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Hiking on Paxos Island

Hiking on Paxos Island

The beautiful, small island of Paxos is perfect for hikers who like to immerse themselves in centuries-old olive groves, see tall cliffs, and enjoy little bays to themselves. Small as it is, Paxos boasts a great variety of landscapes, with scenic views galore. And as one of the greenest Greek island, Paxos offers plenty of shade, even in the hot Mediterranean summer.

This is one of the few Greek islands without an airport, which has helped keep the tourist masses away. Hiking Paxos is the closest you will get to an authentic experience of Greece. Its landscapes help you connect with nature, its ruins teach insightful history lessons, and the physical exercise keeps allow for a guilt-free drink and meal at the finish line.

Best time to hike on Paxos

Paxos offers pleasant hiking conditions from April to June and September to October, with moderate temperatures and fewer tourists. The summer months of July and August are hotter and more crowded, but you can still have a rewarding experience in the morning hours. The winter months may bring rain and colder temperatures. Choose the moment that suits your preferences for an optimal hiking experience.

Top hiking trails

For hiking on Paxos, the guidebook Bleasdale Walking Map of Paxos is somewhat of a cult treasure. It has been written and continually been expanded by long-term visitor Ian Bleasdale. With this map, you hold the key to every nook and cranny of the island. An alternative for those who wish to plan ahead is Sunflower’s Paxos and Antipaxos Walking Guide and the map of Anavasi (Paxos and Antipaxos).

Paxos being a small island, you can simply set off and hike, and chances are that you’ll end up on one of the more famous trails. Let’s take a look at a few of the top hiking trails on Paxos (and Antipaxos).

Lakka to Loggos Coastal Trail

The coastal path from Lakka to Loggos is a stunning 7-kilometer hike that takes you along the dramatic coastline of Paxos. The well-maintained trail offers breathtaking views of the Ionian Sea, with its turquoise waters and small, secluded bays. Along the way, you’ll pass by rock formations, olive groves, and traditional villages. The hike takes approximately 3 hours to complete, making it a perfect half-day activity for those who want to experience the natural beauty of Paxos.

Olive Grove Trail

Immerse yourself in Paxos’ history with a moderate 4-kilometer hike along the Olive Grove Trail. Starting from the charming village of Magazia, the trail winds through ancient olive groves, a testament to the island’s agricultural heritage. You’ll encounter old stone walls that once demarcated farmland, quaint churches steeped in local tradition, and stunning vistas of the rolling Paxos countryside. The trail concludes in the picturesque village of Fontana, a delightful place to relax and soak in the island atmosphere.

Erimitis Cliffs Trail

For breathtaking views of the Ionian Sea, embark on the Erimitis Cliffs Trail. Choose between a shorter loop option starting and ending in the village of Boikatika, which takes about an hour to complete and covers roughly 2 kilometers. Alternatively, for a more challenging experience, opt for the longer loop beginning and ending in Magazia at the cozy Averto Day and Night Yard. This 4-kilometer route offers stunning vistas throughout and takes approximately 2-2.5 hours to complete. Whichever option you choose, the trail leads you to the secluded Erimitis beach, a perfect spot to cool off with a refreshing swim after your hike.

Tripitos Arch Trail

Discover the geological wonder of Paxos on the Tripitos Arch Trail. Starting in the island’s capital, Gaios, take the road southeast towards the small village of Agkathatika. Once you reach the end of the village, the trail winds its way through tranquil olive groves, offering a serene prelude to the main attraction. After a gentle climb, you’ll be rewarded with the sight of the impressive Tripitos Arch, a natural stone formation sculpted by wind and waves over millennia. Savor the panoramic views of the surrounding coastline and soak in the beauty of Paxos’ unique geological heritage. This moderate trail is approximately 3 kilometers long and takes roughly 1.5 hours to complete.

Preparing for your hike

It can get hot on Paxos, especially in summer. Dress in lightweight, moisture-wicking clothing to stay comfortable, and opt for sturdy hiking shoes or boots with good traction. Pack essentials like water, sunscreen, a hat, snacks, and a first aid kit. Don’t forget your Bleasdale map, a camera to capture the memories, and a swimsuit for a dip in the turquoise waters.

Loggos to Gaios Trail

Starting your walk in the picturesque harbor town of Loggos, soak in the atmosphere with colorful fishing boats and cozy terraces. Follow the coastal path towards Gaios, enjoying the beautiful views of the Ionian Sea and the surrounding islands. Make a stop at one of the coves you encounter along the way, such as Kipiadi or Kaki Langada, to take a dip in the clear water. Your walk concludes as the islets and harbour of Gaios, the island’s capital, come into view. Explore the ruins of the Venetian fortress and wander through the narrow streets lined with charming shops and restaurants. Cheers!

Antipaxos Trail

When on Paxos, make sure you take a water taxi across to sister island Antipaxos. Upon arriving at the Caribbean-like beaches in the north, you can take a coastal trail or a path that takes you through the interior of this relatively flat island, all the way to the island’s lighthouse in the southeast. The trail winds through vineyards, olive groves, and Mediterranean forest, and offers breathtaking views of the turquoise waters that Antipaxos is famous for. This route is suitable for hikers of all levels, but make sure to calculate about 4 hours for the hike to and from the lighthouse.

Preparing for your hike

Paxos bathes in sunshine, especially during the summer months. To ensure a comfortable hike, dress in lightweight, breathable clothing that wicks away moisture. Opt for sturdy hiking shoes or boots with good traction to navigate uneven paths. Pack a backpack with essentials for your adventure: a refillable water bottle is key to staying hydrated, sunscreen protects you from the sun’s rays, a wide-brimmed hat shields your face and neck, and a selection of energy-boosting snacks keeps you fueled. Don’t forget a first-aid kit to address minor scrapes or blisters, and a camera to capture the breathtaking scenery.  For a refreshing post-hike treat, pack a swimsuit and towel for a dip in the crystal-clear turquoise waters.

Safety tips and trail etiquette

Paxos boasts a relatively flat terrain, making its trails suitable for hikers of all experience levels. However, for peace of mind, especially if venturing on a solo hike, inform your hotel staff or local friends about your planned route and estimated return time. As a responsible visitor, tread lightly on the environment by leaving no trace. Refrain from littering, avoid picking wildflowers or damaging vegetation, and respect private property boundaries. When exploring villages, dress modestly in accordance with local customs, and always show courtesy to fellow hikers on the trail.

Set foot on Paxos

So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and embark on an unforgettable Paxos adventure. With the information above and a thirst for exploration, you’re well on your way to creating lasting memories on this idyllic island paradise. With the right preparation and a chosen trail to suit your interests, Paxos awaits you with its hidden gems, charming stone villas, and breathtaking coastal panoramas.

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