A holiday in Greece can be truly magical for the entire family. This is especially true if you decide to spend your vacation on some of the wonderful Greek islands. You’ve heard how beautiful and entertaining Corfu, Crete, and Lefkada could be, but have you ever thought about visiting Paxos or Antipaxos? Check out the following guide and make your next travel beyond unforgettable and worthwhile.
About the island
A tiny group of islands called Paxi (or Paxos) is located south of Corfu, right on the northern part of the Ionian Sea. You’d think that there are no more islands untouched by international tourists, but Paxi stands out in that way a lot. Namely, Paxos and its exotic landscape are one of the mainstream island getaways for the locals. Soon, Paxos will inevitably become the center of all the happenings in Greece, as you can already notice yachts from all over the world docking at its port summer after summer.
Considering Paxos is not a big island, it’s no wonder you can only find three villages there. Gaios, Lakka, and Logos are filled with traditional houses, stunning beachfront boardwalks, and vibrant corners, making you want to explore all of its beauties day after day. Make sure you always have your camera with you if you decide to go sightseeing around the Paxos villages.
The capital of Paxos is Gaios, which is also the largest town on the island and the place where all the ships, ferries, hydrofoils, the hydro plains, and the sea taxis dock. All the water vehicles can comfortably arrive at the port of Gaios regardless of the town being small and quaint with Venetian architecture. The town is chock-full of restaurants and snack bars the fields of olive groves of Gaios guarantee you’ll be having only the most delectable local Greek cuisine. If you are in the mood for traditionally made pizza, pasta, and souvlaki, you can find it all on this magnificent island of Paxos.
For those who still want to send postcards or letters to their loved ones, you can find a post office, on the island as well as banks, pharmacies, gift shops, gymnasium, doctor’s office, as well as jewelry and handmade craft shops. Don’t worry about running out of fresh fruits and groceries for the beach because you can shop at supermarkets, bakeries, and butcher.
Getting to Paxos
Traveling to Paxi island can be done in several ways. You can get a ferry, arrive by airplane, a ship, hydrofoil, or a hydroplane.
Ferries to Paxos
If you choose to arrive in Paxi by ferry, you’ll be able to do it either from Corfu or from Igoumenitsa. It’ll take about 30 minutes to travel from Corfu to Paxi by a hydrofoil ferry. On the other hand, if you want to depart from Igoumenitsa, you’ll have the chance to travel on a rather bigger ferry where you’ll also be able to accommodate your vehicle if you have one for sightseeing. This trip will be slightly longer and will take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Flights near Paxi
The closest airport is located in Corfu, so you’ll have to find alternative transportation to Paxos. Corfu International Airport “Ioannis Kapodistrias” is filled with tourists from around Europe all year round. Whether you travel from Athens, Preveza, Thessaloniki, or from some European capitals, the air traffic will be in its fool bloom between June and October. The airport is 3 km away from Corfu Town. This means you’ll need to get a public bus or a taxi to get on a ferry to Paxi.
Things to do
Paxi is just the right destination for families and those enjoying tranquil vibes. If you’re looking for the ultimate relaxation destination, the island is ideal for you. Pack all the summer necessities and head to the beach where you’ll enjoy the crystal-blue waters and swimming away from prying eyes. After spending a day sunbathing, it’ll feel therapeutic to have an afternoon meal at one of the gorgeous seaside taverns. Later, when the sun sets down, enjoy a drink in a lounge cafe-bar, and have a romantic evening under the moonlight. Sounds quite idyllic, doesn’t it?
If you’re more of an adventurous type of person, you’ll be thrilled by the fact that on Paxos you can go hiking. Start your journey and explore the old tiny chapels, lovely settlements, secluded beaches, and hilltops that will take your breath away once you reach them. If you plan your visit to Paxos in the spring or fall, hiking will be very enjoyable. Because of the rather high temperatures, we suggest you avoid hiking in the summer.
Visit the Islet of Agios Nikolaos
The Islet Agios Nikolaos is a true gem of Gaios port. This vivacious emerald green islet spreads over virtually the entire entrance. It got its name after the small chapel. The basic need of the islet arose back in the 15th century when the people needed the protection of the pirates. Today, if you decide to visit the islet, all you’ll see will be the ruins of the fortress. However, don’t get discouraged because the trip to the islet will be worthwhile thanks to the breathtaking view and peaceful atmosphere you’ll find in this Greek jewel.
Who doesn’t love a good splash in the deep sea, right? Bring along your scuba gear and you’ve got yourself a true seaside experience filled with water activities. For all the lovers or first-time divers, Water Planet has a wonderful offer for everyone. You can find year-round diving excursions for the divers of all levels. Be it an expert or a rooky, you’ll get all the safety and quality of service needed for a safe dive. A highly-qualified and experienced diving instructors will be there to guide you through it every step of the way. If you have a non-diver in your crew or you’d like to show your kids all the wonders of the deep azure seas, Water Planet can offer introductory dives. They’ll learn all about scuba diving in a fun and safe environment.
