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Old Perithia: The Ghost-Village in Corfu is Reborn

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Last updated on December 17th, 2023 at 10:07 pm

Let’s embark on a journey back in time to the enchanting village of Old Perithia, nestled on the slopes of Mount Pantokrator, Corfu’s majestic crown.

Picture yourself wandering through a place that has withstood the test of time, with roots tracing back to an astonishing 300 BCE.

Situated in the northern embrace of the island, this hidden gem is just a scenic 40-kilometer drive from Corfu Town. And here’s the exciting part – you have options! Whether you prefer a leisurely drive through winding mountain roads, absorbing breathtaking views, or you’re an adventurous soul ready to lace up those hiking boots, the journey to Old Perithia promises a delightful blend of natural beauty and historical intrigue, every step of the way.

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

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

Some history behind Old Perithia

Old Perithia: Abandoned old school
Old Perithia: Abandoned old school

Envision a village shaped by tales of resilience and survival, its origins a testament to the strength of its people. Step into the captivating history of Old Perithia, a place whose story reaches back to times of turmoil and triumph.

Legend has it that Perithia’s foundations were laid by those seeking refuge from a devastating tsunami that struck their coastal home. Picture a community united in adversity, rebuilding their lives on higher ground amidst the rugged embrace of the mountains.

But that’s not the only chapter. Journey further back, and you encounter a period of trepidation and piracy. The Middle Ages cast a shadow upon coastal dwellers, pushing them to seek sanctuary in the heights – places hidden from marauding eyes. Perithia, like many mountainous settlements, emerged as a response to the need for protection.

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

Yet, history takes unexpected turns. A shadow fell over Perithia in the form of a 15th-century malaria outbreak. The epidemic cut deep, forcing families to abandon their homes, leaving behind echoes of a once-vibrant life. The village, resilient in the face of challenges, now faced a devastating turning point.

So, dear explorers, the pages of Perithia’s history reveal a tale of human strength, 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 Old Perithia was abandoned?

As time progressed, Perithia found itself at a crossroads where its historical strengths, once protective, now presented new challenges. The Middle Ages had wrapped the village in isolation as a defense against piracy, a strategy that served well in its time. However, with the disappearance of pirates, a new era emerged – one marked by the allure of tourism. Corfu became a global destination, and the same isolation that had protected Perithia now became an obstacle. Nestled in its mountainous haven, the village grappled with the changing tides of time.

The vanishing threat of piracy gave way to the call of tourism, and Corfu began attracting travelers worldwide. Life within Perithia’s secluded embrace became more challenging as the world beyond beckoned. The once-silent streets echoed with the whispers of a changing world, prompting villagers to face a difficult decision. In pursuit of livelihoods and opportunities, they migrated downward, like streams seeking new paths in bustling hubs such as Kassiopi and Acharavi, where tourism offered a fresh canvas of potential.

As time flowed on, the village began losing its inhabitants, resembling leaves carried away by a gentle breeze. The once-vibrant heart of Perithia felt the fading echoes of footsteps, and nature slowly reclaimed its hold. Buildings that had once teemed 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 waiting to be uncovered, shared, and cherished.

The Rebirth of the Village

Old Perithia another view
Old Perithia another view

Fast forward to 1980, a pivotal moment for Old Perithia as it was declared a preserved cultural monument, marking the beginning of a remarkable renaissance.

In 2009, Mark from London and Saskin from the Netherlands felt a profound connection to Perithia. Enchanted by its historical charm, they envisioned a rebirth beyond the ruins. With unwavering passion, they restored a weathered mansion, breathing life into its timeworn walls and creating a small hotel.

Their endeavor sparked a revival. Descendants of Perithia’s former residents joined the restoration effort, awakening old houses and revealing unique stories. No longer a ghost village, Perithia began to regain its vibrancy.

Today, nearly 130 houses stand rejuvenated, each narrating a tale of revival and resilience. Local stone, intertwined with Corfu’s essence, weaves a tapestry bridging past and present. Venetian nuances and Corfu’s touch pay homage to the island’s history.

