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Paxi Ionian Islands

This little inexperienced island seven miles off the coast of Corfu island conquers its visitors from the primary second they step ashore. The towering olive trees which cover virtually all its floor, its idyllic little coves and the massive rocks with their sea-caves all impress themselves on the thoughts. All these features are to be present in an space of lower than 25 square kilometers. The bottom slopes gently as much as the west, reaching an altitude of only 250 metres – Ayios Isavros, the island’s tallest ‘mountain’. The inhabitants of Paxi, who number about 2,500, are engaged principally in rising olives, fishing and tourism. The olive oil which they produce is among the finest in Greece and, together with tourism, is the islanders’ principal source of earnings.

Gaios, the island’s harbour, is also its capital. The name comes from St Gaius, who introduced Christianity to Paxi and who in response to tradition additionally died right here. His reminiscence is preserved in a tomb behind the altar in the church of the Holy Apostles, which for a lot of centuries now has been claimed as that of the apostle Gaius. An outdated tradition says that earth from the tomb was utilized by the locals as a cure for snake-bite. The church’s feast day is on 5 November, which is the saint’s day. A very powerful festival on Paxi is the procession on 29 June, in reminiscence of Saints-Peter and Paul, when the church of the Holy Apostles and the tomb of Saint Gaius are additionally revered.

The very first thing the visitor sees on coming into Gaios harbour is the Panayia islet. On the islet stand a lighthouse and a monastery. On 15 August, the feast of the Dormition of the Virgin, there is a customized of offering pilgrims boiled meat. The coasts of Albania and Corfu will be seen from the lighthouse. The islet of Panayia has a rocky coastline with beaches that are very clean and good for swimming.

The islet of Ayios Nikolaos is almost a continuation of the Panayia islet. This islet takes its identify from the chapel of St Nicholas which stands on it, within the foreground. There can be a ruined windmill on Ayios Nikolaos, and the islet is topped with a castle. The walls of the castle are ruinous right now, but there is a very advantageous view of the harbour from it.

The northern part of the harbour is known as Manesko and this is where the larger vessels dock. The southern a part of the harbour is appropriate only for fishing-boats.

At the entrance to Manesko is a ruined but magnificent mansion. Gaios harbour is protected from all of the winds, and since it’s open at both ends the water is constantly in motion; in consequence, the harbour is at all times clean and the water is cool.

Walking south east from Gaios, we quickly come to the first municipal beach, called Yannas.
Additional along the road we can see the deeply indented and thickly wooded coastline, and we finally come to Mongonisi.

Mongonisi is a vacationer resort with a couple of vary of services. Guests could discover attention-grabbing folklore occasions here. To the south of Gaios, we journey via the hinterland of the island and attain the village of Makratika. There are two interesting churches in the village, that of the Pantokrator, built in 1739, and that of All Saints, built in 1700 and renovated in 1885.

As we go away the village -in a westerly route- we pass the ruins of the previous Stone Island Uk Lessanitis windmill. Behind that is the spot generally known as Mousmoulis, which has a very good view. This precipice has what is perhaps the island’s most interesting view, out throughout the broad ocean to Italy within the west and Africa in the south.

Nonetheless further south, the road leads right down to a spot where the rocks form a pure arch by way of which the water flows. That is the world generally known as Tripitos.
From Gaios, a surfaced street crosses the island on a north-south axis, passing via a seemingly infinite forest of olive trees. There are said to be 300,000 olive trees on the island.

Our route into the hinterland of the island brings us by quite a few small villages which take their names from the households which stay there: Bogdanatika from the Bogdanos household, Vlachopoulatika from the Vlachopoulos household, and so forth.

As we depart Gaios to the west, just before the sharp bend by the football pitch, there’s a natural water tank in the rock which fills solely from the channels which result in it.

From right here, the view of the olive forest which spreads out in entrance of the customer is excellent. On clear days, Lefkada will be seen, with Ithaca and Cephalonia in the background.

To the appropriate of the road after the sharp bend is the church of St Charalambos, patron saint of the island. We proceed to the best level on the island, Ayios Isavros hill. The altitude at this level is 250 metres. The hill takes its identify from the church of St Isavros which stands on the summit, a easy constructing next to the phone firm tower.

