Unique part of Corfu
Situated northwards of Paleokastritsa, on the far west coast of Corfu, is Afionas, a small village with about 300 permanent residents. It is one of the highest located coastal towns of the island, approximately 300 meters high. In ancient times there were sentries here, set up to monitor any hostile invaders and if necessary warn the next link in the safety chain (Angelokastro) by beacons.
You always wanted to know what it is like to live at the thirtieth floor of a skyscraper? This is your chance! Needless to say magnificent views abound in Afionas. Afionas is so uniquely situated that it would be a shame if you didn’t visit this very quiet but picturesque village at least once during your vacation on Corfu.
Firstly, Afionas is located in the beautiful northwest of Corfu, which is an abundantly vegetated area of this Greenest Island of Greece. This region is well known for its beautiful hiking trails, and Afionas is no exception. Secondly, the unique location of this ancient town is an excellent reason to spend your holidays here; or at least in any case to have a visit. It is situated on a narrow but long and very high peninsula. This situation makes it possible to enjoy views of the beautiful Agios Georgios Bay, the beach of Arillas and the surrounding mountains of the island as far as Pantokrator, the highest mountain of Corfu which is about 20 km away in a straight line. On the north side of the peninsula you can see the rest of the west coast of Corfu and the islands Diapontia (Mathraki, Othoni, Erikoussa).
You almost feel as if you are in an aeroplane as you gaze over the beautiful Arillas from above, and even the village situated further north named Agios Stefanos. Do not confuse this village by the Agios Stephanos located on the east coast. There are several places on Corfu with the same name. For instance, of Agios Ioannis we have at least four.
Rare natural beauty in Corfu
Halfway along the western tip of the peninsula you will come to Dionysos restaurant (and apartments). After a few kilometres of scrambling and climbing you'll discover a unique part of Corfu, namely Porto Timoni, also called the Twin Bay. Between the two main bays in the area is a narrow strip of green, backed by two beaches. It is well worth the effort, the scrambling and the climbing, the scratches and the wounds.
This track is, by the way, not suitable for pushchairs and mobility scooters. Also tourists who are dependent on a walker are strongly discouraged to take this track! If you decide to take this adventurous challenge, don’t forget that you have to go back again via the same route. Luckily, at the top you will find Dionysos restaurant, where you can recover.
This small Corfiot village itself is small, but fun to stroll through. Especially in the higher part of the village you will feel as though you have stepped decades back in time. Narrow streets and alleys with bougainvillea-covered old houses and here and there a small store or a workshop. A village built in the time when there were no cars. Cars and other traffic is clearly not taken into account when they constructed this section of Corfu.
Apart from above, there is also the nearby beach of Agios Georgios to enjoy. This long beach, with many restaurants, shops and bars, is known for its fine stones, which are great to rest the tired body on and you can find the perfect balanced reclining positions, meaning you lie or stand for hours in the calm waters of the Bay of Agios Georgios. The beach has fine sand and the sea is shallow therefore it is at bath temperature most of the summer.
The Greeks grant mythology an important place in their history. During your walks in Corfu you will stumble over mythological references and monuments honouring heroes and villains. Afionas also did not escape this habit. Read and weep.
Once there was a guy named Alcinous and he was king and ruler of the island Phaiaken Scheria. At least, according to the not unfamiliar work of Homer, The Odyssey. Now not everyone fully agrees, some say that Odysseus and Alcinous were best friends. Others say they were not keen to each other, which even resulted in a kidnapping. There are more uncertainties about this hero. For instance, who the father of Alcinous was, is never entirely clear. Even in mythological circles, morality seems far away, as you will see. Anyway, he eventually landed in Corfu, probably after the nagging of his wife Areti, who wanted her five sons and a daughter to grow up on this paradise island Corfu.
Anyway, the Greeks living in Afionas believe that Alcinous was once a fellow villager and that his palace can be found in this area, although other sources say his palace is located near the marina in Paleokastritsa. Until the last century, people have been searching thoroughly for this mythological palace. Then one of the diggers decided that mythology and reality do not have much in common and stopped the excavations. However like the Scots keep the Loch Ness monster alive, some people in Afionas often casually mention about the old magic palace of Alcinous with its fabulous wealth and art treasures. That it has never been found for all eternity!
For more information on this and other and photos, see the following site: afionas.gr
To do in the area: