Corfu | Hotels | Corfu Aprtments | Villas | Corfu Articles | Car Hire | Corfu weather | Transfers | Corfu map

Spartilas Village - The window on Corfu
The village of Spartilas nestles at the height of 400m under the looming peak of Mount Pantokrator. Like many
of Corfu's settlements, Spartilas lies at the "olive line" the contour above which the tree will not grow. Such a location meant that the inhabitants, in past days reliant on their crops and animals, would not have far to walk to their daily toil - downwards to their olive groves and up to their pastures. Now most walkers who pass through Spartilas are hiking the Corfu trail. For the Corfu trailers, the village marks the start of the real mountain territory, as they leave the lowlands behind and head for the Pantokrator summit. When it was built, before the petrol age, villagers relied on donkeys for transport, so the alleys, winding between the houses, are narrow - just wide enough for a donkey and its panniers. Still today you may be treated to a glimpse of the past as a donkey guided by its owner meanders slowly down the street carrying its burden of wood or hay. With fewer donkeys around, the passageways have been taken over by flowers, spilling from balconies and pots. Ancient grapevines have been allowed to spread their shade wantoniv, and even without spraying and cultivation they are productive.


Corfu Custom Search

The old coffee shop, set in a time warp, is a place where gentlemen pass an hour or two discussing politics while knocking back an ouzo or two. The churches, another essential feature of Spartilas village life, are, as in the rest of Corfu island, well maintained and well attended. Everywhere you look, architectural features catch the eye. Sandstone arches lead to a storeroom under a'bodzo' - a first floor balcony which gives access to the living quarters. On the walls, stucco is painted with multiple layers of colour, peeling and faded.

Traditionally, walls were lime-washed with the addition of natural tints, a practice still followed today by those wishing to preserve the integrity of older buildings. There are staircases of old marble, and arched gateways that lead into overgrown gardens. A Venetian chimney rends the sky, and old olive-crushing millstones bear witness to the village's agricultural past. Settlements like Spartilas village resemble living museums - but some people, restoring their old house, have used techniques and materials that are not in keeping with the traditional style. Ugly red roof tiles stand out in the huddle of the authentic roofs of old ochre. uPVC doors and windows with white plastic shutters clash with the classic green-painted double-opening front doors and the plain but pretty folding wooden shutters. Because of its wonderful view, Spartilas is known as the 'Window on Corfu'. Vistas stretch as far as Paxos and, on a really clear day, Lefkada can be made out. Set between the mountain and the sea, and oriented south, it enjoys a mild climate, neither too hot nor too cold.

It's a climate that many new residents are enjoying, for Spartilas is gaining a small but growing population of foreign residents who have bought old houses for holidays or full-time living. Many have lovingly restored their old village house, restoration which, carried out with an eye for preserving the charm of this lovely village, are an asset for the local population and a source of admiration for those that visit.

© - Articles >> Spartilas Village - The window to Corfu
All Rights Reserved. No part of this web site may be reproduced without permission