Five Reasons to Visit Paxos, Greece

Ashley Chalmers

Senior Contributor

Nestled in the Ionian Sea just below Corfu, the tiny island of Paxos is slowly making a name for itself as a must-visit destination in Greece. As a part of the Paxi island group (the smallest grouping of islands in the Ionian sea), Paxos is only reachable by ferry or private boat. But once there, you’ll find that Paxos and its tiny neighbor, Antipaxos, each offer crystal blue waters, delicious food, charming villages, and friendly locals. While its Aegean cousins battle over-tourism, Paxos offers a quiet escape with all the perks of Greek life.

An Easy Hop from Corfu

To get to Paxos, fly into the nearby Corfu and board a boat in the Old Port. There are daily ferries during the high season, but private sea taxis and boat tours can be arranged. The island of Corfu itself is worth exploring, with its charming old town, historic fort, vibrant nightlife, and sandy beaches offering views of the hilly Albanian coast. But thanks to its prime positioning on the Ionian cruise ship circuit, it fills up fast. It’s worth noting that because Paxos is only about ninety minutes away by boat, it’s a doable day trip from Corfu, but to spare any regrets, a longer trip is advised. 

A Stunning Beach Surrounded by Cliffs

Much like the island itself, most of Paxos’s tiny beaches are only reachable by boat, but Erimitis Beach is one of the few reachable by land… after a short hike, that is. This beach is locally beloved, and also fairly new. It appeared after the surrounding cliffs collapsed in 2007, and a few locals suggest that it was intentionally created by a beach-hungry millionaire who detonated the cliffs himself. That’s debatable and purely a rumor, but however the beach appeared, its crystal-clear waters at the base of dramatic white cliffs make for a spectacular swim. Plus, thanks to its western location, the sunset from this spot is not to be missed.

A Coastline Full of Caves

While only two of Paxos’s beaches are currently reachable on foot, the coastline is dotted with stunning little swimming spots. A car is certainly necessary to make the most of your time on Paxos, but at least one day should be dedicated to a boat trip. Head to any of the island’s three main villages––Gaios, Loggos, or Lakka––to book a skipper or a self-guided boat for the day and explore Paxos by sea. Along with small, pebbled beaches, there are also caves to explore and arches to swim through. While the island itself is fairly quiet, the boats sailing around its coast create an entirely new atmosphere, with everything from speedboats to sailboats to superyachts floating by. Certain bays fill up faster than others, creating tiny inlets with music, laughter, and holidaymakers bobbing along on their floaties.

Explore the Neighboring Antipaxos

Just south of Paxos is the tinier island of Antipaxos. It’s so small and untouched that it currently holds less than two dozen permanent residents––though there are a few luxury villas available to rent. There are also a handful of small beach bars and tavernas, but the real draw of Antipaxos is the near-empty beaches. With its clear, turquoise water and quiet coastlines, the entire island feels like a dream. But don’t be entirely fooled. A few of the main beaches do get busy with daytrippers on the larger boats coming from Corfu, so it’s worth booking a private skipper who knows the island well enough to find the secret spots.

Visit the Main Villages

Unlike the Aegean islands, the Paxi island group isn’t particularly known for its nightlife or beach party scene––but that isn’t to say it can’t be found. In the main village of Gaios, there are plenty of lively cafes, tavernas, and bars, offering laid-back fun from the evening on. The other villages on the island, Loggos and Lakka, are equally as vibrant, with a few upscale restaurants serving excellent seafood to be found. Boats also dock in the various bays overnight, often creating their own revelatory atmosphere at sea. Either way, day or night, the winding streets and sweet boutiques make all three worthy of exploring.

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