Bigger village in Corfu
Agios Matheos is 24 km southwest of Corfu Town and is set in beautiful woodland on the hillside with the same name.
The village numbers 1,600 inhabitants who's main income come from farming and the collection of olives. As in many villages today locals work in the summer months in the nearby tourist resorts of Moraitika and Messonghi.
Another traditional occupation is the cultivation of vineyards, from which they produce the famous kakotrighis, a clear, lightly flavoured white wine. The village is surrounded by a large and dense forest, where the outlaws of the early 19th century used to hide among the myrtle trees and the heather.
From Agios Matheos, a road leads to Paramonas, a fabulous sandy beach, surrounded by grey rocks and decorated with a few small rocky islands further out in the sea.
Another road, starting just before the village of Agios Matheos, leads south to the small and quiet beaches of Prasoudi, Kanouli, Skidi and the beautiful sweeping bay of Alonaki. Alonaki bay is at the northernmost edge of Korission Lake. A tiled street leads to the Monastery of Pantokrator, on top of the hill and to the "Cave of the Sea", a cave which the locals say that it communicates with the sea.
On the road from Agios Matheos to Halikounas is where the perennial spring at Gardiki are found. These springs not only give water to the inhabitants of the area but also to the nearby villages.
This area is dominated by the ruins of its Byzantine castle, which was probably built in the 13th century by Michael the II, Despot of Epirus. Gardiki is a castle for which there are plenty of stories, folk songs and legends - however it is lacking in actual historical evidence about its history.
The castle belongs to the period of the Despotate of Epirus (early 13th century) and its shape is octagonal , with towers in every corner. If you see the fortifications of the castle, you will discover that they include part ans material of ancient temples.