This Charming Island In Europe Is Off The Radar Of Tourists But Full Of Fun Activities

Is that a vacation we hear calling you? If your answer is yes, we've got a suggestion in Europe that will provide sun, sand, crystal blue waters, and something we all too often get precious little of — peace and quiet. This magical place is a small island, no more than 3 miles by 7 miles, and it doesn't even have an airport. To get there, you take a short ride from the nearby island of Corfu. If that sounds familiar, you know this island is in Greece, in the Ionian Sea. The island is called Paxos, and it's so pretty it may move you to tears.

Paxos isn't usually the first stop on a trip to Greece with no planes flying in, its size, and a lack of giant cruise ships stopping by. However, it will be right up your alley if you're looking for a relaxing vacation off the beaten path, with incredible natural formations to explore, sea caves, and water sports. It's also a great way to visit Greece on a budget. Celebrities like Keanu Reeves and Angelina Jolie have even been known to visit there. So, what do you need to know about Paxos, Greece? And what can you see and do during your visit? 

On land in Paxos, Greece

Paxos has a bit of Greek mythological relevance. According to the story, the sea god Poseidon wanted to create a private snuggle spot for him and his wife Amphitrite, goddess of the sea. He took his famous trident and broke a piece off nearby Corfu to create Paxos. Lucky lady, right? Paxos has three main centers: Gaios, the largest; Lakka, and Longos, the smallest. If you're looking for some popular hotspots, Gaios is the way to go. You can find some great restaurants and bars, as well as shops. You can also take a boat ride in under 30 minutes to nearby Antipaxos Island for the beaches. Not that you need to travel for those.

The main businesses on Paxos are tourism, fishing, and olive oil. You can visit and wander some of the olive groves or the Olive Press Museum in Magazia, where you can learn all about how the oil is made. Don't miss the Church of the Analipsi (1853 C.E.) in Gaios with its pretty pink terracotta walls. You can also check out the statue of Georgios Anemogiannis, who was part of the first naval battle during the 19th-century Greek Revolution, for which he was executed. There are also plenty of gentle hikes around the island if that's your interest. If you're looking for something more rollicking, Paxos also has that. The island hosts the Paxos Music Festival, a popular draw from the end of June through the beginning of September.

On the sea in Paxos, Greece

Paxos is an island, and one with stunningly blue, clear water. That means water sports are very popular here. You can take scuba and water skiing lessons and rent equipment in Lakka if you want to give that a shot. There are beaches aplenty, with Kaki Langada near Gaios, which has a taverna for snacks and drinks as well as umbrellas and chairs to rent. Kipos Beach is quieter with no taverna, but you'll have some semi-solitude. If the beach bar scene is your thing, check out Monodendri Beach.

One unique thing to do is rent a boat or join a tour to visit the many caves around the island, some of which are big enough to park a boat in. Many tours will stop for a swim break in these caves. The best spot for this is Ermitis Beach, though several of them exist. Plus, if you're a scuba diver, there are lots of underwater caves to visit. On the west coast of Paxos, you can hike from Ozias village down to see the Tripitos Arch (also called Kamara). Believe it or not, you can walk along the top if you like.