -
a lively, most informed and travel adventurous Canadian couple from Vancouver,
with-whom we shared the most delicious Lamb chops, and great conversation.
Their life's plans also have been put on hold due to the Corona pandemic.
At 55 Martin decided to complete his PHD in Geography/ Environmental Conservation (on which he professionally consults) at Oxford London college.
However since all studies are due to be conducted on zoom, he decided to differ his studies, and to escape London’s lockdown for Corfu,
They have been touring the island for several weeks and loving it as much as we have. Before we departed on our separate ways, we exchanged information and recommendations on must books, good restaurants and accommodations, as well as on the pundemic fiasco and Putin's nemesis.
On our way back to Agios Stefanos through the lovely villages of :
skripero, Argos, Dafni and Arillas we stopped at Ano Korakiana another traditional quint mountain village
Ano Korakiana is a historic settlement located 19km north of Corfu Town. The village was first inhabited during the medieval times and today it maintains a lot of traditional aspects of that time. It was mainly populated by noble families whose presence is noticed by the well-preserved houses of fine details from the 18th c
The village is known for the considerable number of churches, 37 in total, the long tradition in folklore music and ceramic art.
It was a long day with lengthy challenging mountainous driving,
Yet, the breath-taking views of the various island's landscape,
the tasty lunch by the beautiful Ipsos beach, and meeting interesting people
definitely diverted our attention off the kids' departure and the entire day was most rewarding.
We stayed around in Agios Stefanos for half a day, on Sunday, still enjoying the wonderful view. Then checked out from the wonderful apartment, which was our provisory "home", for the past 2 weeks,
Then heading toward Corfu Town for a few more vacation days.
Upon Martin's and Marian's recommendation we checked into this beautifully decorated apartment, right in the center of Corfu Town.
"LISTON SUITS" - Rental
Tereza - firstname.lastname@example.org +30 6944 858 815
To be Continued....