Things to Do

From Old Perithia to Corfu Town & beyond, here’s all the inspiration you need. There’s everything from walks, cycling, swimming, beaches, tavernas, local attractions, sightseeing or simply soak up the sunshine in our private garden.

Old Perithia & Surrounding Area

Local Inspiration Old Perithia

Walks, Wildlife & Nature ‘A Designated Area of Natural Beauty’

As day trippers generally arrive from around 10 or 11am onwards, Old Perithia is an ideal base from which to set off on days out to any of the beaches with lunch at local tavernas by the sea. Alternatively, spend your days exploring the island. You can go for long / short walks, dive or snorkel, take gentle or more mountainous cycle rides, or be pampered at the local spa. Visit Corfu town or just spend your time relaxing in the garden. In the afternoon from around 4pm the village goes quiet again except for people arriving for dinner at the tavernas. As the diners leave the village at night it’s pretty much all yours, just you & nature under the clear night sky.

The village records go back to 1357 although it’s thought the settlement existed centuries before. In its heyday there were 130 houses, surrounded by 8 churches & a population of around 1200. Of Venetian architectural origin the village was one of the wealthiest on the island, derived from Oak for the Venetians (shipbuilding & construction) vineyards with more wine than the village could manage, sheep, goats & cattle & an abundance of crops & fruits. Find out all about the history with a complimentary copy to the ‘History & Guide to Old Perithia‘ (written & published by Mark) in each suite. Yours to keep so you’re all set to explore the village & its fascinating past. **

Please note that as Old Perithia is under archaeological protection, swimming pools are not permitted. But as you’ll see opposite there are plenty of beautiful beaches nearby. If you fancy a day of endless pampering there’s an excellent spa offering a range of treatments just 20 minutes drive away. The Ivi Spa is located in an attractive green setting at the St George’s Bay Country Club. In addition to the treatment rooms there’s an indoor & outdoor pool, saunas & fitness room.

If you prefer not to drive in the evenings the village has 4 tavernas within a minutes walk from the house. ‘Eating out’ is easy too, Dina can usually arrange an 8-seater, hire cars or taxis so you can all go wherever you fancy & split the cost so everyone can relax & enjoy their evening/days out. We endeavour to check our suggested tavernas & restaurants each year, but you can see the latest updates on TripAdvisor.

** In the breakfast room, there’s an Information Pack which has a comprehensive A-Z with all you need to know during your stay. If you have any questions, please ask Dina, Olga, Mark or Saskia & we’ll be happy to help.

Have a wonderful stay…!

Walks to Mt. Pantokrator, Lafki & Krinias

Tavernas in Old Perithia

There are four tavernas in the village, although up until 2020 there were five. The owners are local families & the tavernas generally evolved from coffee shops ‘kafenions’ as the families returned to the village ior adapted their houses. Often appearing in ‘Best Places to Eat’ on Corfu they offer traditional food at ‘mountain’ prices i.e. good value for money. They are popular with both visitors & locals alike. Not only open solely during the summer season but also in winter at weekends where local friends & families come to gather around warm fires for their Sunday lunch.

Ognistra The first taverna you’ll see on approaching the village & adjacent to The Merchant’s House. It’s owned & run by Nikos who is helped by Katerina. Gabriel’s Steps Just down the steps from The Merchant’s House garden, a family taverna run by two brothers, Kostas & Giannis & their mother Lola. The Old Perithia Located a short walk down from Gabriel’s Steps. Spacious seating area overlooking the village, it’s owned & run by a sister & brother Alexia & Alkinoos, with their mother Diamantina. Do try their homemade ginger beer & wine. O Foros In a rustic setting, is run by husband & wife, Thomas & Vasso. Capricorn was open until 2020 but is now closed/under offer.

