A Trip to Paxos Island
Saying a trip to Paxos Island is unforgettable would be an understatement. It lingers long in your memory, like a cloudy but intense dream that is hard to forget, a fusion of light, colors, scents and flavors. And to think you probably wouldn’t even spot it on the map. Even then you would find yourself wondering why god would pick such a small islet to plant his garden in. That Paxos island is quite the exotic destination, 20km from the mainland, is somewhat of an open secret. But its geographical position, which makes it rather isolated close though it may be to Corfu, and slow development have kept crowds and busy tourist groups away, reserving the island for the most discreet and refined of travelers. Holidays in Corfu can be ideally combined with a visit to the islands of Paxos and Antipaxos, which are easily accessible by yacht, speedboat or ferry. It is the perfect chance to embark on a day trip to this enticing location, or if you want to leave Corfu for a day or two.
Paxos Island is known as a cosmopolitan destination, with yachts, luxury villas and many celebrities visiting. But it is far more than that. It is, first of all, a sophisticated and calm holiday choice. There is very little and low-key nightlife, only a few beach bars and quaint taverns to enjoy the food, the wine and the sun. But most importantly, it is a place of unique natural beauty. It is hard to describe how wildly verdant and exotic the natural setting is. Which bring us to the number one reason to visit; the beaches. The rocky coastline cradles small pebbled beaches, gently shelving into crystalline turquoise waters, and is covered in verdure all the way to the shore. Paxois island and its satellite, Antipaxos, which are usually visited jointly, are extraordinarily wooded islands, the first covered in a carpet of olive groves and dotted with fragrant cypress trees. The latter is an endless vineyard, verdant with pines and ferns. Gaios is the centre of Paxos island, with two tiny islets standing guard to its port. I wouldn’t recommend much to do in Paxos, other than relaxing and exploring the island’s natural treasures, hidden caves and gorgeous beaches. The eastern coast is smoother and easily accessible, while the western is steeper, with sheer cliffs and coves, domes and caves carved in it. There is no development whatsoever along this coastline, which preferably discovered by boat. No need to worry if you don’t own one, just ask around the island and you will find out about daily trips organized to these secluded coves. Do not miss a chance to visit the verdant beach of Kipiadi in Paxos and the beach of Voutoumi in Antipaxos. And if you are more into sandy beaches, head to Antipaxos, which can be reached by boat from Gaios, where you will find three gorgeous beaches boasting fine white sand.
Stroll around the narrow streets of Gaios on a lazy afternoon or a quiet night, watch the sun set at the beach of Erimitis – which is more than worth climbing the stairs to the rock, fall in love in one of the secluded beaches where you will feel as if you are the last two people on earth.
A trip to Paxos Island has a nostalgic charm, like flipping through the tattered, yellowish pages of an old photo album. They say no holiday experience in Greece is complete without going on a cruise. Let this be your own.