I first visited Paxos on a day-trip from Corfu when I was just 16. I never imagined that, years later, I would return to the island on three separate occasions to spend a total amount of six weeks exploring its beautiful landscapes and the lives of the people who inhabit it.
Located just 11 kilometres from the southernmost tip of Corfu, Greece, and accessible via catamaran from Corfu Town, the tiny (it’s just eight kilometres long and three kilometres wide) Ionian island of Paxos has a population of just 2300 permanent residents, of which my ex-boyfriend’s mother and step-father were two.
What I love about Paxos is its natural, untouched beauty, and the fact that it still remains largely undiscovered by foreign tourists. Lonely Planet’s latest guidebook on Greece dedicates 11 of its 752 pages to the island’s four major resorts, yet it doesn’t mention any of Paxos’s incredible beaches – or where to find them.
Many of these beaches are so hidden away that you’ll likely have them all to yourself even in the height of summer.
So without further ado, here’s where to find the best beaches on Paxos.
The best way to get around the island in order to explore them all is by motorised scooter (the roads are fairly quiet and, for the main part, well-surfaced) but if you don’t fancy that idea then there are regular buses that run between Gaios, Lakka and Longos. You can easily walk to all the beaches mentioned here from one of these.
One of the island’s larger and more accessible beaches but also one that surprisingly deserted a lot of the time. I mean, look at this photo!
The following map shows you how to get from Lakka to Orkos Beach. It takes approximately 27 minutes on foot.
On the northeastern tip of the island, close to the town of Lakka, this ‘beach’ is so small it can hardly be called a beach and so secluded (it can only be accessed on foot, by taking a narrow, winding downhill path through some trees) that you will almost always have it completely to yourself.
The clear, jellyfish-free waters are great for snorkelling, and if you’re lucky you may just be joined by an octopus or two (if only I’d had a GoPro back then!).
To get to Arcoudaki Beach follow the same route from Lakka to Orkos (above), but as the road bends around to the right to run parallel with the sea, you’ll see a sign pointing to the trail that runs down to Arcoudaki Beach.
This one is easily walkable from Loggos (or Longos as it’s sometimes also written). Head south along the coast road for around five minutes and you should see signs for Levrechio Beach or “Taverna Bouloukos”.
Levrechio boasts crystal clear waters (although check for jellyfish before you dive in) and white pebbles, and Bouloukos is one of the loveliest beachfront tavernas on the island, with a shady garden, free showers available to guests and, if I remember correctly, I think it’s also possible to hire canoes and kayaks from there.
Smaller than Kipiadi, closer to Loggos, and also a lot nicer, Kipos Beach is one of the best beaches on the island for swimming and snorkelling. It’s located in a pretty bay around a 20-minute walk from Loggos, and offers welcome shade from the olive trees that grow right down to the shoreline.
Located on the headland west of Lakka, Plani is one of the island’s northernmost beaches, and also one of the few on the west coast of Paxos that are actually accessible (other than by boat).
It’s a fantastic place for a sunset picnic of Greek and aubergine salads, bread hummus, olives, and local cheeses. Not forgetting the obligatory bottle of red wine (or Retsina, if that’s your thing) to wash it all down with.
Erimitis Beach has only existed since 2008, following a landslide that triggered the collapse of the towering Erimitis cliffs, on the western side of the island. When I last visited in 2011, evidence of the landslide still remained in the shape of rocks that had fallen into the sea, complete with vegetation (that once grew on top of it) still attached.
Due to Erimitis being located on the more remote western side of the island, it’s a long walk from the resorts of the east. However the quickest route is from Gaios (below). Make a day of it and take in some of the island’s incredible scenery along the way.
And then of course there are all the ‘unofficial’ beaches you’ll find while in search of all the official ones. Whenever you see a car or two parked up on the side of the road there’s usually a gap in the vegetation nearby where a narrow track leads down to some rocks overlooking the water.
I couldn’t tell you where those are because half the fun is finding them 😉
- We booked our flights to Corfu Town from England using Skyscanner. We usually managed to find return flight towards the end of May for around £160.
- The catamaran to Paxos leaves from Corfu Town’s New Port. Check timetables when booking; they change every year.
- One of the best guidebooks I’ve found on Paxos (and one which offers several suggested walking itineraries on the island) is this one, which is available for £9.98 on Amazon.
- As staying with my ex-boyfriend’s mother and step-father meant booting them out of their bedroom and forcing them to sleep in the study with their eight dogs, we frequently chose to pay for our own accommodation nearby. This place in Gaios is really nice and only £188 for seven nights.
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