Honey & Seasonal Tastes of Old Perithia

On the far side of the village you’ll find Vassilis & his beehives. His family have managed the hives for generations & you’ll be pressed to find better organic honey. The village is protected against any use of chemicals, so the millions of bees soak up the nature & deposit it in the honey. When you see him say you’re staying at Mark & Saskia’s as he’ll appreciate your staying in the village. There are numerous herbs, fruits & food from the mountains that appear throughout the year, so keep an eye out, These include, wild asparagus, oregano, walnut, fig, cherries, almonds, herbs for teas, mushrooms, dill etc. If you spot the shepherd he may have his feta with him, which is delicious but powerful!

Flora & Fauna, Birds Bees & Butterflies

Corfu has over 32 species of wild orchid & Old Perithia is host to approx. 12. There are literally millions of happy bees, an array of butterflies that flutter by & all sorts of other insects, birds, wild flowers & fauna. It’s often described as a, ‘Living Chelsea Flower Show’ & as the seasons change so does the landscape & its inhabitants.

Old Perithia – a wonderful marriage between history, architecture & nature.
Παλιά Περίθεια – Ένα Θαυμαστό Πάντρεμα Ιστορίας, Αρχιτεκτονικής και Φύσης.

Corfu Holiday Calendar

Jan 1st New Year’s day
Jan 6th Epiphany
Mar 18th Ash Monday
Mar 25th Greek Independence Day
Easter Dates vary each year includes Good Friday Easter Saturday & Easter Sunday.
May 1st Labour Day (many people gather flowers on this day, for good luck). May 21st Ionian Day Procession August 6th Feast of the Transfiguration, Processions during the week before & after.
June 24th Whit Monday (date varies) July (last Sunday) Procession in Old Perithia, for ‘The Miracle of the Virgin Mary’ August 11th St. Spyridon’s Day Procession
August 15th Assumption October 28th Ochi (No) day November (1st Sunday) St. Spyridon Procession
December 25th, 26th Christmas

Beaches in Kassiopi

Beaches & Tavernas

Local Beaches, Villages to Visit & Places to Eat North East & North West of the Island

Beach Suggestions [by distance]:

North East [towards Corfu Town] Agios Spyridon Apraos & Kalamaki Siki Beach Kassiopi Avlaki Beach Agios Stefanos Kerasia Kouloura Kalami Barbati North West Afionas Porto Timoni Angelokastro [Fortress] South Lake Korission Halikounas

NE by Car: Leaving Old Perithia travel back down the main coast road, pass Loutses & then through New Perithia (there’s a Post Office & Post Box opp. Harry’s Taverna on the corner.) Best to check what’s open either end of the season i.e. early – mid April, late Oct/early November. After about 10-15 minutes you’ll arrive back at the main coastal road*

Ice Dreams [see google map*] As you reach the coastal road ahead of you you’ll see Ice Dreams, a good landmark for the turn to & from the road up to Old Perithia. Turn right to head to the North East, turning left takes you to the North West.

Spingos who owns Ice Dreams was a trained lawyer, who then ‘discovered’ Italian ice-cream & set up his own homemade ice-cream shop. Highly recommended!

Agios Spyridon This is the closest beach to Old Perithia. To get to this beach, turn left, then almost immediately (50-100m) it’s signposted to the right. Take this road to Agios Spyridon beach. As you arrive with the beach ahead of you, Pyramid restaurant/bar & mini golf are to the right. Follow the road to the left for the beach with a small church & cafe opposite. You can also walk along the beach across an old wooden bridge & through a small nature reserve towards Acharavi. It’s a pretty walk, but you’ll probably want to turn back rather than go onto Acharavi. Also, beware of mosquitos late in the day as the sun goes down!

Selection of Beaches | North East To reach the Beaches along the North East you need to turn right on the main coastal road towards Kassiopi & Corfu Town.

