Paxoi is the smallest of the larger Ionian Islands and is situated 7 miles south of Corfu. The 2400 inhabitants live mainly by fishing and olive cultivation.
We don’t know much about the distant past of the island, except that in 229 B.C, a naval battle between Illyrians pirates and Corfiots (during which Corfu was defeated and forced to surrender) took place in the straights between the Paxoi and Antipaxoi islands. Later on, the history of Paxoi is associated with Corfu. In 1814, Paxoi became part of the Ionian Islands and joined them when they united with Greece. The island belongs to the district of Corfu.
With 1300 inhabitants, Gaios is the island’s capital. It was built according to the traditional Eptanesian architecture at the center of the bay, protected buy two tiny islands: Aghios Nikolaos, where only ruins of a Venetian fortress have survived, and Panayia, which has a monastery of the same name where a celebration takes place in August. At Gaios, you can find a historical archive, a library and Aghioi Apostoloi church with important paintings.
North of Gaios, you can visit two lovely fishing villages, Longos and Lakka. Near them lies the beautiful beach of Charami with the cave of Ypapanti, which is connected underground with the Byzantine church of Ypapanti. South of Gaios, there is another village of 250 inhabitants, Ozia, known for its hot water springs. Nearby, at the village of Porto, ruins of two ancient Christian basilicas, Aghia Marina and Aghios Stefanos, remain. In the north-west, we find Trypitos, a natural bridge leading to Moggonisi opposite as well as to several sea caves, among which the most important is Ortholithos with a huge monolith at its entrance.
Antipaxoi is a tiny island situated 3 miles off Paxoi and has only 120 inhabitants. It is a green island with a crystal sea and many sea caves and orchards. Agrapidia, Vatoumi and Vrika are ideals beaches for swimming. You can visit the desert islets of Daskalio and Exolitharo by motorboat. The whole region is ideal for snorkeling and diving.
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