In south-west part of middle Corfu island and 24 km. from Corfu town there is the small market town of Agios Matheos with its beautiful woods set on the hillside with the same name. Nowadays the village numbers 1,600 inhabitants who in their majority are farmers. Their main occupation is gardening and the collection of olives, but during the summer months many of them become hotel-employees 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. Agios Matheos is a picturesque village with narrow winding white-washed lanes and traditional coffee shops lining the road, its own music band -established since 1965- and, as it is perched on the mountainside, a magnificent view.
Agios Matheos 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, that are so fragrant in spring.From Agios Matheos village, 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. A couple of tavernas by the seashore serve the hungry swimmers. There are also local style villas and apartments near the beach. 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. The lake is a long and narrow area of 6,000 sq. m. where systematic fish farming is applied and here it is easy to find very low prices for Corfiot fish-roe. The nearby beach of Chalikounas combines the gently rolling sand dunes, with the crystal clear water and, putting the finishing touch to the spectacular scenery, the magnificent memorable sunset. The dirt road that divides the sea from the lake terminates at the lake's outlet to the sea, where the tides flow and a small wooden bridge leads opposite to a unique woodland.
The woods, on sandy ground, are full of cedar trees, white lilies and 14 different kinds of orchids. On Lagoudia, the small rocky island opposite the outlet, is a natural shelter for the storks where they nest to lay their eggs. The whole area form the lake to the end of the woods is a prominent part of the hydro-biological life on the island as in this particular area 126 varieties of birds have been watched. It is also on this road from Aghios Matheos to Halikounas 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, Despoti of Epirus, when Corfu was part of Epirus Despotato. 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