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Sokraki

 

Lorentzos Mavilis, a national hero, politician, and sonnet writer, enchanted by the dreamy landscape and the unique panoramic views towards all four horizons, dedicates the above sonnet (1st verse) to Sokraki.

Sokraki is a traditional village located at the centre of the northern part of Corfu, at a 440 meters altitude. It has captivating views of the Ionian Sea and the Old Town of Corfu. It is approximately 23 kilometres away from the Old Town and 10 to 15 kilometres away from the most popular beaches of the island. From the one side of the village, one can admire the Old Town of Corfu, with its port and two fortresses. On a clear day, the southern part of the island and Paxos island are also visible. From the other side of the village, one can see all the way to the Diapontia islands, that is, Othonoi, Erikousa, and Mathraki. The name of the island derives from an alteration of the phrase “Inside the Korakion Mountain” (/ ́eso ko’rakion/à/So’kraki/, which refers to the location of the village.

Situated within a location of extraordinary beauty and floral diversity throughout the year, the village retains its original architectural character. It offers a unique destination for short breaks or longer holidays, for walking, hiking or simply relaxing.

Sokraki can be reached via various routes of exceptional beauty. The two main routes to the village are the following:

  • -  The winding road carved into the rocks and supported by elaborate stone walls. This route offers panoramic views towards the Old Town of Corfu, and it is a route with a unique history; scenes with the legendary Roger Moore as James Bond were filmed here; the family of a former US president came here for a bike ride; antique car rallies and tours with Safari jeeps are organised along this route.
  • -  The other route is the one via Troumbeta. This route offers beautiful views towards the Diapontia islands, the Adriatic Sea, and various other villages scattered across the island.

    In the village, visitors can wonder around its cobbled, narrow streets and admire the old stone houses, which marry harmoniously with the renovated buildings.

    There are also two picturesque squares with traditional cafes that take the visitor back in time, as well as churches of exceptional architecture.

    The visitor has also the chance to stay at one of the traditional guesthouses or taste traditional Corfiot dishes at a local tavern.

    Each neighbourhood has its own history and share of historical figures. Vasilis Stogiannos, the Theology professor and Director of the Agion Oros (Mount Athos); the lawyer Spyros Chondrogiannis, thanks to whom the estate of Mon Repo was return to the people of Corfu; Alexandra Mandyla, the founder and first president of the women’s group of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (ΑΧΕΠΑΝΣ in Greek), an organisation with over 150 branches across the word, and daughter of Penelope; the self-taught violinist and

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composer, Ioannis ‘Bezeris’ Chondrogiannis, who for years dominated the island’s traditional entertainment scene, and whose song was performed by Nana Mouskouri; and, finally, Lorentzos Mavilis, who, inspired by the stones, the ancient olive presses and the panoramic views while watching one of the most beautiful sunsets in Corfu, wrote a sonnet about the island.

Apart from the organised activities through tour operators, visitors and guests can organise their own alternative activities, such as hiking through the Melisudi canyon with its ancient olive trees, reaching at some point in the route “Moula’s leap” (that is the location on the cliff from where princess Argyro on her horse leapt into the void because she could not endure the destruction of her kingdom by the pirates). Finally, they can attend various cultural activities, with the Assumption Day festival on August 15 being the pinnacle of cultural and religious celebrations.

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