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Welcome to Old Perithia

June 2021 | Pre-Press Release: The iconic Merchant’s House B&B in Old Perithia now has new owners and will reopen in July this year. Restored from three ruined houses in the village back in 2009, The Merchant’s House Boutique B&B in Old Perithia became the first B&B on Corfu with a new approach to tourism, in so much as it offered a 4star accommodation in an authentic traditional mountain village setting, rather than the ‘villa by the sea’. The owners (an Anglo-Dutch couple) who restored the houses also wrote a book about the village to retain its history and to guide visitors around. In 2009 they also began their work on gently bringing the village back to life.

The B&B reached no.1 B&Bs and Inns on TripAdvisor in 2015 and remained there until its sale this year. It has received much acclaim from the press and media and inspired numerous articles and positive publicity for the village as well. Thanks to their input village has risen from approx. 12-15% restored or in process, to over 35% today and that curve is continuing to climb. After 12 years (of what they had envisaged as a 10 year project) they have now handed over the reins of the B&B to… another Anglo-Dutch couple who will open for their first season in July 2021. The news has met with some enchanting replies and responses from previous guests (see a few below). Mark & Saskia, who began their journey back in 2009, will now look after their land in the village & will continue their pr & support of Old Perithia in the months & years to come. More news on the sale follows shortly…

What a wonderful surprise to hear from you today, your story is so positive and unusual.   I salute you both.   In a period and place where and when the world deteriorates and disappoints, you have gone in the opposite direction and re- created a scene of beauty with the return of life to a magical past.   Mists and mysteries, mountains and secret souls. I am glad you have acquired land for yourselves, up to a point you will always belong there, you will remain custodians in heart and soul of Old Perithia.   Every summer it was high adventure to visit you, to see the beginnings and then the lovely plans in fruition.


We are so glad to have been an early part of your journey to rebuild Old Perithia and it sounds like you have gone from strength to strength. A great platform for others to continue your vision!

Jane & Al

Congratulations to you both for every element of your Old Perithia project and adventure. From the canny purchase, to the expert restoration, the challenges of working so empathetically with the locals to finally the sale. You both should be incredibly proud of yourselves. I am pleased to hear that there will still be a little part of you both in the village with the look out tower and land, it is only appropriate that you both are remembered with the highest regard by the whole village and by Corfu Heritage and Corfu Tourism.

Rob & Mint

We are so pleased for you! Well done on selling your amazing B&B and for your stellar work in revitalizing the village over the past decade plus. Please tell us more about your land and look-out tower in Old Perithia and what your eventual plans are. How we wish we were property owners in the village, too! What fun, we’d have being neighbours.”

Nicki & Terry

It is nice to hear from you after such a long time. I am glad you are well. On the other hand, I am sorry to hear you are giving up The Merchant’s House. We are all going to miss you very much and Old Perithia will never be the same without you! However, life goes on and I am sure your decision is for the best. I hope you keep in touch and I look forward to see you on your next visit to Corfu. With best wishes and kind regards

Apostolos and the rest of Patounis’ soap factory team
Photo: Tiger, the local cat who lived in the village with Mark & Saskia, Now seen behind the counter at the Patounis Soap Factory

June 2021 | Old Perithia Taverna Update: Evdokia Taverna (previously Capricorn Taverna) in Old Perithia is now under new management. Exciting changes with Thomas & Dina now managing Evdokia and their having made an attractive traditional renovation to the property. Thomas is a local fireman and Dina an expert cook, so it’s great to see how the village continues to thrive and develop as we enter another new season. We wish them every success. The village now has five tavernas open day and night during the season and at weekends off-season. Mark & Saskia will update the village sign over the coming weeks.

Old Perithia’s journey Back to Life | Press, TV & Media reviews from the past 12 years about the village and it’s revival:

“Now, thanks to the love of these guys it’s finally getting the audience it deserves. What a special, magical place!”

‘Greek Islands with Julia Bradbury’ ON ITV [episode 2 Old Perithia Jan 2020]

Old Perithia | As featured in ITV’s new series in 2020 ‘The Greek Island’s with Julia Bradbury’ episode 2 starts at 7mins 27secs

woman&home ‘Unmissable Greek Islands’ Corfu Old Perithia

Hotel Guru Corfu and a visit to Old Perithia 2020

What Not to Miss: Corfu’s oldest village, Old Perithia, is Heritage Listed and a really interesting place to stroll around. It has only 130 houses, yet eight churches! It was built high in the mountains as a hideaway from pirate attacks and because of this it was, at one time, Corfu’s wealthiest village.”


FT Weekend ‘Catalyst to Bringing Village Back to Life’ | March 09 2019

Corfu & Paxos Life May 2019 ‘Old Perithia Feature’ pp14-17

Vivre Athenes May 2019 Recommends

EasyJet Magazine May 2018 ‘Featured Article’ Old Perithia, ‘The Entire Village is Mine’

Evening Standard  Homes & Property  Homes Abroad July 2018

Mark Hendriksen and Saskia Bosch from West Hampstead lead a double life. Mark is a publisher and Saskia is a well-known Dutch voiceover artist but together they transformed three derelict properties into The Merchant’s House, a boutique B&B in north-east Corfu. ‘I came to see Old Perithia having read about deserted ghost villages,” says Mark. “It was a virtually abandoned Venetian mountain village where nature had taken over. We bought three terrace houses, renovated them and opened with six suites in 2012.’ – Guests come to walk among the wild orchids in the hills, to paint, write and enjoy the peace while being served fig-cherry jam, sourdough bread and lemonade, all made by Mark.


GREC14N ‘Reborn from Ruins’ The Revival 2018 & 2019 Fraport Airport Magazine s/w 2018-2019 [pp143-146]

GREC14N OLD PERITHIA Reborn from Ruins

Indy|Go The Independent Travel 2017 | Old Perithia: Corfu’s Best Kept Secret

The bees dominate the conversation with a steady hum that’s surprisingly meditative. “My family was the last to leave in the 1960s so I have an emotional connection to this place,” says Vasili. “My sons will have it when I am gone.” Thanks to Mark and Saskia’s restoration work on Old Perithia and the subsequent 150 per cent rise in its visitors, Vasili is now able to turn a profit selling honey and plans on returning to the mountain village and his beehives full-time.”

Anastasia Miari | The Independent

TravlrBlog & Holiday Autos 2017 The Real Corfu ‘Top 5’

Old Perithia | Gently being Bought back to Life – Mark & Saskia [who restored & created The Merchant’s House

House & Garden 2018  – Property | Promotion Aylesford International 

The Rough Guide to the Greek Islands | 2015-2020 

 Superbly renovated old stone house, with warmly painted suites… ‘great views and a fine breakfastNorth East Corfu 


Atlas Obscura 2018 | Old Perithia’s Restoration

Old Perithia is an enchanting anomaly. One of the oldest permanently inhabited villages on the island, Perithia was built in Byzantine times, around the 14th century. Looking out at the sea with the majestic Mount Pantokratora at its back, this was once the most pleasant place on the island, and even as the ancient buildings crumble, it’s still in the running. It was the wealthiest village on the island as well, a scenic, vine-filled sanctuary where sheep covered the hills, churches dotted the landscape, and disadvantaged pirates wisely ignored due to the unfavourable vantage.


