Paxos is dotted with small coves and bays, with something on offer for every type of beach enthusiast. Most of the beaches are made up of white shingle, and very few have sun beds or umbrellas, but rely instead on the natural shade provided by the olive trees that, in places, come almost down to the water’s edge. The sea is uniformly clear and ideal for swimming, snorkelling and diving.
Hidden away on the west coast, just north of Galazio, Avlaki Beach is most easily accessed by boat, but there is plentiful parking for those who wish to come by car then tackle the steep 1km (0.6mi) trek down. The bay itself is a slice of paradise: consisting of a long rocky inlet and Agrilas Reef, it is ideal for enjoying the underwater life of the island, and most people come to swim, snorkel or dive. There are two restaurants next to the small pebbly beach, and you may come across a few scantily clad folk looking for the nearby nudist beach.
You’ll have to park your car at the nearby taverna and make your way through a small grove of olive trees to reach Maramari Beach, but you will be rewarded by a delightful sheltered bay in the shade of the olives. The beach consists of coarse shingle shelving gently into the water, and offers a great base for snorkelling and swimming. There are no loungers or facilities, so you may find yourself nipping back to the tavern for comfort breaks or refreshments.
The adventure starts when you spy the signs leading to Orkos from the main road from Gaios to Lakka. Park up and follow the marked footpath and subsequent arrows and you will be rewarded with a secluded cove with crystal-clear waters. Even though there is one ominous-looking house on the shoreline (apparently owned by a footballer called Bruno) there are no facilities at all here, so take everything you need with you.
The best beaches are often the most hidden, and Erimitis can only be reached, on foot, by the fearless. Make sure you have stocked up on refreshments and sunscreen and used the bathroom before the descent, as there are no facilities on the pebble beach – it’s all about the stunning white cliffs and natural undisturbed beauty here. If you’re lucky you may catch the dramatic aerial display of the swifts circling above you, before they vanish at around noon.
Plakes is hands down the most famous beach in Paxos, and it’s easily reached from the main road. Situated just 500m (1,640ft) away from the capital, Gaios, it is covered in dense olive groves and lush vegetation. The rocky landscape consists of stony plates, right next to the sea, giving way to inviting, translucent waters that bewitch snorkellers and swimmers alike – although beach shoes are advisable because of the pebbles. If you follow the coastal road to the south you will reach the small, hidden Spiazza Beach.
The only way to get to the tiny unspoilt island of Antipaxos is by charter boat or water taxi, so head here if you’re looking for peace and seclusion. Voutoumi Beach boasts one of the most impressive natural landscapes you’ve ever seen. Situated on the northeastern side of the island, the beach consists of a large cove with shallow turquoise waters surrounded by huge rocks. For refreshments, a convenient tavern on the hill offers all manner of yummy Greek dishes.
Mesovriki Beach is a small shingle cove hidden away on the northeastern side of Antipaxos island. Shrouded with rocks on either side, the bay always seems secluded – despite the presence of private yachts bobbing on the horizon. If you want to top up your tan on a towel, this is the place for you, but there are no facilities in the area, other than the daytime taverns at Vrika or Voutoumi, a short walk away. Stay until sunset and soak up the panoramic views across the bay of Paxos and the mainland before you book a water taxi back to your hotel at dusk.
Have a peek at some more stunning beaches across Greece, or if it’s a place to stay that you need, check out our recommendations of the best hotels in Paxos, bookable through Culture Trip. If you’re in need of some beach tranquillity, head to our selection of lesser known Greek islands to visit this summer for the ultimate in peace and quiet.
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