Paxos (also known as Paxi or Paxoi), is the smallest of the Ionian Islands. In Greek, the name is a plural form and it refers to a group of islands and rocks, the most important of which are Paxos and Antipaxos (a smaller nearby island famous for its sandy beaches). 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 possibly inhabited from prehistoric times, the Phoenicians are traditionally believed to have been the first settlers on Paxos. The name is thought to be derived from ‘Pax’, which meant ‘slate’ in their language. Romans, Crusaders, Venetians and later French and British were among the rulers of the island. Paxos united with Greece in 1864.
The landscape of Paxos largely consists of olive-orchards, and Antipaxos is mostly vineyards. The ground is elevated, forming hills, and the soil is calciferous. The eastern coastlines of the island are sloping, while the west coasts are steep, with remarkable natural formations: caves, arches, dome-shaped forms, and sheer cliffs. The three largest villages are located on the eastern side of the island: to the south is Gaios, the capital, Loggos is in the middle and Lakka is at the northern tip. Ozias, Makratika, Bogdanatika, Vlahopoulatika, Magazia, Fontana, and Mastoratika are some of the charming smaller villages and settlements scattered throughout the island.
Every year Paxos is the destination of about 250,000 tourists because of its beautiful beaches, crystal-clear waters, good weather, and the friendliness and hospitality of its people.
As there is no airport on Paxos, most visitors to the island arrive via boat from either Corfu, the Greek mainland or from Italy. The main port of Paxi is situated at the very heart of the island’s capital, Gaios. During the summer months, daily ferries and hydrofoils arrive at the charming harbour from the nearby island of Corfu and Igoumenitsa on the Greek mainland. Numerus cruise boats also arrive to Paxos connecting it with smaller touristic locations in the mainland or south Corfu.
Ferryboat - Flying dolphins
There is a direct car ferry service to Paxos operating from Igoumenitsa on the Greek mainland. There are up to three ferries everyday in the summer months.
It is also possible to travel to Corfu from Igoumenitsa on the Greek mainland and from Brindisi and Bari in Italy. Ferries from these regions operate frequently during the spring, summer and autumn period. Check with the individual operators for fares and schedule.
All ferries have facilities for those with disabilities, though passengers should advise staff of any special needs when making their reservation
From Corfu, there is a direct hydrofoil ferry service to Paxos. This operates from Corfu Town to Gaios. The hydrofoils are a passenger-only service (accommodate up to 150 passengers) that runs several times a day throughout the holiday season, with the crossing taking approximately one hour.
Occasionally, the service will sail via Igoumenitsa on the Greek mainland. This adds an extra thirty minutes to the journey.
Sea Taxis - Buses
Two sea taxi services are available throught the year based in Gaios and Lakka.
There is a twice a week bus service connecting Paxos to Athens.
You have to be aware that many of these services (if not declared otherwise) are not available during the winter months so make sure to contact the agency for details and schedules before you start your trip.
District of: Ionian Islands
Νομός: Corfu (second province)
Capital city: Gaios
Port authorities: 2662032259
Health center: 2662031466
Christos Argyros: 697 747 2747
Tasos Mourikis: 697 664 8486
Kostas Antiohos: 697 400 2236
Vasilis Vasilas: 697 398 5825
Haris Bogdanos: 697 413 5660
Official Paxos website: http://www.nisos-paxi.gr/
Paxos Music Festival: http://www.paxosfestival.org.uk/