For Apraos, Kalamaki, Syki, Kassiopi, Avlaki, Agios Stefanos, Kerasia or onto Kouloura, Kalami & Barbati – as follows:

Apraos & Kalamaki Beaches Other local beaches are the long sandy beaches of Kalamaki & Apraos, located side by side. You’ll see various turns down to these beaches as you drive along the coastal road towards Kassiopi. The beach has shallow water out to about 30-40 metres & due to their size often not too crowded relative to the times of year. A choice of tavernas but no stand out place to eat.

Siki Beach [Syki] A small cove which is delightful if not busy + it has a good taverna ‘Syki’ on the opposite side of the road. Dina can book sunbeds for you just in case it’s a busy day… & they serve drinks & snacks on the beach too.

Stay on the coastal road & after about 10-15 minutes you will see Kassiopi in the distance, look to the left to find Imerolia a great Fish Taverna, a minute or two later you’ll be arriving at Kassiopi.

To drive into the village & harbour you have to practically double back just past Kassiopi, but it’s well signposted. It’s a one way system so as you leave you’ll return to the coastal road.

Kassiopi Quite a lively village harbour, with shops & bars. You can visit the rather rundown old fort which is located on a path to the left just before the main harbour. Lots of places to eat & drink, including; Limani Bar which looks over the harbour. Restaurants include; Uncle Simos (ask for Lena) Tavernaki or Petrino, The Grill & Chill souvlaki bar is good for a simple inexpensive lunch. The Old School/Three Brothers is a good local taverna if you want something more substantial & we go there often too (ask for Fondos or Varvara). 

From the centre there’s an attractive coastal walk, passing by one or two beautiful beaches, Bataria & Pipitou are our favourite & there’s other places where you can bathe on the rocks (busy in high season). The walk brings you back to the main road again & you then walk back through the village to the centre (or wherever you parked your car).

Avlaki Beach [Erimitis] Head past Kassiopi, soon after the turning you’ll see Nikos Supermarket on your left, turn left immediately here. You are now on a winding road that takes you past a boat yard & towards Avlaki beach. Avlaki Beach is a long, often windy, beach. It has 2 tavernas the first is called Avlaki Taverna & second Cavo Barbaro (this is usually better). As you drive along Avlaki beach the road then turns to the right through a forested area due for partial development [Erimitis Nature Reserve]. Passing by Arias & Akoli beaches, small ‘off the beaten track’ options then you arrive at a T-junction.

At the T-junction you turn left towards Agios Stefanos & Kerasia. Note: if you turn right you end up back on the coast road. Turning left you wind down towards Agios Stefanos (beautiful views) & arrive in the main village.

Agios Stefanos The North East is often jokingly known as Kensington-on-Sea as it has some of the biggest & most attractive villas, including the Rothschilds’ property in Kerasia. Agios Stefanos has a number of tavernas, bars & some more unique gift shops, plus two local supermarkets. This is where you’ll find Giannis Boats* (at the far end of the village). We’d suggest Kochili Taverna also at the far end near Giannis Boats. As for the other tavernas maybe try Eucalyptus or choose from the row of tavernas that beckon you in, but don’t feel pressured!

*Boat Hire If you hire a boat from Giannis, we recommend that you head out & turn left to look around Kassiopi Harbour. Then turn back past Agios Stefanos & continue along the coast, probably no farther than Nissaki – but Giannis will advise. Tavernas en route include Kouloura Bay, Agni Bay for Nikolas or Toulas (Toulas is the most expensive & it’s advisable that you book a table). You can drop anchor between Agni & Nissaki, where you can see a small chapel (Prosperos Cell) built into the rock & swim around some shallow caves. The water is an amazing blue & it’s great to dive in off the boat there.

From Corfu town you can take trips by boat to places like Paxos & Anti Paxos or others islands like Mathraki or Othoni, which are remote, unspoilt & you can grab a bite to eat at the taverna(s). Vidos island is the closest if you want more of a day out, just ask Dina for details.

