Paxos has an excellent selection of restaurants and shops, the best of which are located in Gaios. The town’s main port also serves as the departure point for trip boats to Antipaxos.
The island has several beaches, including secluded Erimitis and Kipiadi, which features large pebbles and crystal clear waters. Visit in spring or autumn for warmer temperatures and less crowded beaches.
1. Torri E Merli Hotel
Paxos may be a little off the beaten track for some, but this small island is packed with charming character. With its rolling hills and breath-taking coasts it is a true paradise, perfect for relaxing and unwinding.
A beautiful island of natural landscapes and pristine beaches, Paxos is home to some stunning hotels and villas that offer the perfect escape. Torri E Merli Boutique Hotel is one of our top picks as it combines nature with a sense of history, with the hotel being set amongst olive groves and surrounded by stone terraces and gardens. Guests staying here will be able to enjoy the natural beauty of the surroundings from the comfort of their own room, and the hotel also offers a number of other impressive amenities such as a stunning infinity pool.
With only seven rooms, this luxury boutique hotel caters to a select number of guests, making it a truly special experience. There are a number of different room options to choose from including rooms with sea views and rooms with garden views, all of which have been designed with comfort and style in mind. Guests can take advantage of the spa facilities which are available, and the restaurant is the perfect place to enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner whilst taking in the breathtaking scenery.
There are also a number of other things to do on the island, such as visiting some of the stunning beaches. The sandy beach of Voutoumi is a great option, and it is the perfect spot to relax on the sand or spend some time in the clear turquoise water. Alternatively, you can head to Mongonissi for a lovely beach taverna that serves up fresh cuisine and some spectacular views. Erimitis Bar is another spot not to miss, as it has a stunning clifftop location and offers up delicious cocktails and drinks.
Another must-see is Loggos Harbour, which is a picture-perfect harbour that is the perfect place to spend an afternoon. With a calm atmosphere, this is the perfect spot to relax and enjoy some Greek cuisine.
2. Loggos Harbour
The breaking of clear emerald water on white pebbles, the lazy putter of outboard motors and the happy babble of contented diners at a waterfront taverna are the signature sounds of Paxos, the smallest of the Ionian Islands and one of the most delightful island destinations you can visit. Its close proximity to Corfu – a ninety-minute hydrofoil ride or an hour on the ferry – has protected it from overdevelopment and ensured that the beaches, picturesque villages and scrumptious food are as pristine as you’ll find in any Greek island. The best hotels on Paxos reflect its tranquility and beauty, offering a real home from home for your holiday.
Our favourite hotel on the island is the Torri E Merli, a wonderfully Zen property that’s been designed to ensure you reap the full benefits of Paxos’ relaxing charms. Featuring wonderful Ionian views, spa therapies and fresh Mediterranean cuisine, it’s the perfect place to unwind.
Another great choice is the Anassamare, a gorgeous little villa and apartment complex that offers some of the most luxurious accommodation on the island. With direct access to the beach and a beautiful pool, it’s ideal for those looking to get the most out of their time on the island.
Of course, it’s also worth taking a stroll around the charming village of Gaios, the main port on the island, to discover some of its best boutique shops and restaurants. There’s also the opportunity to visit a number of the island’s beaches, and you can even take a boat trip to neighbouring Anti-Paxos for some blissful sunbathing and snorkelling.
The best time to visit Paxos is in spring or autumn, when the temperatures are warm but the crowds have thinned. However, the island can be visited year-round. It’s worth remembering that the island is a mountainous destination, so it can be quite cool in winter. In that case, it’s a good idea to bring plenty of layers and to pack some good walking shoes.
The best places to stay in Paxos are dotted around the coast and are often just a few steps from a lovely sandy beach. Bartek and Plakes are two of the most beautiful beaches on the island, although you can find many other options too if you are willing to go on an adventure.
The rocky little island of Antipaxos is a day trip away and has a couple of nice sandy beaches too – you can even climb to the peak for a view over Paxos. The little island is said to be the place where Odysseus was seduced by Circe, the sorceress who turned his sailors into swine. Getting to Paxos isn’t as straightforward as you might expect as there is no airport on the island – but this has also helped protect the island from over development. You can catch a ferry from Igoumenitsa, Parga or Corfu.
Paxos’ coastline is where most of the action takes place but the interior of the island is a delight too with green hills, olive groves and sweeping views from cliff tops. It is criss-crossed with old mule tracks which explorer Faye Lychnou (a cofounder of the Friends of Paxos cultural organization that hosts festivals and waymarks centuries-old walking trails) claims you could spend months exploring them before running out.
The main town of Gaios has a great selection of accommodation from self-catering holiday homes with amazing sea views to small family run hotels and high end villas with their own pools. There are also plenty of shops, bars and restaurants to enjoy.
There is also the Castle of Agios Nikolaos to explore in Gaios which provides a real insight into how people used to live on the island. It’s worth a visit in the evening too once all of the day trippers have left so you can enjoy the sunset.
One of the most luxurious ways to stay in Paxos is at a Stemar luxury villa. These villas are a true home from home and come with a personal concierge who will make sure your every need is taken care of. They are situated in the best parts of the island with a large private swimming pool and fantastic views. They start at $6,800 a week for six.
Despite its diminutive size, Paxos is home to a wide array of restaurants and tavernas. Most are situated around the picturesque harbours in Gaios, Lakka and Loggos – ideal settings to soak up the chilled island atmosphere with an aperitif. Expect a variety of fresh fish dishes (the island is renowned for its seafood), grilled meats, moussaka and Greek salads to be on the menu.
You’ll also find plenty of Greek wines to choose from. If you’re looking for something a little different, then try one of the bars that offer ouzo tastings and liqueurs. These can be a fun and interesting way to spend an evening on the island, while learning about its traditions and history.
The cuisine on Paxos is both delicious and authentic. With influences from Venetian and Ottoman rule, locals make the most of the fresh ingredients found on the island. The most popular dishes are grilled octopus, fried calamari and prawn saganaki. Those who prefer to stay on land will find plenty of hearty dishes to enjoy too, including moussaka and pastitsio.
For those who want to take it easy and simply relax, there are many beaches on the island that are suitable for swimming and sunbathing. One of the best is on the north coast at Mononedri Beach, where you can lounge on a sunbed under palm trees and gaze out over the crystal clear water.
On the eastern end of the island, you’ll find a long stretch of sand at Marmari Beach. This beautiful beach is family friendly and offers plenty of space to spread out. It’s also backed by a selection of bars and tavernas, making it an excellent place to stop for lunch or drinks.
For those who want to experience the very best of Paxos, we recommend staying in a luxury villa on the island. Our partners at The Thinking Traveller have handpicked a collection of soulful villas on Paxos, and weekly rates start from $6,800 for a property that sleeps six. This includes transfers from Corfu, as well as a never-too-much-trouble concierge service.