Reasons Why You Should Visit Paxos, Greece

At Loggos in the north of Paxos, fishing boats bob in the serene waters and a handful of tavernas and cafes cluster at the shores
At Loggos in the north of Paxos, fishing boats bob in the serene waters and a handful of tavernas and cafes cluster at the shores | © freeartist / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Kim Gregory
15 September 2021

Sail into Ionian beauty Paxos for olive groves, fresh seafood, traditional festivals, caves and shipwrecks just waiting to be explored.

Endless olive groves and deep-blue shores await on Paxos, a green Ionian island of uncanny natural beauty. Varied yet always lovely beaches and charming harbours abound here, with excellent local wines also on offer. Sink into Greek culture at traditional festivals or soak up mythology on this historic island. Alternatively, if you’re the adventurous type, get active and explore caves, hike hills and dive inside a shipwreck.

For the olives

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© Flor Saurina / Unsplash
You’ll be immediately struck by the greenery of Paxos, an island covered in luscious olive trees. If you thought the olives were good on other islands, get yourself to a traditional Greek taverna here and sample a bowl of local olives. Meaty, salty, fresh and a little sweet, there’s nothing better. Pair with a Mythos beer and a great view (always easy to come by here) and you’ve found the perfect way to spend an hour in Greece.

... and the seafood

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© Sergio Contreras / Unsplash
Speaking of perfect eating, wait until you get your taste buds around the seafood here. The port town Gaios, where your ferry will pull into, is still a working fishing port. That means your fish dish of fresh octopus or grilled dorado will have just been pulled from the waters that lap your table legs at any of the delightful seaside tavernas. While you’re in Gaios, visit the main square to see the memorial to the Greek War of Independence.

To visit charming harbours

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Yachts anchored in bay, Lakka, Paxos, Ionian Islands, Greek Islands, Greece
© robertharding / Alamy Stock Photo
There’s nothing quite like a small Greek harbour, where fishing boats bob in the serene waters and a handful of tavernas and cafes cluster at the shores. In Paxos, find tree-bathed Lakka and Loggos (sometimes called Longos) in the north; both are most charming at night when lit up against the sea. And as they’re away from the ferry port, both are authentic, and truly lovely.

To hop over to Antipaxos

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Bella Vista Taverna, Voutoumi Beach,  AntiPaxos, Greece
© Stephen Hughes / Alamy Stock Photo
Hop on a water taxi and 10 minutes of joyful sailing later you’ll be on neighbouring Antipaxos. The beaches here are picturesque – white with green-topped cliffs and dazzling sandy beaches surrounded by sea as blue as the sky – while the vineyard-lined hills produce wine that’s supplied to restaurants here and at nearby islands. Grab a table by the beach and sip crisp krasi (local wine) in the sunshine, knowing it came from the trees that surround you. Sail back to Paxos with a happy glow after a day well spent.

To see the varied coastlines

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Tripitos Arch, Paxos.
Each part of Paxos provides a different kind of beach experience. Head east for gentle pebble beaches, perfect for a day of swimming in the crystal-clear sea. Go west and you’ll find picturesque caves and limestone cliffs, including the rocky Tripitos Arch (a former sea cave). Water taxis run between beaches in Paxos, so it’s easy and fun to hop between them all.

Because the mythology is fascinating

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Poseidon, Apollo and Artemis in the meeting of gods. East section of the Parthenon frieze. 5th century BC. Acropolis of Athens. Acropolis Museum. Athens. Greece.
© PRISMA ARCHIVO / Alamy Stock Photo
Paxos is a small island situated just off the much larger Corfu. How did it come into being, you ask? According to Greek myth, Poseidon plunged his trident into Corfu and pieces of land broke off. These became Paxos and Antipaxos. Poseidon wanted to create an island to share with his mistress, Amphitrite – and the pair stayed on Paxos.

You can explore the Blue Caves

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Paxos Blue Caves, Corfu
© Balate Dorin / Adobe Stock
The sea around Paxos is too perfect to simply look at. Board a boat tour and jump straight into the dazzlingly blue Ionian Sea to swim between mysterious caves. For an even bigger adventure, check in at Paxos Oasi Sub certified dive centre, which offers magical tours of colourful reefs and even a shipwreck. You can also take a snorkelling safari, and lessons are even available for beginners and children.

... and this ruined castle on a nearby island

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View of Oia village on Santorini island in Greece.
© Milan Gonda / Alamy Stock Photo
Sailing into Paxos, you’ll notice a tiny, abundantly green islet just off the harbour. This is the mysterious Agios Nikolaos. Take a water taxi over and uncover the secrets nestling amongst its trees, from beautiful little chapels to the impressive ruins of an abandoned Venetian castle.

To hike the hills

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Olive groves and the island of Anti-Paxos seen from Paxos, Greek Islands, Greece, Europe
© robertharding / Alamy Stock Photo
Across the green landscape of Paxos you’ll find old mule tracks that snake through the hills and olive groves. Follow them for fabulous hiking in nature, the dazzling Ionian Sea stretching out around you. Expect postcard views of towns, beaches and harbours. Stop at villages along the way for an insight into rural Greek life, stocking up on tiropita (cheese pie in filo pastry) or melomakarona (spiced honey biscuits topped with nuts).

Relax in an exceptional hotel on your Paxos adventure, bookable through Culture Trip. If you need more convincing as to why you should visit Greece, check out the other Ionian Islands to see all they have to offer.

These recommendations were updated on September 15, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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