Quench your thirst for wanderlust and experience a true feeling of freedom cruising the sapphire-colored seas of the smallest Ionian island. Paxos is praised for its translucent beaches, elegant port towns, and laid-back atmosphere offering everything one can dream of finding on a stunning Greek island. With bays whose photos often get confused for the Caribbean, picturesque harbor towns with traditional seafood restaurants, historic landmarks, hiking trails, and rich aquatic life, Paxos is one of the attractive summer hotspots that make for a perfect yachting destination.
The legend has it that the Greek island came into existence when the Olympian God Posseidon plunged his trident into Corfu - and it’s not hard to see how Paxos inspired so many myths with its rich nature and limpid seas. What the island lacks in size, it makes up with a variety of sugarcane beaches and dramatic sights.
With several sophisticated marinas, like the one in Gaios or Lakka, you’ll be able to enjoy the highest level of service that guarantees a relaxing cruise on this seductive Greek haven.
Luff up and explore the beauty of the environment - just 3 km from Gaios, you’ll be able to see one of the most impressive natural gems of the Ionian seas. The Tripitos Arch is a remnant of a collapsed sea cave that resembles a natural bridge jutting into the turquoise waters surrounded by olive groves. If you’re not afraid of heights, you can walk to the tallest point that is 20 meters above sea level, to admire the endless blue horizon.
In case you like to stay away from vertiginous highpoints, you can view this sculpture made by Mother Earth from the Blue Caves just minutes away from the Arch. Don your yacht’s dive gear to explore the depths of these mysterious grottos, hollowed out by the sea in the gorgeous limestone cliffs typical of the west coast of Paxos. Some of the caves, like Ypapandi, are so big that cruise boats can actually enter, and the most popular ones are located by the Erimitis beach. The sea that surrounded them is electric blue, with waters so transparent you can admire the lush aquatic life without even getting wet.
Make sure to visit the Ortholithos, a Monolithic outcrop or vertical stone poking deep into the quiet Ionian sea.
After spending some time in this speleologist playground, head back to the charming Gaios harbor to indulge in a delicious traditional Greek meal. The quality of the food is not defined by price, as most of these authentic taverns focus on the freshness of the ingredients and century-old recipes instead of creating hype. Genesis is a wonderful place to enjoy some seaside dining - the kleftiko lamb shank is to die for and will recharge you after a day full of swimming. Try the branzino at La Vista or some Greek cuisine with a modern twist at Thalassa, a restaurant that will be a revelation to seafood aficionados.
The main port of the island, Gaios, offers enough activity to base your entire vacation here. The Kloni Gouli beach offers an ideal setting for an impromptu picnic with friends and family, where you can enjoy a dip in the crystal clear waters - little ones love playing with the pebbles in this virgin cove.
For a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage, visit the Paxos Museum, located on the waterfront, to see an eclectic exhibition that includes Palaeolithic flint tools, Classic Greek pottery, and remains from the Venetian, British and Ottoman era.
For an evening with the hospitable locals, visit the Cafe Kalimera, famous for its vibrant atmosphere and best mocha on the island.
Before you lift your anchor, buy some gifts at the Pythias Gallery for your artsy companions or the Koo Concept Store that offers a great selection of clothes, jewelry, and accessories that cater to all tastes.
As you sail off into adventure, you’ll quickly stumble across the small green islette that protects the natural harbor of Gaios and homes the remains of a 15th-century castle built by the Venetians. Its primary purpose was to protect the locals from pirate attacks, and nearby you’ll find a small chapel dedicated to Saint John and a windmill from the bygone days.
Not everything on Paxos is centuries-old - new miracles are born every day, like the Erimitis Beach that was created in 2007 when a chunk of the cliff collapsed into the sea, creating a unique oasis of dramatic reefs and sandy shores. Come here for a magical sunset and observe as the cliffs mirror the peachy twilight hues.
An east coast jewel that is also the largest beach of Paxos, Kipaidi has 300 meters of soft, fine-grain sand and is almost impossible to reach anyway other than by boat. Without any facilities, insight or signs of mass tourism, Kipaidi is the perfect place to live out your Robinson Crusoe fantasies. With endless horizons in all shades of Blue, Kipaidi should surely be part of your itinerary if you’re keen on surrendering to the temptations of nature’s allure.
Ready to submerge into the world of underwater adventure? Visit the Oasi Sub in Lakka, where you can take a course and get your PADI certification while enjoying lessons from the best instructors of the region. After less than a week of training, you’ll be skilled to go up to 18 meters under to explore the richness of different marine species. If you’re traveling with children, organized Bubblemaker excursions will keep them entertained and teach them the basics of diving so that you can bond while hunting for shells or starfish.
To fill up after your lessons, visit the numerous bars and eateries of the enchanting turquoise village. Stasinos Garden Restaurant has an ideal ambiance for a relaxing lunch, with a roof made of hydrangeas providing shade in balmy summer afternoons. Try the halloumi followed by red mullet - the friendly owner is always glad to give recommendations. Mandi’s is a good alternative with a slightly more modest menu but with stunning views of the aquamarine harbor. Pair the traditional tarama salad with some fried calamari, a heavenly combo that will keep you full for the day. Have an afternoon stroll through the mesmerizing Harama Beach before heading back to your luxurious yacht to recharge for another day of adventure.
Just 4km from Lakka, the small fishing harbor of Longos proudly preserved its authentic appeal and is the smallest port on Paxos with a population of just 81 people. With almost more restaurants than residents, Longos (sometimes referred to as Logos) provides a feeling of serenity and is a gorgeous spot for a quiet day of strolling and relaxing on the beach. Start your day with a filling breakfast at Taxidi Bar, located in the whitewashed house just by the shore. The bar enjoys an iconic reputation, thanks to a unique setting, exclusively organic menu, and colorful cocktails that will set the mood for the day. Try the locally produced poached eggs and relax with the sound of sea waves, shaded by the verdant olive groves that cover the entire village. Boulokis Taverna confirms the status of gourmet heaven Longos enjoys. The menu of this seaside eatery includes unique Greek specialties like tarama salad, tzatziki, and fried courgettes that will soon become any vegetarians’ go-to option - make friends with the charismatic owner Spiros who might give you the recipe after some negotiation.
No cruise through Paxos is complete without a visit to its smaller twin sister Antipaxos, with beaches that make visiting Aruba or St. Barts simply redundant. With just 30 inhabitants living on the island in the low season, it’s not hard to see how the seas remain so clean and nature well preserved. Vrika Beach seduces visitors with its soft alabaster sand and seemingly enchanted jade-colored waters. After swimming and snorkeling, two tavernas offer delicious plates of traditional Greek cuisine that will give you energy after hours of splashing in the glittery Vrika waters. If you prefer pebbles to sand, the Mesovrika is a great alternative that attracts fewer tourists and is perhaps a better option for a quiet, family swim. The largest is the Voutomi beach, often regarded as the most beautiful in Europe, where aside from yachts and a single tavern, there’s not much to interfere with the heavenliness of nature. For a lovely dinner with a view, book a table at Voutoumi, a restaurant that serves some of the best langouste and snappers in Greece. Try the homemade linguine at Bella Vista - the restaurant produces most of the ingredients used in the recipe, including the splendid olive oil that adds a signature mark to all of their fine dishes. Shave off the calories at one of the numerous nameless beaches, offering nothing but unspoiled nature and crystal clear waters for a day of diving, snorkeling, and swimming with loved ones.
Just under 2 nautical miles from Antipaxos, the cosmopolitan Corfu offers more azure beaches, numerous cultural landmarks, fun bars, and shops and serves as a logical continuation of your Greek escapade.