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Benitses Corfu: The Ultimate Guide to the Beautiful Resort

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Last updated on June 9th, 2024 at 10:18 am

This is an in-depth guide for a journey into the heart of Benitses, exploring its rich history, stunning beaches, vibrant culture, and all the reasons why it’s a must-visit destination for travelers seeking the perfect blend of relaxation and adventure.

About Benitses Corfu

The charming fishing village of Benitses lies on the east coast of the beautiful Greek island of Corfu, just 12 kilometers away from the bustling Corfu town and a mere 10 kilometers from Ioannis Kapodistrias International Airport.

Benitses is blessed with a unique geographical setting that adds to its allure. It is the perfect combination of mountain and sea, nestled in a valley that gently slopes down to the sea, creating a breathtaking backdrop of lush mountains and sparkling coastline.

This natural paradise provides visitors with a sense of serenity and awe-inspiring views that are sure to leave a lasting impression.

Benitses by night
Benitses by night

This little haven is a well-organized paradise, ready to cater to your every touristy whim, a perfect blend of facilities, tranquility, and privacy – all at your fingertips.

Benitses stands out as one of Kerkyra’s proud keepers of traditional Greek style, a vintage village that doubles as an authentic Greek resort.

Imagine wandering through narrow streets that whisper tales of the past. And of course, when you’re ready for some beach time, you’ll find shores adorned with coarse sand and shingle, inviting you to kick back, relax, and enjoy the Greek sun in true style.

Is Benitses good for families?

Absolutely, yes, Benitses is excellent for families as it meets your family’s preferences and needs.

If you’re seeking a relatively tranquil seaside destination with a relaxed ambiance and ample amenities to ensure everyone’s comfort and enjoyment, Benitses could be an ideal choice.

Additionally, Benitses offers a range of children’s facilities and entertainment options designed specifically for families. Therefore, we consider Benitses to be one of the top 10 destinations for families in Corfu.

Is Benitses in Corfu safe?

Yes, it is. The crime rate in the village is close to zero, so you don’t even need to worry if you lose your wallet. The possibility of someone finding it and returning it to you, either at the police station or the bar or restaurant where you lost it, is high.

The factor of security is one of the village’s advantages, you can walk any time of day or night everywhere and you will be safe as no incident of any crime has been recorded for decades.

Is Benitses worth a visit?

The village is close to the west and southern coasts of Corfu, which boasts dreamy sandy shores, perfect for sunbathing and relaxation.

The Beaches are a testament to its natural beauty, their crystal-clear waters invite travelers to take a refreshing dip and explore the underwater world.

We will try to take an in-depth journey into the heart of Benitses, exploring its rich history, stunning beaches, vibrant culture, and all the reasons why it’s a must-visit destination for travelers seeking the perfect blend of relaxation and adventure.

So, yes, this is a tourist resort well deserving of a visit. Keep reading to discover more secrets and reasons why you should include Benitses on your travel list.

Where does the Name Benitses come from?

Since the 13th century, the area was known as Penitisai, a term derived from the Ancient Greek word “Penio,” signifying a place with rivers and abundant water.

Indeed, Benitses was once abundant in water, with two small rivers flowing into the sea where the current harbor is located.

Over the years, the name Penitisai evolved into Penitsai and eventually into the present-day Benitses.

The official name of the village is Benitses in the plural form, as it denotes a collection of settlements or regions.

It’s worth noting that Benitses or Mpenitses is essentially the same place but written in a slightly different way.

Locals, however, commonly refer to the village in the singular as Benitsa (Mpenitsa) or Binitsa (Mpinitsa).

Various name variations may be encountered, potentially confusing visitors. Nevertheless, regardless of the variation used, it all refers to the same location.

How big is Benitses? The 5 settlements

The village comprises five distinct settlements:

  1. The traditional part, known as Panochori, is situated between the mountains, earning its name, which translates to “the upper village.”
  2. Another settlement, Vaska (reservoir), is located around the aqueduct at an altitude of 50-60 meters on the slopes of Agioi Deka mountain.
  3. Skaloma, the settlement around the old port, serves as the current commercial center of the village, hosting a concentration of shops and restaurants.
  4. The village expanded to the south, encompassing the fourth settlement known as Chontrakia or Kontrakia, situated along the main road to Lefkimi.
  5. Finally, the Tsaki area represents the southernmost and last settlement, marking the end of Benitses.

