At a glance
Legend says that the god of the sea Poseidon created Paxoi as a love nest, striking Corfu with his trident and causing the formation of the two islands, Paxos and Antipaxos.
If so, he did a great job, as the smallest island group of the Ionian is idyllically romantic, refreshingly exotic, and reassuringly quiet. It comes as no surprise that to this day the symbol of Paxoi is the trident.
There’s no airport here, so the extra time and effort required for visiting has kept the throngs at bay, with a positive effect on the slow and organic development of the islands. There are few distractions to keep you from enjoying the pure and simple joys on offer: beautiful pebbled and fine-sanded bays, like the famous Voutoumi and Vrika beaches, line the forested coastlines of Paxos and petite Antipaxos. Unpretentious little tavernas and cafes dot picturesque little fishing villages that are home to proud, seafaring inhabitants.
The main three villages are all on the east coast, with Lakka on the northern tip, Loggos in the middle and the ‘capital’ and largest village Gaios in the southeast, whose natural harbour is further protected from the elements by the islets of Panagia and Agios Nikolas.
Paxos is well-known for its olives, with groves sprawling across most of the island, whereas Antipaxos is a winemaking island that is mostly covered with vines, although its diminutive size means that most of its delicious produce is consumed only by locals – and of course visitors, who are welcomed to sample the wines.