As the smallest of the inhabited Ionian islands (Kefalonia is the largest), Paxos, often referred to as Paxoi or Paxi, offers visitors a rare and genuine slice of the un-hurried, tranquil and traditional Greek life style.
With a hilly terrain clad in dense olive groves and surrounded by a rocky coastline lapped by crystal clear turquoise waters, Paxos really is a island paradise and is aptly described as "nature's little wonder".
With the island being just 19 KM square, Paxos has an intimate charm that has escaped the blight of mass tourism. If you crave peace and quiet or feel the need to retreat from the hustle and bustle of modern day living, Paxos proves to be the ideal 'get away from it all' holiday destination.
Paxos is famed for it's olive production and has over a quarter of a million trees covering the island, effectively turning the island's interior into a giant olive grove. The locals are extremely proud of the quality of the olive oil that they produce in Paxos as, unlike in other parts of the Mediterranean, the olives in Paxos are left on the trees until they drop naturally into awaiting nets. This gives the olive oil a golden and smooth quality which is second to none. The variety of olive predominant in Paxos is lianolia. You can purchase the oil throughout the island from many of the local grocery stores.
According to legend, Paxos was created by Poseidon who struck Corfu with his trident to create a secret island paradise to share with his wife Amphitrite.
For the traveler wishing to spend longer than a single day, Paxos offers a wide range of accommodation including a large selection of privately owned villas (many of which have private swimming pools) as well as rooms to rent. Paxos also has two hotels.
Many people visit Paxos to enjoy walking the miles of pathways that crisscross the island through the olive and citrus trees. Many of the pathways lead to unspoiled and secluded coves and beaches where the warm and calm Mediterranean Sea gently laps against the shore.
The beaches on Paxos are small and numerous, many of which can only be reached by boat. Most of the beaches have stone, shale or pebble and all are considered safe for swimming. The beach at Lakka has the most sand making it popular with families with young children, though there is another sandy beach at the south of the island at Mongonisi.
Paxos enjoys a warm and sunny Mediterranean climate. The chart below shows average weather statistics for Paxos compared to London.
Paxos Weather: Temperature Chart
Paxos Weather: Sunshine Hours Chart
Current Weather in Corfu
Getting around when in Paxos...
Many people choose to hire a car on Paxos and there are several hire shops located in Gaios, Lakka and Loggos which all offer a selection of vehicles at reasonable rates. For those who prefer the two-wheeled option it is also possible to hire scooters or mountain bikes.
Maps and guides highlighting the trails and pathways are available from the various travel offices located in the three main villages. Walkers should note that many of the pathways are cut steeply into the hillsides and are unlit at night, so take stout foot ware and a torch!
Things to do in Paxos ...
- Relax! Sit back, take it easy and enjoy the warm and sunny Mediterranean climate, stunning Paxos scenery and beautiful Ionian sea.
- Water sports: Snorkeling is excellent in the clear waters around Paxos. Water skiing and diving can be arranged in Lakka.
- Hire a boat and explore the rocky coastline. There are wondrous sea caves to explore as well as unspoiled and secluded beaches to find. Boat hire is available from the three main villages of Lakka, Gaios and Loggos.
- Take a day-trip to Anti-Paxos. Daily trips are available from Lakka, Gaios and Loggos.
- With it's network of pathways taking you through the cooling shade of the olive groves, you could stop by at one of the 60 chapels and churches on the the island or visit the olive press museum on the road between Lakka and Gaios.
Food and drink in Paxos...
Restaurants and tavernas are plentiful in Paxos, with most of them situated around the harbours at Gaios, Lakka and Loggos. Surprisingly, fish can be expensive on the island - keep in mind that it is usually sold by the kilo and not by the portion. Italian dishes heavily influence the menus at most of the restaurants as Paxos is a popular destination for people from Italy, especially in July and August. Many of the tavernas and restaurants offer 'Mezdes' - appetizers made from such ingredients as octopus, salad, sardines, calamari or clams. As with elsewhere in Greece, 'Ouzo' is served as an aperitif at most of the restaurants.
For those wishing to go self-catering, there is a selection of small super-markets, bakers and greengrocers at the three main villages.