AN INTRODUCTION TO CORFU'S LAST REMAINING HERITAGE PROTECTED VILLAGE | OLD (PALEA) PERITHEIA
The island of Corfu, often described as the ‘Emerald island’, is well known for its Venetian architecture, beautiful beaches, turquoise seas, abundance of flora and fauna, Greek tavernas and a wonderful sense of hospitality wherever you go. But to many, the ancient village of Old Peritheia remains something of an enigma.
This historic 'Heritage Protected' village is in 'A Designated Area of Natural Beauty', situated on the attractive north east corner of the island, and just below Mount Pantokrator (The Almighty). It is the oldest example of the original mountain villages of Corfu. Records date back to the mid 14th century, although it is considered to have been inhabited many centuries before. Around 130 houses were built, entirely by hand, some of which have now fallen into ruins, many of which are now under restoration.
The village, once inhabited by approximately 1200 people, was one of the wealthiest on the island, surrounded by vines, oak trees and thousands of sheep that roamed across the mountainside. To this day, with its cobbled streets and ancient houses, the atmosphere retains its warmth and friendliness. Encircled by eight churches and nestling beneath the island's highest mountains, Old Peritheia is set amidst beautiful countryside with views to the sea, it was once a hideaway from Pirate attacks.
‘Suspended in time’ the village remains an enchanting discovery for visitors from all over the world. So whether you want to enjoy a great day out, step back in time, walk in the mountains, or just relax in one of the four tavernas and sample some locally sourced and home cooked food, then visit Old Peritheia and discover why it continues to hold a special place in the hearts of visitors and Corfiots alike, summer and winter, year after year.
The village is best visited by car as there is limited parking, or on foot - but it's quite a walk. You can do a self-guided tour of the village, and there are maps to guide you at the top of the village and by the B&B. You can explore by yourself, or buy the Official Guide Book and Walking Tour of Old Peritheia from the B&B at the top of the village (the author also lives there too) or at the 4 village tavernas, and at all good bookshops: click here