Paxos is the last Ionian island I visited and probably my favorite of all the islands. Located just south of Corfu island, this island is much smaller and offers a much more laid back vibe compared to that of Corfu. Paxos is where the Ionian islands meets the Cyclades islands. It offers the same breathtaking green landscapes and towering cliffs that are synonymous with the Ionian islands but in a smaller and more quant setting like the islands in the Cyclades. Of course, there are no beautiful white washed houses with blue doors, but the towns of Lakka, Gaios, and Loggos offer their own style of charm.
I came to Paxos during the shoulder season month of October and absolutely loved it. While the weather was a bit volatile with rainstorms on some days, it was just amazing being able to see the island without the big crowds that come during the high season. I would certainly come back here again in the end of September or beginning of October.
In addition, make sure to read my Ionian islands travel itinerary if you want to see how I structured my trip to see these beautiful islands.
The villages of Paxos
Paxos is a very small island. It only measures about 10km from north to south and 3km from west to east.
Gaios is the main town in Paxos. You will end up in Gaios at some point because this is the main port of the island and all ferries come here. Gaios is a very quaint little town with beautiful Greek and Italian influenced houses with a nice harbor front.
There are a ton of restaurants and bars in Gaios so you’ll never be bored staying here. Make sure to walk up to the main road which overlooks the bay and offers a great view of Gaios.
Lakka is the second largest town in Paxos. Located in the very north, Lakka is my favorite town in Paxos. The village is smaller than Gaios but is equal if not more charming. I really liked the view of the harbor here from the numerous restaurants in town. Lakka is also close to beautiful Plani beach which I think is one of the most beautiful places on the island.
Finally, Loggos is located in the northeast of the island and is the next largest town. There isn’t much in Loggos besides a handful of restaurants but this fishing village is still charming in its own way.
How to get to Paxos
Paxos is easily accessible by ferry from Corfu island. During the high season months between June and September, there are multiple ferries per day that go from Corfu to Paxos island. There are two ferry companies that make this crossing. I’ve taken both of them so I have lots of information to offer!
First up is the slow ferry from Kerkyra Lines. This company does the crossing three times a day during the high season and 1-2 times per day during shoulder season months. This ferry does not leave from the main port in Corfu’s main city. Instead, it leaves from a port in the very south of the island called Lefkimmi. Since Paxos is due south of Corfu, it is probably easier to operate the ferry from here.
To get to Lefkimmi, Kerkyra lines offers a shuttle bus service from Corfu that stops in the city as well as the airport. Essentially, you could fly into Corfu, and never step foot in the city.
In total, the bus ride from Corfu to Lefkimmi is 1 hour, and the ferry ride is 45 minutes to 1 hour. In total, this itinerary will bring you from Corfu to Paxos in two hours.
The cost of this trip is €25 for a one way ticket which includes the bus and the ferry. You can visit their website to book your ticket.
Flying Dolphin (Ilida)
The alternative to the slow ferry is the fast ferry! This ferry is operated by Joy Cruises and leaves from the old port in Corfu. It’s a very fast speed boat and it only takes 1 hour or so to go from Corfu’s port to Paxos (twice as fast as the Kerkyra ferry). The cost of this ferry is €25 per person. It runs three times a day during the high season and one time a day during the shoulder season.
To book the tickets, you’ll have to call Joy Cruises. Yes, it’s crazy that in 2022, they still don’t have a website to make bookings. I had to call them via phone to secure my tickets and I recommend you do the same if you’re traveling during high season.
I would personally take the Flying Dolphin over the Kerkyra ferries as it is faster and costs the same price. I had to take the Kerkyra ferry on my trip because the Flying Dolphin only left at 7:15am in the morning (Mid October), and I did not want to wake up so early!
Where to go in Paxos
I spent four days in Paxos and went all over the island multiple times. There are so many beautiful things to see and do so here is the list!
I rented a scooter to get around the island which I’d highly recommend you do as well. There is public transportation that travel between the towns but you’ll need a scooter, quadbike, or car to visit the beautiful beaches and viewpoints.
In general, the most stunning part of the island in my opinion is the western coast. This is where you’ll find beautiful beaches and huge dramatic rock cliffs that the Ionian islands are famous for.
It combines the wildness of a rocky scenery that one finds in the west coast together with the lush vegetation that surrounds the east coast. The beach here is calm with warmer waters but it is not as stunning as the other beaches on the island. There is a nice taverna on the beach preparing delicious Greek dishes.
Located just south of the town of Lakka is the beautiful Plani Beach. This beach is another rocky beach but the views of the cliffs here are just absolutely stunning. I actually didn’t spend much time on the beach but opted to climb the rocky cliffs to get some amazing shots of the beautiful sea colors and cliffs. The rocks here also have many flat parts which makes for a great sunbathing spot.
This is also a great place to watch the sunset. Grab some beers or wine and watch the sun set directly in front of you.
The Cave View
This is a bit of a hidden gem that I only found out about after speaking to a random fireman while stopping to get water. Located between Plani Beach and Erimitis beach is the famous cave view viewpoint. You’ll need to follow the directions on Google Maps closely as you’ll pass through small roads.