What is Benitses Today?

After a decade of decline, Benitses is now thriving, with a focus on attracting discerning visitors. The village has embarked on an ambitious journey to upgrade its infrastructure while preserving its timeless charm.

Tourism remains the lifeblood of the local community, and substantial efforts are underway to enhance the visitor experience.

The foremost priority is maintaining and enriching the village’s traditional character, which has never waned.

Benitses beckons to those in search of a beautiful destination with comfortable accommodations, captivating sights, and, of course, outstanding dining options.

Is Benitses Lively? – The Friendly Residents

One of the village’s most endearing qualities is its residents’ warm and welcoming nature.

The village is home to a population of 1,000 souls, known for their friendliness and hospitality, with a significant portion engaged in the tourism industry.

Historically, the villagers were involved in traditional occupations such as fishing, olive cultivation, and citrus fruit farming.

Moreover, in the past, the mountainside of the village hosted the operation of watermills that produced flour.

While traditional activities have evolved, some, like fishing, are experiencing a revival, particularly during the winter months.

The area maintains a tight-knit community where everyone knows each other. This sense of community extends to visitors, who are treated with genuine hospitality and friendliness.

As you explore the village and interact with the locals, you’ll find that this isn’t just a vacation spot; it’s a place where you can connect with the heart and soul of Corfu.

Whether you need recommendations for the best restaurants, hidden gems to explore, or simply a friendly chat, the people of Benitses are more than happy to assist.

How do I get from Benitses to Corfu old town?

Corfu town from top of mountain
Corfu town from the top of the mountain

One of the advantages of staying in Benitses is its proximity to Corfu Town; it’s only 8 miles away. The distance from Benitses port to San Rocco square in the town is approximately 11,500 meters.

If you’re in the mood for a little urban adventure, the old city of Kerkyra is a must-visit destination. Its narrow cobblestone streets, historic architecture, and vibrant atmosphere offer a delightful contrast to the tranquillity of Benitses.

Getting to the town from Benitses is convenient, thanks to the trusty No. 6 blue bus that whisks visitors away in no time.

Exploring Corfu Island from Benitses – The Perfect Corfu Getaway

Benitses, situated on the east coast of Corfu, is an ideal gateway for exploring the island’s stunning landscapes.

With its central location, renting a car opens up the opportunity to discover Corfu’s most captivating attractions.

Begin your day with a refreshing swim at your closest Beach, and then embark on a memorable road trip, taking in the island’s most breathtaking beaches and scenic vistas along the way.

For those looking to take a scenic stroll from Benitses and visit one or more traditional villages, consider exploring the neighboring villages of Gastouri, Agii Deka, or Stavros.

These charming Corfiot villages feature traditional houses and offer breathtaking panoramic views. A visit to any of these villages provides a genuine experience of authentic Greek village life.

However, for those feeling a bit more adventurous, renting a bike or car allows for an epic road trip through the island’s scenic landscapes.

Many boat tours from Benitses include visits to nearby islands like Paxos and Antipaxos, as well as beautiful locations on the Greek mainland.

These locations and islands are known for their stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and charming villages. Boat trips typically offer opportunities for swimming, snorkeling, and exploring the islands.

Whether you choose to explore the charming streets of Corfu town, visit historic sites like the Achilleion Palace, enjoy a daily boat trip, or simply soak in the island’s rich culture, this village serves as the perfect vacation basecamp.

Accommodations in Benitses

There is a wide range of accommodation options to suit every traveler’s preferences and budget. From hotels and apartments to villas and cozy rooms, you’ll find a variety of choices to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable stay.

Many of the accommodations in Benitses have undergone significant improvements in recent years.

Modern amenities and updated facilities provide guests with a comfortable and convenient experience.

Additionally, free broadband internet access is a common offering, ensuring that travelers stay connected during their visit.

Angsana Corfu Resort & Spa

Angsana Corfu Resort & Spa
Angsana Corfu Resort & Spa

Nestled on a lush hill overlooking the pristine Ionian Sea, Angsana Corfu Resort & Spa is a 5-star hotel, a serene oasis offering breathtaking views at every turn.

