Paxos - Our Island
The captivating history of Paxos Island
An ancient Greek legend claims that Poseidon, the god of the sea, severed with his trident a piece of the island of Corfu, to make a secluded haven for him and his love, Amphitrite. That clipping of an island was Paxos, and the inspiration for this myth is obvious up to this day; Paxos is simply breath taking! Its history is rich and colourful; from ancient times, Paxos and the rest of the Ionian isles have been under the rule of several conquerors. Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Venetians, French, Russians, Turks, Italian and Germans, they all left their small mark on the island, shaping its character into this colourful esprit of its few – but joyful – habitants. It has even shaped its culinary traditions, resulting in a fusion of cuisines, mainly Greek and Italian that is truly delicious and inspiring! The islands history is depicted in its buildings; charming chapels and quaint churches from several centuries past, traditional mansions and scenic cobblestone alleys, they showcase the rich heritage of Paxos. You can admire remains of the island’s past in the Paxi Museum, the Venetian fortress of Agios Nikolaos and the English Governor’s House, in the architectural style reminiscent of its Venetian era and the picturesque alleys of Gaios, Lakka and Logos.
How To Reach Us
As Paxos Island doesn’t have an airport, it is only reachable by sea. You can reach the Gaios port of Paxos by ferries, hydrofoils, catamarans and hydroplanes from the port of Corfu, which in turn has frequent connections to Igoumenitsa and Patras ports of Greece, as well as several ports of Italy such as Bari and Ancona. You can also reach Corfu by air; during the summer, direct flights from most major European cities are widely available, and domestic flights from Athens and Thessaloniki are conducted throughout the year. If you are travelling by car, Egnatia highway (E90) will bring you swiftly to the port of Igoumenitsa from any part of northern Greece, whereas coming from the south, you could opt for the Ionian highway (E55). There are several other, more private options for travelling to Paxos; chartering a skippered yacht or a helicopter are amongst the most popular options. For any additional information on reaching the island of Paxos, please don’t hesitate to contact the people of Paxos Luxury Villas; we would be delighted to facilitate your journey in any way!
Paxos the smallest of the Heptanese or Ionian islands as they are more commonly known is located nine miles from its nearest neighbouring island Corfu and only ten miles from the Greek mainland. Its unique geographical position has over the centuries led to diverse cultural influences, Byzantine to Venetian to British. In modern times Paxos has become a popular holiday destination but avoiding the mass tourism of some of the other Ionian Islands due to the fact that the nearest airport is on Corfu, a short transfer by boat away. This has allowed the island to maintain its character, charm and seclusion. A very off the map experience.
There are three main centres of population on the island. Lakka to the North, a small town sitting on a natural sea lagoon. Loggos, the smallest of the three is an intimate village situated further down the east coast of the island as is Gaios the largest town and the capital of the island. All three are well appointed with café bars, restaurants and shops and are typified by the traditional, colourful fishing boats that rest in their harbours. The centre of the island is dotted with picturesque hamlets and villages, small communities untouched by time with local churches and traditions. With a population of less than 3000 the Paxiots (as the islanders are known) are characteristically self-sufficient with some keeping livestock and producing their own excellent wine. Family and community orientated they build their own houses and manage small businesses through hard work and commitment.
The west coast of the island is largely uninhabited and has dramatic limestone cliffs that offer stunning views from the top. They drop onto bleached white shingle beaches and large caves with crystal blue waters. A trip round the island by boat to see them is highly recommended.
Although Paxos is small, 7 miles long by 3 miles wide, this beautiful island offers so much more than just a sunshine holiday. In the spring, walkers flock to the island to explore the olive groves and villages using the network of mule tracks and pathways. An additional attraction of spring is the abundance of colourful flora and fauna that bloom across the whole island. At dusk, fireflies illuminate the fading light with their mesmerizing display.
The crystal clear blue waters that surround the island are stunning. The clarity of the Ionian makes it a perfect place for snorkelling a favourite with families and scuba diving a growing activity on the island. Paxos is famous for its multitude of secluded bays accessible only by boat. Locals with an expert knowledge of the waters offer not to be missed trips to enjoy their beauty.
A mile south lies Antipaxos. This tiny island is largely uninhabited and has no local shops or holiday accommodation. It’s most famous for its vineyards run by Paxiots producing excellent wine and its beaches with crystal clear turquoise waters. There are two main ones to visit to relax in the sunshine both appointed with shaded tavernas offering an excellent variety of food and drink for that perfect lunch experience. No trip to Paxos should be without a daytrip to Antipaxos.
If you are in search of beauty, serenity, a charming and charismatic location that maintains its own unique sense of individuality, then look no further than Paxos.