Going on vacation includes resting and unwinding completely. If you can’t seem to find the inner peace and healing you need to recharge, Yoga can help you out. Sign up for the classes that will provide you with the most powerful healing there is. Get in touch with your inner self and find the ever-needed balance in your mind and body. Spending time in a tranquil environment where you’ll only experience peaceful vibes will allow you to feel more connected to nature. Awake your spirit and body with magnificent yoga practices in Paxos. The organized classes are conducted by two certified and experienced instructors, so you’ll know you’re always in good hands. From Hatha to Vinyasa yoga, you’ll get all the yoga you need to find your center but also learn how to breathe properly. Treat yourself with the most welcoming ambiance, stretch, and breathe deeply as you look at the most magical scenery and let your inner yogi resurface.
Some of us are just dying to go through gift shops and the old arts and crafts nooks, so if you’re in need of some money spending, go visit “Taste and flavor of olive”. This specialty shop, will take your breath away with its mesmerizing variety of local products. Most of the products are made of olive oil, aromatic herbs, and beeswax. Whether you want unique food, cosmetics, body creams, soaps, or something similar, “Taste and flavor of olive” will have it.
Beaches you must visit
When you arrive in Paxos, you’ll be enchanted by the choice of beaches on the island. You can find the perfect combination of beautiful exotic landscape and crystal turquoise waters, just tempting you to splash into their depths. This is especially true for Antipaxi, a tiny island opposite to Paxi, where you’ll feel as if you’ve arrived in the Caribbean. To reach Antipaxi island, you’ll need to go on a boat from Gaios port in Paxos.
Monodendri Beach is one of the most magnificent beaches in Paxos. It’s 9 km north of the capital Gaios. You’ll find the most tranquil oasis of peace as you sunbathe in the presence of lush greenery. Small pebbles will allow you to walk around the beach comfortably and crystal-clear waters will offer the ultimate refreshment and ever-needed swimming session. If you forget your own umbrella, you can find a few at the beach. When you’ve had enough of lying around the beach, you can take a sip of cold beer at a tavern at the shore. Better yet, bring the entire family for a delicious meal. When it comes to reaching the beach, you’ll have no trouble getting to Monodendri beach through the main road.
Another lovely beach on Paxos is Logos Beach. Even though many think of it as one of the smallest beaches, this little jewel doesn’t seem to ever stop attracting tourists. One of the main reasons for that being the fact that it is also one of the most picturesque beaches of Paxi. You can find this beach 8 km north of Gaios. You won’t have any trouble swimming at this beach and feel free to bring along your little ones too.
Thanks to many fish taverns serving delicious seafood, you’ll also have a lovely establishment to have lunch at and enjoy the sounds of the waves crashing against the beach. Are you an avid fisherman? Head to the quayside of the harbor nearby and try catching some fish as your family relaxes under the umbrella.
Places to see
The Folklore Museum of Paxi
Established in 1996 by the Cultural Association of the island, the Historical and Folklore Museum of Paxos can be found on the beachfront of Gaios. The museum is a proud home to the items originating from the Classical times, but also those produced in the mid-20th century. All of the art lovers will enjoy looking at a special selection with fossils, pieces of pottery as well as a variety of the Prehistoric items. The Classical and the Roman times will make you truly amazed.
Are you looking for an interesting exhibit to look at? The Folklore Museum of Paxos hosts a variety of exhibits, such as weaponry from the Venetian times. There, you’ll also be able to get to know the unique old traditional furniture, cooking utensils, agricultural tools, and costumes, all donated by the locals, and all displayed in a carefully decorated room.
Eat and drink
When it comes to wining and dining, Paxos has a great offer of taverns and restaurants, as well as bars and cafes.
Giappy Coffee & Snack Bar is one of our recommendations. It is located in Lakka right on the harbor. Perfect for everyone who likes to indulge in their breakfast or have their morning coffee by the sea. Get a fresh juice, nice healthy smoothies or a sweet milkshake in the morning, and feel free to stop by a cocktail or two at night.
Are you craving some delicious waffles, crepes, tortilla wraps, or maybe a sandwich? Giappy serves them all and makes them more delicious than anywhere else in Greece. Order homemade sweets and ice-cream for the best possible dessert experience on the island.
The next in line comes Roxy bar. This lovely establishment can be found at the seaside, overlooking the relaxing view. Feel the summer breeze and create the most peaceful ambiance for yourself as you sip on their refreshing cocktails, power-pumping fresh juices, ice creams, cold dishes, or salads. When the sun sets and the music pumps up the beat, your night fun can begin with extraordinary cocktails, cold beers, and shots.
Before you start planning for your vacation, make sure you go carefully through this guide. You’ll want to know all about the hidden gems and best places to eat and refresh before you arrive on the island. Make sure you bring good mood and positive vibes with you because on Paxos you won’t find anything else but an ambiance filled with relaxation, party, and good feels.
Looking for more?
Make sure you also read our guide on Antipaxos, or visit our site BeachGreece.com, for a full dive into beaches in Greece.