Gardiki Castle

Corfu, Greece

Gardiki Castle is a 13th-century Byzantine castle on the southwestern coast of Corfu and the only surviving medieval fortress on the southern part of the island. It was built by a ruler of the Despotate of Epirus, and was one of three castles which defended the island before the Venetian era (1401–1797). The three castles formed a defensive triangle, with Gardiki guarding the island's south, Kassiopi Castle the northeast and Angelokastro the northwest

The castle is located on a low hill near the village of Agios Matthaios which is situated at a higher elevation. The ruler responsible for the construction of the castle is not known, but it is assumed that it was built either by Michael I Komnenos or his son Michael II Komnenos, rulers of the Despotate of Epirus. Immediately to the south of the castle lies Korissia Lake which is separated from the sea by a narrow strip of land.

Remains from the upper Paleolithic era, dating from 20,000 BC., when Corfu was still united to the mainland region of Epirus, were found on the site of the castle at the rock shelter of Grava Gardikiou, including hunter-gatherer stone tools and animal bones, which have since been removed and are exhibited at the Archaeological Museum of Corfu.


The walls of Gardiki Castle form an octagon and the structure features eight strong towers decorated by rows of tiles. There are elements from an ancient structure which have been incorporated into the construction of the castle. The ancient structure was probably a fountain-house.

The eight towers are square in shape and the outline of the octagonal structure is almost elliptical. At the top of the southern tower there are traces of a chapel with remnants of religious frescoes of portraits of saints. Although in a state of disrepair, the towers still retain their full height. The castle entrance is preserved but the interior is in a state of ruin.



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Agios Matthaios, Corfu, Greece
See all sites in Corfu


Founded: 13th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Greece

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4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Jozef Štofan (7 months ago)
Nice place, free entrance. Thick walls of the fortress provide shade from the hot sun. Worth visiting when on the way to the nearby beach.
Ал. Одесса (8 months ago)
Nice historical place, but need more information about its history
Toth David (8 months ago)
Come here by if you like a simple old historical fortress, it's free and it's is original because of his own history!
Markus M (9 months ago)
Good quality and quantity for the price had lunch there starter was for free
Błażej Kwiatkowski (10 months ago)
Need a lot of imagination to feel this castle. It must have been big, but now only the external walls remain
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