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On a hill, near the village of Agios Matthaios, stand the remnants of the Gardiki castle, an octagonal Byzantine castle, with eight towers and three gates, built in the 13th century to protect the inhabitants of Zygonos, at that time. But neither they nor the village could be saved from the raid of Hayreddin Barbarossa, who plundered the entire island in the 16th century! (The village of Zygonos was rebuilt in the 16th century at a higher and more inaccessible place, under the name of Agios Mattheos!)
Through a narrow alley of the village you get to the homonymous mountain (Agios Matthaios), and start climbing it until you reach the top, where stands the Pantokratoros Monastery (this monastery is other than Pantokratoras Monastery located on mount Pantokratoras). The Monastery of Pantokratoros on the mountain of St. Matthew remains closed all year, except August 5 and 6, when the Transfiguration of the Savior is celebrated. But it is worth a visit anyway, just for the route and the magnificent views!
For families with little ones and for those who want a quiet and relaxing swim in pristine turquoise waters, at a beach with beautiful views and unique sunsets! Prasoudi is a small beach located between Paramonas beach and Korission lagoon, 4 km away from the traditional village of Agios Matthaios and 7 km away from the village of Messonghi. It is a quiet semi-organized, sandy beach with clear turquoise waters, surrounded by accessible scattered sea rocks that you can explore with your mask. Prasoudi does not have a canteen but has sunbeds, parasols and a cabin for rent. It also has two taverns, one on the left on the beach and one just above the beach. The small length of the beach and the closed sea around the beach make the sandy Prasoudi a good choice for families with small children when the weather conditions are not windy. Prasoudi beach is also a great choice for a seaside excursion that combines relaxing swimming with delicious fresh seafood that you can enjoy in one of the aforementioned taverns.
For those seeking serenity, pristine waters, and unique sunsets Paramonas is an elongated beach on the west coast of the island of Corfu, in front of the small homonymous settlement, where there are a small hotel and a seaside tavern. It consists mainly of coarse sand and partly of pebble. For some meters its turquoise waters are shallow, but then deepen sharply. The beach has sun loungers, parasols, showers, changing rooms and a cabin, for visitors to enjoy their swimming and sunbathing comfortably. At Paramonas Beach you can also do mild water sports, such as canoeing and cycling, or rent one of the three captain boats available, and explore the surrounding areas, where there are a cave and a monastery. The sea at Paramonas beach is dependent on the weather conditions, due to its location on the western part of Corfu, which offers the visitor one of the most beautiful sunsets, but it can also bring waves. Paramonas Beach is 8 km away from the beautiful lagoon of Korission, Corfu's most important wetland, and is less touristy than Prasoudi, Halikounas and Issos beach. So that makes it a great choice for visitors seeking privacy, serenity, ultimate relaxation and pristine waters, at a unique beach surrounded by lush greenery.
For families, for couples, for water sports enthusiasts, for nature lovers, for nudists, for hikers, for observers, and for wildlife photographers … In the wider area of Agios Matthaios, between land and sea, there is the largest lagoon of the island, Korission lake. Most of the land strip that separates the sea from this lagoon is named Halikounas! This exceptional part of elongated land extends to the sea for 3 kilometers as a natural breakwater, protecting the lake's wetland from the waters of the Ionian Sea. Only at one point, in the southernmost part of this beach, there is a narrow opening, connecting the lake with the sea. Thus, Halikounas’ one side is the western bank of the Korission Lake, and the other is a huge sandy beach consisting of fine sand and sand dunes. It is a pristine and unspoiled beach, a great choice for several water sports, such as sailing, water skiing, (kite) surfing, SUP, kayaking, as well as for land and air sports such as motocross, fat bike and paragliding! Of course, you can also visit the beach of Halikounas for swimming, as part of it is organized with two removable beach bars, featuring sunbeds with umbrellas, hammocks, sea chairs, various snacks, juices and drinks. The blue waters of the beach are crystal clear, warm and shallow, deepening after quite a few meters. Halikounas beach is vast and is included in the protected areas around Korission lagoon (no construction permitted), so even during the peak season, you can enjoy privacy. After a certain point, some part of the beach is for nudists. For whatever reason, for swimming, water sports, hiking in the cedar forest, nudity, or enjoying the fresh fish and seafood of Korission lake, with your mate, your family, your friends or your group, don't miss the opportunity to visit Corfu's largest beach, Halikounas. Finding yourself facing the Adriatic Sea on one side and the somewhat exotic Korission lake on the other, you will be amazed by the beauty of the wild Nature!