Corfu Exclusive Taxi Services
North-West Corfu, Paleokastritsa and Angelokastro
This tour takes approximately four hours. We will collect you from and return you to your cruise ship or holiday accommodation. There will be time to stop for food, drink and shopping along the way and the choice of finishing the tour in Corfu Town if you prefer. We drive to the north-west of Corfu to visit the 13th century monastery at Paliokastritsa, the village of Lakones with its fabulous panoramic views, the Byzantine fortress of Angelocastro perched high on a rocky outcrop, and the villages of Krini, Makrades and Doukades, before returning to Corfu Town and stopping to admire the famous beauty spots of Mouse Island and Vlacherna Convent.
The monastery in Paleokastritsa is believed to have been founded in the early 13th century. The monastery is dedicated to the Panagia (Virgin Mary) and the current buildings were erected in the 18th century. From an architectural point of view the monastery is well worth a visit as it is a classic example of Greek monastic architecture. The church of the monastery is highly ornate with painted icons and frescos covering the walls and ceilings. Within the walls of the monastery there is an arched inner courtyard resplendent with plants. It is cool even on the hottest day. The outer courtyards have intricate tile work and one offers amazing views out to sea. There is an interesting museum which houses both Byzantine and post-Byzantine icons, sacred books and other religious relics as well as a well-preserved mammoth skeleton. Within one of the original monks' cells a shop has been established that sells icons, hand-made crafts, small bottles of olive oil pressed by the monks and other memorabilia. A small olive press can also be found within the monastery. Unlike many other historical sites on the island, it is still a working monastery and plays an important role in the life of the locals. There are fantastic views of Angelokastro and the monastery is the only place in Paleokastritsa from which you are able to see the village of Lakones.
The village of Lakones is built on the steep mountain behind the Paleokastritsa Monastery and tourists flock there to enjoy the magnificent panorama of Paleokastritsa's coves from the cafés at Bella Vista, just beyond the village. On the road towards the village there are plenty of viewing points and it is well worth stopping off to take in the views. Lakones is a very traditional village and you may even she women in traditional Greek dress, you will also find little stalls and shops selling local homemade produce from organic honey, olive oil and herbs.
Situated in the outskirts of Krini with a dominating position looking down on the resort of Paleokastritsa, this is one of the most famous historic sites on the island; in fact it is one of the most important Byzantine fortresses to be found in the whole of Greece. The fortress has now been renovated and is well worth a visit even if it is just for the panoramic views over the west coast of Corfu. This natural promontory which gave an excellent defensive position, due to the sheer inclines to the north, west and south, is thought by historians to have been further heavily fortified in the 13th Century by Michael Doukas and that the fortress was named after his father – literally Angelo’s Castle. Over the course of the centuries it has played an important role in defending the area against a legion of attackers from the pirates that roamed the area to the Turkish. During these attacks the inhabitants of the local villages gathered within the walls of the fortress as there was enough room to hold them and their livestock and the nature of its location made attack almost impossible. The fortress also had large underground rooms that were used as cisterns to store water for periods of prolonged attack. During times of peace the area was used by the locals as an area for trade, commerce and worship. There are also two churches within the fortress.
This traditional hill village is situated a few kilometres from Palaiokastritsa. The name of the settlement came from its first inhabitants who bore the name Doukas (meaning duke). The village probably originated during a period of devastating pirate raids on Corfu’s coastal communities when people retreated to the more remote interior. The earliest written reference to Doukades is from 1616. Of architectural interest are the restored stone mansion of the Theotokis family, the Venetian "Sagrado" of Quartanos, the Koraggios mansion, and the more recent late-19th century primary school building at the entrance of the village. After a walk around this pleasant village you can enjoy a meal or a drink at one of the tavernas and bars in the central square.
Kanoni and Mouse Island
We return to Corfu Town via Kanoni, from where you can enjoy an excellent view of Vlacherna Convent which is linked to the mainland by a causeway, and the picturesque Mouse Island. According to legend Mouse Island was formed when the ship that had taken Odysseus back to Ithaki, his home port, was turned to stone by Poseidon, god of the sea, angry at being defied by the Phaeceans. We finish the tour back at your ship or hotel, or if you prefer we can drop you off in Corfu's Old Town where you can spend some time exploring the narrow streets.
Should you wish we can extend this tour by an hour and also visit Achilleon Palace on the way back to Corfu Town. Achilleon Palace was built between the years 1890 and 1892 by the Empress Elizabeth of Austria (known as Sissy) in the hilltop village of Gastouri. This large building, in neoclassical style, has three floors adorned with many statues and paintings. The gardens surrounding the building run down to the coast road and offer a wonderful view of a large part of the island. They are filled with many statues, the most famous of which are two bronze runners, the dying Achilles and the statue of Achilles Triumphant. After the assassination of Empress Elizabeth in 1898 in Geneva, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany purchased the palace in 1907 and used it as a place for relaxation. All of the rooms contain personal items of the former owners and their original furniture.
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