Paxos Travel Guide

Poseidon is said to have struck Corfu with his trident to create Paxos as a romantic retreat with his Sea Nymph Amphitrite. And the old sea dog clearly had a way with tridents (and nymphs) because this island might as well be 1000 miles from anywhere else.

In reality, it’s a hop, skip and a jump – or just under an hour by boat (if walking on water isn’t your thing) from Corfu. Just far enough away that Tommy Cook and his friends won’t make the journey, which means the waters are all yours darling.

The locals are so friendly you may start to wonder whether they are hiding something. But it could also just be the diet of fish, wine and sun.

Where to stay

Ionian Villas | Poseidon’s choice

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We will get straight to the point. An Ionian holiday is best spent with friends and in your own villa. For one thing, you can recover from experimenting with the local wine the following morning together. If you’re in the know, the best no-nonsense houses are managed through Ionian Villas run by Alex Watrous and his wife Catherine. For fans of a plunge Villa Isidora will tick your box, along with its own private beach. And in walking distance to Gaios for an early morning stroll.

The Torri e Merli | Boutique Baby

Torri e merli

If you are heading out solo or as a couple, then this is a good alternative to a villa and is walking distance to Lakka and several of our favourite beaches. You can while away the hours walking amongst the olive trees or relax by the pretty pool. Get some wheels because you will want to discover the rest of the island.

Purple Apricot | Simpson Travel

Bohemian, flamboyant and a touch exotic. Each suite is an eclectic one-off. Lionel and Aline make the perfect hosts, nothing is too much trouble and they serve the most splendid breakfasts.

Where to Eat

If you’re looking for streets of plate smashing restaurants then this isn’t your kind of trip. But Paxos packs quite a punch when it comes to food and while prices are higher than elsewhere, it is a price you pay for a little more exclusivity. There are lots of little Taverna’s in the towns and villages and these change seasonally, so keep your eyes peeled.

There are three critical things you need to enjoy if you plan a visit into the towns during the day. Backgammon, the company of old men and iced coffee. The only mob you will come across here is the team of cats waiting for the spoils from the fishmonger when he opens his doors early in the morning.

Averto | Magazia | A Gastro Creation

From the road this looks like an unassuming café. Walk through and out the other side, you enter into a magical wonderland of olive trees, twinkling lights, terraces on various levels winding down into the olive grove and a stunning open-air cocktail bar. Away from the crowds, the food here is a notch above the rest. Cocktails are mandatory (or should be) and their ceviche shouldn’t be missed either.

Vassilis | Loggos | Fresh & Local

Loggos is the smallest of the harbours on Paxos and probably it’s prettiest. Harbour views and fresh fish make this a fabulous evening spot. Back in the day customers used to have to move their chairs when the local bus went past but they've since widened the edge!

Erimitis | Magazia | The Sunset Bar 

The views are to die for and so are the cocktails. A visit to Paxos is not the same without coming here. Whether it’s just drinks or dinner, you won’t be disappointed. 

What to do

The Philosophers Amble | Bread and Espresso

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Breakfast without fresh bread in Paxos is like Bellinis without peach juice. Simply not done. The second thing you should do on arrival at your Villa (shortly after throwing yourself in the pool – along with your work phone) is to identify the local baker and your morning walk. Take a stroll as the island wakes up around you, followed by an espresso at the local cafe. It will have you considering life’s meaning far more deeply than you expected and with a bit more clarity than after the Ouzo you had last night.

Antipaxos | Day Trippin

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Hire a boat (and an attractive sun-kissed skipper) and head to Antipaxos. Go early to beat the crowd and get the pick of its beautiful coves. Anchor up for a swim, wander down its beaches and clamber along the cliffs. And take a picnic to ensure you can find a secluded spot to feast on Ambrosia and get away from it all. There is a restaurant up the endless (and we mean, endless) flight of steps – its worth the view, its not worth the bill.

Monodendri Beach | Ben's Bar

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For another day trip, head towards Lakka where you will discover this wonderful beach bar. Don’t go expecting the Blue Marlin in Ibiza (it couldn’t be further from it) but this has crystal clear waters, a deserted beach and two beach restaurants that you will never want to leave. Specialities include their oven-baked pizzas, dried octopus – and a seriously impressive cocktail list. And if the need takes you, there are paddleboards to head off into the sunset with.

Do take

Jelly shoes – crystal clear waters = no sand.

Cash – it’s Greece.

A lot of Rennie’s – the food is going to kill you it’s so good.

If you’re taking a Villa, do also get a shopping order in before you go, there is nothing worse than an empty fridge on arrival. Ionian Villas offer this.

Getting there.

Easyjet and BA are both flying into Corfu now. If you’re not afraid of an early rise, you can catch a dawn flight and be sitting in Paxos with a large glass of Ionian wine before lunch. Book yourself a Rib from the island to pick you up in Corfu rather than wait for the afternoon Hydrofoil.

Image credits: mostly our own | | | | | |