Choose from a selection of beaches
Paleokastritsa has not just one beach, but six, and that’s six good reasons that people pick this destination when they’re planning cheap holidays to Corfu. The coastal road which spans all of these beaches is dotted with hidden routes down to the many different coasts, and some of the little coves are only accessible by sea-taxi. You can catch these from many of the beaches, or hire your own boat and see the island your way.
Agios Spyridon, the main strip in Paleokastritsa, is all white sands and sunloungers, with more than enough space for everyone. Restaurants, bars and watersport facilities line the beach, with opportunities to water-ski, parasail and scuba dive, as well as regular sea-taxis heading off to the more exclusive sands.
For a vibrant and buzzing seaside destination take the bus half an hour up the road to Aghios Georgios North. This is known as one of the most beautiful beaches in Corfu, with a Blue Flag award for its five kilometres of shoreline. It is also one of the most popular, so if you’re heading that way on the weekend make sure you get there nice and early.
Day trips to Corfu Town
Buses also run to Corfu Town, with a journey time of about half an hour. You’ll be dropped in the centre where all the bus services convene, and from there it’s just a matter of what to do first.
You can grab lunch at one of the great international restaurants, then take a romantic stroll down to the pier. If you’re in the mood for shopping, head into the commercial district and browse the boutique fashion stores and jewellers for that unique souvenir.
For those more interested in the historical side of the city, you can wander through the narrow streets of the Old Town and try your hand at bartering with some of the island’s best trades-folk. Alternatively, make the walk up to the Old Venetian Fortress, which stands as testament to island’s strength against the Ottoman Empire.
A picturesque monastery
Heading back to your hotel you’ll find history is right on your doorstep too. Overlooking Paleokastritsa is Theotokos Monastery, a 13th century founded establishment which makes for incredible holiday snaps. Walk out to the lookout and gaze over the whole of your holiday home, while the sun sets over the gorgeous bay.
There’s also a quaint museum by Theotokos which has in depth details on the Byzantine history of the monument and other local heritage sights. The walk back down is equally scenic, with floral hangings and archways for you to duck underneath while you experience a truly authentic Greek village along the way.
Join the festivities
If you’re in Paleokastritsa in August then you might just catch the Varkarola Festival, which is celebrated on the closest Saturday to the 11th every year. This one-day blow-out celebrates Saint Spyridon, the patron saint who is said to have defended the island from the Turkish in 1716.
The festival takes place in the bay of Paleokastritsa, and boats parade by as people cheer or dance to the traditional music of Greece. Drinking, eating and partying carries on until the evening when a boat is set alight, marking the start of an incredible fireworks display.