Paxos

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In Greek mythology, Poseidon is said to have created the island by striking Corfu with his trident, so that he and wife Amphitrite could have some peace and quiet. Now Di & Andrew explore this quaint island.

Despite an excruciatingly early start it was wonderful to find ourselves back in Paxos after what must have been 28 years.

Our journey involved a flight to Corfu followed by a 2 ½ hour ferry to Gaios, the picturesque main port and town on the tiny island of Paxos. We sailed south down the island past Lakka, a wonderful natural sailing harbour, tiny Loggos which once had a thriving soap factory and finally into the new port of Gaios.

Our villa, just a few minutes drive from the harbour, had wonderful views from the terraces and elliptic pool over the sea to mainland Greece. This was also a great vantage point to watch passing ships, ferries and sailing boats and in the evening the twinkling lights of the local fishing boats and the sweeping rays from the lighthouse on the tiny island of Panayia at the mouth of Gaios Harbour.

Gaios has some of the best preserved Venetian buildings in Ionian Greece, though sadly the original British governors house is in dire need of restoring (Britain ruled the island for some 50 years in the 19th Century). Since our last visit very little had changed in the town: the ouzo bars in the main square were still the meeting place for the locals but now joined by the many sailing flotillas that visit the island as well as luxury motor yachts from all over Europe.

From just the one bus that took the locals and tourists around the island on the narrow roads, there are now three and five taxis! The bus is still king of the road and so it is best to plan your journey when you know the buses are not around: the roads are so narrow and in many places with stone walls either side or deep ditches so with little room to manoeuvre!

The stony/shingly beaches are best on the east and southern sides of the island with dramatic cliffs on the west. We found a couple of bays with tavernas where we enjoyed traditional greek lunches of deep fried calamari, aubergines and courgettes with greek salad with huge slices of delicious feta cheese: all washed down with a Mythos(the local beer) or a tin carafe of the local rose wine.

This is a popular island for walking, especially in the spring and autumn when the sun is at its weakest: distances are not great but the terrain of hills, terraces and cliffs make an interesting challenge. A perfect island for the escapist but with a dusting of chic shops and villas.

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