Paxos And Antipaxos
Due to its size (small) and topography (hilly), the island of Paxos doesn’t have an airport. As such it still retains a typical Greek charm and has avoided the over-development you see elsewhere in Greece.
Like Northern Corfu, its nearest island neighbour, most of the island is hilly and forested, literally covered in olive trees, with a number of beautiful beaches dotted along the coastline. It really is spectacularly pretty.
We stayed in the main port of Gaios, on the east coast of Paxos. The town is set in a very picturesque spot, with a large marina that is very popular with the yachting fraternity. It has a decent number of shops, tavernas and bars, and a very small beach to the south of the town. It is from Gaios that you catch the ferries to Corfu or the Greek mainland, or get the water-taxi over to the small neighbouring island of Anti-Paxos, Due to its close proximity to Corfu, during the peak season the town acts as a beacon for organised boat tours, meaning during the day the place can become very crowded. However, in the evening as the day-trippers head back to port, it becomes a great place to chill, relax with a flass of wine from one of the harbour front bars, and watch the world go by.
Due to the fact that most of the beaches on the island are pebbly rather than sandy, Paxos is not really known as a great beach destination. The good news then is that most of the idyllic beaches out of town are generally completely deserted. We discovered a beautiful tree fringed beach approximately 2 miles north of Gaios, which we pretty much had all to ourselves. Just remember to pack your aqua shoes with you so you don’t get sore feet!
If looking for a more beach oriented resort holiday on the island, I would recommend the village of Lakka in the north. Very pretty with a beautiful sandy beach, and a small number of tourist shops, restaurants and bars, it would be a good place to relax for a week and work on your tan. It is still very low key though, so don’t expect waterparks, organised entertainment or loud music. As it is not on the tour boat itinerary, Lakka also feels less crowded than more glamorous Gaios.
Another spot worth mentioning is Mongonissi beach, down on the southern point of the island. There are not many facilities there, just a couple of tavernas, but again it’s a sandy beach, so good for swimming and sunbathing.
Transport on the island is ok but not spectacular. There are buses to most of the villages and towns, but they are fairly infrequent. If you want to explore you may want to hire a car, or even a boat, or like us, just go for lots of walks. The island is very small, so you can pretty much walk anywhere. From Gaios, it takes approximately 1 hour to reach Monganissi by foot, 3 hours to Lakka, or 2 hours to Laggos, the other main coastal village on the island. You’re never to far away from a deserted beach if you need to cool down.
In summary, if your perfect holiday is a bit of walking, a spot of swimming, typical Greek food and lots of chilling out, then Paxos is definitely recommended. Oh and did I mention when it rains it rains!
This small island off the southern tip of Paxos is uninhabited and as such is only a day trip destination. Imagine a typical paradise island and you get an idea of this islands outstanding natural beauty.
It can be reached by water taxi from Gaios in Paxos, or by any number of tour operators that organise trips from Corfu or the mainland of Greece. Alternatively if you are lucky enough to have your own boat, you can get there under your own steam. There is a taverna at the top of the hill open during the day, if needing any refreshments.
The island has a couple of beautiful pristine white sandy beaches where you will find the main embarkation points for the aforementioned boat trips. The island also has a few coves you can walk to, or sail to if you have your own transport.
The downside of this beauty spot is that if you visit in peak season, you will have to share it with a lot of other people. The place gets seriously crowded, and when the daily Pirate ships from Kavos arrive, very noisy. So for about 3 hours each day, it rapidly turns from paradise to hell! So my advise would be get the first water taxi out there in the morning, spend a few hours enjoying the magnificent scenery, go for a walk when the hordes arrive, and then return to the idyllic beaches once the ships have sailed. Alternatively, visit off-season.
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