Παξοί – Ionian

Paxi could very well be considered the ultimate Greek island. It may not even be the best in any single respect, but still, combine all the factors and you get a terrific package. The island is small, cosy and green. Extremely picturesque. Its small villages are about as nice as it is possible to get. The main town of Gaios (in the south east) set in a gorgeous deep bay, the very small and friendly Loggos (in the north east) and the picture perfect Lakka (in the north). They are all so beautiful. The Lakka bay must be one of the prettiest I have ever seen. Paxi’s western coast consists of really amazing cliffs, where the island is suddenly cut off. A must see.

This all sounds too good to be true, there must be a down side to all this? Well, yes it is of course immensely popular in high season, and you can just about forget about August when the island is packed with (especially) Italian families if you have not booked your stay long in advance. The fairly wealthy British and Italians, plus the yachting crowd, makes the island far from cheap, this goes for both food and accommodation. Even if the island seems to be fairly tranquil in June and September it is still expensive compared to most islands. But for nice and maybe not so long walks in a lush (but also very dramatic at some points) landscape, I do not think it can be beaten.

None of my previous favorite tavernas are left in Gaios, but I found at least one new good one. The restaurant with the unlikely name “Mambo” is a real gem. In Lakka try “La Rosa di Paxos” for fabulous fresh fish at an insanely low price! A really good retsina found just about everywhere previously on the island, Retsina Pikermi, is now nowhere to be seen. Does not matter so much when most of my other favorites are here.

For those who get allergic reactions from mosquito bites, I must tell you that this is probably not the island for you! I.e stay out of spring/early summer. Late summer/fall, e.g September, seems ok.

Selected walks: For walks on Paxi take a look in Noel Rochford’s Landscapes of Paxos, referred to below as “/Rochford/”. When I refer to this book, the information is taken from the book’s 3rd edition. As I have now done all the walks in this book, I stick to the walk numbers found there.

There is also a good walking map on sale from several travel agencies on the island. Check out The Bleasdale Walking Map of Paxos by Ian Bleasdale, referred to below as “/Bleasdale/”. When I refer to this booklet, the information is taken from the 10th edition (or 10a, to be more exact).

On the web visit Ionian Paxos Holiday and Travel Guides – Gaios, Lakka and Logos – plus Walks and Photos for the Greek Island of Paxi by Foxy’s Island Walks.

•1 GAIOS – VELLIANITIKA – TRIPITOS – OZIAS – MOGGONISSI – GAIOS (my total time 4h04, but that includes hiding out while a thunderstorm was passing…; 436a 439d; net walking time is just 2h37): A great walk including lots of intricate navigation! But the instructions in the newest /Rochford/ are good and clear, do take care to follow them exactly and to the point! If you still need more details you can find them in /Bleasdale/.

•2 GAIOS – VELLIANITIKA – MAKRATIKA – BOGDANATIKA (my total time 1h43; 265a 162d; net walking time 1h32): A short but nice little walk that I cut even shorter at Bogdanatika to connect with walk 5 below. Easy navigation, but take care to find a good route down the overgrown (thorny!) goat traces to the track for Agrilas. Do not bear left too early, not before you actually have to. If you do not want this rough part, use the track for the whole way (see map). Down to the beach there are now steps.

•3 GAIOS – LOGGOS (The inland route) (my total time 2h00; 293a 300d; net walking time 1h41): Some parts of this walk needs very careful reading of the map and all the instructions in the book, but I have never had any problems finding the my way here.

The fork with a pine tree in the middle seems to be too faint to be seen currently. But there is no need, just follow the most prominent path, this will quickly take you to the correct track, just before its end. Maybe slightly longer than the original route, but much faster and easier.

The “Olive Tree House” mentioned in the text is actually “Olive Grove House”. And “Villa Lavanda” is actually “Villa Levanda”.

•4 GAIOS – LOGGOS (The beach route) (my total time 3h30, includes some swimming at two of the beaches, I did not take the path down to ALL of them): Should be pretty easy, but read the instructions carefully. Some points are easy to miss.

OBS: I did this walk last in 1999!

•5 BOGDANATIKA – LAKKA (my total time 2h43; 351a 458d; net walking time 2h11): I combined this walk with walk 2 above. Not for those that dislike road walking a lot. But in I my mind the Erimitis cliffs make up for at least most of that.

To get to Ag. Apostoli follow signs for Erimitis Bar & Restaurant. There is no Sunset Taverna here.

•6 LOGGOS – LAKKA (my total time 2h47; 525a 524d; net walking time 1h52): No big problems here either, but again take care to follow the instructions exactly!

Closing in on Lakka, the name of the villa is Angello’s and there is no sign for Villa Nina until you actually get there.

•7 LAKKA – IPAPATI – LAKKA (my total time 3h15; 524a 523d; net walking time 2h18): A very varied walk with some frightfully dramatic viewpoints. Should also be pretty easy, but again, read the instructions carefully. Some points could be easy to miss even here. And one particular part is very overgrown.

Do continue for some time around the rock tables at Plani for nice views. It only takes a couple of minutes to the end of what is negotiable. However, continuing as far as the book suggests I CANNOT RECOMMEND!

The path to the picnic spot by the Venetian manor is unpleasantly overgrown!

•8 ANTIPAXI (my total time 4h30, includes swimming; net walking time about 2h15): Take one of the speedboats, or the much cozier Niko’s boat, and spend a day walking around between vineyards and visiting the remote Akr Novoros on Antipaxi. No big problems en route, except that towards the end of the walk the gate down to the bar over Voutoumi beach was closed. So I went for the track, and it was a nice stretch so I can recommend it anyway! The bay below was pretty, but had several tourist boats filled with screaming teenagers, and some loud disco thing was going on. You could actually hear them for miles. Good grief… I also took the gravel track for the last leg back to Vrika, and thus skipped what looked like a very rough descent down to Messovrika. It was lunchtime after all! Be sure to sample some of that strong tasty red Antipaxos wine on one of those tavernas!

OBS: I did this walk last in 1999!

• Good starting points: • Gaios – the main town of this island (But this island is so small that just about anywhere will do)

• How to get there: • By ferry from Corfu • By ferry from the mainland

• More info: • Living and working in Paxos • The Bleasdale Walking Map of Paxos – is Ian Bleasdale’s own website, you might want to check it for updates etc. • Paxos (Ionian) – more info about walks, as well as many pictures • XenosUK’s Paxoi Island Travel Page – many excellent pictures from Paxi and more… • Ionian Paxos Holiday and Travel Guides – Gaios, Lakka and Logos – plus Walks and Photos for the Greek Island of Paxi by Foxy’s Island Walks

This page was last modified at May 29, 2011.