The smallest of the Ionian Islands, Paxos is a rare and special gem - laced with silvery olive groves and lined with soft white chalk cliffs. Far enough from the crowds to appeal to aesthetes rather than hedonists, Paxos is a haven for those seeking true peace and privacy.
The quiet main town of Gaios, which has retained its elegant Venetian architecture, acts a the island’s harbour and social centre. The two other villages of note are Loggos and Lakka, with their tiny cluster of houses and cafes. However, the real beauty of Paxos lies in its charming countryside. Hire a boat and explore the island’s coastline, visiting different cove or beach each day, or take a hike through the interiors many olive groves pine forests. Meanwhile, the cliffs around Erimitis beach are home to a network of caves, called ‘blue caves’ due to the vivid colour of the seawaters.
Despite being such a small island, dining on Paxos can rival any great culinary hotspot. Take a seat at Erimitis, an elegant and upmarket establishment perched high up on cliffs of the west coast, where fresh grilled octopus and prawn linguine are served alongside unbeatable sunset views. For low-key, beachfront dining, try Ben’s Bar in Loggos, with its boho-chic vibes and menu of wood-fired pizzas and fresh salads from the kitchen garden. Paxos is notable for its distinctive golden olive oil, made from the island’s subtle lianolia olives and, for the most part, organically farmed. Moreover, Paxos’ even smaller neighbour, Antipaxos, is blanketed in vineyards and the home of a selection of rare but celebrated wines.
With no international airport and only a small number of hotels, Paxos has remained an exclusive island, strictly for those in the know. The island is a particular favourite of high-society Italians – for example, the southernmost tip of Paxos is home to the palatial holiday villa of the FIAT-owning Agnelli family, whilst a number of leading figures in the arts & culture scene return to holiday on the island every summer.