We would like to introduce you the quaint town of Benitses, located 12 kilometers from the Old Town of Corfu, Greece where guests are greeted by the fresh salt air and welcoming smiles. Vibrantly colored flowers blossom from crevices, and leafy grape vines decorate the ceilings of outdoor cafes. Benitses village is known for its pleasant local culture, wherein visitors can experience the richness of the island through the warm hospitality, stunning landscapes, and delectable Corfiot cuisine.
The water on the shores of Benitses is gradient in shades of blue; from crystal, to aquamarine, to cerulean. Lying on the white pebble shores of the nearby beaches, travelers glimpse the horizon where the water meets the mountains of the mainland. Here in Benitses, time ticks slowly in the warm light of the Mediterranean. Neighbors can be heard animatedly chattering in the narrow rose filled alleyways. Their voices and laughter echo brightly off the pastel stucco houses.
Although the village has long been religiously traditional, international tourism has added a touch of modernity to the town making it an ideal destination for those seeking the old or the new. Benitses is a culmination of both worlds, and can be witnessed throughout the village. It is precisely this charm which draws thousands of travelers each year to experience the enchantment of the village.
This page is meant to introduce you to the town of Benitses, Corfu where the hotel is situated, as well as the beaches, and attractions of the surrounding area. We hope this will in turn inspire you to come to Corfu and share in the wonderful the experience of Benitses and Hotel Bella Vista in Corfu!
Benitses dates back to the 13th century, and has been traditionally characterized as a small fishing village.
The town is nestled in between the lush mountains and the Ionian Sea. Benitses village is located 12 kilometers from the Old Town, and a convenient 9 kilometers from the international airport of Ioannis Kapodistrias. It is one of the most traditional Corfiot villages of the island, and is known for its splendid natural beauty. Benitses has long been host to tourism and for decades has attracted the attention of international visitors with its pristine waters and green mountains.
The water of the springs which flowed from the mountains of Aghii Deka and Stavros, joined together in two small rivers, thus giving the area its name. Benitses is derived from the ancient Greek word ‘Pinio,’ a word that generally refers to a place with rivers, and is thought to be rich in waters. The village of Benitses was first inhabited in ancient times due to its abundance of fresh spring water. The ruins of the Roman baths in the village can be seen as a testimony to the fresh water sources found in Benitses.
The natural beauty of the village caught the attention of British tour operators in the 1970’s, and Benitses quickly became a mecca for young tourists. They flocked to the town with the intent of partying, soaking up the sunshine, and unabashedly enjoying the Corfu nightlife. This, however, was met with conflict from the residents of the traditional town, and dramatically interrupted the fishing industry of the village. Older traditional values were discarded for more capitalistic ones, and many of the morals of the community were sacrificed for short-term profit gains.
The seclusion of Benitses beach offers guests more privacy than the other beaches around the island, and is an attractive quality for those looking to relax in peace away from the crowds.
Benitses village no longer plays host to the mass tourism of the 70’s and 80’s, of which the remains can still be witnessed on the seaside buildings, but rather now is in a transitional phase in striking a balance between tourism, and the ability to preserve the local culture of the town. The village of Benitses has re-established its traditional fishing industry, and visitors can see local fisherman bringing in their daily catch and setting up fresh market stalls along the road. These locals catches are commonly featured at the well-known seafood restaurants of the village.
Bella Vista Hotel in Corfu is only a short walk from such beaches, and makes the perfect base for travelers looking to enjoy solitude. In addition, the town boasts a variety of savory restaurants for all price ranges and palates. Travelers can find select from fresh seafood restaurants, charcoal grill taverns, traditional Greek cuisine, creperies, kebab shops, pizzerias, international cafes, coffee bars, and locally produced ice-cream stands.
While the town still has a couple of nightspots, a strong emphasis is no longer heavily placed on nightlife in Benitses. If travelers are seeking a night out on the town, there are many options in Corfu Town or Kavos. Benitses by night primarily offers visitors small bars, taverns, and lounges. Benitses village also has a selection of shops and boutiques for souvenirs or handicrafts at reasonable prices.
The village of Benitses has an abundance of beautiful nature. A short distance from the hotel, visitors can find a footpath which leads to the old springs of Benitses. From there one can wander through the pristine forest, where monasteries and olive trees line the path to the top of the mountain. Guests feel as if they have stepped back in time with the original Corfiot architectural houses and monasteries. These nature trails are ideal for hikers and cyclists alike. The trails lead to the villages of Stayros and Aggii Dekka, and provide excellent view to both the East and West side of the island.
