Paxos is located 7 miles South of Corfu & is the smallest of the Ionian Islands. It’s unspoilt beauty & unique personality make it a special place loved by all that visit. Paxos is a great family destination which is also very popular with couples and walkers who seek a little bit of traditional Greece.
The etymology of the name 'Paxos' comes from the word ‘Pax’ which is Latin for Peace. This small enchanting island is only 7 miles long & 3 miles wide and is almost completely covered by olive groves. Amongst which are nestled traditional villages & over 100 churches. The Western coastline is made up of dramatic cliffs & rock formations, where you can find secret caves & arches. Whilst the Eastern coast has many glorious white pebble beaches.
The population of Paxos is around 2,500 permanent residents, who are noted for there genuine hospitality & warmth. However, Paxos welcomes more than 200,000 international visitors in the Summer months.
Gaios is the Venetian style capital of the island & the biggest resort. The narrow, cobbled streets with their traditional whitewashed houses create an ambience of peace & tranquillity. With the local shops & tavernas offering warm hospitality & charm. The harbour itself is almost enclosed by the Isle of St Nicholas. On which stands the Venetian fortress built to repel invasions of Gaios & the little island of Panagia, in 1423. Gaios also has a seafront museum, giving information of traditional life 100 years ago. In Summer months Gaios has a very cosmopolitan atmosphere with many stylish yachts in the harbour & a lively buzz after sundown. It remains a very popular destination with Italians.
At the Northern tip of the island lies Lakka. A scenic harbour with turquoise water, edged with tavernas & shops. There is a diving school where you can dive as a beginner or more advanced. Around Lakka there are many places of interest such as the Venetian House in Grammatikeika & the Byzantine church of Ipapanti. A lighthouse sits above the bay, from which are stunning views across to Corfu & the Greek mainland.
Moggonissi is a small Island located just under 2 miles from Gaios. Its sheltered bay offers a small sandy beach & a taverna for refreshments. There are a few sights to see around Moggonissi including the ruins of churches Agia Maria & Agios Stefanos. There is a coastal road to Moggonissi & in the Summer months there are express boats from Gaios.
Loggos is a located between Gaios & Lakka, & is the smallest of the 3 villages. Its quaint, picturesque harbour is surrounded by traditional houses & a great selection of Tavernas, offering a perfect location for a relaxed evening of romantic, waters edge dining. The village is surrounded by olive grove covered hills & the beautiful beaches of Levrechio & Marmari are within walking distance.
Anti Paxos is a small island located 1 mile off the South coast of Paxos. It is well known for its fabulous sandy beaches & turquoise waters perfect for swimming. There is a small population of Paxiots who have established the vineyards that cover the island, producing excellent wine. In the centre of the island nestles the tiny village of Vigla. Here you will find many walled paths meandering through the vineyards & orchards of lemon, almond & fig trees. The East of the island offers the best swimming locations. Vrika & Voutoumi beaches slope gently into the beautiful clear water making a perfect location for families. On the West coast you can explore the pebble beaches of Radovani & Sarakiniko & the natural spring of Kaloiri. At the South of the island stands the lighthouse with superb views, & the small islet Daskalia. Both can be reached on foot. There are tavernas located on the beaches providing refreshments & shade throughout the day. In the Summer months there are many boat trips to Anti Paxos from Gaios. Alternatively you can hire your own boat to explore this little haven.
In Greek Mythology it is said that Paxos was created by Poseidon, God of the Sea, for him & his love Amphriti, as a retreat of peace & tranquillity. Poseidon struck the South tip of Corfu with his Trident & Paxos materialised from the Ionian Sea. It was said he lost his Trident with the force of the blow & it was later found by the Paxiots. Who then made it their emblem.
Throughout history Paxos was a sort after island & incurred many invasions. Firstly, by the Romans who declared it part of their Empire between 229 BC & 733AD . After many attacks by pirates, the island was conquered by the Venetians in 1386, who remained in power for 411 yrs. It was then surrendered to the French in 1797 but after 2 yrs it was occupied by the Russo Turkish siege. The French regained occupation in 1800 & stayed for 14 yrs, during which time the British blockaded Paxos for a time. Resulting in the starvation of many Paxiots. In 1814 the British conquered & reigned for 50 yrs. Then in 1864 Paxos merged with Greece. During World Wars 1 & II, many Paxiots lost their lives in the struggle for freedom.
Car Hire: There are 4 hire car companies on the island & it is by far the recommended way of getting around & exploring beautiful Paxos.
Public Transport: In the Summer months there is a local bus that runs a few times a day. Linking the villages of Gaios, Lakka & Loggos.
Bike & Moped hire: There are agents in the main villages. However it is only recommended for experienced riders. Unless you possess a full driving license, you may not be covered on your medical insurance.
Boat hire: There are a few boat hire companies in the main villages. All offering instructions & safety equipment. This experience allows you to explore the coastline of Paxos & discover hidden beaches & caves.
Ferries & Hydrofoils: In the Summer months there are daily ferries & hydrofoils to connect Paxos with Corfu & the Greek mainland.