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From Lefkimmi Port (South Corfu)

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Paxos

The legend has it that Paxos Island was formed when Poseidon, the god of the sea, severed the south tip of Corfu island with one mighty blow of his trident and dragged it south to create an idyllic retreat for his beloved wife Amphitrite. With an area of 25 sq. km and a population of 2500 inhabitants this green island, covered mostly with olive and cypress trees, is the smallest in the Ionian Sea.

It lies only 7 nautical miles from Corfu, 30 nautical miles from the harbour of Corfu city, and 12 nautical miles from the beautiful city of Parga, of mainland Epirus which is situated opposite the island. The natural beauty of Paxos attracts dozens of yachts giving the island a cosmopolitan air. White impressive rocks sit vertically along the whole western side of the island and amongst these are the famous blue caves. According to the legend, in the blue cave of Ypapanti, which is 1200m long and leads to the centre of the island, was where Poseidon and Amphitrite built their marble palace. Gaios is the capital of Paxos and took its name of a student of Apostel Paul. Gaios introduced Christianity on the island and he lived, died and was buried there.

The small channel which leads to the village city of Gaios impresses every one with the natural fjord that is formed at its entrance by two small islands, Panagia (Blessed Virgin) and Agios Nicolas. The inhabitants of Paxos island mostly work on the cultivation of olives, fishing and tourism.

History

The history of Paxos is, in general, the same as that of Corfu. During the Venetian period, which lasted for 400 years (14th-18th century), trade, shipping and agriculture developed.

The Venetians imposed the cultivation of olive trees and planted them until they covered practically the entire surface of the island.

During the same period, the fortress and the windmill on the island of Agios Nicolas were built (15th century). In 1537 the historical naval battle of Paxos took place between the Christian fleet of Andrea Doria and the Turkish fleet. In 1797 the Venetians decided to surrender the Ionian Islands after 411 years of firm ruling to the French Republic. In 1810 the Paxiots rebelled against the French. 54 members of the rebel party were sent to trial, 19 of them were shipped to Corfu and were judged and convicted. 7 of them were executed. In 1814 the British occupied Paxos and held it until 1864, when along with the other Ionian Islands it was united with Greece.

Lakka Walking paths
Using our walking map of hidden paths and sights, you can enjoy the unspoilt nature and explore the lesser-seen sights Paxos has to offer. 
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