Enjoy the infinity pool, dine by the sea, relax on the private beach, and indulge in world-class wellness amenities, all amidst the beauty of the island.

Culinary Delights in Benitses

Sofrito
Sofrito

No travel experience is complete without indulging in the local cuisine, and Benitses certainly doesn’t disappoint in this department.

Thanks to its 400-year Venetian influence, Corfiot cuisine is a delightful fusion of Greek and Italian flavors, with a pronounced emphasis on seafood, making it a true gastronomic delight for visitors.

Some of the island’s finest restaurants can be found right here. Benitses has transformed into a culinary paradise, offering exquisite flavors at surprisingly affordable prices.

The dining scene is wonderfully diverse, encompassing traditional Greek and Corfiot cuisine, tantalizing Chinese dishes, mouthwatering grills featuring both meat and fresh fish, delectable pizzas, and more.

The village is renowned for its excellent seafood restaurants, showcasing traditional Corfiot dishes such as Bourdeto and Sofrito.

Whether you seek a romantic seaside dinner, a family-friendly meal, or a taste of traditional Greek flavors, these restaurants offer options to suit different preferences.

Benitses’ culinary scene ensures that every meal is a delightful experience, allowing you to savor the flavors of Corfu fully.

Nightlife in Benitses?

Nightclub
Nightclub

When the stars come out, Benitses transforms into a place where you can enjoy a mellow yet entertaining nightlife.

The settlement offers a variety of bars and taverns, with many of them located around the shiny new yacht harbor, known as the Marina.

Whether you’re traveling with family, a loved one, or friends, Benitses welcomes everyone to kick back, relax, and sip on a glass of ouzo while watching the moonlight dance on the tranquil waters of the Ionian Sea.

This creates a unique atmosphere where you can unwind and make unforgettable memories.

Hiking and biking

Starting from the village many trails on the slopes of the mountain can be crossed on foot or by bicycle.

These paths are hidden in the lush vegetation and lead to the villages of Gastouri, Stavros, and Agioi Deka, and some trails go to the water sources with their aqueduct.

By these paths, there are many small churches scattered on the slopes of the mountain, such as Agia Paraskevi, Agia Triada, Agios Nikolaos Vrysiliotis, Taksiarches, Evaggelistria, and others.

The effort in walking up to Stavros or Agioi Deka or at the knoll of Agia Triada (300 meters high), will reward you with superb views over Benitses and the middle east coast of Corfu.

Benitses in the East coast of Corfu
Benitses on the East coast of Corfu

While Benitses is perfect for those seeking relaxation, it’s also a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and adventure seekers.

The Sea Museum

There used to be a unique sea museum in Benitses until recently.

It was owned by the former diver Mr. Sagias and had a huge collection of shells, fossils, sponges, corals, and stuffed large fish. One of the largest collections of its kind in the Mediterranean.

Sadly, After the death of the owner in 2018, the museum closed down.

Sights in Benitses

1. The Ruins of the Roman Villa with Baths

Benitses - Roman baths
Benitses – Roman baths

Archaeological excavations in the estate of the Kapsokavadis family unearthed ruins of a Roman villa with baths dating back to Roman times.

The baths are relatively well preserved and the decorative mosaics on the floor are visible.

Even though they are almost hidden behind some rows of houses, it is not difficult to visit them, the ruins are only 50 meters from the main road and can be reached through a narrow passageway between houses, that leads directly to them.

The passageway is not entirely public, the first part belongs to private properties but stays open to enable other people to use it as a passage to their houses too.

But you better discover more about the monument, along with a photo guide that helps you find them.

Read about the Roman Villa with Baths

2. The Achilleion Palace

Just 3 km. from Benitses at the edge of the village of Gastouri is the Achilleion Palace, a three-story building that was built in 1890 by the Austro-Hungarian Empress Elisabeth also known as Sissy.

The architecture of the building is a combination of the Doric and Ionic styles, with many statues of ancient gods, philosophers, and personalities of the classical era. But above all, it is dominated by the statues of the mythical Hero Achilles, who gave his name to it.

