Old Perithia

Corfu's Oldest Village – Guide and Where to Stay

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Experience The Best of Corfu | For Immediate Release

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Experience The Best of Corfu…

Town & Country  | Sea & Scenic

What are the first three things that spring to mind when you imagine a holiday on the island of Corfu?

Most would probably give the following answer:

Stunning beaches and crystal-clear seas that encircle the island with glistening water in shimmering shades of blue. Perfect for sunbathing, swimming, snorkeling and diving, or taking a small boat to secluded coves shaded by silver green olive trees.

Corfu Town – a UNESCO World Heritage Site with beautiful architecture, the result of Venetian, French and British influences that have gracefully touched the island over the centuries and influenced its culture, cuisine and its people.

Corfiot history and tradition, nature and wildlife, prevalent in the old villages which are often set against a stunning backdrop of lush green mountains. Villages, untouched by time, and cared for by mother nature, with bursts of colour and unlimited beauty, old settlements where birds, bees, butterflies, and all creatures great and small gently come and go.

But, until now, you may have found yourself having to settle for just one of the above, staying in a single location, or accommodation, usually near the sea, and making the visit to town, the countryside or the local villages a short day out.

However, now there’s a completely new way to experience the very Best of Corfu and here’s how…

Imagine the following scenario. Arrive at Corfu airport and within a short taxi ride, unwind in one of our handpicked selection of Corfu town’s finest hotels, where you can relax and ease into the holiday mood by soaking up the culture and buzz of Corfu town, then dinner in one of the town’s many restaurants, and a good night’s sleep.

Wake up to a lazy breakfast in the hotel and go sightseeing around the bustling streets of the old town and the Esplanade. When you’re ready, your rental car will be delivered at the hotel and you’ll be transported to the elegant four star Boutique B&B, The Merchant’s House, in Corfu’s oldest Village, Old Perithia, in the attractive northeast corner of the island.

Here you can spend 2, 3, 4 or more days, taking a step back in time and getting to experience the local tradition and hospitality of an historic mountain village in a designated area of natural beauty, where the village and the bees hum by day, but by night you have the whole place to yourself as the tavernas gently wind down until the next day.

Finally, having now managed to relax enough to be practically horizontal, go horizontal full time by staying at Chrismos Luxury Suites near Kassiopi, and a few steps away from the sea. Just 20 minutes drive by car, Chrismos offers fifteen tranquil beachside accommodations, a private pool and garden, direct access to the beach and a convivial lounge café and restaurant.

So, whether it’s a few days, a week, 10 days, or more, you can now experience the very Best of Corfu, an experience that you may find so warming, that you’ll wish to return again and again.

The Old Fort, Corfu Town

The Old Fort, Corfu Town

Kassiopi, northeast Corfu

Corfu’s Oldest Village

copyright 2013 text & photography Merchant’s House PR & Publishing | contact: editor@old-perithia.com for further details or use of images.

Spring In Corfu. The beaches may not be open, but the countryside is humming

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For anyone sat at home in the UK or elsewhere, wondering why it’s still raining in Spring and planning their summer holiday, then why not think a little more laterally next time the Easter holidays are approaching or, even better, just after they’ve finished.

Although Corfu may be best known for its beaches and azure blue seas, what placed it firmly on the map some years ago were the wonderful Durrell stories based somewhat around the nature and wildlife that fills the island.

In Old Perithia (Ano Peritheia) northeast of the island and nestling beneath Corfu’s highest mountain, Mount Pantokrator, is a Heritage Protected Village in A Designated Area of Natural Beauty – and, although it’s only 15 minutes from the beach, ideal for when the summer really sets in, in spring this 14th century gem of Venetian village architecture is bursting with the best that mother nature has to offer.

The butterflies appear in their hundreds, birds tweet, bees buzz about the place and locals can be seen wandering the mountains through the colourful wild flowers in search of ‘horta’ (wild greens to take home and cook) and for the trained eye, wild asparagus too. Dive into one of the village tavernas and eat fresh ‘from the mountain to your table.’

You can stay in the one 4 star boutique b&b in the village, The Merchant’s House, a faithfully restored row of three houses, dating back to 1650 and built entirely by hand, using the same methods that were employed all that time ago.

As you sit on the terrace and listen to the sounds of the Ionian night descending over the clear skies above the mountains, you’ll soon forget about the rain back home and fall asleep dreaming of the next day’s walk and simply getting back to nature. It’s still not too late, Easter in Corfu is in early May this year…

Photos copyright Merchant’s House Publishing, 2013 Corfu, GRImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

Old Perithia – Corfu Today KERKYRA SIMERA

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The following are the translations of the articles previously posted in Greek from the front page of Corfu Today, followed by page 7 on the 24th August 2011, and subsequently on page 3 of Corfu Today on Thursday 25th August 2011.

Corfu Today KERKYRA SIMERA Wednesday 24th August 2011

TITLE: THE FIRST TRADITIONAL ‘GUESTHOUSE’ IN OLD PERITHIA

It is a noticeable fact, in the particularly tough times we are going through …

That now that public or private investments in Greece have reached ‘nadir’, that “not a breeze is stirring”, a British businessman invests approximately 1 million Euros for the restoration of derelict houses in the heritage protected village Old Perithia, and sets up the first Guesthouse in this mountain village. This is an initiative for an investment that must be promoted and supported, since it sets off to advantage the abilities of our island to attract foreign investors, who love and respect our place, our history and our culture. more on page 7…

TITLE: AN IMPRESSIVE INVESTMENT INITIATIVE BY ENGLISH INVESTORS, WHO HAVE FALLEN IN LOVE WITH A HERITAGE PROTECTED MOUNTAIN HAMLET

A pioneering investment involving the construction of a small traditional sophisticated guest house, in the heritage protected hamlet of Old Perithia, is at its final stage. The investors are a British businessman from London, and his wife who have fallen in love with our land and identified the excellent prospects for development in mountain Corfu, especially in Old Perithia.

