Paxi or Paxoi is the name given to the smallest group of the Ionian Islands (the Heptanese). In Greek it is a plural form and it refers to a complex of islands, the largest of which are Paxos and Antipaxos (a smaller nearby island famous for its wine, and two of the finest sandy beaches in the Ionian Sea with brilliant blue waters).
Coordinates: 39°12′N 20°10′E (1) Corfu (2) Paxoi
The beautiful island of Paxos lies in the Ionian Sea, just south of Corfu. Barely 12 km end to end and 4 km at its widest, Paxos is unusually green, being covered in olive trees which were first introduced by the Italians in the 14th century. The rocks and cliffs of its unspoilt coastline make way to crystal clear waters and exploring the island by boat, stopping to swim and explore, is one of the greatest pleasures of a visit to the island.
In Gaios, Loggos and Lakka – the main town and principal villages of the island – visitors can enjoy numerous bars, tavernas and restaurants.
Lakka is a village situated on Paxi, a Greek Island in the Dahbian Bay of the Ionian Sea approximately nine miles south of Corfu. Lakka is the second largest village in size on the northern end of Paxos and is flanked by silver green olive groves and cypress trees. The picturesque fishing village is located on a natural, almost circular harbor created by two headlands sheltering the bay from the open sea.
The two main beaches within the Lakka bay, white pebbled Kanoni and sandy Harami lead to a very clear turquoise sea. Other nearby beaches (such as Monadendri, Orkos, Arkoudaki and Glyfada) can be found on the east coast of the island, just outside the Lakka bay, but in most cases can only be reached on foot or by boat (the exception being the crowded Monadendri beach which can also be accessed by car).
Lakka is a popular tourist destination for yachting, windsurfing, snorkeling and swimming.
Antipaxos is a small island (5 km²) in Greece, about 3 kilometers to the south of Paxos. It reported a population of 64 inhabitants at the 2001 census, and is administratively part of the municipality of Paxoi in Corfu Prefecture in western Greece. Largely covered in vineyards, Antipaxos has several beaches and one harbour, Agrapidia.
It has three main beaches: Vrika (white sand), Mesovrika (pebbles) and Voutoumi (pebbles) and it can be reached by 15-minute ride with a sea-taxi from the port of Gaios in Paxos.
In Greek mythology, Poseidon created the island by striking Corfu with his trident, so that he and wife Amphitrite could have some peace and quiet.
Although it was possibly inhabited from prehistoric times, the Phoenicians are traditionally held to have been the first settlers on Paxos. The name is believed to be derived from Pax, which meant trapezoidal in their language.
Read more about Paxi Islands at wikipedia
Paxos is also renowned for walking, and there are miles of tracks running through the olive groves, along the dramatic west coast cliffs and down to secluded beaches all round the island.
Transport: Reaching the island is typically by air to Corfu and the ferry or hydrofoil to Paxos. There are ferries from mainland Greece and Italy as well as an efficient sea taxi service, the Paxos Express (www.paxosseataxi.com).
Diving and snorkelling: With crystal-clear waters and a rugged seabed home to a variety of sites and marine life, conditions are excellent in Paxos for both diving and snorkelllng. A dive school in Lakka offers equipment and a range of tuition with qualified instructors.
Walking and hiking: With paths and trails all over the island, and spectacular scenery, Paxos is a haven for walkers. Choose from coastal paths along the cliffs boasting stunning views, to scenic country trails through shady woods and olive groves, taking in delightful landscapes dotted with ancient villages and churches, as well as a host of local flora and fauna.
Wildlife on Paxos: The island of Paxos has its share of reptiles and amphibians including the Green Lizard, the Wall Lizard and the Gheko. The island also has a few snakes, mostly grass snakes. The only poisonous one is the viper. The monahus-monahus seals and the caretta-caretta turtle, (endangered animals which are protected by the state) can be spotted occasionally in the coastal waters off the west of Paxos.
Birdwatching on Paxos: Buzzards are often seen on Paxos as are other birds of prey. Smaller birds seen include the Blackcap Warbler and many members of the Tit family. The most common bird is the red Robin in winter. The Common Grey Heron is often seen around Loggos Bay. The white ducks in Gaios and Lakka, and the geese in Lakka are firm favourites with locals and holidaymakers. The Sparrow Hawks are regulars to the olive groves and Kestrels have been sighted. Dunlins can be seen on Loggos sea front, also the Pied grey & yellow Wagtails have been seen.Pigeons and turtle-doves are common during the Autumn months.
Sailing: The islands’ rocky coastline hides many secluded coves and bays, some only accessible by boat, so many visitors take to the waters and travel around the island, enjoying spectacular views of Paxos and the charming and remote hidden beaches, particularly on the east coast. The three main villages on the island are all natural harbours, and popular ports of call for visiting yachts. Set sail and embark on a scenic tour of the islands, or just sit back and enjoy the charming scenery and the picturesque sight of the boats moored in the docks of Gaios, Loggos or Lakka.
Hot Springs: These souces, which have long been known to the locals, spring from the subsoil and empty into the sea. Most of them are sulphurous and have been turned into pools. Today they are used for their therapeutic properties, especially in the treatment of rheumatisms. The most important are at Ozia, Giana and Glyfada.
• Paxos International Music Festival
with the program for September 2011
• Jerry’s Watersports in Lakka
All kinds of water sport activities available for all ages
Tel: +30 6977000348 Fax: +30 26620 30116
• Paxos Life Activities
Holidays and courses in painting, photography, creative writing, yoga a.o.
• The Museum of Paxos
Opening hours 11:00-13:00 am and 19:30-22:30 pm Phone: +30 2662 0 32566
• The fortress of Agios Nikolaos on the island bearing the same name, upon permission from the municipal authority. Phone: +30 2662 0 32100