The mountainous part of Sinies consists of scattered villages and settlements perched on the slopes of Mount Pantokrator. At high altitude, these verdant areas, with astounding views of the endless blue Ionian Sea, provide both peace and seclusion.
Going up the road from the village of Kentroma, on the eastern slope of Mount Pantokrator, the small settlement of Porta is built at an altitude of 353 metres. This is an area without tourist development, which has maintained, to the fullest extent, the elements of a classic, picturesque village of Corfu: a narrow street, houses with manicured courtyards, a lush natural environment and unlimited sea views.
Until the 1990s, there were four cafes and a grocery store. The inhabitants were engaged in animal husbandry, olive oil production and stone mining of the characteristic “Sinion plate” that was sought after on Corfu and further afield.
St. Barbara of Sinies
At the church of Agia Varvara, tribute is paid to the life and passions of St. Barbara. In addition to the service, various events take place in collaboration with the Educational Cultural Association of Sinies, and with the cooperation and participation of a theatre group, the Ionian Conservatory of Corfu, and choirs. This annual festival usually occurs in August.
Today there is only one traditional cafe that incorporates a mini market. Twenty-five families (about 100 people) live permanently in the village. Its location makes it ideal for hiking as there are trails that lead to ruined villages of Old Sinies.
At an altitude of 500 meters, on the northeastern slope of Mount Pantokrator is the small traditional settlement of Meggoulas. Old stone houses and some renovated stone residences nestle amongst the green landscape and have magnificent views. It is suitable for those who want to enjoy the peace and quiet of a picturesque destination; who would like to amble along its stone paths, while taking in the wildlife and amazing sea views.
Meggoulas is one of the points of the “Cassius Zeus” trail; one of the top mountain races in Greece, which takes place annually on Corfu, over a distance of 35 km and with a grueling elevation of 2100 metres. Also known as “The Twin Peaks” race, is a demanding trail over very challenging terrain with numerous slope changes to test the runners’ ability.
Unspoilt by tourism is the little settlement of Santa at a heady altitude of 380 metres. For lovers of nature the beautiful, lush countryside is quite enthralling. Then, of course, you have the view! With vistas across to neighbouring Albania this panoramic view can only be described as spectacular!
ΠΑΡΤΣ, Ιωσήφ (1892). “Η νήσος Κέρκυρα: γεωγραφική μονογραφή”, σελ. 29