After the murder of Elizabeth by an Italian who stabbed her in Geneva, the Palace was bought by Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany who used it as a summer residence.

During the First World War, it became a military hospital.

As tourism grew during the 80s it became a casino, but today it is a museum and a favorite excursion destination for many visitors, we hope that after reading more about Achilleion Palace you will join them too.

Read about Sights and Amazing Things to Do in Benitses

3. The Old Historic Buildings of Benitses

Vandoros old house next to Kefalonitis restaurant-1960
Vandoros old house next to Kefalonitis restaurant-1960

There are some very old and beautiful buildings in Benitses, some of them more than 5 centuries old.

Each one has a history and it is worth the time to spend photographing and admiring them.

Examples are the old tall building at the entrance of the port, the building of the town hall, and some others which unfortunately have changed after renovation.

A Glimpse of Benitses’ Tradition and History

Before we dive into the modern-day wonders of the village, let’s take a step back in time and explore its intriguing history.

Benitses Laopetra - painting
Benitses Laopetra – painting

This charming village holds a special place in the annals of Corfu’s tourism, as it was the pioneer of the island’s vacation scene.

In the mid-20th century, it welcomed its first tourists, paving the way for Corfu’s emergence as a popular travel destination. The village’s historic charm, natural beauty, and proximity to both Corfu town and the airport made it an ideal starting point for exploring the island.

During the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, Benitses was a magnet for the rich and famous seeking a traditional and beautiful retreat.

Notable figures like Roger Furse, Emlyn Williams, and Hamish Hamilton built villas overlooking the sea.

Celebrities such as Peter Ustinov, Rex Harrison, Vivien Leigh, Laurence Olivier, Paul McCartney, Ava Gardner, Warren Beatty, and more were drawn to the serene village to escape civilization and the paparazzi, spending time on its beaches and in the traditional taverns.

Musicians like George Harrison of the Beatles and John Lennon also frequented the area. Moody Blues found inspiration for their music.

In the 1970s, organized tourism in Greece led to the rise of the Greek “kamaki” phenomenon, attracting young women seeking more than just sun and sea.

Spiros on the Beach, an iconic nightclub of that era, became synonymous with the golden age of this trend.

Despite its simple setup with loud music, basic lighting, and a wooden dance floor, the club drew over 3000 visitors nightly, significantly shaping the music preferences of the ’70s youth.

The influence of Spiros on the Beach extended beyond Corfu, reaching the UK, where it gained international acclaim.

In the early ’80s, it was even voted as the second-best club in the world by newspaper readers.

However, after the untimely passing of its owner, Spiros Poulis, in his early 50s, the area has remained abandoned, marking the end of an era in the vibrant history of Spiros on the Beach.

In the ’90s, Benitses continued to be a nightlife hub, drawing young British tourists, although problems arose due to excessive drinking and unruly behavior.

Residents and tourists grew discontented, leading to the decline of Benitses’ party scene in the early ’90s. The village’s reputation as a party destination waned, and many establishments closed, leaving behind ruins.

The local Festivals and celebrations

Benitses hosts two significant festivals: the festival of Agia Marina on July 16th and 17th, organized by the Cultural Association of Benitses, featuring traditional dances, local cuisine, and folk music.

Additionally, the Festival of Sardines, held in early August, celebrated the town’s fishing heritage but ceased due to financial difficulties. There’s optimism for its return in the future.

What are the Beaches like in Benitses?

Water sports in south Benitses
Water sports in south Benitses

Benitses’ beaches have undergone a remarkable transformation, becoming wider and longer, offering ample space and comfort.

Near the north entrance of the village, there is a beach named after the standing rock ‘Laopetra’. Then comes the Beach outside the harbor, followed by Loutrouvia (or Chontakia) beach, and finally, the hidden small peaceful beaches to the south of the settlement.

Lifeguards ensure safety, and the beaches are meticulously maintained for a hassle-free experience.

But the excitement doesn’t end there – water sports enthusiasts will be thrilled by the crystal-clear waters, considered the best on Corfu’s Eastern coast.

With a perfect blend of shingle and sand, well-organized sunbeds, and easy access to water sports, these beaches offer a dreamlike setting for lounging and adventure alike.

