Pelekas - It derives from the word "pelekis".
Pelekas is a charming and traditional village situated at the top of Corfu's most beautiful hill (272 meters). The houses of the village are painted in different colours and the quaint little streets are perfect for a peaceful walk. You can say that it is spread idyllicaly over the hillside. Once a favourite haunt of backpackers it has now given way to more conventional tourism, though we saw that it was less crowded than other places on the island.
We learned that it is still unknown where the name Pelekas comes from, although one suggestion is that it derives from the word "pelekis" which was a type of ancient axe, used by the villagers for cutting wood or carving stone. Nor is it known when the village was founded, although the name Pelekas can be found in the historical archives of Corfu as far back as the 16th century and in church records dating from the 17th century.
Whenever you're reading this Virtual Tourist tip, you're probably wondering why we have classified it under the chapter "sport travel". Well, that's because of the strenous hikes we had at this hillside village. Have a look at Corfu Packing List.
An Architectural Melting Pot
Corfu Town, the capital of the island with a population of 35 000, is also the main port and the largest town in the Ionian Islands. It is a charming and elegant town, built between two fortresses. Corfu's architecture is very diverse, influenced by the civilizations that once occupied the island; the first inhabitants settled on the Kanoni peninsula (south of town) approximately in the 8th century BC. During the centuries, many different civilizations (Corinthians, Sicilians, Illyrians, Romans, Goths, Normans, Franks, and Venetians) struggled to gain control of the island. In 1386, the Venetians finally took control and expanded west towards the site of the New Fortress. Prior to this, the entire population of the town had lived on the site of the Old Fortress. From 1815 to 1864, Corfu was under British rule, until it finally in 1884, together with all the Ionian Islands, was united with Greece.
Corfu is considered one of Greece's most beautiful cities, and it is easy to understand why when you're strolling down the narrow streets and through the alleys, walking over spacious squares, visiting Byzantine churches and Venetian monuments. Of course, Corfu also has its natural beauty; the green-turquoise water that surrounds the town.
Try to visit Corfu Town in the morning or later in the afternoon, since it gets very hot during the day.
Kanóni -Visiting Vlacherna Monastery of Panayia.
This beautiful little monastery with its Venetian Belfry tower is being maintained by a few women who sell handmade artifacts in a little shop inside the monastery. With the proceeds they pay for the restoration of the Vlacherna Monastery of Panayia. At the end of our visit we lighted a candle in the chapel, just to make sure our plain flight back would be without any problems. Due to the fact that we're able to write about it, is proof that it helped :).
Th degree to which a monastic community is socially sperated from the surrounding populace can vary widely. The women at Vlacherna Monastery of Panayia are focused on interacting with the local community in order to provide mutual servises. The women do their job at the shop and cleaning the monastery and they're paying the locals who are willing to help to keep the monastery in shape. We noticed that there is still a lot of work to be done. When we walked around the monastery we were able to enjoy nice views at Pontikonissi, the airport runway and the hills of Kanóni.
Kanóni is linked to Perama (where we stayed) opposite by a narrow bridge - for pedestrians and bicycles only - which crosses the Halikiopoulos lagoon. It's a nice walk which we took several times, just to admire the beauty of Kanóni as a whole!