Has the idea of relaxing on a little island in the sun ever been more appealing? Small but perfectly formed, the Greek Island of Paxos offers the ideal sanctuary for those looking for a safe summer escape away from the crowds. TLTB founder, Susie Marquis, reveals the myriad charms that make Paxos a peach – and the most seductive homes from home, hand-picked for luxury villa holidays in Paxos to make your heart sing…
The path to paradise
The idyllic Ionian island of Paxos is situated just 32 km south of Corfu and can be reached by frequent hydrofoil ferry connections from Corfu Town (30 minutes). Alternatively, there are larger ferries that can also take vehicles, from the mainland port of Igoumenitsa on the Peloponnese. The crossing time from here is around 1 hour 30 minutes. Just 10 km long and 4 km wide, the interior of Paxos is particularly green, with an abundance of olive trees. The island thrives on tourism and agriculture, including the production of olive oil, wine, and fruit. The small size of the island also makes it popular for walking and hiking, with many of the old footpaths leading to small chapels, secluded beaches, and hilltops with stunning sea views.
Top attractions in Paxos
The charming coastal village and port of Gaios is the main ‘town’ on the island, located towards the south of the east coast. The ferries from Corfu and Igoumenitsa also dock here, and the many bars, cafés, and outdoor restaurants are ideal for relaxing and watching the world go by, and the boats sailing in and out of the small port. Two good (tried and tested) restaurants here include Carnayo, where you can dine outdoors in a quiet street close to the harbour. Or, if you prefer a sea view, we recommend La Vista, which specialises in seafood, situated in front of the port. There are also two tiny historic islands you simply must visit - Agios Nikolaos and Panagia, the former built for the protection of the pirates, and with the remains of a 15th-century Venetian fortress, and the latter with an old monastery and lighthouse. Both are within easy reach by boat from Gaios port.
Best beaches and bars
Another very appealing village to visit is Lakka, a pretty harbour in the north of the island, with wonderful sea views, and a charming cluster of shops, cafés, restaurants, and bars. There are two pebble beaches here, Kanoni and Harami, both within an easy walk along a pathway from Lakka. Another favourite village further south (around a 15-minute drive north of Gaios) is Loggos, where you’ll also find bars, tavernas and shops, and a beach. We particularly recommend Vassilis Taverna, right on the edge of the picturesque harbour. In between Lakka and Loggos is lovely Monodendri Beach, where we enjoyed one of our best lunches at Ben’s Bar. You can relax on the large deck, or the beach – both are furnished with sun loungers –and order snacks and drinks, or dine higher up on the restaurant terrace, with views overlooking the sea. The staff here are also highly experienced in arranging special occasions, and while we were there, a wedding party arrived by boat. Ben’s Bar is also open for breakfast and dinner.
Day trips and the perfect sundowner
We partner with Panos Boat and Trips to arrange visits to the famous Blue Caves and the Tripitos Arch – both on the west coast of Paxos towards the southern end of the island. For the ultimate sundowner, head to Erimitis Bay on the west of the island, to have drinks or dinner while watching one of the most amazing sunsets imaginable. The Blue Caves can be visited on their own, or as part of a day trip to the small island of Antipaxos. It’s also possible to visit Antipaxos independently from the three main villages of Gaios, Loggos and Lakka. During the high season, there are frequent sea taxi departures as well, from Gaios port on Paxos to Antipaxos, and vice-versa for those who prefer to travel independently. The journey time is only around 15 minutes. The small island has two beautiful beaches, Vikra and Voutomi, both with beautifully clear sea, and there is a beach taverna on each for refreshments and lunch.
Three of the best luxury villas in Paxos
Just a 7-minute drive north of the main town and port of Gaios, Villa Arcadia is stunning and very private 6-7 bedroom property surrounded by trees and olive groves, with uninterrupted views along the coast and the Ionian Sea. There are plenty of outdoor areas for relaxing in the sun or shade, along with a fabulous infinity pool, flood-lit tennis court, and gym. A private pathway leads down past a children’s treehouse, to a secluded beach, with watersports equipment for kayaking, paddle boarding, and snorkeling. There’s also a speedboat and skipper available for guests, and an electric buggy for those who prefer to drive the 100m down to the beach.
Situated on a hillside, Villa Lakka benefits from panoramic views over the terraced hillsides of olive groves and cypress trees to the west coast of the island and the sea. It’s just 10 minutes’ drive from Lakka Bay with its crystal-clear waters and its very pretty village with a good choice of cafés, bars and restaurants, shops and supermarkets. This five-bedroom villa has several terraces furnished for relaxing and dining outdoors, including a bar area with fridges, a barbecue, and plenty of comfortable seating. The swimming pool terrace leads to a raised shaded sitting area, perfect for evening drinks while watching the stunning sunset.
If you’re looking for peace, comfort, and a beautiful setting with wonderful sea views, Villa Aphrodite offers it all. Situated above Kaki Langada beach, and surrounded by olive trees and dense vegetation, it’s just a 5-minute drive from Fontana, the nearest village, and a 10-minute drive from Gaios. The nearest beach is a mere 5-minute walk from the villa. The interiors of this four-bedroom villa have been decorated in an elegant Italian style, and the rooms open to a lovely terrace with a swimming pool, and a dining area, in a wonderful position to take full advantage of the sea views by day or by night.
We also offer many more beautiful villas to rent in our other Greek Island locations:
Mykonos, Santorini, Paros, Naxos, Crete, Corfu, Zakynthos