Kerasia (Cherry) Beach To get to Kerasia you need to keep driving through Agios Stefanos past Giannis Boats & following the small road until you eventually come down a very steep hill to Kerasia Beach, with the main taverna in front of you. This is one of our favourite beaches, there’s an attractive small jetty. Do remember to book a table at the taverna when you arrive to try & get a table by the sea!

As Kerasia is a dead end, you’ll need to double back to the coastal road & turn left. Travel along the coast & onto Kouloura, Kalami, [Agni, Kaminaki, Nissaki are all adjacent to each other] & Barbati… about 40-45 minutes drive from Old Perithia

Barbati is perhaps the best beach. Kalami is famous for Gerald & Lawrence Durrell’s ‘White House’. In Agni, Nikolas taverna is the more ‘local’, or Toulas is high end but very well known for their food. You need to book ahead. Both are good for a lunch stop if taking a boat, then continue onto Nissaki for diving or Barbati to relax on the beach.

Kouloura Bay This is a small beach with a picturesque harbour, a good taverna [check prices if ordering fish as they can sometimes surprise you]. It’s very pretty there & nice to stroll down to the sea.

Kalami Famous for ‘The White House‘ the property used by Lawrence & Nancy Durrell in 1935. Because of its ‘fame’ it has a rather popular taverna but the food can be good. The area itself is pretty when not too busy.

Agni The petite bay consists of shiny pebbles and a few patches of sand. Kaminaki The tiny seaside village of Kaminaki is an unspoiled treasure, a small and quiet village next to the sea, with two tavernas. Well protected by flourishing hills full with olive groves & cypress trees. Nissaki Being on the East side of Corfu the water is that bit warmer making it fun place to snorkel in the clean clear waters.

Barbati Beach Lying in the sea & looking back at steep mountains is pretty amazing. If you want to eat there go to Bahia Mare Beach & Taverna. You need to stay on the main coastal road, then look out for a small white church & turn left down to Barbati beach. It’s best to book sunbeds as it’s a very popular spot there! Piedra del Mar is also a good taverna|bar & attracts the slightly younger crowd.

North West of the Island  [Turn left at the coastal road towards Acharavi | Roda | Sidari].

If you want to head to the north west of the island, we recommend Afionas which has a beautiful footpath down to the sea with Porto Timoni (a small hidden chapel) on the way & wonderful views. Best to park & walk from Anemos Taverna. Grab a drink or eat there as its a wonderful location. In the evening go via Cape Drastis [sunsets!] but we’d also recommend a trip to Angelokastro [The Castle of Angels] which was another of the substantial fortifications on the island dating back to the Byzantine period. It’s relatively near Paleokastritsa, both easily accessible from Afionas.     

Beaches to the South     

The overall setting at Lake Korission & Halikounas beach captures the essence of the island’s beauty in the south. Halikounas is one of the safest beaches in Europe. Lake Korission’s salt-water lagoon extends over 1,500 acres & is home to a vast array of wildlife & 2,000 species of birds, as well as some rare vegetation. At particular times of the year you can spot Terrapins, masses of Flamingos, Butterflies, Eurasian widgeons, Great White Egrets, Swans, Falcons & other cormorants.   

The Old Fortress | Corfu Town

Go | See | Eat Corfu Town

So much to Do. Such little Time. The Best of Corfu Town Spend a Day or Stay?

Whether you’re staying in town or just visiting, here’s a list of eats, drinks, see’s, do’s & general delights.

Eating Out [check back for any updates] Here are a few recommendations to get you started. Mention you’re staying in Old Perithia, or Saskia & Mark & please let us know any feedback you may have to help keep our list up to date. They all have vegetarian options.

Salto Wine Bar [Pavlos & Natasha] One of our top 3 favourites, casual, good food, wine bar-ish, great atmosphere, not too pricey – say you’re close friends of ours! Best to book ahead. Easygoing so good for lunch or dinner.