Lonely Planet | 2016-2020 ‘The Merchant’s House, Old Perithia’ 

The island’s most enchanting village is Old Perithia (, a huddle of stone houses halfway up Mt Pantokrator (906m). While its ‘ghost town’ label isn’t entirely accurate, you’ll see abandoned Venetian houses and stone arches dappled with moss. A few restaurants and a guesthouse are reviving Old Perithia….
Secrets of Corfu: the hidden depths of Greece’s holiday isle – Lonely Planet

Great Small Hotels in Greece | 2013-2020 The Merchant’s House B&B, Old Perithia

A 17th century merchant’s house in the historical village of Palia Peritheia turned into an elegant hotel/B&B with five luxury suites. A truly romantic hide-away in a historical village in the hills of Corfu… A Dutch/English couple on holidays in Corfu was intrigued when they read about Palia Peritheia, a centuries-old ‘ghost’ village hidden in the green mountains in the north of the island. They visited and instantly fell under the spell of its beauty and quiet, and were surprised to find out it actually still had two permanent residents, and also… five tavernas! For several years in a row Saskia and Mark came back and they started dreaming of living in this mesmerising village. They ended up buying three houses set under one long collapsed roof, where once a doctor, a carpenter, a weaver and a farmer had lived and worked. After a thorough restoration there are now four suites and one room with twin beds, all offering great comfort, some traditional-style furniture, a feeling of British elegance, luxurious Dutch bedspreads and a few Venetian touches in the decoration. The suites on the top floor are set under high, sloping ceilings; the others, on the ground floor, have the advantage of opening directly on to the terrace and the (small) garden. I was lucky to be among the very first guests to stay at The Merchant’s House. It was in the spring, and sitting out in the little garden, I wondered what was louder, the singing of the birds, the buzzing of the insects, or that little voice inside me that pleaded me to never leave.


Telegraph Travel | ‘Best Places to Visit’ & 3 top tavernas in ‘Best Places to Eat’ category, Corfu + 10 years top ten places to stay on Corfu [The Merchant’s House, restoration by Mark & Saskia]

HotelBlogger March 2017

When you arrive, you’ll be privy to Corfu’s foremost-preserved historical village: Palea Perithia (Old Perithia). Decades ago, when tourism grew to demand waterfront resorts, residents of Old Perithia abandoned their mountain homes to cater to the opportunity. Houses were left with pots and pans in the kitchens and chairs strewn about for time to ravage. But that’s started to change. This 120+ building heritage site is in the midst of a rebirth. The Greek Ministry of Culture and Archaeological Department of Corfu have deemed it ‘A Designated Heritage Site with Elaborate Architecture in need of Special Public Protection.’ As such, and with the tireless efforts of hoteliers Mark Hendriksen and Saskia Bosch, the island’s ghost-town is getting its second wind. The aging stone-and-stucco facades are born anew – one address at a time.


Mr Hudson Explores Dec 2016 | The Ionian Islands & discovering Old Perithia

High up in the mountains of northeastern Corfu, the Merchant´s House Boutique B&B is a series of restored village houses dating back to the mid-1600s. The houses are located in Old Perithia, the oldest permanently inhabited village on the island, and at the time of their purchase by Londoners Mark and Saskia, were derelict and in need of some serious TLC. The village had a definite sense of character that appealed to the husband and wife team, who decided to restore the buildings in the hopes that locals and other homeowners would see the potential in this heritage protected village and follow suit. Consisting of 6 luxury suites each with its own private entrance, The B&B is the first official accommodation in the village but as restoration efforts continue, the plan is to open more houses and self-catering options.


Wherever Magazine New York USA  | Old Peritheia 

Trivago 2016Inspirations from Mark & Saskia in Old Perithia  

…it’s a magical moment; you feel as though you’ve taken a step back in time. As your lungs take in the fresh mountain air, you get a pang of excitement. Things move a little slower here, but that’s part of Palea Perithia’s charm. And there’s an underlying energy here that can’t be denied. This place is authentic to its very core. That’s largely due to a couple of hotel managers who are bringing Old Perithia back to life with their every restoration, negotiation, and overnight stay. And there’s a lot that can be learned from this dynamic pair when it comes to the art of diplomacy and running a hotel. With tact and subtlety, a hotelier can become an agent of change, and the hotel can inspire the heart of a community.


