Finally I’ve got round to writing about our week in paradise! Sorry for the delay, but this one will be worth waiting for. After a recommendation from friends and struggling to find a perfect summer holiday destination, Nick and I decided to go to Paxos, Greece.

This Ionian Archipelago gem is the smallest of the group (the largest being Corfu) and is a relatively undiscovered summer holiday destination unless you are either Greek, a super yacht-owning billionaire or keen on sailing. I must admit I’ve been pretty smug over the last few weeks when I’ve received the response “where’s that?” when asked where I got my incredible tan from.

A true gem of Greece and everything I love abut Greek Islands. Permanently blue skies, warm water and incredible charm.

I couldn’t have asked for much more for Nick and I’s first proper couples summer holiday; Paxos is definitely up there for romance. I’m yet to travel to Santorini or Mykonos, but I’m confident Paxos must be close behind in third when it comes to idyllic loved-up getaways with your beau.

Paxos is home to around 2500 local residents and has three towns, Gaios, Lakka and Loggos, and we opted for the in-the-sealargest, Gaios.

We absolutely hit the jackpot with our accommodation at Villa Avgerini and our open plan two person maisonette which we found on AirBnB. Our host, Eva, who built the complex with her Paxos-native father, looks after the maisonette and three larger villas for the summer months each year. Just a seven minute walk from the centre of
Gaios town, the complex has a private pool, an incredible view of the Ionian Sea and a mattress to die for.

Eva was an incredibly friendly and attentive host and knows everything you need to know to make the most of your stay. Local businesses are in big demand during peak season and When she said there are only five taxis on the Island she wasn’t joking! Luckily Eva is very well connected on the island and was able to book every journey
we needed as she knows all the drivers personally.

nick-giannis-boat-lessonAnother reason we set our sights on Paxos was to fulfill Nick’s only holiday request of hiring a boat to explore the island’s incredible coastline – it’s an absolute must – hire a boat and get out on the water as much as you can. We wanted to make sure we could head out on the water twice during our stay so booked in advance with Efi and Giannis at Water Escape. Small boats cost €85 per day plus fuel and no boat licence is required for boats up to 30HP, which was perfect for us novices. Giannis even gave Nick a little driving lesson to make sure he was happy before we set off.

Boats are available for hire everywhere but on-the-day availability in the peak summer months just isn’t possible, so be organised and plan your days. Scooters, cars and quad bikes are also good ways to explore Paxos but Nick and I are water babies so we wanted to make sure we were able to see as much as we could by boat.

The west coast of Paxos consists of dramatic cliff faces, chalky white rock and nothing but the sound of waves crashing against them. Erimitis beach is a must-see. The daunting cove looks like it’s been calved out with a spoon and was formed as a result of a landslide in 2008. This delightfully tranquil setting is home to only a few
sun seekers visiting by boat during daylight hours, so take snacks and drinks to keep you going! We dropped anchor for a couple of hours and went snorkeling – you’ve got to take some bread and watch hundreds of happy fish race towards you for their lunch.loggos-port-for-lunch

The smallest of Paxos’ three island towns, Loggos, proved an excellent moor-up stop for lunch. Don’t go here expecting a thriving lively atmosphere – this is the epitome of island life. Peaceful, slow, relaxed and humble. We opted to dine at Nassos Taverna and indulge on lobster pasta.

When you’ve dropped your tiny little adventure boat back home, head to Porto Vecchio for a great view of Gaios port, a perfect spot for people watching and the best cocktails in town. Their pornstar martini is excellent and I pretty much lived off it all week. Be sure to get there after 6pm as that’s when the mixologists arrive for the evening to serve first-class drinks. Stay here and sit quietly for a few hours, watch, absorb, and smile.

Paxos’ neighboring island, Antipaxos, is home to the only sandy beaches on Paxos so if you’re craving the feel of smooth white sand between your toes then this is a must. Take the water taxi over for the day (€12 each) and gawp as you pull up to Vrika beach in just under 20 minutes. The water is a vibrant shade of turquoise and the bright orange parasols make for a picture-postcard moment as you pull up. Gorgeous. We lunched at Spiros Taverna on recommendation from a friend and ate red snapper and more giant lobster. Think of every possible sea creature you could throw on a barbecue and its up for grabs. Squid and octopus can be seen hanging up to dry on the line above the coals against the turquoise water. This is undoubtedly one of my favourite photos from our week.

antipaxos-beachA settlement of about 150 residents live on Antipaxos, and three restaurants. that’s it.

As I’ve mentioned it plenty of times in this post my advice on food is to eat fish where ever you go. We saw a sign in one restaurant window which read “the ocean is your menu”, and they are not wrong. I think this was the longest period of my life where I’ve not eaten meat, and it was great! Fresh seafood everywhere.

Nick and I are fans of finding a local pub or cafe hot spot close to our accommodation when we go away for late night beers or easy-fix lunches, and Villa Avgerini has exactly that on its doorstep in Taverna Klis. 30 seconds from our apartment and serving the best Greek salad going, so much so that we ate it at least four times. Their speciality though, prawn sagnaki, an oven-baked dish with feta and tomato sauce, was delightful and easily one of the best meals we had.

So there we have it, make Paxos one of your destinations to consider for Summer 2017. If you’re on the hunt for a picture paradise romantic getaway without a heavy nightlife scene then you can’t go wrong here. Nick and I will definitely be back one day.