Best Places to Stay in Antipaxos

A visit to Antipaxos offers the chance to experience a traditional Greek island unspoiled by tourism. This tiny isle features a beautiful beach, stunning coastal cliffs and plenty of delicious restaurants to dine in.

The main town of Gaios, the harbour village of Lakka and Loggos are where you will find plenty of accommodation options from luxury stone villas to holiday apartments.

1. Castle of Agios Nikolaos

Located in the picture-perfect village of Oia, the Castle of Agios Nikolaos is a popular sunset spot for tourists. The castle ruins date back to the late 15th century and were built by Venetians. In fact, it was one of the five castles on the island at that time. The rest are at Skaros in Imerovigli, Pyrgos, Emporeio and Akrotiri.

It was given its name in honor of Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of sailors. At that time, pirate attacks were a real threat to the island. The castle was built to protect Paxos and its residents.

Agios Nikolaos is the first fortified tower that a traveller meets on the approach to Mandraki, where the old port used to be situated. The castle abuts on a natural widening of the land and is built with marble elements, which are still evident today.

During the Venetian period it was inhabited by a family of Dargenta, Latinized Greeks who claimed descent from the Byzantine emperor Romanos Argyros. The castle also served as an observatory to detect incoming pirate raids. Unfortunately, it suffered heavy damage in the earthquake of 1956, when a significant part of the traditional settlement tumbled into the sea below the caldera.

Today, it is a well-known landmark, with its tower standing atop the cliff and offering magnificent views of the caldera and sea. The castle ruins are a popular place to watch the spectacular Oia sunsets and it is best to arrive early to secure a good spot for yourself.

There is a museum inside the castle that is open for visitors. It displays a collection of artifacts and paintings. It also features a model of the old port and ship.

2. Loggos Beach

Located on the east side of the island this beach is a great spot to visit in the evening when all the day trippers have left. It has pebbles and a little promenade with cafes and tavernas. The water is gorgeous and a short walk in will see you dipping your toes in the crystal clear waters.

You can also head to the nearby beaches of Levrekio and Marmari both of which are set in beautiful bays. If you are feeling adventurous it is also possible to walk through the trees and across the rocks to Vrika which is one of the most beautiful sandy beaches on the island.

Another nice option is Longos beach which is a little like a mini version of Lakka. It has a small fishing harbor and tavernas. There are some pretty cool rock formations in the sea and it can be a quiet place to swim. Several of the organized boat trips around Paxos stop at Longos.

Monodendri beach is a little bigger and is a lovely beach. It is a bit further north than Loggos but it is still pretty tucked away and has a very relaxed feel. The water here is crystal clear and a good choice for families.

As you might expect there are a few restaurants and tavernas in Loggos but the village is fairly small so it won’t take very long to find something to eat. There are a few supermarkets in the village too which stock a full range of essentials.

3. Gaios Town

Gaios is a picturesque town on Paxos’ sheltered eastern side, protected by the islets Agios Nikolaos and Panagia. It’s a pretty place with a busy port full of yachts and plenty of cafes and restaurants on the waterfront.

The town itself has a cosmopolitan vibe, and there are many boutique shops and galleries to explore. One of the best is Koo Concept Store, a high-end designer shop that sells bags, swimwear and accessories from Greek designers. I picked up a stunning leather bracelet from there for just a few euros.

Other than the shops, there are countless traditional taverns and seaside cafes in Gaios, and express speedboats leave regularly for the nearby island of Antipaxos. During the day, you can also take a water taxi to explore the gorgeous beaches of Antipaxos, which are often said to resemble Caribbean shorelines.

If you want to get away from the buzzing tourist centre, you can do some walking on Paxos’ old footpaths, which crisscross the island and lead to tiny chapels, quaint villages, secluded beaches and hilltops with spectacular views. It’s best to do this on a cooler spring or fall day, though, as the island gets very hot in summer.

Staying in Gaios is also an excellent base for exploring the island’s coastline, especially if you want to visit one of the beautiful unorganised beaches like Harami or Loggos, or rocky beach – Kipiadi – near Loggos. If you want to stay near the main beach in Gaios, try staying at Belina Apartments which offer a fantastic location overlooking the waterfront with a lovely pool and stunning elevated balcony views. The apartments sleep up to three people and have spacious living / dining areas with sofa bed, fully equipped kitchens, double bedrooms, large bathrooms and air conditioning.

4. Fishing

Fishing is one of the most enjoyable activities on Antipaxos. This tiny island tucked away below its bigger sister Paxos has some of the most picturesque beaches with crystal clear waters. Moreover, its marine life is rich with plenty of colorful fish and aquatic vegetation. For a truly authentic experience, you can also try your hand at underwater diving and snorkeling.

The west coast of the island is dominated by stunning white coastal cliffs and is a place to see nature at its most majestic. The beaches of Vrika, Mesovrika, and Vouthoumi offer some of the finest strips of sand on the island. The best way to enjoy the scenery is by renting a boat and sailing along the coast. The island’s unspoiled beauty and tranquility will leave you with a sense of euphoria and rejuvenation.

You can also go hiking and explore the flora and fauna of the island. It is crisscrossed by numerous trails and is home to some of the most amazing natural treasures in the Ionian Islands. One of the most popular hiking spots is Tripitis Arch, which features a unique rock formation. The beaches of Lakka, Mpogdanatika, and Longos are also beautiful hidden beaches that you should not miss out on.

When you want to relax after a day of sightseeing, you can visit the various bars and restaurants that are spread out throughout the island. The nightlife on the island is very laid back and relaxing, and you can drink some wine with friends or even attend a classical music concert. The island is also home to many taverns, which offer traditional Greek cuisine and a wide variety of fresh seafood.

5. Snorkeling

The shallow coastal waters around Antipaxos are a fantastic place to enjoy snorkeling. There are many coloured fish and other marine life to see as well as beautiful underwater vegetation. You can easily enjoy this water sport along the east and west coast of the island but the best beach for it is Voutoumi.

This beautiful white sand beach is one of the most spectacular beaches in Western Greece. Its azure waters and pristine beauty are truly remarkable and the scenery reminds rather of the Caribbean than any other Greek beach.

While the beaches and nature of Paxos are a major draw, the other attractions on the island offer a lot for those looking for something other than the sun and sea. For example, the packed museum on the harbour side of Gaios is a great way to learn about Greek history and culture in a fun and engaging way.

There are also plenty of traditional coastal restaurants to enjoy called tavernas on the island. These are a perfect place to sample some of the best Greek cuisine on the island which includes dishes such as squid, mussels, octopus, and crabs. They also serve some of the best and rarest Greek wine which is grown on the island itself.

There are a number of great places to stay in Antipaxos, which include hotels and villas. However, if you want to be close to the best that the island has to offer then the main town of Gaios is the ideal choice. It has an amazing central square and plenty of shops, restaurants and other attractions to help you really experience the culture of Paxos.