TrufflePig ‘Expertise in Travel’ | Old Perithia, Corfu Nov 2017 

I drove over to Palia Peritheia to try out that bed and breakfast, the Merchant’s House. Owners Mark and Saskia are a British/Dutch couple, who, while vacationing on Corfu, had made the trek to Palia Peritheia to see what a ghost village looked like. Far from ghostly, they thought, and ended up buying and restoring a 17th century ruined building. It is a lovely place to stay, with five elegant suites, a pleasant contrast to the charmingly unpolished surroundings. And as for the village, I too fell under its spell. I went for long walks, enjoyed several copious meals, and fell shamelessly behind schedule.


Tribe Magazine 2016 | The team’s best places on Corfu

Jamie MagazineJuly 2016 | Old Perithia [Jamie Oliver Magazine article by David J Constable]

Sunday Times Travel 2016 BEST of GREECE | Corfu, The Merchant’s House B&B in Old Perithia

Telegraph Travel The Durrells and ‘Where to find unspoiled Corfu’ | 2016

Libro D’Oro Kathemerini | Restoration of Old Perithia 2015

BA Highlife Magazine & Online | 2015 ‘Six ways to see the real Corfu’

Brigitte Magazine Germany | ed15 2015 Corfu ‘3 Best Places to Stay’ 

Press & Journal Travel | May’June Edition 2015

Kerkyra Simera2011 Two appearances in the newspaper about the restorations of three houses by Mark & Saskia

Work in Progress, purchased 2009 totally restored & open as a B&B 2011!

“Now, thanks to the love of these guys it’s finally getting the audience it deserves. What a special, magical place.” 

Old Perithia | FEATURED In ‘THE Greek Islands WTH JULIA BRADBURY’ ITV Jan 2020 EPISODE 2

Since Mark & Saskia began to bring the village of Old Perithia back to life in 2010 it has featured in numerous articles worldwide from leading newspapers, magazines, travel and guidebooks |

Old Perithia Corfu GREECE Since the sale of The Merchant’s House B&B in 2021 Mark & Saskia retained the Land next to Skordilis Mansions along with the historic ‘look out’ now managed by Mark Hendriksen & Saskia Bosch along with the village maps and signs. The couple who revived the village and restored then managed The Merchant’s House B&B up until May 2021 [Mark & Saskia] achieved the no. 1 position on TripAdvisor B&Bs and Inns for over 6 years in a row… see their reviews here:

Background to the Present Day | Old Perithia Back in 2010 Mark & Saskia, an Anglo-Dutch couple began the restoration of 3 ruined houses in Old Perithia and created the island’s first boutique B&B, the island’s first step into eco-tourism and mountain village accommodation and the first time you could stay in the village for close to 75 years. They also spent much of their time bringing the village gently back to life. Today, with the village having become over 35% restored or in process, that journey continues in spite of the backdrop of the downturn in economy and more recently a pandemic. Of course, with all the press and pr that this brought, it has been important to try and ensure a balance between visitor numbers with the infrastructure and support.

The village is best suited to independent travellers to preserve its past, present and future – but inevitably there are some tours, albeit few (if any) support the village and its upkeep. So if you take a tour via hotels or independent companies, please ask them how they are actually supporting Old Perithia [vs the amount they may charge you].

Visiting Old Perthia is Free, and the tavernas are not expensive to eat in and enjoy, plus the bees and honey can be easily and you can even buy your own book on the official ‘History & self-guided tour of Old Perithia’ to do your own tour (for just €10) on Amazon or at a local bookshop (Diaplasi) in Acharavi, located 20 minutes from Old Perithia. In doing so you can help the village remain clean, cared for and safe for future generations.

If you would kindly do a TripAdvisor review please consider that so far all the care for the village has been voluntary and at the cost of a few particular individuals for the past 12 years. Thank you and enjoy your visit, please keep the village litter free and use the facilities at the tavernas but do offer them a euro or just buy some water etc., as there are no public toilets!

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