We then descend to the village of Fountana, which takes its name from the fountain in the centre of the village. In the present day the spring has run dry, but the identify stays.

The large airplane tree subsequent to the church of Our Lady ‘Vlacherna’ is the village’s different most important feature.
To the north of Fountana is Longos. The port of Longos took its title from a word that means forest, due to the dense vegetation which is a characteristic of the world. The water in Longos harbour is shallow, and huge vessels can not moor right here. To the south east are the beaches of Levrechi, Marmari, Kipos and Kipadi. All these beaches are good for bathing, wind-browsing and even camping. To the north west are the beaches of Fikia and Glyfada, which are nonetheless virgin territory.

An previous ruined mill is testimony to the historical past of Longos. The church of St. Nicholas within the centre of the village stands behind a small stone island jumper 2016 platform from which there is a superb view of the harbour. St Nicholas, the patron saint of seafarers, is an apparent favourite for the villagers of Longos, many of whom are employed at sea.

The biggest household in Longos is known as Anemoyannis. The older inhabitants say that the identify derives from the truth that the founding father of the household was brought by the wind (‘anemos’) to this place. Immediately, the Anemoyannis household is one in every of the biggest on Paxi.

One other fascinating structure on this village is the Tzilios water-tank, which bears an inscription testifying to its date of constructing (1837) to the precise and left of the entrance. Because the tank was built by the British, the inscription is in Greek and English. There may be a big stone-flagged sq.the center of which slopes barely inwards. Subsequent to the group water tank is the church of St Kyriaki.

Approximately half-method along the highway from Gaios to Lakka is the village of Magazia (‘outlets’), which takes its name from the wine-shops which used to face in the village square.

Nearly in the course of the village is the church of the Archangels, which has a big wall-painting of Our Lady above the altar.

On the left as we enter Magazia is a track which leads to the western side of the island. This road ends on the impressing Erimitis precipice, with its white rocks. The precipice took its identify (‘of the hermit’) from a monk who used to reside there, surviving on the roots of plants he picked on the rock-face.

We descend previous the church of the Holy Apostles to a fresh-water spring working into the sea. The angle formed where the rocks finish is called Pounta and the entire area is called Boikatika.

A tall rock which emerges from the sea right here, in a conical form, is always surrounded by the sea-gulls which have their nests there. In the summer season, there are swallows from Africa as effectively.

On the left as we go away Magazia is a observe main north to a different equally high-quality and wild spot on the west coast of the island. This is named Kastanida, and it has dizzy cliffs.

A observe leads right down to the sea, where a bit to the north we can see a rock within the shape of a submarine. Behind it’s sea-cave the place the Greek submarines used to hide through the Second World Battle.

Lakka stands on the northernmost tip of the island. Earlier than we come to the steep hill down into the village, we can see an abandoned quarry on the hillside facing us. At about this level is the new church of St Nicholas. It is an easy building with an arched door and windows. Below it we are able to see the old ruined windmill of Lakka.

The street now runs downhill and handed a neighborhood water-tank, another structure erected by the British. Here there’s a magical and magnificent view of Corfu and the mountains and coastline of Albania.

Lakka took its identify (‘pit’) from its pure place: the village is surrounded by hills, and the houses stand at exactly sea level. The first constructing we come to as we enter the village is the church of St Andrew, which is the island’s oldest (built in 1686).

The view from the lighthouse at Lakka is excellent. The first lighthouse, the ruins of which can still be seen today, was built in 1832 and was accompanied by a chapel to St. Nicholas, now abandoned. The view of the Ionian Sea from the lighthouse on the western aspect of the bay and of the precipice crowned with bushes is particularly impressive.

From the lighthouse, a footpath leads to the door of an outdated damage: referred to as ‘Ellinospito’ (‘the Greek home’) by the locals, it was a kind of refuge and fortress, and it stands beside an nearly impassable hollow. The inhabitants of Lakka -and indeed of the entire island- used to take refuge there when pirates and Turks got here to call.

Stone Island Cargo Shorts GreenWe return, stopping for a moment at the fine church of the Presentation. From the belfry there is an unforgettable view of Lakka. The church was in-built 1774 and has Renaissance features.

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