Paxos and Antipaxos Islands
The author of the text: Tamara Djordjevic Mavromihali
A small island, on the map located just below Corfu, an hour and a half sailing from the port of Corfu (some 15 km away from Corfu), Paxos seems to me like an undisclosed territory even for the Greeks.
During the season, the ships go 3-4 times from Corfu to Paxos and back, only for travelers, and those which can transport cars go several times a week, via Igoumenitsa. Almost every agency next to the Corfu port sell tickets for this mode of transport. There is a possibility of shipping by sea taxi, but the price is about 300e, and can be divided into several parts, depending on the number of passengers. For this transportation you shloud ask about the locals. My experience of Paxos is that it is above all a vacation island, so that everyone who comes to go to the parties, could easily be disappointed, because, even though there are the parties, they are not the main thing that this island offers.
Restaurants with very delicious food, from around 16 to 50 euros per meal, many with fantastic sea view or some of the three large villages, nature and peace and quiet are the main trumps of this island. Of course, this does not mean that there is no classical fast food like hamburgers, gyros, etc. for 2-6 €, I just note what constitutes a characteristic line of the island as a whole.
It seems to me that Paxos is quite popular among the British, since not only many people spend their holiday there for a month, for over twenty years, but many people even bought properties, renovated, but saved the traditional look of the interior and exterior of the house and they mostly use them in the early summer and early autumn months.
Gaios, Loggos and Lakka are the three main villages on Paxos, whose area is about 30 square kilometers (about 8 km length and about 4 km wide).
Gaios as the capital is the center of events - in the harbor of Gaios, arrive boats that go from Parga and possibly other places that have organized tours to this island, as well as ships that go from Corfu to Paxos. From Gaios to Loggos, there are some 7 km. from Loggos to Lakka about 4km, and when these three villages are visited, it can be said that this is the main thing that should be seen on the island. The rest are small villages between, which almost do not have clear boundaries, nor some special characteristics.
Considering that Paxos is a fairly small island, it is not difficult to reach most of the main points in a few days, but I think that the car is necessary, although there are bus lines.
On Paxos you can rent a car or a boat, depending on how you want to visit the island. Prices in rough lines are between 50 and 100 € per day, but they can be even higher. A couple of places that should be visited are not bypassed by buses, such as a restaurant on the cliff Erimitis and Erimitis beach or a lighthouse above Lakke, the Tripitos arc near Gaios ... or it would take a little longer walking to get from the bus station to these places. Some of the beaches can be visited exclusively by sea.
As for the beaches, there are about 25, but not all are easily accessible, which does not make anyone less worth a visit, but the organization is important and above all what someone expects from the beach - for example beach Arkoudaki (small bear) is very small, from street to beach you walk at least 15 minutes and if someone is enough inclined to explore, it is possible to walk from the beach along the rocks to the cliff facing Lakka. Not recommended for those who consider themselves cautious or clingy, but certainly recommended for those who already have experience with natural terrains.
Some beaches can be reached by car, such as Manadendri, which is valid for the most fortunate - it has sunbeds, a swimming pool, a restaurant, a bar and it is the true opposite of Arkudaki. Most beaches are located on the eastern side, while from the west there are only three or four, including the Erimitis from which the view of the sunset is a real experience.
Many local travel agencies offer a tour of the island with boats and it is my recommendation to take the opportunity to do it, because these are daily tours that give you the chance to see the entire edge of Paxos - all beaches, smaller islands located around Paxos, among which the most famous is Panagia Island - The Virgin Islands, the three main villages from the sea, with short breaks here and there, in order to make photographs, to swim in the so-called Blue Caves, to visit Ortholitos, to have a snack before proceeding to the port of Tripitos and further. The price of one such tour from 2017 were on average 25€, and includes going to Antipaxos. I think that the island tour in this way can be done from any of the three villages, because everyone has a few agencies that deal with it, and something similar can be done from neighboring tourist sites like Parga, but the prices are not known to me.
Antipaxos is an island smaller than Paxos, and as far as I know, there nobody lives permanently, except seasonally. In contrast to Paxos, which does not have sandy beaches, on Antipaxos they are exclusively sandy. Several restaurants, cafes and bars there are obviously designed for the day, and a couple of places offer dinner and evening entertainment, but it should be kept in mind that standard boats Paxos - Antipaxos go every hour from Gaios and circulate until about 6 pm (need to check this detail, I do not know how flexible it is from year to year, but I know that after dark nothing except for private yachts does not sail from the port due to specific sea currents).
Antipaxos can be visited also in an independent organization - by boat from Gaios, from early morning to late afternoon. Between the beaches Vutumi and Vrika it can be walked by a street that looks like a village, dirt road and average speed is about half an hour from one beach to another. Since organized tours come to Antipaxos during the day, if someone decides on this variance (I did), be sure you have water with you and it's not bad that shoes will be a little better than thongs, but there are no special problems in thongs to overcome, only the path is far from settled and straight.
Magazia (shops, markets - free translation) is a small area on the road between the village, which is worth a visit to experience the real "blast from the past". A few traditional Greek "kafenio" places with gardens and an interior that dates back to a few generations ago, continue to work and are mostly visited by locals.
Along with the regular map of Paxos that can be bought at every kiosk, there are enough guidelines for touring the island, although I recommend using GPS, if possible, because it gives far more precise information.
Pepi's House is one of the many traditional houses that are available to tourists over the summer, although it is separated from all others by the owners' idea about that how they want the entire story to work. Traditional access to tourism means that the owners of the building have no contact with guests or have very basic, while the idea of Pepi's House that clients are actually guests who will have the experience as if they were visited friends. The house is arranged as if someone is living in it permanently, with details that have the whole story behind it, from a wreath that the mother of the owner Pepi wore at her wedding, through her family photos and a variety of trifles from the everyday life of three generations backwards, which you will rarely see in classical catering facilities. Even the tiles in the bathroom are preserved after renovation and used for the same purpose in order to preserve this original appearance.
You should not be surprised, leaving home, to get bags with a variety of plants from the garden, which you will as souvenirs take with you, knowing that you leave friends in Greece who will be happy to see you again. Contact to book Pepi's House.