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Paxos and Antipaxos

The tiny island of Paxos may be only less than 50 miles south of the cosmopolitan Corfu but could not be further away in terms of mindset and philosophy. Along with the even tinier satellite island of Antipaxos, they form a zone of utter peacefulness. This is the perfect place to forget the stress of everyday life, to get lost in the jungle of wild olive trees and to avoid the big crowds and long queues. In the Second part of our Trilogy of trips we will do all of the above, and more.

On Paxos, the forces of nature still continue to shape the landscape, always offering refreshing vistas like the one from above Erimitis beach from which you climb down a winding path to this enchanting beach. The beach has been formed only a decade ago, courtesy of an earthquake that dislodged huge pieces of rock which were then gradually broken into millions of tiny pebbles by the sea. The result is a stunning beach, wildly beautiful and secluded.

This seclusion envelops the two islands, bewitching visitors and giving them a feeling of utter isolation with paradise at your feet. This illusion is broken only by the fresh eggs and tomatoes , thoughtfully left on a wooden table by your Greek housekeeper, one of the 100 inhabitants of this tiny island. There are only a handful of hotels on Paxos and none at all on the smaller Antipaxos, yet this further adds to the charm of these islands rather than giving a sense of being unwelcome.

In fact, there are regular boat rides from Paxos to Antipaxos. The journey only takes 15 minutes and gives you access to beaches which are inaccessible by foot or by car. The best of these are Vrika and Voutoumi Beach; both will make your list of your top ten beaches in the entire world with their white sand and sleek pebbles, spectacular indigo waters, surrounding green cliffs and welcoming tavernas. They are connected by a maze-like goat path that you should definitely climb for the views of the beaches from above which are, simply, too stunning to put into words.

Gaios, the capital of the island cluster located on Paxos, is equally breathtaking. Guarding the entrance of the port, like a sleeping green giant, is the islet of Saint Nicholas, forming a natural canal of turquoise waters and a safe haven for countless sailboats. Lovers of sailing fall for Paxos and its maze of coves which they can easily and safely explore. From inlets to bigger bays, like Lakka, each and every one of them will take your breath away. From afar, one can better appraise the ever-present Venetian architecture; houses painted in terracotta, dusty yellow and bright turquoise line the harbor fronts like jewels on the neck of a demure lady.

Serenity, peacefulness, clarity of mind and soul, these are few of the things you’ll carry in your suitcase after a visit to Paxos and Antipaxos. Add a gleam of smooth white reflected on the sails of luxurious yachts and a slice of the bright blue of the sea and you have a perfect memory to kindle your love of Greece for years to come.