Destinations & villas: Select an area to view holiday villas
- Canary Islands
Walking through the ancient Paxiot olive groves a silence descends disturbed only by birds and the distant sound of the sea; intersected by dry-stone walls and paths, a abandoned stone olive press is often encountered amongst the gnarled and twisted olive trees.
The island is small enough to walk the length of in a day, and criss-crossed with hundreds of paths and tracks leading to small vineyards, tranquil bays and picturesque villages.
The intimacy of the island is part of its appeal, its serene and unspoiled landscape dramatically contrasted by the eastern coast covered with small protected bays and coves, whilst the west coast is bold and abrupt, with stone arches created by sea erosion over centuries and dominated by steep white cliffs that harbour many blue caves or grottos. The views from the west coast are spectacular and Erimitis is a popular spot for watching the sunset.
Despite its size over thirty beaches can be explored on Paxos, with some only reached by small motorboats, easily rented and the best way to explore the beaches and hidden coves. The freedom experienced pottering up and down the coastline is exhilarating especially having the beach all to yourselves with just a picnic and an umbrella to mark the spot!
Anti-Paxos, a smaller version of the sister island, is diminutive but quite stunningly beautiful, lying south of Paxos itself, a must see by any account and accessed by boat or water taxis from Gaios. Breathtaking shades of cobalt blue and aquamarine, the sea is irresistible and demands a swim, the fine sandy beach is the best in the Ionian islands. There are a few houses and a couple of tavernas plus lots of vineyards, producing a wonderful local wine, much coveted by Paxiots.
Legend says that Paxos was created when Poseidon struck Corfu with his trident, causing the southernmost tip to break off and float away to become the separate island of Paxos. He used it to hide from his jealous wife and consort with the local nymphs secretly and in peace!
One of three main villages, in the north Lakka lies at the head of a deep narrow bay, tree covered headlands almost enclose the bay forming a natural harbour that attracts a variety of yachts. Small narrow streets run through the village from the small squares to the sea, a burst of colour from bougainvillea and oleander trees spill over the walls of private local gardens, and numerous shops, bars and tavernas offer a pleasing variety of cuisine. Excellent beaches such as Harami and Plani are close by, and the wonderful laid back charm has locals and visitors rubbing along splendidly equally enjoying the harbour front and its timeless appeal.
Loggos is situated in the middle of the east coast, a tranquil retreat with four tavernas, a bakery and a mini market. Extremely photogenic, 30 old houses cluster around the waterfront, their vivid colourful facades blending into a hotchpotch of ochre, pastel pinks, blues and reds. Close by, after a short stroll through the olive trees, are the beaches: Levrechio, Marmari, Kipos and Glyfada; white pebbles with dazzling cobalt blue waters. Further inland is the small hamlet of Magazia, with tavernas and a mini market set amongst the deepest of olive groves at the crossroads of all the inland lanes that wind round the island.
Gaios the Capital is a buzzing cosmopolitan slice of life compared with its smaller neighbour. Life in Gaios focuses on the harbour where, in high season, the rich and famous in their floating gin palaces jostle for space with tiny local fishing boats. A mesmerising variety of tavernas, chic boutiques and old-fashioned stores that specialise in everything from shipsâ€™ tar to wedding dresses give Gaios a unique character all its own.
In late spring and early summer Paxos is ablaze with a wonderful selection of wild flowers, and unusual migrations of birds also frequent Paxos throughout the year. Thanks to the Venetians, the thousands of olive trees on Paxos provide a plentiful supply of olives and a thriving local industry.
The addictive nature of Paxos means once visited many are hooked and return each year, brought back by the magical small island charm, the gentle wooded countryside, friendly inhabitants and its eternal allure.