‘Notes from the field – Paxos’ is the latest in our series of blogs following the Sunvil team as they explore our destinations in search of hidden gems and to handpick our holiday accommodation. Written by Stella, a member of our expert Greek team, this piece details her experiences on the smallest Ionian island and the highlights from her trip.
Where did you go?
I went to the Greek island of Paxos. Despite being the smallest of the Ionian islands at just seven miles long by three wide, Paxos has an abundance of charm and has so much to offer. The island is covered in olive trees, with pines and cypresses leading down to the waters edge. Being so small makes it perfect for walking – there are many marked trails to follow and tree-shaded hollows in which to rest.
Favourite Sunvil/GIC The Villa Collection property and why?
My favourite Sunvil property was Aleca’s Cottage. Its location can’t be beaten and it is right on the harbour, so the balcony views are amazing. Light and bright internally and centrally situated for all the amenities of Loggos.
My favourite GIC The Villa Collection property was The Olive Press. I really liked the character of the villa, as it has exposed walls throughout, but at the same time it is light, airy and surrounded by olive trees.
I also stayed at Villa Jasmine, which is both a Sunvil and GIC property. This villa is really private and peaceful, and has lovely views.
Favourite viewpoint and why?
My favourite viewpoint was from Erimitis Bar and Restaurant near the village of Magazia. The views are beautiful and the sunsets from here are amazing.
Where you ate your best meal and what did you have?
I have several favourites – it’s so hard to choose just one!
Stasinos Garden Restaurant – Lakka
This restaurant is set in a really pretty garden. I had a delicious meal which consisted of BBQ’d tuna, Greek salad, homemade mousaka and they even had halloumi cheese drizzled with honey and sesame seeds. The staff were all so friendly and the local wine was delicious.
Tolis Taverna – Loggos
This taverna is set back from the harbour where most of the tavernas are, so it is not an obvious choice. It is quite tiny and very rustic, but the food was amazing and the portions are huge; lots of their dishes are cooked on the charcoal so the flavour is amazing! I had the best gigantes (giant beans) here are some delicious wild mushrooms char-grilled and drizzled with honey.
Marinella – Gaios
This is a cute, little place, perfect for brunch and late night cocktails. It is just behind the harbour and all outdoors, all the food is homemade and really fresh. The service is excellent as was the presentation. In the evening there is a really good atmosphere – very chilled with good music and open till late.
What was your favourite activity?
I really enjoyed walking through all the ancient walled pathways, and exploring Paxos by moped! As the island is so small it is very easy to explore and there is virtually no traffic at this time of year, although I’m sure August is quite busy!
What was your favourite beach?
My favourite beach is in Mogonissi, South Paxos. It is one of the only two sandy beaches which is accessed via a bridge. It is only a couple of miles from the capital Gaios and has just one taverna, renowned for its good food and a small cafe bar. The bay is very sheltered and really good for swimming.
The highlight of your trip.
I would have to say the warm sunshine in September, coupled with sitting in a local cafe or taverna in one of the pretty harbours just watching the world go by.
General feel of the area.
Paxos is so sweet and uncommercial – because it’s small there isn’t a huge amount to explore, but its ideal for walkers and hiring small motorboats to access lots of different beaches and the sea caves. All three harbours are really pretty, but my favourite is Gaios which is also the capital, as it has a larger selection of café bars and taverna’s and is just so atmospheric both day and night. I particularly loved all the stone walls and cottages and how green the island is – for me Paxos oozes character and elegance.