All about Paxos and Antipaxos islands in Greece.
So listen folks, here’s what I learnt this year. I’m from Cyprus, ok? The Greek side of Cyprus. And, being a Greek Cypriot, I already knew how beautiful and stunning and mesmerising and all that jazz the Greek islands are. But hear me out folks. I never thought that this little island, this tiny little island in the Ioanian sea would take my breath away! This island being Paxos, or Paxi.
You have got to visit the island of Paxos and Antipaxos. They aren’t super duper popular to most people who aren’t Greek/European, which was a surprise to me cause it’s literally a combination of Capri, Bahamas and Greece in one place. The beauty of Paxos is that it’s a relatively “remote” island in the Ionian sea, with not that many habitants. It’s a small island, yes, but don’t be fooled by that – you could easily spend a good five days there and still feel like you haven’t done it all! One of my favourite things is that all the huge and stunning yachts are parked on the island’s stunning natural marina, and it just makes the whole experience so dreamy! I can’t even describe how stunning it is!
So without further ado, I give to you, a Paxos and Antipaxos island guide.
What to know before visiting Paxos:
One: The island doesn’t have an airport.
Since the island doesn’t have its own airport, the closest way to get there is to fly in to Corfu island (Kerkyra) and take a ferry boat there. There’s plenty of company options available for passengers that take you to Paxos. You can either opt in to take the fastest boat there, which is roughly an hour, or there’s longer ferries available too. The downside with taking the fastest option is that they run relatively early in the day and there’s no air-condition on the boat. As you can imagine, it get’s pretty darn hot in there. Especially when traveling during the day. I would suggest you take the latest one out, when the heat would have already settled down. A bonus is that there’s a stunning sunset from the boat that will make it completely worth it. Tickets cost approximately 30 euros per person.
There’s also a private boat option available, but that costs up to 300 euros. If you’re a party of 10, then the cost will be the same as taking the ferry.
Two: There aren’t too many fancy places to sleep at.
One thing I truly love about the island is that it’s very non-boojie. And by that, I mean that you won’t find your average five star hotels screaming luxury. Don’t get me wrong, there are stunning places to stay at, but they aren’t made to attract tourists and the “high life”. On the contrary, most places you’ll find on the tourist websites are little houses and rooms owned by locals. They spruce the places up and make you feel at home away from home. And that, for me, is what makes this island so significantly beautiful. We stayed at The Fairytale Love Nest, which is really super stunning. We sort of booked it “last minute” and we were so lucky it was available! So if you’re visiting the island and you know it well in advance, book it immediately! I’d suggest you find a place in Gaios too, the island’s capital town.
Three: Paxos has a smaller sibling; Antipaxos.
Here’s a bonus! Yes, Paxos is literally heaven on earth. However, Paxos has a younger “sibling” island called Antipaxos which is only a 10 minute boat ride away. And that, my friends, is a definite charm. There’s daily and hourly boats that take you to the island for approximately 10 euros, and you don’t need to reserve in advance. All these boats are located in the harbour front at Gaios. They can accommodate up to 20 people at once, but have no fear, there’s like 3-4 of them that complete the route every so many minutes. And trust me, it is worth the visit! You’ll definitely want to spend more than just a day there.
Four: You need to get yourself in contact with a local.
OK! So, despite Paxos being like a tiny island, if you want to experience it to it’s fullest, you need to get yourself in contact with a local. Lucky for you, I found the best local. His name is Demetris, and this is not sponsored at all. You local “guide” can guide you on what’s what on the island, where it’s best to dine, explore and spend your day. You can shoot an email to Demetris right here, and let him know you’re a friend for some extra special treatment!
Five: Paxos capital; Gaios.
The island’s capital is Gaios, which is the largest town. There’s two other stunning towns called Loggas and Lakka which are worth the visit, but Gaios is the place to be. Gaios has the main harbour where ferries, taxi and fisherman boats and all sorts of yachts park at, which makes it absolutely dreamy. There’s an abundance of cafes, restaurants, bars and shops located with a sea front view of the island’s natural marina, that is just like no other thing I’ve experienced.
Now, on to the good stuff…
What to actually do on the island.
One: Tour around the whole island by boat.
Literally, the whole purpose of your trip is to experience first hand the beauty that is Paxos. Get yourself in contact with a local guide, preferably Demetris if you wish, so you can rent a private boat for the day. He’ll show you the whole island from beginning to end! The beautiful caves, the dramatic sceneries, the stunning and secluded pebbled beaches where you can spend as much time as you’d like. Completely alone. The water is just fine, and it’s as turquoise as water can get! It’s like being in the Bahamas! Most of the beaches are secluded, so you do need to access them by boat. However, there are other non-secluded beaches that you can get to by foot on Paxos, but these are the ones you’d want to visit, trust me.
Two: Visit Antipaxos island.
As I’ve mentioned above, there’s a smaller island right next to Paxos that you HAVE to get to. There’s two main beaches on Antipaxos, and both are fantastic. One of them is called Voutoumi and the other is Vrika. Both have the white sand beaches, and unbelievably turquoise and shallow waters. It’s unreal! They also have their own little cafes where you can lunch at or have a frappé so it’s the ideal setting to spend the day at. There isn’t really anything else to do there, so you need to leave by 5 or 6 PM the latest (when the last boats return back to Paxos) for dinner.
Three: Enjoy the delicious food.
A perk of being in Greece is that you get to enjoy the delicious Greek food. And don’t let Paxos being a small island fool you! They have amongst the best chef’s you’ll ever encounter. Whether you’re into fish, meat or vegetarian, you’ll be sure to find a variety of restaurants to meet your needs. However, I must admit that Erimitis restaurant and bar is probably the best one on the whole island. And it’s not just because the food is so so good. It’s because the view of the sunset is unreal! You get a front row seat to it, to the point where you feel the earth’s beauty so deeply, you want to cry! Be sure to get there in time for the sunset though! Another good option is Mediterraneo restaurant, right on Gaios harbour. An incredible dinner and a great place to people watch! A must!
Four: Enjoy a late night drink or dessert at Gaios.
You literally have to take a stroll on the main square at Gaios at night. It’s bursting with life and it’s so dreamy! There’s yachts (and super yachts for that matter) parked at the island’s beautiful natural marina. There’s people chilling on their yachts, chatting and enjoying the beautiful weather at night, as well as tourists drinking the night away (but in a non trashy way). Most of the bars, restaurants and shops are open till late, so be sure to get your hands on a drink, ice-cream or even local souvenirs! It’s exactly what a vacation should be like. There’s quiet options too for a more romantic setting!
Five: Visit the other smaller towns.
Lakka and Loggos are both stunning towns on the island of Paxos that make for a picture perfect moment. They both have tavernas and fish boats surrounding the towns, with locals going about their day. You can access these towns by boat, by taxi or even by bus, but I would suggest you take a taxi there. Paxos isn’t that big, but if you’re visiting during the middle of the summer months, it does get pretty hot. Hit up Demetris, and he’ll arrange a car for you! Both of these towns are perfect for a more relaxed time, and if you’re a foodie then you’re in luck! The tavernas offer delicious and tasty food, that you’ll be sure to come back for more! It’s no wonder why tourists come back to Paxos year after year!
Well, that’s all folks! Thank you for reading my post on Paxos island in Greece! I hope you enjoyed it, and I hope it has helped you with your future travel plans!
For more summer destinations, why not have a look at my Caribbean destinations?