However, once you reach this unassuming viewpoint, you’ll be greeted with the most dramatic views in Paxos. You are at one of the highest points on the western coast and you can see the beautiful rock formations over the sea and views out into the ocean as far as you can see. This is the perfect sunset spot as well.
Without a doubt, Erimitis beach is the nicest of all the beaches in Gaios. It’s located on the western side of the island just next to the town of Magazia. The road that goes to the beach is a bit sketchy but doable via scooter or car. There is a small stone pathway that leads to the beach.
It’s a rocky beach like most of the other beaches in the Ionian islands but it is surrounded by towering white rocky cliffs on all sides of the beach. The water is a light blue which contrasts so perfectly with the rock formations.
I spent most of time in Erimitis beach because it is more secluded than other beaches allowing you a bit more privacy.
Without a doubt the most amazing and unique sight to see in Paxos is the Tripitos Arch. Located in the south of the island, the Tripitos Arch is one of the largest natural rock arches I’ve ever seen. It is over 20 meters high and sticks out far into the sea over beautiful turquoise waters.
To get here, you’ll want to follow Google Maps to the Tripitos Arch and park your car or scooter where the road turns into a stone and dirt trail. From here, you’ll walk 10-15 minutes before you’re greeted with the most stunning views of the Ionian.
You can also come here by boat but I would not approach the arch too closely as there are many shallow rocks lurking about.
Where to eat in Paxos
There is no shortage of amazing restaurants in Paxos. I visited during the shoulder season of October but was still able to eat at many of the best restaurants the town has to offer. During the high season, absolutely make sure to make reservations ahead of time as they fill up very quickly.
I spent most of my time eating in Lakka as I found the restaurants and the general vibe to be more my style. Also, many of the restaurants in Gaios town were already closed in October.
To Steki restaurant
On the way to Erimitis beach, To Steki restaurant is located in the small town of Magazi. This traditional taverna had some of the best Greek salad I’ve ever tasted. The other dishes including the Octopus was also divine. Highly recommend visiting this taverna or the others nearby to it.
The Bournaos is a famous cafe and restaurant also located in the town of Magazi. They’ve served coffee for over a hundred years. They also have a wide array of breakfast items as well as other Greek foods throughout the day.
I heard from others that this place also makes some of the most delicious Greek food on the island. However, I came during the offseason and they didn’t have a full kitchen.
Averto Bar Restaurant
Averto Bar is a great cocktail and wine bar also in the town of Magazi. They actually do high end cocktails here which is hard to find on such a small island. I had a negroni here that was up to par with the best cocktail bars I’ve been to.
Paxoimadi restaurant in Lakka
My favorite restaurant in Lakka is Paxoimadi. They are located on a small side street but in a very charming space. All the food here was delicious including the bifteki and salads. You’ll definitely want to make reservations ahead of time here!
Located in the main square of Lakka, Taverna Niosnios has been around since WW2. They have an open kitchen where you can see the grills running. They invite you inside and explain to you all the dishes that they’ve made for the day which I loved.
Bouloukos Taverna Paxos
Located right next to Loggos town is a small little beach with a taverna facing it. This taverna is a great place to have lunch while overlooking the sea.
Akis restaurant is located in Lakka right on the water. It’s got great views of the harbour and the bay. I only came here for a drink to enjoy the views but I’ve heard they make great seafood.
Bona Terra for a cafe
For a great coffee with a view, look no further than Bona Terra in the main town of Gaios. It’s located directly in front of the water and the cafe has a distinctive hipster style vibe.
Rent a boat to Antipaxos
One of the main activities people do when coming to Paxos is to visit the even smaller island of Antipaxos (which literally translates to small Paxos). This small island is only 3km long and can be seen from most parts of Paxos island.
Antipaxos is meant purely for day trippers and there are not many accommodations on the island to speak of. There are only 2-3 restaurants on the entire island and they only operate during the season. By mid October, the restaurants were already closed so if you are visiting during the shoulder season, you’ll have to pack your own lunch.
Rent your own boat and drive from Paxos to Antipaxos
There are countless day trip operators from Paxos that will take you to Antipaxos. Alternatively, you can rent your own boat and drive yourself there. You don’t need a boating license (which I think is crazy) to rent a boat. They will just teach you some basic maneuvers and you’re on your way in the open ocean! Since I know how to drive a powerboat, this is definitely my preferred method.
I’d recommend renting a boat in Lakka over Gaios or Loggos town. Lakka is in the very north of the island and by renting a boat, you can drive along the western coast of Paxos which is just incredibly stunning with all of the arches, caves, and cliffs. The total boat ride is about 1 hour depending on how much you like to stop.
What to do in Antipaxos
Antipaxos is very small and there isn’t much to do on the island itself. Most people come here for the mind blowing beaches. Voutoumi beach is the one that you’ll want to visit. This bay has some of the most crystal clear waters in all of Greece. It’s like you’re swimming in the Maldives or something. You can anchor your boat here and then visit the two tavernas on the beach for a delicious lunch break.
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