According to legend, the Greek village of Paleokastritsa (Palaiokastritsa) is where Odysseus was shipwrecked and met Nausicaa in Homer’s epic tale the Odyssey. It’s a suitable setting for mythical romance, with a string of beaches, olive groves, and cypress forests set against the glittering Mediterranean Sea.
Located on Corfu’s northwest coast, Paleokastritsa is usually included on most island tours or Corfu shore excursions. The island’s small size makes it easy to visit Paleokastritsa along with highlights such as Corfu Town, Achilleion Palace, and the Hill of Kanoni. Most Paleokastritsa tours make a beeline for the hilltop Monastery of Virgin Mary of Paleokastritsa, which offers panoramic views of the coastline.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Paleokastritsa is a must-see for beach, culture, and history lovers.
- Bring sun protection; temperatures can reach over 86°F (30°C) during summer.
- The beaches of Paleokastritsa have showers, sunbeds, and parasols for rent, and there are plenty of places to purchase food and drinks.
- Dress modestly if you plan to visit the monastery.
How to Get There
Paleokastritsa is located on Corfu’s northwest coast, roughly 16 miles (25 kilometers) from Corfu Town. Buses run regularly between the two towns and take around 40 minutes, but if you plan to explore the surrounding villages and beaches, it’s a good idea to join a guided tour or organize private transport.
When to Get There
Summer (July through August) is the island’s busiest season, so arrive early to secure a good spot on the beach. Shoulder season (April through May or September through November) is a particularly good time to visit, when temperatures are still ideal for swimming and there are fewer crowds. During winter the water is typically too cold to swim, and many hotels and attractions may be closed.
Exploring the Beaches of Paleokastritsa
The coastline around Paleokastritsa is lined with sand and pebble beaches and the cool water is ideal for swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, and watersports. Boat trips around the bay allow you to cruise around small caves and rock pools, while during summer speedboats and water taxis hop between beaches.