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Old Perithia: The Ghost-Village in Corfu Is Reborn

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Last updated on November 7th, 2023 at 09:58 am

Let’s take a journey back in time to the captivating village of Old Perithia, nestled on the slopes of Mount Pantokrator, Corfu’s majestic crown. Imagine wandering through a place that has stood the test of time, with roots dating back to an astonishing 300 BCE.

Located in the northern embrace of the island, this hidden gem is just a scenic drive of about 40 kilometers from Corfu Town. And guess what? You have options! You can rev up your engine and take a leisurely drive through the winding mountain roads, soaking in the breathtaking views as you go. Or, for the more adventurous souls, why not lace up those hiking boots and set off on foot? The journey to Old Perithia promises a blend of natural beauty and historical intrigue that’s truly worth every step.

As you explore this ancient village, you’ll feel the echoes of centuries past in every cobblestone and weathered facade. It’s like stepping into a living time capsule. With its roots possibly stretching back to before the Common Era, Old Perithia holds stories that have been woven into its very stones.

So, whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply seeking a unique off-the-beaten-path experience, Old Perithia beckons with its charm and heritage. Are you ready to tread on the same paths as those who walked here centuries ago? Let’s dive into the captivating tale of Old Perithia!

Some history behind Perithia

Abandoned old school in Perithea
Abandoned old school in Perithea

Imagine a village shaped by tales of resilience and survival, its very origins a testament to the strength of its people. Let’s step into the intriguing history of Perithia, a place whose story reaches back to times of turmoil and triumph.

Legend has it that the foundations of Perithia were laid by those who sought refuge from the destructive force of a tsunami that struck their coastal home. Picture the scene – a community united by adversity, rebuilding their lives on higher ground, determined to craft a new chapter amidst the rugged embrace of the mountains.

But that’s not all. As we journey further back in time, we encounter a period of trepidation and piracy. The Middle Ages cast a shadow of fear upon coastal dwellers, prompting them to seek sanctuary in the heights – places hidden from marauding eyes. Perithia, like many of its mountainous peers, emerged as a response to this very need for protection.

This tale of elevation and concealment led to a blossoming community. As the Middle Ages unfurled, Perithia saw its population swell. The very inaccessibility that safeguarded its inhabitants from pirates also nurtured a fertile environment for growth. Opulent mansions and vibrant schools sprung up, a testament to the thriving heart of the village.

Yet, history is never without its twists. A shadow fell over Perithia in the form of a 15th-century malaria outbreak. A cruel blow, the epidemic cut deep, forcing families to abandon their homes, leaving behind echoes of a once-vibrant life. The village that had defied the odds, that had flourished in the face of challenges, now faced a devastating turning point.

And so, dear explorers, the pages of Perithia’s history reveal a tale of human strength, of survival against the odds, and the intricate dance between nature’s forces and human determination. As you tread through the streets of this ancient village, you’ll find whispers of its past, a mosaic of stories etched into its stones.

Why Perithia was abandoned?

As time marched on, Perithia found itself at a crossroads where the very strengths that had once shielded it now posed new challenges. The Middle Ages had woven a cloak of isolation for protection, a shroud that served its purpose well against the threat of piracy. But as the tides of time-shifted, so did the village’s fate.

The disappearance of pirates ushered in a new era, one defined by the siren call of tourism. Corfu, like a gem, began to beckon travelers from across the world. The same isolation that had been a shield now became an obstacle. Perithia, nestled in its mountainous haven, found itself grappling with the winds of change.

As the world beyond beckoned, life within the village’s secluded embrace grew more challenging. The once-silent streets echoed with the whispers of a changing world, and the villagers had to make a difficult choice. Seeking livelihoods and opportunities, they began to migrate downward, like streams carving new paths toward the bustling hubs of Kassiopi and Acharavi, where tourism painted a new canvas of potential.

As the flow of time carried them away, the village began to shed its inhabitants, like leaves carried away by a gentle breeze. The once-vibrant heart of Perithia felt the echoes of footsteps fade, and nature’s embrace started to reclaim its hold. Buildings that once echoed with life now stood as silent witnesses, their stories etched into the very stones that held them together.

