Thursday, 29 January 2009

The town of Old Perithia, Corfu

One of the most unusual places to visit on Corfu this summer might well be the village of 'Old Perithia'.

The small town, originally built in Byzantine times, is located in the mountains between Kassiopi and Acharavi, off the main road. It is unique, in that it is almost completely uninhabited.

At one point occupied by over 1,500 people, the village lost all its inhabitants due to population changes over the last century.

There are now two tavernas in the old village, thronged by visitors in the summer months. Tourists can sit with a cold drink, before exploring the streets of the village and the tight rows of crumbling, shuttered houses.

Old Perithia, located up the hill from its more modern sister village, simply called Perithia, is believed to have been built in around the 14th century. One persuasive local story has it that it was founded by those previously living on the coast, who had become fed up by pirate raids.

Nowadays, walking through the echoing streets of the town, perhaps with a few sheep in tow, tourists are rewarded with a fascinating glimpse into the way in which Corfiots used to live, as well as spectacular mountain views.

Well off the beaten track, day trippers are advised to drive carefully, as the winding road to the village can get quite windy.

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