Gavdos – the southernmost point of Europe – is known for its heavenly beaches, awe-inducing hikes and pristine landscapes. But it’s also gaining popularity as the home of a commune of scientists whose goal is to achieve immortality.
Chernobyl survivors, psychoanalysts and rocket engineers have joined forces here to explore the essence of human consciousness. The results are fascinating, but not always encouraging.
Gavdos is a small island, south of Crete, that looks like it’s pin-pointing Europe’s southernmost border. It is a place where time seems to stand still, offering a blend of natural beauty, historical significance and cultural richness.
The best things to do in Gavdos include exploring its beaches, hiking through the island’s beautiful trails and sampling its delicious cuisine. The island is home to many tavernas and hotels that offer a variety of dishes, including fresh seafood and traditional Greek food. There are also several bars and cafés where you can enjoy drinks and watch the sunset.
Kastri is the main village on Gavdos, where visitors can find rooms for rent and a Rural Clinic. The village is surrounded by low hills, pine and cedar forests and farmland. Kastri is also close to several beaches, such as Korfos and Sarakiniko.
Located west of Agios Ioannis, Lavrakas is one of the most stunning beaches in Gavdos. This beach is a natural gem, boasting golden sand and crystal blue waters. It is also a great spot for snorkeling and swimming. The beach is mostly unspoiled, but it does have some standard amenities, such as sun beds and umbrellas.
There are a number of trails that can be explored on Gavdos, including the trail that begins at the lighthouse. This is a beautiful route, with sweeping views of the Libyan Sea and lush flora and fauna. Alternatively, you can try the trail that starts at the beach of Ai Giannis and leads to the beach of Lavrakas. This is a more difficult hike, but it is worth the effort.
The 4 Brothers
Gavdos is a small, green island which blends natural beauty with historical significance and intriguing myths. The southernmost point of Europe, it attracts a surprisingly diverse range of visitors. These include Chernobyl survivors, psychoanalysts and rocket scientists. The latter have formed what could be described as an immortality commune, a group of people who live on the island in a village which is their own little slice of paradise.
The island has quiet beaches such as Sarakiniko (with its stunning reddish sand), Agios Ioannis, Potamos, Lavraka and the southern headland of Tripiti which presents a beautiful composition of arcades diving into the sea. On top of one rock formation stands the famous chair of Ulysses, which was placed there when he was held captive by Calypso.
Pine trees, tamarisks and gum rockrose embellish the landscape along with sea junipers. The latter are unique to the tiny island, and grow here remarkably slowly, with their branches dying back for years before suddenly springing back to life. Their distinctive scent mingles with the fragrant wild thyme, oregano and the other herbs that dot the island.
Aside from the natural scenery, there are also many tavernas to choose from on the island. One of the best is Theofilos Livykon, which offers a warm and welcoming atmosphere. It serves traditional Greek and Mediterranean dishes, making it a good choice for travellers who want to experience the local cuisine. Located 3.9 km (2.4 miles) from Kastri, it is a great place to indulge in some delicious food and take in the breathtaking views. For those who are looking for something a bit more special, Rakopagida is a charming taverna that serves mouth-watering seafood.
The island of Gavdos is wild and beautiful, offering a serene retreat for travellers seeking to reconnect with nature. The island’s diversity of landscapes offers a variety of hiking trails that provide stunning views and lead to gorgeous, isolated beaches. Visitors can also explore the ruins of a Venetian castle in Kefali and discover the island’s turbulent history.
The capital and main village of the island is Kastri, a quaint settlement with essential amenities and a small permanent population that swells during the summer tourist season. The village is surrounded by low hills, pine and cedar forests, and farmland. Kastri is a great base for exploring Gavdos’ beaches, coves, and trails. The village is home to the island’s post office, medical center, and bus services.
Gavdos is a popular destination for nature lovers, as the island’s unique flora and fauna are protected by strict regulations. The island is home to many endangered species, including the Mediterranean monk seal and loggerhead sea turtles. The island is a member of the Natura 2000 network of conservation areas, an EU initiative that protects the natural environment and biodiversity.
Despite its remoteness, Gavdos has an interesting and diverse culture that is reflected in its traditional villages. It is also a place where myth and history intertwine, with the tale of the legendary enchantress Ariadne being an integral part of the local legends.
Visitors can reach the island by ferry, with services operating daily in the peak summer season. The ferry trip offers spectacular views of the Libyan Sea and the southern coast of Crete. Travellers can bring their own cars on the ferries, but this is usually against the terms and conditions of most car rental companies.
Gavdos has a wide range of attractions that can interest travellers of all ages. The island is home to breathtaking landscapes, including high maquis and phrygana scrublands as well as one of the oldest cedar forests in Europe. Visiting these unique natural features is an experience you won’t soon forget.
Gavdos also offers a wide variety of accommodations, from hotels to tavernas. Visitors can choose from a variety of rooms and villas, including some that are specially designed for people with disabilities. The island is accessible by ferry from the port of Sfakia in Crete, with two main companies, ANENDYK and Sfakia Lines, operating regular services.
Besides its natural beauty, Gavdos is known for the role it played throughout Greek history. It is considered the southernmost point in Europe, and is believed to be the nymph Calypso’s home. The island was also used as a place of exile during the 1930s, with 250 members of the Greek communist movement sent here.
The island is a haven for peace and tranquility, a refuge from the hectic world outside. Its stunning scenery and unique cultural heritage make it a great choice for those who want to escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It is also a safe location, where you can enjoy total autonomy without being seduced by the noisy parties and highly Instagrammed lifestyles of some other destinations in Greece. The island’s unique flora and fauna have earned it the status of an ecological reserve, and strict rules are in place to protect its natural environment. This includes an extensive network of protected beaches. Some of the most beautiful include Sarakiniko Beach, Lavrakas Beach, and the pebbly beach in the cape of Tripiti, where it is believed that Odysseus was held captive by Calypso for seven years.
Gavdos is a mysterious island that combines natural beauty, historical significance and myth. The island has been home to a number of civilisations, including the Minoans, Romans and Byzantines. In addition, it has also been used as a place of exile for political dissidents and was occupied by Nazi troops during World War II.
Today, the island has a small number of permanent residents and provides a peaceful retreat from hectic urban life. Visitors can explore the numerous beaches, trails and ancient ruins on the island. The beaches are some of the most picturesque in all of Greece and offer spectacular turquoise waters and golden sand. The island is also known for its beautiful sunsets and offers a variety of bars, restaurants and tavernas to try out the local cuisine.
The island is one of the safest places to visit in Greece, with low crime rates and a friendly atmosphere. However, travellers are advised to take the usual precautions when travelling to any foreign destination.
Gavdos has a variety of hotels to choose from. Some of the best options include the Theofilos Livykon, which is a family-run taverna with a warm and welcoming atmosphere. It serves a variety of Greek and Mediterranean dishes that are sure to please any palate.
Another popular option is the Hotel Panorama, which offers rooms with breathtaking views of the Libyan Sea. It also features a restaurant that serves fresh juices, Greek coffee, omelets and more.
There are several ways to get to Gavdos, with ferries running daily from Piraeus and Heraklion. Ferries can be booked online or at the port, and some offer a car-ferry service that allows passengers to transport their rental cars onto the ferry.