Last updated on April 29th, 2021 at 01:33 pm
Benitses Corfu is an old traditional village and an original resort in Greece. A charming combination of mountains and sea, 8 miles from Corfu town.
When speaking of tourism in Corfu, this is where it started.
Perhaps it is one of the most famous seaside villages in the country due to the strange and strong attraction exerted to almost every visitor to Corfu that is difficult to describe in words.
May be is because of the lush vegetation on the surrounding mountains. Or the notorious nightlife of the recent past. Perhaps the beautiful history of the place or the shine of the famous first guests and residents in the 50s and 60s..No one can say.
What is Benitses Corfu Like?
Forget anything you knew about the past because the resort with the notorious nightlife is nothing but a distant memory.
Benitses today is an idyllic lively place, with a great past and future that every visitor to Corfu will want to discover and share with their friends.
The village has expanded in recent years into a large tourist resort in Corfu. After all, it was the top destination in Corfu during the 60s to 80s
Today boasts the wonderful yacht harbor (Marina). A project that, among other things includes a large parking area. Has berths for hundreds of private boats, as well as the local pleasure craft and other facilities.
Hotels, apartments, villas, and rooms are ideal for cheap holidays in a wonderful place which is a perfect marriage of mountain and sea.
Restaurants and tavernas cater to every taste. From traditional Greek cuisine to pizzas, pasta, and even Chinese food.
Benitses offers a low key but pleasant nightlife with many bars. Most of them around the new yacht harbor (Marina)
Check out this video of Nektarios Spinoulas, here is his youtube channel
Where the Name Benitses came from?
Since the 13th century, the area was referred to as Penitisai, a word derived from the Ancient Greek word “Penio” which means a place that has rivers and is generally rich in waters.
Indeed Benitses is rich in water and used to have two small rivers which reached the sea where the harbor is now.
Later the name Penitisai changed over the years into Penitsai and finally into the current Benitses.
The official name of the village is Benitses in the plural because it refers to a set of settlements or regions.
NOTE: Benitses or Mpenitses is the same place written in a slightly different way.
But the village is more familiar to locals in the singular as Benitsa (Mpenitsa) or Binitsa (Mpinitsa). It’s obvious that there are several variations of the name that might confuse visitors.
However, any way you name it is the same.
Where is Benitses?
The traditional part lays in a beautiful location that sweeps down to the sea in the middle of a green valley.
Nature has been very Generous
The village is literally resting on the green mountains where there are several isolated small churches hidden inside the lush vegetation. For instance Agia Paraskevi, Agia Triada on an amazing knoll, and others.
Therefore conditions are ideal for biking and hiking on numerous trails leading to the mountainous village of Stavros. As a result, when arriving there you will get rewarded with breathtaking views of the middle and south parts of the island.
The existence of water sources created a river which many years ago passed through the current path of the old village. But the river had to become a road, so the diversion of the river was done earlier last century.
These sources are until today the cause of the aqueduct’s existence. In addition is the reason that Benitses is inhabited since ancient times, plus for the origin of its name.
Some more details can be found on the page dedicated to the history of Benitses.
In Benitses you can do many outdoor activities. For instance, you can go fishing, do windsurfing, sailing, snorkeling, and almost all watersports. So, if you’re a real outdoor enthusiast, Globo Surf has some great tips and guides for almost every outdoor activity.
Shops and Facilities
The intense building activity and large touristic development started with mass tourism in the 1960s. But despite this, the village managed to keep its natural beauty intact.
The main street offers the visitor every kind of facilities, like stores, Supermarkets, travel agencies, tourist shops, car rentals, restaurants, cafes, bars, etc.
The village has also Doctors, Pharmacy, Surgery, Travel Agencies, laundry, Water Sports, etc…
Despite the enormous tourism development, the village has retained almost intact all its natural beauty. Similarly, the old buildings are preserved, and the village still combines the attractions of both sea and mountains.
The Friendly Residents
The village’s population is 1,000 residents, friendly and hospitable, most of which deal with tourism.
But in the past, their traditional occupations were fishing, cultivating olives, and citrus fruits.
In addition, another activity of the past was the operation of watermills that produced flour, in the mountainside of the village.
Some old occupations like fishing are reviving now especially during winter.
Residents of Benitses are familiar with most foreign cultures, hospitable, and friendly. Because they like helping you to enjoy your holiday to the full!
The 5 settlements
The village consists of five settlements.
1) The traditional part which is located between the mountains and is called Panochori (that means “the upper village”).
2) Another settlement around the aqueduct, on an altitude of 50-60 meters on the slopes of Agioi Deka mountain, which is named Vaska (reservoir).
3) The settlement around the old port is called Skaloma and it is the current commercial center of the village as it holds the most shops and restaurants.
4) The village expanded south through the 4rth settlement called Chontrakia or Kontrakia along the main road to Lefkimi.
