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Pantokrator
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On the way to the mountain

PANTOKRATOR

A trip into green

By Liana Metal

 

Corfu, one of the most beautiful islands in Greece, lies in the northern part of the Ionian Sea. Homer calls it the island of the hospitable Pheakes. Corfu town has a lot of ancient monuments and mansions for the visitors to admire, as well as two museums, a Greek Art one and a Chinese Art collection one housed at the Palace of St George and Michael.

Out of the town there are a lot of interesting places to see, and one of them is Pantokrator, the highest mountain on the island. It is 918 meters high and has a small monastery on the top of it. There is a wonderful view to all directions from up there.

On the way to Pantokrator the road is winding and narrow but lies between endless olive groves which are the green beauty of the scenery.

On the mountain there are a lot of villages easy to reach by car, motor bike, bicycle or on foot. Walkers usually follow the route: Ipsos beach, Ayios Markos, Korakiana, Dassia and back to Ipsos from a different road.

Pantokrator is for those who love the countryside and its tradition. Visitors can admire the breathtaking view of the green olive groves and the sea, as well as the magic sunset and dawn. Ideal for relaxing and enjoying natural living in a friendly atmosphere.

WHERE TO STAY

You can find a room near the beach, a hotel, a villa or a camping on the mountain. Many local houses rent rooms for a night or more, and children are always welcome. If you choose to stay in Corfu town, get the green bus to Ipsos or Korakiana village. It takes 30-35 minutes.

Further information: For hotels, rooms etc contact the Greek National Tourism Organization (EOT) at 06610 37520.

WHERE TO EAT

Along the beaches of Ipsos and Pyrgi are several restaurants , fast foods and cafes, while on the mountain there is a good restaurant at Korakiana villlage called Luna dArgento offering folk music in the evenings. Moreover, you can find small cafes in the center of the village , as well as a grill room. Ayios Markos has one tiny cafe overlooking the fields and beaches beyond.

WHAT TO EAT

Try traditional dishes such as pastitsada, mousakas ,sofrito and salads. Local wine is offered in many places, while the baklava cake is worth trying.

 

WHAT TO BUY

Souvenir shops are plentiful along the beach but not on the mountain. Herb lovers should buy fresh oregano, camomile and mint leaves gathered from the top of the mountain. In Korakiana village they sell Koum Kouat , a kind of tiny citrus fruit in heavy syrup, as well as Koum-Kouat drink. They are local products as well as Mandolato (almond bars) and Mandoles (almonds coated with honey). Local honey is also excellent. Lace tablecloths, leather shoes, wallets and bags are very popular ,too.

DON'T MISS

The sights in Corfu town:

The two palaces, the two castles, the museums, the archaeological sites , the churches. Also there are band concerts, painting exhibitions, parades and religious processions all the year round.

In the outskirts:

Achillion museum, The monastery of Paleokastritsa, Canal damour and a lot more.

TAKING CHILDREN

The island is good for family holidays. There is plenty for children to do, including two popular water parks, pools, playgrounds and sports.

BEST TIME TO GO

Corfu is a year- round destination with temperatures that vary from 14 C in January to 35C in July. There is a lot of rainfall during winter but there is regular sunshine throughout the year. Spring is a good season as it is less crowded and there is Easter celebration at that time, which is a spectacular open air event. Summer months are very popular but the island is crowded.

GETTING THERE

You can fly direct to Athens every day of the week and then fly to Corfu. There are several local flights daily. If you fly to UK first, there are cheap charter flights direct to Corfu. (Heathrow- Corfu, 3 hours). The cheapest fares available are on charter flights, which are operated by all major tour operators.

 

Ends

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