A visit to the lush park of Mon Repo Palace is an experience that can only remain indelible in the memory. A forest in the heart of Corfu, just three kilometers from its historic centre, unique for a walk and excursion with your family and ideal for running and walking for those who want to work out. Arriving at the Mon Repo mansion and descending to the right, the dense vegetation and the countless paths combined with the fragments of ancient monuments invite you on a journey out of time, out of the now.
Wide cobbled streets, narrow rugged paths, countless trees, olive trees and an abundance of rare plants and flowers lead you to believe that you are in a very distant forest, far from civilization
Passing monuments such as the ancient Sanctuary of Hera (Heraion) and the ruins of the ancient Doric temple of Apollo and following and descending to the main path we meet the old spring Kardaki and the homonymous beach. The source of Kardaki is mentioned by writers, geographers and travelers for its location, quantity and quality of cool water. For many centuries this spring supplied water to merchant ships and warships that were moored or passed the island and also served the inhabitants of the island especially during the summer when the cisterns and wells were not enough.
The place name may come from the Venetian word “vardia” (guard) because in this area, due to its location near the sea and the hillside with a wide view and observation, there was probably a guard and the word shift with corruption became bardaki and then kardaki.
This legendary spring that gushes unceasingly from the open mouth of a lion of St. Mark, was immortalized by Mavilis in the above sonnet where according to popular tradition "any foreigner who drinks water from there will never return to his homeland…"
Arriving at the beach the landscape is magnificent. The view with the stone pier, the turquoise waters and the surrounding hills overgrown with trees, bushes and aloe is idyllic. This is an area and a beach that is known and loved by the locals. The park could be even more manicured as it presents a form of abandonment but the natural beauty and glamour of the past leave no room for questioning its value.
You can reach Mon Repo if you do not have a car either by public bus, as it is very common to travel from Corfu either by taxi or even by carriage (chariot) since the distance is only three kilometers. Also, at the entrance of the property there is a taxi starting point and a bus stop for your return.
ΣΟΥΡΤΖΙΝΟΣ, Γιώργος Χ. (2008). “Τοπωνύμια: γλωσσικές μαρτυρίες στην ιστορική διαδρομή της Κέρκυρας”, Ιστορική – Λαογραφική Εταιρεία Κέρκυρας, β’ έκδοση, σελ. 198 – 199