Discover all Greece : Visit Othoni island in Greece ! It is the most northwest inhabited Greek island. If you want peaceful holidays surrounded by paradisal landscpaes, spend and enjoy holidays at Othoni island in Greece
Where is Othoni island ? It is a 10 km2 island with 600 inhabitants, 8 nautical miles northwest of Corfu. It is a very green mountainous island with steep slopes all around the island coasts and with Merovigli top mountain (400m high).
How to go to Othoni island ? You will have to take a ferry from Corfu island. There is a ferry boat every day of the year from Agios Stefanos of Corfu island. How to go to Corfu ? Easy, there are many flights from the main capitals and towns of all Europe.
Brief history of Othoni : In the 19th century the island used to be the capital of the Diapontia Islands Municipality, which consisted of the islands of Fano, Marlera and Mathrachi. The majority of Othoni inhabitants have their origins from Paxoi Island as people from Paxoi were settled in Fano beginning in the 1570s by Venice. From then, we still find the same last names on the Island as Katehis, Argyros, Kassimis, Mastoras etc. This explains that culture and traditions still exist between the 3 islands even today. From the 60s on, many families from Othoni emigrated to Athens but also to the U.S but they still keep close ties with their homeland Othoni.
What to do on Othoni island ? I have been there 9 years ago but I still have clears images in memory. This is really a nice island. Well, do you really want to do something or do you prefer taking a rest on that beautiful island ?
1. If you want to bask in the sun, I suggest you to go to Aspri Ammos beach. Aspri Ammos means White sand… you can understand that. To go there, better is to take a boat at Ammos village, as the place is a little difficult of access on foot. As you can see on the photos below, the turquoise cristalline water will make you believe you are on a pacific beach… but you are in Europe, between Greece and Italy (45 nautical miles from Otranto in Italy). There are such small inlets all around the island !
2. In Greek mythology, it is believed to have been the place where Kalypso kept Ulysses captive for 7 years. Kalypso’s cave (100m length, 15m width and 20m heigh) is accessible only by boat from Ammos. It is near Ammos beach. The most impressive is the beautiful view over Ramla Bay and the all the valley.
3. Visit the main town Ammos where you will have your accomodation. Some rooms are for rent and I am sure you will find satisfaction . My family and I stayed at Agios Stefanos hotel named Perros Hotel at Corfu. For 3 days, we lived at Othoni and we stayed at a friend’s house. That’s a lovely place for relaxation and why not diving and fishing. There are nice tavernas and cafe. You can walk in the narrow streets this the traditional houses, see the churches and admire the Ionian sea wherever you are….
2. Trek on all this small island, dicover old churches and admire the Ionian sea : On that 11 kms asphalted road net, I found pleasure to visit the 13 very small villages of Dafni, Horio, Vitsetzatika, Argyratika, Papadatika and Mastoratika. Agia Triada (contructed in 1892), Panagia, St George and Agia Paraskevi (contructed in 1700). Take the small path that climb up the mountains, visit the monasteries.
From Vitsetzatika, I had a beautiful panoramic view of the island. I drove across Kasimatika and Mastoratika hamlets surrounded by olive groves and arrived at Kastri (see below description). After my visit there, I drove to Damaskatika hamlet and from there, you end at the Northeast beach and Fyki bay. The ships berth in that bay when wind Ostria blow from south.
From Damaskatika, there is a narrow road leading to Agia Paraskevi church. Another small road leads you to Argyratika, one of the more ancient village. You are at the most North point of the island. You drive across Stavros area. Near by the road, there is a big white stone christian cross (in memory of Greek battle against the Ottomans in the 1537 willing to conquer the island. Many Greeks were massacred and island taken). If you go on northwards, you will find Yperagia Panagia church, the oldest church of Othoni constructed in the 17th century.
Going back towards Ammos main village of the island, you will arrive at Dafni hamler and then to Horio village (see photo below). My favourite village on the island. At 300m high, you will discover St George church (Agios Georgios). From that village, you have a beautiful view of all the island and if you are there around 8.30 pm, you will enjoy beautiful sunset
3. In the eastern part of Othoni, see the 13m lighthouse (built in 1872) on Katri hill. Boat can see it 22 miles away. It has been destroyed by the Germans during World War II but it has been rebuilt just after that war. On the east side of the lighthouse, you will find ruins of a Venetian Fortress where Venetians lost battle against Franks naval forces.
My experience : I went on that island with my family on September 2003 and I keep excellent memories of that 3 days trip on Othonoi island. People are simple and warm there, if you accept their simple way of life. Inhabitants lives from tourism but also lives on what they gather from nature : fishes, goats’ meat and milk, olives for oil, honey. I loved the nature there : It is a very green island with blue turquoise waters licking at white sand beaches. It is paradise for divers but also for people like me who need calm on the beach after a difficult life in town all year long… Go and visit this island, you won’t regret….