In the embrace of this picturesque village, you can almost hear the echoes of generations past. As you stroll along its cobblestone paths, you’ll tread upon the footprints of those who navigated the changing currents of time. Perithia’s journey, like that of every place touched by history, is a mosaic of moments – a story to be uncovered, shared, and cherished.

The rebirth of the village

Perithea another view
Perithea another view

Fast forward to 1980, and a pivotal moment dawned for old Perithia – a declaration that would breathe new life into its storied streets. The entire village was granted the honor of being a preserved cultural monument, marking the dawn of a remarkable renaissance.

And then, in 2009, two hearts from distant corners of the world found their way to Perithia. Mark, hailing from London, and Saskin, a native of the Netherlands, felt an inexplicable connection to the village. Enchanted by its historical charm, they saw beyond the ruins and glimpsed a vision of rebirth.

With unyielding passion, they embarked on a journey of restoration, taking a weathered mansion and restoring it to its former glory. They breathed life into its timeworn walls while honoring its architecture, and thus, a small hotel was born.

Their spark ignited a flame, igniting a wave of revival. Descendants of those who once called Perithia home joined this dance of restoration. One by one, old houses awakened from their slumber, revealing their unique stories to the world. Ghost village no more, Perithia began to reclaim its vibrancy.

Today, nearly 130 houses stand rejuvenated, each telling a tale of revival and resilience. The local stone, interwoven with Corfu’s essence, paints a tapestry that bridges the past and the present. Venetian nuances and Corfu’s distinct touch are woven into every corner, paying homage to the island’s history.

Among the awakened houses, ancient mansions stand tall, bearing witness to the village’s heritage. And at the village’s threshold, the church of Agios Iakovos stands as a testament to time’s embrace. Yet, it’s not only the history that breathes life here.

Perithia’s renaissance has birthed a symphony of flavors. Charming taverns now beckon visitors from afar, infusing the village with the cadence of laughter and the aroma of home-cooked delights. The once-silent streets now hum with the melody of shared moments, and the now permanent residents are both custodians of history and keepers of this village’s newfound heartbeat.

In the heart of Perithia, history intertwines with modernity, and each step you take carries the echoes of generations who dared to dream. It’s a story that beckons you to be a part of it, to trace its paths, and to become a chapter in its rekindled tale.


In the recent years, a remarkable transformation has graced the village of Old Perithia. A renaissance guided by passion and devotion has breathed new life into its timeworn streets, an ode to its former splendor.

The restoration journey has been an endeavor of love, with meticulous attention to each intricate detail. The village’s heart beats anew as its traditional architecture and timeless character have been lovingly preserved. Stone by stone, house by house, pathway by pathway, the essence of Old Perithia has been rekindled.

The result? A living tapestry that weaves together the threads of Corfiot village life from generations past. The original stone houses, standing as storytellers of eras gone by, have been tenderly revived. The churches, their spires touching the sky, have been granted a renewed purpose. Every restored corner whispers the tales of yesteryears, and every cobbled pathway invites you to step back in time.

And as the village finds its voice again, it has turned into something truly unique – a living museum of a bygone era, a sanctuary where history breathes and life continues to flourish. A symphony of authenticity and homage, where past and present dance hand in hand.

A touch of uniqueness graces Old Perithia’s transformation. Cars and swimming pools are absent, a conscious choice that adds to the authenticity. This haven is a place where time’s relentless march seems to pause, allowing you to wander the streets in the hushed footsteps of history.

In the embrace of these meticulously restored walls, you’ll find the heartbeats of generations. You’ll walk the same pathways they did, under the same sun that warmed their days. As you traverse this living legacy, you’re not just a visitor; you’re part of the narrative, a participant in a tale woven from time and love.

Attractions in Old Perithia

Step into Old Perithia, and you’re stepping into a world frozen in time, a haven that embraces you with its rustic charm and captivating history.

The village wears its heritage proudly, with each stone house whispering stories of days gone by. Cobblestone streets wind like threads of memory, leading you through its heart, one charming square after another. It’s a living canvas, painted with authenticity and bathed in the hues of Corfu’s cultural legacy.

As you wander these cobbled pathways, you’ll find yourself immersed in a time-honored ambiance that’s hard to replicate. It’s not just a village; it’s an open-air museum, where the past lingers in every weathered corner. The meticulous restoration efforts have preserved its soul, breathing life back into the very essence of Perithia.

