Sweet, silvery Paxos is the smallest of the Ionian islands – just seven miles long and three wide – and lies to the south of Corfu. Many return each year: drawn back by its magical small island charm, pretty villages, thickly-wooded landscape, and white-pebble coves lapped by the clearest of seas.
Paxos is literally covered with olive trees, and the oil is amongst the best you can find. Pines and cypresses also flourish, and lead down to the water’s edge.
Being so small, and such gentle wooded country, Paxos is a paradise for walking – particularly in the spring or early summer when countless varieties of wild flowers bloom. It is small enough to walk the length of in a day, and criss-crossed with hundreds of paths and tracks. Bleasdale’s excellent 'Walking Map and guide' can be bought locally.
Despite its size there are over 30 beaches to choose from. Bar sandy Mogonisi most are small and of white pebbles which shelve gently into crystalline waters. Some can only be reached by small motorboat, easily rented and the best way to explore your local coastline. For sand, you have only to visit tiny antipaxos a mile to the south, which has Caribbean-hued waters. Antipaxos is reached by small water-taxi from Gaios.
The population of Paxos is around 3,000. Most live in the three main seaside villages of Lakka, Loggos and Gaios, the capital. Each has its own distinct character and charm.
The little port of Lakka in the north looks towards Corfu. Its large, almost circular bay offers sheltered waters and an aquamarine sea. olive trees come down almost to the water's edge and hide white-pebble beaches.Lakka has an authentic, friendly village atmosphere - the whitewashed narrow lanes running back from the attractive harbour hide a good choice of cheerful tavernas, cafes and small shops.
Loggos is the smallest and prettiest of the three, with about 30 old houses clustered around the waterfront. Those choosing to stay close to the waterfront will be at the heart of village life here, which can be busy in season. Loggos has some excellent tavernas, a bakery and a few small shops. the nearest good beach (Levrechio) is a five minute walk around the headland.
Gaios is the capital. although not large, it is the most cosmopolitan and popular with the yacht fraternity. It has an attractive flag-stoned square, plenty of cafés, a number of small bars and a good choice of restaurants. The view of Gaios’ pretty waterfront buildings from the island of Aghios Nikolaos across the narrow channel is little changed since Lear painted it in the 19th century.