On the slope of an extremely steep, verdant mountain, high above the enchanting bays of Paleokastritsa is the quaint, very picturesque, little village of Lakones. Old stone houses, of the 18th and 19th Century edge its narrow streets and lanes. It is one of the few villages where one will still see elderly women in traditional Greek dress, or an elderly Greek man returning home from the land with his donkey.
This absolutely delightful listed traditional settlement has views to Corfu Town, Paleokastritsa and beyond. On a clear day you can literally have a full view of the whole area. It has to be one of the most breathtakingly phenomenal vistas of Corfu, which is why it is also dubbed “Bella Vista” – beautiful view. This view has been rated as one of the Top 10 in Europe.
The road leading to the village is narrow, with sharp turns, which is why it made an ideal location for the car chase scene in the 1981 Movie, “For your Eyes Only.” The main road through the village is very narrow, so has a traffic light at each end, as it is one-way traffic only. For this reason, visitors should use caution and observe the colour changes which occur approximately every 5 minutes.
The village has traditional cafes and tavernas and has remained totally unspoilt by tourism. It does provide accommodation in the form of smaller, unobtrusive hotels, plus apartments and studios for holiday rental. Lakones remains open over the winter months and is an all-year-round village.
The “Bella Vista” location is on the northern side of Lakones, on a plateau on the fringe of the village. With cafes and restaurants, where one can enjoy a coffee or meal, it has a unique view of the sensational landscape. It is a photographer’s paradise.
The building of the Music Group, “Oi Lakonites“, houses a Folklore Museum that is well worth a visit, as it includes archives, old photos, music books, traditional costumes, everyday objects as well as papyrus boat miniatures (vourlos).
The area is also suitable for hiking enthusiasts as there is a path, steep of course, that connects it with Paleokastritsa.
Lakones, The name
Although there is more than theory as to how the name came about the most logical is that the first inhabitants of the village were Laconians, who on their trip to Southern Italy, were caught in a storm, ran aground and founded the first settlement on the coast, Paleokastritsa. However, the pirate raids forced the residents to move to the village high in the mountainous area above Paleokastritsa, as has happened in many other areas of Corfu.
ΜΟΥΣΙΚΟΣ ΟΜΙΛΟΣ, Οι Λακωνίτες (2020). “Λαογραφικό Μουσείο τοπικής κοινότητας Λακώνων“, https://www.lakonites.com/
terrabook. “Λάκωνες“, https://greece.terrabook.com/el/corfu/page/lakones/
ΚΑΛΟΠΑΙΔΗ, Νίκη. “Μουσείο Μουσικού Ομίλου “Οι Λακωνίτες“”, http://www.golden-greece.gr/politismos/mouseio_mousikou_omilou_oi_lakones_kerkyra.html