1. Laopetra Beach

Laopetra
Laopetra

Let’s kick off our beach tour with a visit to Laopetra Beach, right at the north entrance of the village. You’ll find it just a stone’s throw away from the yachting marina port.

Get ready to dive into tranquility itself. This beach is all about serenity, making it the calmest spot in town.

Picture pebbles and a sprinkle of sand right at the water’s edge, creating a serene escape for those seeking a little shoreline bliss. You won’t spot any high-octane water sports here, but what you will find is a sparkling clean sea that invites you to take a leisurely dip.

And oh, the views! Prepare to be swept away by the sheer magnificence of the landscape. Behold the grandeur of the colossal Laopetra rock that takes center stage, commanding the scenery like an ancient guardian.

So, if you’re in the mood for quiet bliss, Laopetra Beach has your name written all over it. Grab your towel, and your favorite book, and let the waves of tranquility wash over you in this spectacular coastal haven.

2. The Beach at the port area

Benitses holidays - Beach at the port area
Benitses holidays – Beach at the port area

Right beyond the harbor, or as we like to put it, just a skip away from the port’s embrace, you’ll stumble upon the heart and soul of the village – its main beach.

This sandy haven boasts crystal-clear waters that practically twinkle with cleanliness. And for those craving a dash of adventure, you’re in for a treat.

Imagine gliding over the waves on skis or hopping onto a pedal for a leisurely cruise. And if you’ve got a bit of a skipper in you, there’s even the option to rent a boat and captain your own mini adventure.

So, whether you’re diving in for a refreshing swim or gearing up for some playful water sports, this bustling beach right outside the port’s gates has got you covered. It’s like a sun-soaked playground where fun meets relaxation in perfect harmony.

3. Benitses Chontrakia Beach

Benitses beach at Loutrouvia
Benitses beach at Loutrouvia

Venture about 200 yards south to the Chontrakia region, and you’ll discover the expansive beauty of Benitses’ larger beach – affectionately known as Contrakia or Loutrouvia. Nestled between the inviting embrace of the Potamaki Hotel and the tranquil Koutsomaroula Bay at its southern tip, this beach is a showstopper.

Prepare for a dose of well-orchestrated relaxation, because Contrakia/Loutrouvia stands as the pinnacle of organization. Perched right along the main road, it’s the place to be. Think of it as a beach bazaar – shops galore, all at your fingertips. But that’s just the beginning of the adventure.

Here, the waves call out to the adventurous souls. From zipping across the water on skis to holding tight on banana rings, there’s a watery thrill for everyone. And for those who dream of soaring above the sea, paragliding will have you feeling like a modern Icarus.

So, if you’re seeking a beach experience that’s both organized and vibrant, Contrakia/Loutrouvia is your ticket. Get ready to dive into a world of shops, water sports, and sun-soaked delight – all framed by the stunning beauty of the Potamaki Hotel and Koutsomaroula Bay.

4. Discover the small hidden Beaches just outside Benitses

South Benitses beaches
South Benitses beaches

Imagine a collection of small, secluded coves nestled to the south of Benitses, each a picturesque haven with waters that could take your breath away.

These gems have no names, they are named by the locals according to the name of a hotel a house, or a sight near or next to them.

These coves are a true feast for the eyes, adorned with magnificent, sizable rocks and sandy shores that seem to have a calming effect on the soul.

But that’s not all; there’s not just one or two of these coastal treasures – there are dozens of them, each offering a unique experience and stretching down to the Moraitika area.

And if you’re seeking serenity and perfect weather conditions, you’re in luck.

These hidden paradises are known for their tranquility, with minimal winds. They are not busy even during the peak of summer, when the waters become deliciously warm, and nearly scorching, making them the perfect escape for relaxation.

What’s more, these gems are a bit of a local secret, embraced by lush vegetation, offering a sense of near-complete isolation, yet with effortless access as they lie just a stone’s throw from the main road.

The only hitch in this paradise is the increasing number of explorers finding their way here, gradually eroding the unique charm these coves possess.

So, if you’re ever in the area, hurry up before these well-kept secrets become crowded destinations.

