Agioi Deka is a traditional hillside village, a 20-minute drive (11 kilometres) south of Corfu town and only 15 minutes from the airport, situated at 250 metres on the slopes of the island’s second highest mountain, Mount Pantokrator. It’s narrow winding streets, local tavernas, beautiful churches and surrounding olive groves offer visitors and guests the opportunity to experience the relaxed pace of authentic Greek rural life.
The first inhabitants of Agioi Deka, which means ‘Ten Saints’ in Greek, came from Crete after the island’s conquest by the Arabs in 823 AD. The church that was built, and village that grew around it, were named by the settlers after the church and village in Crete, in memory of the ten Christians that were martyred in the 3rd century BC for resisting the persecution of Christians under the rule of Emperor Decius.
The area of Agioi Deka is famous as one of the best trekking areas on the island, and if you want beach action, you don’t have to go too far.
While Agioi Deka isn’t on the coast, it is only a 10-minute drive (3 kilometres) from the nearest Blue Flag sandy beach of Benitses, with its shallow clear waters. This beach offers facilities for an easy life, with sun beds, pedalos and canoes for hire and plenty of bars and tavernas nearby. Another option is further down the road, the Messonghi Beach, with an ideal water sports center, allowing you to choose from waterskiing, windsurfing, banana boats and paragliding. Alternatively you can hire a jet ski and blaze your own trail. Back on land you have a sand-and-shingle beach lapped by shallow clear waters – plus lots of sunbeds and umbrellas. Restaurants and bars line the water, too. Also, one of the most spectacular water amusement parks in Europe is just 5 kilometres away from Agioi Deka offering a range of rides and activities of all ages.
The area of Agioi Deka is en route the 220 kilometre-long Corfu trail that goes from the top to bottom of Corfu, and considered one of the best trekking territories on the island. Adventure seekers and nature lovers can enjoy hiking, trekking or mountain bike experiences in the countless leafy paths and unspoilt beauty of the Pantokrator mountain. A leisurely 3.5 kilometre hike from Agioi Deka to the secluded Monastery of Christ the Saviour and the chapel of the Prophet Elijah, situated at 580 metres on a plateau of Mount Pantokrator, will reward hikers with beautiful vistas, a tranquil place for repose and the opportunity to experience the religious summer festivals which take place there on 1st May and 5 August. There are also several other beautiful villages built in Mount Pantokrator’s slopes, such as Stavros, Komianata and Loukata, which maintain the Venetian architectural style of the area, that can be visited by hikers.
Just a 10-minute drive away from Agioi Deka, is Gastouri village with its traditional houses with their attractive flower gardens, bougainvillea covered walls, and pergolas awash with color. Situated on the top of a village hilltop is the Achillion Palace, originally the stately home of Corfiot philosopher and diplomat Petros Vrailas Armenis, and chosen by Empress Elisabeth of Austria (known as 'Sissi') in 1890, as the site for her palace. The Empress would frequently visit palace provided with an escape from her the tragedy of her son’s assassination a year earlier. After her own assignation 8 years later, Kaiser William II of Germany purchased the palace and used at as a summer home since he also shared a great fondness of Corfu. The palace was designed around the mythical figure of Achilles, and the famous sculpture Dying Achilles, forms the centre piece of the charming Achilleion Gardens, with its panoramic views of Corfu town and across the southern parts of the island.