Pomo d’Oro More upmarket, we go there on special occasions – beautifully done, great chef (Masterchef) more arty & Greek cuisine with a twist. Aris is a real foodie/chef. Mention you’re close friends of Mark & Saskia too. Book ahead if you fancy going & it’s best for dinner.

Anthos Anthos has a creative & outstanding chef, the interior is not so plush, but book the table by the window as you go in, where you can see the kitchen. It’s all very cosy, ask for a table in the middle of the main side room or sit outside. Good for dinner, excellent fish dishes, it’s all great.

La Cucina  Italian, along Guildford Street, ask for George & say you know us. Good food, generous portions, lots of attention & although it’s a little pricey it’s fun, George lays on the charm & is a good host 🙂 more of a dinner venue.

Rex We mention this restaurant is a bit of an institution & has a lot of history. Popular with visitors & offers good food & wine choices.

La Famiglia Almost opposite Anthos, quirky Italianesque with interesting interior.

The Venetian Well Very popular & highly rated – upper end of the financial scale but outstanding food, wine, great location & atmosphere.

Ambelonas Unique and slightly out of town but worth the drive, book in advance. ‘Farm to table’ great experience.

Etrusco Famous for its nouveau cuisine located in Kato Korikiana, near to Corfu Town [50 mins drive from Old P].

Also suggested (lunch venues):

Bougainvillea Less expensive so good for lunch. Traditional Greek family taverna, mention Old Perithia to the mother & that you’re staying at The Merchant’s House.

Yami Sushi & Asian Fusion Don’t be put off by the extensive menu. If you like sushi/sashimi or Asian food & a break from the Greek dishes. In Scaramanga square close to Hondos Department store.

Rouvas Taverna Rouvas has been around for a long time. Ask to see what’s cooking in the kitchen, then choose what you fancy from their traditional recipes. It’s fun with no frills but a real find.

Kokoria This is another traditional place to eat & a well loved taverna among the locals. It’s one we often frequent too, set away from the main hustle & bustle, good for lunch or dinner.

Coffee, Tea, Bars & Light Bites (Lunch) | Drinks

Piazza Cafe  This is where you’ll get one of the best coffees in town [The Italians go there a lot!] Dimitris, the owner, also serves delicious food, cooked in their small kitchen using the best ingredients & has great beers & wines. It’s mainly locals who know about this place & it’s one of our favourites. Go say hello to Miltos opposite in the linen shop & say ‘we sent you’. He & his wife are delightful (and funny!) 

My Habit Popular for food & drink although it’s a cafeteria. Stop by on the way to or from Patounis Soaps.

Drinks, Nibbles, People Watching on Liston Liston Cafes are all about the ‘see and be seen’ but it’s a fun atmosphere & just opposite the cricket pitch & old fortress. A little more pricey but worth the experience as it buzzes all day & pretty much all night. As a rule of thumb (if you’re facing the café’s) then the generations go from young to old as you look left to right. For a little inside knowledge there are two meeting points at either end. To the left ‘Pendo Fanaro’ (the five lamps) near Arcadion Hotel, at the other end by the Palace is ‘Kofinetta’ (the coffee corner). Good to know if you want a meeting point.

Bristol Café More of a trendy bar than cafe quite small, but often packed & noisy, it’s at the end of Guildford Street by the Mayor’s office.

Puppet A charming little tea place almost diagonally opposite Bristol Cafe + a has a small B&B.

Calvieri Hotel & Roof Top Bar/Restaurant. Even if you’re not staying there, the roof terrace provides great views & you can grab a cocktail or eat there as well.

Mikro Café Slightly off the beaten path small cafe with an outside terrace & popular with the locals.

Plous Bookshop A lovely bookshop with real character & a wonderful place to sit & have a drink at the back, if you want a quiet moment head there! Nice shops along that street too, with interesting handmade jewellery & more individual gifts etc.

There are lots of little bars tucked away here & there, so if they feel good, drop in. You usually get water, plus some nibbles with your drinks.