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

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

In the heart of Perithia, history intertwines with modernity, each step echoing the dreams of generations. It’s a story inviting you to be a part of it, to trace its paths, and become a chapter in its rekindled tale.

Restoration of the old houses

In recent years, Old Perithia has undergone a remarkable transformation – a renaissance fueled by passion and devotion that has revitalized its age-worn streets, paying homage to its former glory.

The restoration journey has been a labor of love, with meticulous attention to every intricate detail. The village’s heart now beats anew, preserving its traditional architecture and timeless character. Stone by stone, house by house, pathway by pathway, the essence of Old Perithia has been rekindled.

The result? A living tapestry weaving together the threads of Corfiot village life from generations past. Original stone houses, standing as storytellers of bygone eras, have been tenderly revived. Churches, with their spires reaching for the sky, have found renewed purpose. Every restored corner whispers tales of yesteryears, and each cobbled pathway invites you to step back in time.

As the village regains its voice, it has become 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.

Old Perithia’s transformation carries a touch of uniqueness. Absent are cars and swimming pools – a deliberate choice that enhances authenticity. This haven is where time’s relentless march seems to pause, allowing you to wander the streets in the hushed footsteps of history.

Within the embrace of these meticulously restored walls, you’ll sense the heartbeats of generations. You’ll walk the same pathways they did, under the same sun that warmed their days. Traversing this living legacy, you’re not merely 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 step into a world frozen in time – a haven that warmly embraces you with rustic charm and captivating history.

The village proudly wears its heritage, with each stone house telling tales of days gone by. Cobblestone streets wind like threads of memory, guiding 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 stroll along these cobbled pathways, you’ll find yourself immersed in a timeless ambiance that’s hard to replicate. It’s more than just a village; it’s an open-air museum, where the past lingers in every weathered corner. 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 unfolding like a tapestry of nature’s artistry. Majestic mountains reach for the sky, and the Ionian Sea stretches beyond the horizon – a shimmering expanse of endless wonder.

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

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

Hiking and Nature

Imagine stepping into the untouched embrace of nature, where the air is crisp and filled with the fragrance of wildflowers and olive trees. That’s the magic of Old Perithia.

Situated in a pristine natural setting, this village is more than just stone and history; it’s a portal to the wonders of the great outdoors. Lush greenery surrounds you, and olive groves spread like a sea of silver leaves, each telling stories of generations past.

Nature trails call to you, winding through this green tapestry. Lace up your hiking boots and embark on a journey of discovery. As you walk, your senses come alive to the sounds of nature – leaves rustling, birds calling, and a babbling brook setting a soothing rhythm.

With each step, you feel embraced by the mountains, as if they’re sharing their secrets with you alone. The fresh mountain air invigorates your spirit as you ascend. Your efforts reveal panoramic vistas that stretch beyond imagination – green valleys, azure skies, and the distant glimmer of the Ionian Sea, a masterpiece of nature.

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

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

Old Perithia Community and Sustainability

Old Perithia
Old Perithia

Welcome to the heartwarming story of Old Perithia’s restoration! Each brick laid here carries the spirit of community and sustainability.

In this lovely village, restoration isn’t just about fixing buildings; it’s about bringing back a way of life. Step by step, the village has come back to life, thanks to a handful of residents who are its heartbeat. They are dedicated to preserving tradition, creating a thread through time.

But the magic doesn’t stop there. Restoration isn’t just about the past; it’s also about responsibly embracing the future. Sustainability is the star, with eco-friendly practices breathing new life into every corner. It’s a promise to protect the environment for generations.

And the story continues. Artists and writers have found a haven here. Old Perithia goes beyond physical beauty; it’s a place that sparks creativity. Every stroke of a brush or tap of a typewriter reimagines and weaves the village’s stories.

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

Overall

Welcome to Old Perithia, where history comes alive! This amazing destination lets you step into Corfu’s past.

With restored buildings, stunning surroundings, and a community-driven spirit, it’s a living testament to the island’s heritage. A must-visit spot that beautifully blends tradition and revival.

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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
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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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AtCorfu
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