An exquisite microcosm, the smallest of the six main Ionian islands, Paxos lies south of Corfu opposite of Epirus. It has an area of 25 kilometres and belongs to the prefecture of Corfu.
Paxos can be reached by boat from Patra, Sivota (Mourto) in Thesprotia, Igoumenitsa and Parga. and by coach from Athens via Sivota. There are local connections to Antipaxos, Corfu and Parga.
History and Culture
The island of Paxos was known to Phoenicians. According to mythology, Neptune, madly in love with Aphrodite and looking for a quiet place to take her, created Paxos by tearing off a piece of Corfu by striking it with his trident. Inhabited since ancient times, Paxos has always had close links with Corfu.
Ithaki is also known for its unique churches and monasteries. The Church of Theotoko's Dormition located in Anogi is one of the most important churches across the Balkans. Built during the 12th century, this basilica style church has been characterized as a tenable historic monument, featuring byzantine murals and an impressive Venetian style bell tower. The metropolis of Ithaki is said to be the Sacred Church of Panagia in Linovrohia with a wooden chancel screen of after-byzantine art along with the renowned bell tower with a beautiful stone structure, the latter being constructed for over 100 years. Finally the Monastery of Katharon, located at the same village where a local farmer came across the icon of Panagia in between the wild greens. A church was initially built there during the 17th century to follow the construction of the monastery.
Sightseeing and monuments
The island's capital is its largest town, Gaios, with its beautiful houses in characteristic Ionian style and its tiny streets. Along the western shore are the tiny islands of Aghios Nikolaos with its Venetian fort and Mongonisi. On the approach to the island, on the little island of Panagia. stands the monastery of the same name, where on the tsth August, the Festival of the
Dormition of the Virgin, celebrations go on all night culminating with dancing performances in the town square. Lakka, a small coastal village rich in olive trees and pines, is renowned for the sea cave of the Virgin with its Byzantine church. Another picturesque spot is Longos. where visitors can enjoy fresh fish and peaceful beaches for bathing. All three are natural harbours that attract fleets of sailing vessels in the summer months.
People and Lifestyle
Mainly engaged in agriculture and fishing, the few inhabitants of Paxos are quiet and pleasant people, jolly, hospitable and polite to visitors, they resemble their neighbours, the Corflots very much. Paxos is so small that one can easily walk from one end of the island to the other. The breathtaking approach to the island at Gaios protected by two miniature islets, gives newly arrived visitors a foretaste of the natural beauty they are about to experience: an incredible coastline indented by a thousand coves and bays. lush, green hillsides, imposing rocks and sea caves.
Sports and Leisure
A variety of sea sports can be enjoyed at the lovely beaches of the island, such as canoeing, wind surfing and sailing. The island is ideal for fishing.
Gastronomy and Shopping
Paxos is a relatively quiet island, not ideal for those who prefer a lively nightlife, offering visitors a good time in the evening at the picturesque flsh tavernas at Gaios.
Located at 3 nautical miles southeast of Paxos, the unspoiled island of Antipaxos is all vineyards and turquoise water, beaches of pristine white sand, a haven for those seeking tranquillity. The island's transport is run by fishing boats connecting it to Paxos and Corfu, especially during the summer.