Do you want to visit a village that looks like a historical site? When you travel to Sokraki in Corfu you can do just that. However, unlike most historic sites in the world, Sokraki is a full-on living village. Located high in the mountains of Corfu it seems like time has stopped for the residents of this place.
An ancient stone distance marker in the town’s center shows that the settlement is 23 kilometers from Corfu. Historically, Sokraki first appeared in 1343 by participating with other villages of the region, in the construction of the Monastery of Pantokratoras. This magnificent monastery lies at the top of the homonymous mountain. It has largely kept its traditional architectural character, with nice, cobbled alleyways, oil mills, two beautiful squares, traditional coffee shops, and of course impressive churches dating back to the 16th century.
Getting to Sokraki
One of the easiest ways to visit Sokraki is by bus. However, there are only two buses during weekdays and none during the weekend. The bus starts very early in the morning, leaving 5:45 from Corfu Town. This means that if you opt for the bus you’ve got to have an early wake-up call. The ticket is 2.7 euro and you can check the timetable here.
Traveling to Sokraki by car presents you with two options. As it’s only 23 KM from Corfu Town you will be tempted to approach from the south. This is surely the shortest way, however, we have to warn you that you will be facing many hairpins and narrow roads. This route is an adventure in itself, but might not be suited for the beginner driver.
You can also approach the town from the Northern part of Corfu island. This path is much more forgiving, but still, you should expect at least some hairpins. You are climbing a mountain after all. This road is more representative of the general driving in Corfu.
What to see in Sokraki
First and foremost you will be treated to an amazing cobblestone Greek village. Parking can be a little bit tricky, but we suggest you drop the car wherever you see fit and explore on foot.
The Old Village Center
Once you are in the center of the village the asphalt road will exchange to a very narrow cobblestone road. The sides will be dotted with amazing stone houses which are pretty much the same since the 16th century.
An experience like no other. A true step back in time. When you explore on foot we highly suggest taking some of the narrow passageways that lead into the sidestreets. Be careful not to step on anyone’s property, but be adventurous and explore some small streets. You can find beauty where others don’t even think to look.
The old town squares
This small mountain village has not just one but two relatively big squares for you to explore. They are both cobblestone squares with inviting coffeehouses where you can sample the local produce. Both Varzas cafe or Cafe Cherry provide perfect spots to enjoy a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. This is what we love in Sokraki. You can come here, sit with the locals and slow down. A true siesta experience.
Embrace the local churches
Greece is a deeply religious country. This means that even a small village like Sokraki will have multiple churches for you to visit. Take your time and walk around these beautiful structures. Wonder how long they’ve been standing through storms or sunshine.
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On the south side of the town, you will also find excellent views of the Corfu coastline. The location of Sokraki is almost perfect in this sense. To experience the best Instagram opportunities you might want to find a lookout spot, from which you can see this beautiful island.
Where to stay in Sokraki?
You may decide on more than just a short visit to this charming village. In this case, let’s explore two excellent choices for hotels in Sokraki.
Agallis Corfu Village Residence
It’s a lovely spot with a stunning view, and we highly recommend it. There’s a swimming pool on-site for your enjoyment. It’s kind of a hidden gem amongst hotels on the island. Sokraki is located close to most attractions and you can drive almost everywhere. This makes the Agallis Residence an excellent choice even for your full vacation duration.
The vista is breathtaking, and the villas are beautiful, as is the pool area. The hotel has a nice local restaurant on site as well as authentic Greek hospitality if you bring your vehicle. You won’t want to or need to go since the homeowner is such a wonderful person.