Before we parked the car we already drove past the Church of Panaghia Kassiopitissa (Church of the Slessed Virgin Kassopitras), which we definately wanted to see. After we parked the car at the beautiful circular harbour it was a good time to take our bearings and try to find out how to get back to the historical Panaghi Kassiopitissa. The church possibly has been built on the place of an ancient temple dedicated to Zeus Kassius. The church was initially destroyed in 1537 by the Turks, but was rebuilt by the Venetians around 1590. We especially liked the icon of the Slessed Virgin and the belfry tower.
We were very disappointed to hear that we were not allowed to enter the church. We would have loved to do so and feel and witness the vibe of such an historical place. When we were trying to get a glimpse of the inside of the church by walking around it, looking for a window we were addressed by a Greek priest. Although he didn't speak one single word of English it was clear to us that he wanted to show us something. We were luckily surprised that we were allowed to enter his small adjoining parsonage. It was an amazing experience! Probably more than we ever hoped for.
We read in our travel guide that "Kassiopi has the magnificent backdrop of Mount Pantokrator and hills covered with olive groves, vines and citrus plantations. It is a colourful place reached by picturesque coast roads." Quite a discription and for us a good reason to visit it.
When we drove to Kassiopi by car we observed the little houses of the small villages in the region, situated behind olive and fruit-bearing trees. Kassiopi seemed far away from the tourism and by the time we neared the North East of the island we noticed that the roads started to narrow and bends became worse. It required quite some of mine driving skills, but we made it safe :)
But once we arrived we concluded that Kassiopi is a picturesque seaside town with a fascinating history which goes way back. In roman times a thriving town stood there which had a port, a theatre and a temple dedicated to Kassioso Zeus. Besides being the largest town in the north of the island of Corfu it has three attractive beaches. So do walk along the many lanes leading into the beautiful surroundings.
It’s the second heart of Kassiopi. There people seat o¬n o¬ne of the waterside benches and watch the world go by. In the harbor you can rent a boat, or go on some boat excursions to the Corfu town and to watch sea caves all around. It’s possible to fishing but my husband didn’t have luck. In the evening view from the harbor is very romantic.
The Square is the heart of Kassiopi and life revolves around it. There are a little well. From the square lead all streets which are full of tavernas, travel agencies, restaurants and shops…
There you can see local people who are sitting on the bench and looking what is going on.
Kalamionas is the main public beach in Kassiopi that can boast an EC Blue Flag. I must admit that other beaches are more attractive then Kalamionas, but this beach is good choice especially if you have small children. In the afternoon always is winding here and this can be very refreshing when is hot day.
This beach is the most inaccessible of the three beaches (Barbati, Kanoni and Kalamionas) due to some rock climbing being involved. But the most beautiful sunset is from Pipitos. There is a restaurant with the best view and it is very romantic to be here. It is good opportunity for making excellent pictures.
One of the most important religious monuments of Corfu is the church of Panagia Kassiopitra said to be built on the remains of the old temple of Kassiopos Zeus. The church was built during the first years of Christianity, was ruined by Turkish and rebuilt by Venetian.
Start from the square of Kassiopi and head towards the harbour and once there bear to the left and follow the road that will start to climb fairly quickly and eventually turn into a track.
On the Bataria you will be the in crystal clear Ionian Sea and it is the best beach on the Corfu.
There are opportunities for the lot of water sports.
Kassiopi fortress is located above the main harbor. Across the church there are stairways which lead on the fortress. When the Byzantine Emperor Manuel Komnenus II ruled in 1267, the fortress of Kassiopi was the largest Angevin castle built in the best medieval methods. The outward wall being over a kilometer and have a few small towers, remnants of which can still be seen today on the hill overlooking Kassiopi. Right now the fortress is under constructions.
This is the focal point and heart of the village. There are some lovely restaurants overlooking the ionian sea which are great when the sun sets. This is also the best place if you want to hire a boat for the day. In this photo you can just see what was our favourite reataurant ( just above my daughters head)
Greek dancing is one activity you must witness when visiting Kassiopi.
Crowds of people flock to the tavernas every evening to see the Greek men carry out their traditional dances with such great style and enthusiasm.
From outside, one can hear the people 'whooping' with delight as they watch (and sometimes even join in!) this vibrant entertainment.
There is a number of beautiful beaches near the Kassiopi. You have to try one of them. Most of them are pebble or rocky.
You can go on some excursion with boat like this. It is situated in the Kassiopi harbor and organized daily and the night sailing on the east Corfu seaside.