Climb a few steps, and you’re treated to breathtaking panoramas that unfold like a tapestry of nature’s artistry. Mountains rise majestically, their peaks touching the heavens, while the Ionian Sea stretches beyond the horizon, a shimmering expanse of endless wonder.

Amid this picturesque backdrop, the village invites you to partake in its flavors and hospitality. Tavernas and cafes beckon, offering a taste of Corfu’s culinary treasures. The warmth of local cuisine is served with a side of genuine smiles and conversations that weave the present with the past.

Old Perithia is more than just a destination; it’s an experience that takes you on a journey through time, inviting you to savor every moment and every corner. It’s a place where history dances with the present, where you can immerse yourself in culture, heritage, and the heart of Corfu.

Hiking and Nature

Picture yourself stepping into the untouched embrace of nature, where the air is crisp and alive with the fragrance of wildflowers and olive trees. That’s the enchantment that Old Perithia holds in its heart.

Nestled within a pristine natural setting, this village is more than just stone and history; it’s a gateway to the wonders of the great outdoors. Lush greenery envelops you, and olive groves stretch like a sea of silver leaves, each whispering tales of generations past.

Nature trails beckon, weaving through this verdant tapestry. Lace up your hiking boots and set forth on a journey of discovery. As your feet tread the earth, your senses awaken to the symphony of nature – the gentle rustling of leaves, the distant call of birds, and the soothing rhythm of a babbling brook.

With each step, you’re embraced by the embrace of the mountains, as if they’re sharing their secrets with you alone. The fresh mountain air fills your lungs, invigorating your spirit as you ascend. Your efforts are rewarded with panoramic vistas that stretch beyond imagination – an artist’s palette of green valleys, azure skies, and the distant glimmer of the Ionian Sea.

But it’s not just the scenery that captivates; it’s the thriving ecosystem that calls this place home. Diverse flora paints the landscape with vibrant colors, while elusive fauna hide in the folds of nature’s tapestry. For nature enthusiasts and photographers, Old Perithia is a haven, a canvas that unfolds new stories with every lens click.

So, whether you’re a seasoned hiker seeking adventure or a curious soul wanting to reconnect with nature’s rhythms, Old Perithia’s trails await. Embrace the serenity, let the beauty of the surroundings envelope you, and embark on a journey that’s as awe-inspiring as it is rejuvenating.

Community and Sustainability

Old Perithia
Old Perithia

That’s the heartwarming tale of Old Perithia’s restoration, where every brick laid has been infused with the essence of community and sustainability.

In this charming village, restoration isn’t just about rebuilding structures; it’s about rekindling a way of life. Step by step, the village has been brought back to life, and its heartbeat is the small number of residents who call it home. Their commitment to preserving tradition and heritage is like a thread weaving through time.

The magic doesn’t stop there. The restoration journey isn’t just about reclaiming history; it’s also about embracing the future responsibly. Sustainability takes center stage, as eco-friendly practices breathe new life into every corner. It’s a tribute to the environment that cradles this village, a promise to protect it for generations to come.

And in this tapestry of restoration and revival, artists and writers have found their haven. Old Perithia’s allure extends beyond its physical beauty; it’s a haven that sparks creativity and ignites inspiration. With every stroke of a brush or tap of a typewriter, the village’s stories are reimagined and woven anew.

So when you step into Old Perithia, you’re not just visiting a place; you’re immersing yourself in a living, breathing community with a heart that beats to the rhythm of tradition, sustainability, and creativity. It’s a journey that connects the past, present, and future – a journey that invites you to be a part of something truly special.


Step into a world where history comes alive – welcome to Old Perithia! This captivating destination opens a window to Corfu’s past, with its restored buildings, breathtaking surroundings, and community-driven spirit. It’s a living testament to the island’s heritage and a must-visit spot that blends tradition and revival in the most enchanting way.

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Old Perithia: The Ghost-Village in Corfu Is Reborn
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Old Perithia: The Ghost-Village in Corfu Is Reborn
Let's take a journey back in time to the captivating village of Old Perithia, nestled on the slopes of Mount Pantokrator, with roots dating back to an astonishing 300 BCE.
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