About Paleokastritsa and the area nearby.
Paleokastritsa is the honey pot of the west coast, with hotels spreading so far up into the surrounding area that some are a taxi ride from town. The village itself is small, surrounded by hills and cliffs - an idyllic setting which led British High Commissioner Sir Frederic Adam to popularize Paleokastritsa in the nineteenth century. It has been suggested as a possible site of the Homeric city of Scheria, where Odysseus was washed ashore, discovered by Nausica and her handmaidens and welcomed by her father King Alkinos, although this is a claim shared by a number of other sites in the islands. The thirteenth-century Paleokastritsa monastery overlooks the town, and a circuitous 6km or so north is the Angelokastro castle, one of the most impressive ruins on the island.
Paleokastritsa's castle, the Angelokastro, There are shortcut paths through open country from Paleokastritsa, but the main approach, and certainly the only one by car, involves doubling back to the Lakones turning and heading for the village of Makrades, a route with some of the finest views in the region, and cafes such as the Bella Vista to enjoy them from. The route to the kastro leaves the smaller, dead-end hamlet of Krini. Angelokastro is only approachable by path (the walk from the car park takes about 30min), but the ruined castle has stunning, almost circular views of the surrounding sea and land - presumably why its Byzantine builders and later Venetian developers chose the site. Indeed, the Angevins of Naples held out here for the best part of a year when the Venetians took over the rest of the island in 1386, and the fortress remained unbreached during the brief but destructive Turkish invasions of 1537, 1571 and 1716. On a clear day, it's possible to see Corfu Town some 25km away; however, little remains of the fort except for parts of the main walls.
On the rocky bluff above the beaches, the beautiful, whitewashed Paleokastritsa's Monastery (also known as the Theotokos Monastery) is believed to have been established in the thirteenth century, though the current buildings date from the eighteenth. The small monastery church, set amidst an attractive complex of courtyards, archways, monks' cells, oil presses and storerooms, has a number of impressive icons, including depictions of St George and the dragon and an atmospheric Last Judgement, while the ceiling features a woodcarving of the Tree of Life. There's also a museum, resplendent with further icons, most notably a beautiful Dormition of the Virgin Mary, jewel-encrusted silver-bound Bibles and other impedimenta of Greek Orthodox ritual, as well as a curious "sea monster", with very large vertebrae and tusks, said to have been killed by fishermen in the last century. The real highlight, however, is the beautiful paved gardens, which afford spectacular views over the coastline.