Greek legend has it that the sea god, Poseidon, formed Paxos by striking Corfu to the north with his trident. He carved off a secret island paradise where he could hide away with his lover, the sea nymph Amphitrite.
Paxos, just 10 km long and 4 km wide, retains its charm as a rural olive-growing island with three main harbour towns. It’s the smallest of the main Ionian islands, with a population of just 2,300. Without its own airport, and served by ferry from Corfu or the mainland, it attracts far fewer visitors than Greece’s “holiday” destinations.
The interior of the island is covered in olive trees, many of them centuries old. At the coast, high cliffs drop into aquamarine clear waters that really do look as dazzling as that.
Gaios is the main town, set in a natural anchorage on the east coast and protected by two wooded islets. It is worth exploring for its charming quay, main square and picturesque churches.
Lakka on the northern tip of the island is marked by its lighthouse. Loggos on the southern tip is the smallest and arguably most-charming of the three. The towns and their traditional tavernas are all within a 15-minute drive from Villa Glaros.
In terms of cuisine, sardines, squid and seabass are local specialities. So too though is the deep-gold olive oil, and wines grown from nearby vines.
The easiest way to explore Paxos and its little sibling Antipaxos, a 2 km stretch of azure sea to the south, is by boat. The small beaches that dot the coast are typically pebble-strewn, many of them isolated and unpopulated. The main source of debate on the islands is which among the 30 or so beaches is best.