The island of Paxos and its smaller sister Antipaxos offer a hidden paradise in the Ionian Sea. Both islands grab tourists’ attention with their exotic views and natural elements that provide mental and physical relaxation.
The best time to visit is from July through mid-October. This is when the waters are perfectly warm and you can enjoy a lot of fun activities.
The main port of Paxos is a must-see attraction for all visitors, with Greek and Italian influenced houses lining the harbor. From here, you can easily explore postcard-pretty fishing villages like Lakka and Loggos, which have tavernas surrounding their gorgeous beaches. The Blue Caves are another must-see, as they are a unique formation of natural sea caverns that offer a stunning view.
Lastly, you should not miss the Tripitis Arch, which is one of the largest rock arches in the world over beautiful turquoise waters. If you are a hiking enthusiast, you can take a hike up to Mount Analipsi for the best views of the island.
Also, be sure to visit the white cliffs of Eremitis and walk around its beaches with peacock-blue translucent water. On teeny Antipaxos, which is only three miles away, you can hike to groves of mastic, pine, and myrtle trees and vineyards that produce sweet and dark wine. On this island, there are also monumental cisterns that were built to store rainwater – a necessity when the region had little rainfall.
With its pristine shorelines, rich mythology and lush landscapes the Ionian Sea has become a beloved destination for yachts and beach lovers alike. The emerald green waters are a magnet to sailors who sail to destinations like cosmopolitan Corfu, the rugged beauty of Zakynthos and Ithaca’s cliffy coastline.
But there are also countless hidden gems to discover. From hillside hamlets to ancient castles and monasteries the Ionian Islands offer a unique blend of natural beauty, traditional charm and tranquil seclusion.
Centuries-old trees blanket Paxos, gnarled and twisted into amazing shapes. They are a sacred symbol for the locals, and their lifeblood.
Paxos is also known for its secluded beaches and crystal clear waters, including the renowned Voutoumi Beach and the Paximadia Islands, two small islets located near the port of Gaios. The southwestern coast of the island is lined with beaches like Egremni, Porto Katsiki and Kathisma that have been ranked among the best in Greece. Moreover, the enchanting Blue Caves, a spectacular sea cavern adorned with stalactites, can be visited by boat from Paxos.
Gaios is an attractive port sheltered from the sea by verdurous isles of Panagia with its imposing monastery and Agios Nikolaos with traces of the homonymous Venetian castle. On the east side of the island is Lakka, an attractive village surrounded by tavernas where locals go about their daily lives.
This is the place to sample authentic Greek life. Strolling the cobblestone streets, you’ll come across quaint churches and rustic tavernas where you can enjoy fresh seafood dishes prepared with the day’s catch. Taverna Vassilis is especially renowned for its grilled octopus and deliciously baked fish.
The beaches are spectacular – and a visit to Paxos is incomplete without a trip to Antipaxos, the emerald little sister that looks like a fantasy from a fairytale book. This tiny island is smothered in a dense forest of mastic, pine, and myrtle trees and sprawling vineyards. It is also home to an ingenious tradition of wine making, with the locals focusing on sweet and rich black wines. A short ferry ride from Paxos will bring you to this charming enclave.
Erimitis Bay Beach
There are several ways to explore Paxos, but my recommendation is to rent a motorboat in Lakka or Gaios and drive along the western coast. This is a very wild side of the island, with towering cliffs and amazing natural rock arches like the Tripitis Arch.
The east side of the island is more sheltered with lovely beaches, and most of them have pebbles rather than sand which makes the water very clean and crystal clear for swimming. The west side of the island is more rugged and has a lot of caves and dramatic cliffs that drop into the sea.
The most stunning beach on the west side of the island is Erimitis Bay Beach. It is the true sunset beach of Paxos, offering spectacular views of our star setting over the deep blue Ionian Sea. You can also enjoy drinks or dinner at the nearby restaurant. This is a must-see attraction for all visitors to Paxos.
Tropical beaches, dramatic cliffs and friendly harbours attract hordes of holidaymakers to the Ionian Sea. While these must-visit destinations are busy for a reason, you can escape the crowds by exploring some of the smaller islands that dot the west coast of Greece.
Take a three-mile cruise from Gaios to secluded Antipaxos, a gorgeous islet with lush settings, mesmerising beaches and a quaint old town. Here you can enjoy a more private experience and indulge in the local cuisine at cosy tavernas.
A highlight of your trip to Antipaxos is the Tripitis Arch, a dramatic natural bridge formed from the collapse of a sea cave. The arch is over 20 meters high and boasts impeccable sea views. This is the perfect place to take a breathtaking photo!
Other highlights include the Folk Art Museum, housed in a superb neoclassical building and displaying a rich collection of artwork. You can also visit a traditional kafeneio in Magazia and sample the island’s honey-sweet mastic wine at Bournaos. The wine is made from rare varieties of grapes that aren’t grown elsewhere in Greece.