3. Marine Life

The sea in Benitses is remarkably clean, thanks to a marine plant named Posidonia, which you can observe on the seabed.

Although its dark color may not appeal to swimmers, it effectively cleans the water by filtering toxic substances, heavy minerals, and carbon dioxide. Additionally, it provides oxygen and serves as valuable shelter and food for small fish.

Posidonia is largely responsible for the delicious seafood available and contributes to the overall purity of the water.

While Posidonia meadows appear green, their leaves turn a dark brown color as they age.

These leaves eventually separate from the plant and, aided by tides, wash up on beaches. However, after winter storms, the beaches are meticulously cleaned, providing visitors with a beautifully pristine environment to enjoy.

It’s important to note that Posidonia is not seaweed, as some mistakenly believe, but rather a valuable marine plant that grows, blooms, and multiplies similarly to terrestrial plants. Its primary threats include trawlers, intensive fishing, and human ignorance.

A flourishing presence of Posidonia indicates a clean sea and a well-balanced environment, as it thrives only in the purest waters of the Mediterranean Sea.

Visit The sandy beaches of the West Coast

If you plan to rent a car or have your own, it’s easy to explore the vast sandy beaches of the nearby west and southern coasts.

More on the page about the Corfu beaches

Daily Cruises to the Greek mainland

Every day there are small boats from Benitses harbor offering daylong cruises to the mainland town of Parga and the village of Sivota (Mourtos), also to other parts of Corfu, and the island of Paxos.

Mourtos (the ancient Sivota) is an area of unsurpassed beauty and unspoiled beaches, with numerous small islands that contain many strange large caves with hundreds of wild pigeons.

The boats can sail inside the caves where the water is incredibly clear so that the bottom can be seen despite the depth which can exceed 20 meters.

During the trip, you’ll get the chance to swim between the islands, imagine how it feels to swim between 3 and 4 and five small islands.

Paxos and its neighboring island of Anti-Paxos also allow you to explore our nearest, but very different and exotic, neighboring islands.

During your Benitses vacation, you should not miss the opportunity to enjoy such a trip, you can book the trip through your hotel or with some tourist agent offices on the main road across the port.

Also if you go to the harbor at 9 am you can join the boat on your own.

Also at the harbor entrance, during the afternoon there is a ticket for cruises for the south of the island, to Paxos, across the mainland coast at Parga as well as to the north of Corfu and some places in Albania.

The Yacht Marina and Waterfront Cafes

Benitses with Yachting Marina in first sight
Benitses with Yachting Marina in First Sight

The marina at Benitses Harbour offers a haven for sailors and yachtsmen. It’s equipped with essential facilities like mooring, fuel stations, and provisions, making it a convenient stop for those exploring the Ionian islands by boat.

Around the marina, you’ll find a delightful assortment of waterfront cafes and restaurants catering to tourists and seafarers.

These establishments offer an array of dining experiences, from fresh seafood platters to Mediterranean cuisine and traditional Greek dishes.

Dining by the harbor allows guests to savor their meals while enjoying panoramic views of the sea, creating an unforgettable atmosphere.

ORCA Yachting Chartering

ORCA Yachting Chartering located inside the Yachting Marina, specializes in offering top-tier yacht rental services, providing tailor-made private yacht cruises, attentive onboard care, and unparalleled exploration of the hidden gems in Corfu, Paxos, Sivota, and Parga.

Your satisfaction and comfort are our priorities, ensuring a personalized and unforgettable maritime experience.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Benitses is a charming gem on Corfu’s east coast, offering a harmonious blend of mountain and Sea, natural beauty, cultural richness, and modern amenities.

As a pioneer in Corfu’s tourism industry, it’s a welcoming and well-developed destination that caters to travelers of all kinds.

This village has something for everyone, from its stunning beaches and outdoor activities to its culinary delights and vibrant culture.

Whether you seek relaxation, adventure, or a mix of both, this charming village is ready to make your Corfu getaway an unforgettable experience.

So, if you’re planning your next vacation and yearning for a destination that combines the tranquility of a coastal village with the excitement of exploration, consider Benitses in Corfu. A place where the beauty of nature meets the warmth of Greek hospitality, promising memories that will last a lifetime.

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