Things to Do

Corfu Art Gallery (which is near Patounis Soaps (below) has a number of changing exhibitions so worth seeing what’s on.

Patounis Soap One of the last traditional olive soap makers & that means real, not the 99% you see in the shops claiming to be pure olive soap! Say hi to Apostolos from us, he owns the factory, does the tour & is from generations of Patounis’ – a charming guy. He is helped by one of the world’s few remaining ‘soap cutters’ quite an art to behold.

Old Fortress A must see on any trip into town, there’s the fortress, the museum, a climb to the top, a café, restaurant, great views & there are concerts & exhibitions there too + the Ionian Academy, so listen out for practicing musicians.

Cricket Pitch, Liston & Promenade The Brits brought cricket, ginger beer, kumquats & infrastructure to the island. Hence the promenade aligned with the Palace and the cricket pitch just off Liston. The French provided the esplanade and of course the Venetians built the fortress.

Durrell Gardens In passing (rub their noses!) A short stroll through the gardens via the Old Fort with a nice church at the end (great view over Old Fort & Yacht Club) & then head into the attractive Palace Gardens,

St Michael’s Palace & Garden  Peaceful & pretty, there’s a small but delightful art museum just up the steps to the left rear side of the palace gardens. We often pop into the gardens for an oasis of calm. The Corfu Museum of Asian Arts is inside the palace.

Agios Spyridon Church The island’s patron Saint, so the most famous & iconic church wherein lies St. Spyridon (and his slippers) amidst a lot of beautiful ornaments & precious metals.

Casa Parlante  A small attraction showing life in a noble house. It’s near Agios Spyridon Church & rather a fun interlude.

Byzantine Museum A Museum of post-Byzantine religious art of the Cretan & early Heptanese schools. 

The Market & Fish Market The Old (or recently upgraded) Market located in the centre of town sells fruit, flowers, fish, meat & all sorts.

Fancy a Swim?  When you’re in the Palace Gardens you’ll see people swimming at Faliraki below. Leave the gardens & go through the arch to the side of the Palace then walk along the path to get there.

Small Hidden Chapel If you keep walking along the coast path towards the new port opposite Mouragia Taverna (worth trying) it’s nice to discover this very small chapel built into the rock wall literally on the tide line more or less with a beautiful backdrop.

It is fascinating to wander around the UNESCO areas Campiello & also the Jewish Quarter. There’s a synagogue where you can read the fascinating about the history of the Jews on Corfu.

Recommended Hotels in Town

Bella Venezia Siorra Vittoria Arcadion Cavalieri {Roof Bar & Restaurant open for non guests but book] Mon Repos Palace Hotel [book the 4th floor sea view suites] quite a big hotel unlike the ones above.

If you’re after an Apartment, NJ Apartments are among the better ones. Puppet is a cute B&B option.

Attractions close to the town {These may need a car or taxi]

Mon Repos  Achilleon  Vlacherna Monastery Mouse Island & Kanoni The Governor’s Olive Oil Tour is highly recommended [located in Agios Matheos] Agios Matheos is approx. 25km from Corfu town so maybe combine with Lake Korrision.

Venetian Shipyard Located near Gouvia, the 18th-century remains are worth a visit if you’re in the area, with the little Ipapanti Church across the water.

That should keep you busy for now! Just call or text Dina when you’re here if you need any more help or suggestions. Mark & Saskia can suggest some other hidden away places too if you want more of the inside track.

If you glance across the page to ‘Beaches & Tavernas‘ in the south of the island are Lake Korrission & Halikounas, it’s a bit of a drive from Old Perithia but if you spend a day there it makes for a wonderful experience, in particular when the flamingoes appear there between May & potentially up until early July, then again in mid September & most of October. You can also find 14 different species of orchid in the dunes. The birds can also be seen at the wetland of Alyki, Lefkimmi.


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