Paxos island (Paxi) in Greece – Everything you need to know about the paradisiacal Ionian island
Do you know what’s fascinating about Paxos (Paxi) island in Greece?
It looks like it has popped out of an exotic postcard, but it doesn’t receive hordes of tourists like other Ionian islands, like Corfu and Kefalonia. Still untouched by mass tourism and over-commercialization, Paxos island is an ideal destination for a slow-paced holiday away from the hustle and bustle.
To learn everything about Paxos island, keep reading!
Paxos is one half of a tropical couple of islands, Paxos and Antipaxos, located in the Ionian Sea, close to Corfu. Paxos, which belongs to the Ionian group of islands, is also known to the locals as Paxi or Paxoi. Although they aren’t as famous as their elegant neighbor, Paxi island stands out for its unspoiled landscape, verdant nature, exotic beaches, and quaint villages. A unique mix of natural beauty, elegant architecture, and fascinating history, Paxi island is a wonderful destination for nature lovers and tranquility seekers.
Paxos is a popular destination for day trips from the nearby Corfu island or Parga, a coastal town in northwestern Greece. It is also one of the best destinations for sailing in Greece, as there are many islets scattered around the main island. An experienced skipper can help you discover your privatecove!
How to get to Paxos
The best way to get to Paxos island is by ferry. Ferries to Paxos depart from Corfu island and Igoumenitsa every day in summer. The ferry trip from Corfu to Paxos lasts about 30 minutes, while the ferry trip from Igoumenitsa to Paxos lasts about 1 hour and a half. If you’re traveling to Greece from a European country, you can get to Corfu by air and then take the ferry to Paxos.
The best beaches in Paxi
Marmari is a paradisiacal pebbly beach 5 km away from Gaios, the main port of Paxos island. Carpeted with shiny white pebbles and insulated with olive trees that create an exotic ambiance, this beach is a photographer’s dream! As for the water, it is crystal clear and ideal for swimming and snorkeling. Marmari beach is easy to reach! You can park your car above the beach and walk your way through the lush olive groves that surround the beach. The trees also provide shade, as you won’t find any sun loungers, umbrellas, or other facilities at the beach.
Tip: If you get hungry after your beach day, head to the nearby Levrechio. There, you’ll find a traditional tavern where you can feast on fresh fish and local delicacies!
Tucked away on the west coast of Paxos, Avlaki beach looks like a magical dreamscape. The bay is covered with white pebbles of all shapes and sizes lapped by translucent turquoise waters. Vegetation-cloaked cliffs surround the beach and form a rocky inlet, which is the perfect spot for snorkeling and exploration! The best way to reach Avlaki beach is by boat, but if you are a trekking lover, you can walk down the 1 km-long steep path that leads to the beach.
Although it technically lies on Antipaxos island, Voutoumi beach can be easily reached by boat or water taxi from Paxos island. If you’re someone who seeks tranquility and seclusion away from the hustle and bustle, this beach is your best bet! Nestled in an exotic cove on the northeastern coast of the unspoiled Antipaxos island, this beach will make you feel transported into the middle of the Indian Ocean. Voutoumi has magical-looking turquoise waters and is backed by white cliffs covered with vegetation. There are a few umbrellas on the beach, but we recommend bringing your own because there isn’t any natural shade.
Tip: Voutoumi is a popular beach, so arrive early to score a good spot!
Mesovrika is a paradisiacal shingle nestled in the northeastern coast of Antipaxos island. Bordered by vegetation-cloaked cliffs on either side and unblemished by sunbeds or other facilities, this beach has a wild beauty that seduces visitors. Especially those who like seclusion! Mesovrika is also one of the best beaches in Paxi for sunset watching. Spread your towel on the pebbles and watch the sun melting into the horizon line, bathing the Ionian with a magical golden light. It’s an otherworldly experience!
Probably the most famous beach in Paxi, Plakes lies just 500 meters from the main port and capital of Paxi, Gaios. Its proximity to the port makes it a top option for those who want to enjoy a quick dip in the electric-blue waters of the Ionian without getting too far. Plakes is a rocky beach surrounded by olive groves and carpeted with white pebbles. The dazzling turquoise sea is ideal for swimming and snorkeling, while the perfect position of the beach provides mesmerizing views of the exotic landscape!
The best things to do in Paxos
Go on a boat trip to Antipaxos
You can’t visit Paxos island without going to Antipaxos island! Antipaxos island, which is also known as Antipaxi or Antipaxoi, is the smallest island of the Ionian island group. Antipaxos lies just 3 km from Paxos, so you can easily reach it by boat. Boats to Antipaxos depart every hour from Gaios port in Paxos and the trip lasts just 15 minutes.
The moment you set foot on Antipaxos island, you feel teleported to the Caribbean! The verdant landscape, the translucent turquoise waters (perfect for swimming and snorkeling), the unspoiled beaches, and the tropical natural beauty of this island are incomparable. There is no sign of modern civilization on Antipaxos island, but that’s part of the appeal! It is covered with vineyards and has no shops or hotels. However, there are a few taverns where you can sit and enjoy a traditional meal after you have spent the day at one of the beautiful beaches.
Take a scenic stroll along the seafront promenade of Gaios village
Gaios, the capital and main port of Paxos, is a fascinating spot for a stroll! Its picturesque sheltered harbor is framed by colorful 19th-century houses and traditional little boats that create a nostalgic atmosphere. You’re going to feel like you have stepped back in time! The waterfront is lined with many taverns, restaurants, and bars, where you can sit and feast on a traditional meal or sip a cocktail with a sunset view. It’s the perfect way to end a day of exploration!
Explore the quaint Lakka village
The largest village on Paxos island, Lakka, is nestled in a beautiful cove insulated with verdant hills carpeted with olive groves and cypresses. Thanks to its shape, the harbor is sheltered from the winds, which makes it very popular with yachts. If you’re planning a yachting holiday to the Ionian islands, this should include Lakka in your itinerary! Other than being a yachting destination, Lakka is also a fascinating village to explore. Get lost in the narrow alleys, have a coffee with the locals at the picturesque main square, try yummy delicacies, marvel at the breathtaking view, take photos of the elegant Venetian buildings… There’s so much to do! Lakka is also one of the best areas to stay on Paxos island.
Take the most breathtaking photo at the top of Tripitos Arch
Tripitos Arch is a 20-meter-high rock structure that forms a gigantic arch over the turquoise waters of the Ionian Sea. It is arguably the most stunning natural landmark in Paxos, plus it is free! If you’re feeling adventurous, you can walk over the arch. Otherwise, you can marvel at it from afar! Tripitos Arch lies just 3 kilometers away from Gaios port and can be reached by car. It may be a bit hard to reach, as you have to drive on a bumpy road and do a bit of trekking to get there, but it’s really worth it! It’s an otherworldly experience!