It is about Mark Hendriksen (see the photograph on the right with Mr. Stefanos Poulimenos, the Director of “Corfu Today”), who, with his wife Saskia Bosch, bought an old derelict building consisting of three properties at the entrance of the hamlet. They restored it as it was originally in 1828, strictly following the directions of the 21st Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities  (the Archaeological Department of Corfu) and it will be ready in a few weeks. It will be a boutique bed & breakfast and consists of 6 suites, and it is the first accommodation of this type constructed in Old Perithia.

The English entrepreneur plans to live there with his wife and family for a great part of the year and he aspires to attract the interest of particularly demanding clients who love history, nature and more ‘peaceful’ holidays.

Friendly and affable as he is, Mark Hendriksen then guided Mr. Stefanos Poulimenos, the Director of “Corfu Today” around the buildings, which are under complete restoration; he showed the interiors and exteriors of the rooms that will meet all the modern standards, even for the most demanding clients.

As an indication of the diligence of the whole construction, there is even a unique and special construction for the placing of the electric meter.

The fixtures, fittings and sanitary equipment are being put in place in the interior of the building complex, and the red clay has already arrived on the yard in order to sow the lawn and plant the flowers.

The total amount of the investment is almost 1 million Euro. The Civil Engineer Spiros Zervopoulos has overseen the study and the supervision of the restoration.

Impressive Guide

Mark Hendriksen hasn’t yet settled in the house he and Saskia are restoring, and he is already learning Greek, he gets to know persons and things of the area and of the island and has already written and published an impressive quality Guide about Old Perithia, which will probably be one of the best guides of this type on our island.

Tavernas

There are four tavernas in operation in Old Perithia, one of which is “Ognistra” belonging to Mr. Nikos Heirdaris and located near the complex of this first guest house which is under restoration. Mr Nikos Herdaris is not only on a friendly footing with the guesthouse owners, moreover the two companies cooperate providing breakfast for the guests, and one is complementary to the other.

There are no tourist accommodations or guesthouses operating in the area; the efforts made by the previous local government of Thinalio have failed and the creditor bank proceeded to the seizure of the buildings due to debts.

Corfu Today KERKYRA SIMERA Thursday 25th August 2011 (page 3)

Title: THE RESIDENTIAL RESERVE OF OUR ISLAND’S COUNTRYSIDE

The size of the investment that our English friend Mark Hendriksen made for the traditional guesthouse in Old Peritheia is not as important as are the multiple messages it sends in all directions, in this particularly difficult period we go through as a nation and as a place.

The fact that a foreign investor comes to our island and invests approximately one million Euros is, of course, remarkable by itself. More important, however, is the area in which this investment was made, as well as the fact that it is the first of its kind in the heritage protected village Old Perithia and, to be more precise, the first of its kind on Corfu Island.

Mark and Saskia purchased derelict houses and turned them into a sophisticated traditional guesthouse for those wishing for a more unique experience.

They purchased a number of forgotten, and for many years abandoned, buildings in an almost uninhabited hamlet just below the peak of Pantokrator, the highest mountain on Corfu, with a view to the sea, many miles away from the closest beach, and have developed, in terms of tourism, only a small part of the huge number of old residential properties inland of Corfu. A residential reserve we have underestimated, since we choose to build, to build, to build anywhere and anyhow we want, thoroughly abusing our blessed island. The results of this absurdity of ours can be seen everywhere.

Mark’s investment does not harm the environment, as we have with our choices over the last four decades. He does not root out trees in order to “root” … concrete. It does not change the architectural character of the landscape. Mark respects the laws and abides by the rules and directives of the competent overseers of our islands architectural Antiquities, and does so without complaint.

From this angle, with his behaviour he teaches all of us, as an investor, as well as with his attitude as a European citizen towards the environment of a place and its preservation and protection, for which he deserves the respect of all of us.

I now return to the aforementioned residential reserve of Corfu’s inland villages, in order to point out that thousands of houses, uninhabited and or ruined, totally abandoned eroded or deserted by the passage of time, or as a result of emigration and rural depopulation, are now waiting for us either to use them as residences again or to develop them for use as tourist accommodation.

Many of them are really a piece of our islands jewellery that in many cases have been sacrificed because a box of reinforced concrete has become the preference in an urban or semi-urban area and, in most of the cases close to roads with heavy traffic, and all of the consequences that entails…

The fact that many of these abandoned houses have been bought in the last years by Northern Europeans, who restore and use them as a holiday residence, shows us that they are not a thing of the past. In conjunction with the investment in holiday accommodation in Perithia we see this as the future. The future of mild – non aggressive – natural and architectural development.

It also shows us that our island, apart from attracting the mass tourism, also puts at our disposal the ability and enormous potential to develop another type of tourism. A place for holidays in a quiet, peaceful and natural environment, with the hospitable local residents of Corfu’s countryside villages. A type of tourism that brings back to life forgotten and abandoned areas of the inland of Corfu, giving the economy of our villages a boost.

I believe, all the above gives the local authorities and the tourism professionals an opportunity to make a systematic effort for a better future development of our island. Because the benefits from the development of the residential reserve of Corfu’s inland have now been proved to be more than obvious.

– What’s your opinion?

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