Responsible tourism at Benitses village
The changing nature of tourism continues to evolve in Benitses where travelers are encouraged to foster respect for the traditional culture of the village, while enjoying a lovely holiday. Benitses tends to attract more discerning travelers who are interested in the culture, history, or the religious heritage of the town. Ecotourism encourages responsible travel, and in turn offers visitors the chance to experience and take part in the local culture. Ecotourism is a mutually beneficial relationship between tourists and the community, wherein sustainable growth and tourism can be achieved harmoniously.
is an eco-label awarded to outstanding beaches across the world. In order to receive the award, beaches and marinas must meet a variety of stringent standards set by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE). The Blue Flag works towards sustainable development of beaches by addressing water quality, environmental education, environmental and waste management, coastal planning and protection, and safety. The quality of the water in Benitses has continuously met all standards set by the FEE, and has been deemed for having excellent bathing waters.
is a combination of white beach sand mixed with shingle and pebbles. Local bars frequently offer sunbeds and umbrellas to guests with the purchase of a beverage. Sunbeds are also available for rent and usually start from 2-3 euro depending on the season. Guests also have the chance to partake in water sports such as parasailing or banana boat rides.
Benitses offers a variety of activities to keep guests entertained during their stay in the village. Aside from the dazzling sea and the splendid mountains, guests can enjoy the local attractions in the vicinity of Benitses.
The following are some of the most popular attractions for guests:
is just 3 km from Hotel Bella Vista and was built in Corfu by the Empress of Austria, Elisabeth. The palace is now a historic museum open to guests, featuring stunning gardens overlooking the sea and mountains.
a destination accessible from the hiking trail next to the hotel which leads viewers to the top of this mountain to experience panoramic views of the island, traditional mountain-top Corfiot villages, and monasteries.
Guests can embark Benitses harbor to the surrounding islands and destinations such as Paxos and AntiPaxos. From here, one can enjoy a relaxing boat-ride along the sea, combined with beautiful views of the islands and water.
a hiking trail providing guests with untouched foliage, and lush green pathways. The trail leads to the site of the old water spring, and here guests can enjoy a quiet afternoon surrounded by nature.
a privately owned international seashell collection which is meticulously catalogued and organized. Guests can have an informative tour of the collection by the knowledgeable and friendly owners of the museum.
ancient Roman ruins marked by a well-marked path.
is a ½ marathon (10,000 meters) beginning at the School of Kynopiastes, through the former Achillion Municipality, and finishing at the Benitses Square. The race is open to all ages and nationalities, and attracts athletes from around the world. Following the race, there is typically performances by local dancers, singers, and musicians. Please refer to the following link for more detailed information regarding the route of the race, and the the villages in which it passes through:
this festival on this day is marked by jumping over fires. It is common for three fires to be lit, as fire is believed to be the most purifying element. Before locals and tourists jump through the fire, crowns made from olive branches are placed upon the head, and blessings are made to Saint John. Once jumping through the fire has been completed, the crown is thrown into the fire to drive away bad spirits. The wreath burning is accompanied by instrumental songs, and the evening is celebrated with locals and tourists enjoying an evening together filled with dancing, drinking, and eating traditional Greek food.
is the celebration of the patron saint of Benitses, Agia Marina. The church of Saint Marina was built on the banks of a river which once passed through the old village. The celebration takes place on the 16th and 17th and is complete with church services, folklore dances, and local bands playing traditional music which lasts until early morning. This local celebration is a special chance for guests to take part in the celebration of the local saint of Benitses.
the locals gather the day before the celebration day in order to make preparations for the following day. The villagers prepare sweet breads, which are to be blessed by the priest, and holy mineral water is also collected from a fountain at the monastery. The festival continues into the evening with a celebration wherein grilled meats such as souvlaki are shared with attendees. After all preparations have been made, the celebrations conclude on the 26th with a liturgy presented to the congregation from the mountain-top monastery. The view from here is breathtaking, and is very enjoyable for all those present!
occurs, and is organized to commemorate the fishing village of Benitses, and its abundance of sardine fish. On the day of the festival, a large quantity of sardines is prepared for villagers and guests, and is accompanied by traditional live music and dancing. As the event does not occur every year, guests should confirm in advance prior to making travel arrangements.
This private pool is owned by the lovely sisters, Elli and Marina. Guests are welcome to use the pool for a small fee of 2 euro approximately, or may use for free with the purchase of a snack or beverage. In addition, there are many pools and beaches throughout Benitses offering free umbrellas and sunbeds to guests with the purchase of food or beverages.
Benitses is a child friendly town in Corfu, and is very welcoming and accommodating to couples and families alike. As Benitses is not a party destination, it is exceptionally safe, and therefore differs from some of the other towns on the island. The community has a playground, and the town square is a common place for children to meet and play. Benitses is the type of town where residents leave doors unlocked without hesitation, and children play freely throughout the village.
Buses to Corfu town are frequent (approximately every hour during summer), and the bus stop is conveniently located across the street from the hotel. These buses to Corfu town are known as the Blue buses. There are also buses from Benitses connecting to the south of Corfu, and these run every 2-3 hours.
We hope after reading this page that you will be interested in joining us here in Benitses for a holiday at Bella Vista Hotel in Corfu. Here in the village of Benitses, we offer guests both the dazzling sea and the lush green mountains for recreational activities, enjoyment, and relaxation. In addition to the stunning nature of the surrounding areas, the many festivals and local attractions of Benitses provide visitors with cultural entertainment while staying here at Bella Vista. Please contact our hotel for booking reservations or any additional information which may be needed. We look forward to seeing you soon, and wish you safe travels to Corfu!