5) Finally, the Tsaki area, is the southern and last settlement, and where Benitses ends.
More maps of Benitses wide area can be found here.
Why you must Visit Benitses? Best reasons
For the prospective visitor is useful to emphasize that Benitses of today have nothing in common whatsoever with the lively tourist center of the 80s and 90s.
Every hotel or group of rooms small or large provides free broadband internet access to all customers.
Also here are some of the best for their food quality and flavors restaurants on the island. We could say that Benitses is now a culinary paradise, and these at surprisingly low prices!
Benitses is also one of the safest destinations, don’t worry if you lost something, even money, someone will find them for you.
Remember, the young tourists of the 80s and 90s have moved South and are nothing but a memory.
Also, the location of the village in the middle of the island makes it an ideal base to explore the rest of it.
The best sandy beaches which are located on the west and southern coast of Corfu are just a few miles away.
And the old city of Corfu is just 8 miles away.
The beaches in Benitses are not like the narrow pebble beaches of the past.
Τhey have improved significantly, have grown in wide and length. They are comfortable and with supportive infrastructures such as lifeguards and are well maintained for the visitor’s enjoyment.
With water sports and above all with the most crystal clear waters of the Eastern coast of Corfu.
They are a mix of shingle and sand, well organized. In other words, sunbeds can be rented, and water sports enjoyed here.
They have been awarded the European Union Blue Flag because of the purity of water, so Benitses is an ideal place for swimming, sailing, and water sports.
There is a beach at the north entrance of the village called Laopetra beach, with shallow and warm waters.
Another beach is next to the new port at the center of the Skaloma settlement, close to most shops and restaurants.
The busier beach with water sports is the Chontrakia or Loutrouvia. It extends from Potamaki hotel up to the bay of Koutsomaroula, which is a natural fishing port.
More small beaches can be found along the road to the south until the Tsaki settlement.
Benitses is a Destination for Families and Couples
The village today has strengthened its traditional color. So there are many traditional customs and cultural events that happen throughout the summer.
Focusing on safety and infrastructure, Benitses offers sea and sun on blue flag beaches and clean air on green mountains. Therefore the village of Benitses is the perfect destination for families, young and older couples.
Also, is appealing to anyone who is looking for a relaxing time in the sun whilst enjoying good hospitality from the friendly and hospitable locals.
Benitses is the perfect tourist destination for a relaxing and unforgettable vacation.
The clean sea
The sea in Benitses is remarkably clean, owing to a marine plant named Posidonia which you may see on the sea-bed.
This may not appeal to swimmers because of the dark color. But it cleans the water by filtering toxic substances, heavy minerals, and carbon dioxide. It provides oxygen and also valuable shelter and food for the small fish.
Generally, it is responsible for the delicious seafood available, as well as for the purity of the water.
The Posidonia meadows are green, but when the leaves get old they take a dark brown color. Separate from the plant and with the help of the tides they end up on the beaches which are cleaned after the winter storms so that they are beautifully clean and visitors can enjoy them?
Posidonia is not seaweed as some people mistakenly think but a valuable marine plant that grows blooms and multiplies like terrestrial plants. It`s biggest enemies are the trawlers, intensive fishing, and human ignorance.
A wealthy Posidonia is a sign of a clean sea and a well-balanced environment because it thrives only in the cleanest waters of the Mediterranean sea.
Things to Do and See
There are many sights you can see and admire in the wide area of Benitses.
Don’t forget to visit Achilleion palace as it is in close proximity, just three km north of the village center.
Also, don’t miss the famous Shell museum, or else Sea museum, housed in the lobby of Potamaki hotel.
Admire and get some photos of the large rock with a thin base called Laopetra (people’s rock) in the sea at the north entrance of the village.
Don’t forget to take a look at the ruins of the hot Roman baths in the Kapsokavadis family land in the center of the village.
You won’t miss some beautiful neoclassical old buildings right on your path on the inner main road, some still in place for centuries.
Or you can use the plethora of small mountain paths through the lush vegetation, in order to walk between old abandoned churches and other buildings that may lead you to the mountainous villages of Stavros and Agioi Deka.
There are some walking events in those trails organized by some hotels, ask for them at your hotel reception.
Finally, take the small path to the old traditional part of the village with friendly residents and enjoy the exceptional beauty of the area.
Daily excursions or boat trips
You can freely walk inside the vast yacht marina to observe the hundreds of sailing boats and yachts mooring at this picturesque harbor.
From here sail daily large and small boats for small excursions-cruises to every beautiful part of the island or to the island of Paxos.
Book in one of those excursions, so heavenly places as Sivota on the mainland is only one to two hours away.
You can book your ticket for a daily cruise with some small travel agents across the road.
For more details about all the above check the page: Everything you can do in Benitses.