Paxi Ionian Islands
This little inexperienced island seven miles off the coast of Corfu island conquers its visitors from the primary moment they step ashore. The towering olive trees which cover nearly all its surface, its idyllic little coves and the large rocks with their sea-caves all impress themselves on the thoughts. All these options are to be present in an area of less than 25 sq. kilometers. The ground slopes gently up to the west, reaching an stone island big sale altitude of solely 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 best in Greece and, along with tourism, is the islanders’ major supply of revenue.
Gaios, the island’s harbour, is also its capital. The name comes from St Gaius, who introduced Christianity to Paxi and who according to tradition additionally died right here. His memory is preserved in a tomb behind the altar in the church of the Holy Apostles, which for many centuries now has been claimed as that of the apostle Gaius. An old tradition says that earth from the tomb was utilized by the locals as a cure for snake-chew. The church’s feast day is on 5 November, which is the saint’s day. Crucial festival on Paxi is the procession on 29 June, in memory of Saints-Peter and Paul, when the church of the Holy Apostles and the tomb of Saint Gaius are also 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 might be seen from the lighthouse. The islet of Panayia has a rocky coastline with beaches that are very clear and good for swimming.
The islet of Ayios Nikolaos is nearly 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 also be a ruined windmill on Ayios Nikolaos, and the islet is topped with a castle. The partitions of the castle are ruinous today, however there is a very nice view of the harbour from it.
The northern part of the harbour is called Manesko and that is where the larger vessels dock. The southern part of the harbour is suitable just for fishing-boats.
On the entrance to Manesko is a ruined but magnificent mansion. Gaios harbour is protected from all the winds, and since it is open at both ends the water is constantly in motion; consequently, the harbour is always clear and the water is cool.
Strolling south east from Gaios, we quickly come to the primary municipal seashore, referred to as Yannas.
Additional alongside the road we will see the deeply indented and thickly wooded coastline, and we eventually come to Mongonisi.
Mongonisi is a vacationer resort with a few range of services. Guests may find interesting folklore events here. To the south of Gaios, we travel by way of 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 leave the village -in a westerly path- we cross the ruins of the old Lessanitis windmill. Behind this is the spot often called Mousmoulis, which has a very good view. This precipice has what is perhaps the island’s most interesting view, out across the broad ocean to Italy within the west and Africa within the south.
Nonetheless additional south, the road leads down to a spot the place the rocks kind a natural arch through which the water flows. That is the world often known as Tripitos.
From Gaios, a surfaced road crosses the island on a north-south axis, passing by means of a seemingly countless forest of olive trees. There are said to be 300,000 olive bushes on the island.
Our route into the hinterland of the island brings us by means of quite a few small villages which take their names from the households which reside there: Bogdanatika from the Bogdanos household, Vlachopoulatika from the Vlachopoulos household, and so forth.
As we go away Gaios to the west, just before the sharp bend by the soccer pitch, there is a pure water tank in the rock which fills solely from the channels which lead to it.
From here, the view of the olive forest which spreads out in front of the customer is superb. On clear days, Lefkada will be seen, with Ithaca and Cephalonia in the background.
To the appropriate of the highway after the sharp bend is the church of St Charalambos, patron saint of the island. We proceed to the highest level on the island, Ayios Isavros hill. The altitude at this point is 250 metres. The hill takes its title 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 stone island big sale its title from the fountain in the centre of the village. Today the spring has run dry, however the name stays.
The huge 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 name from a word that means forest, because of the dense vegetation which is a characteristic of the world. The water in Longos harbour is shallow, and large 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-surfing 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 in the centre of the village stands behind a small platform from which there is a superb view of the harbour. St Nicholas, the patron saint of seafarers, is an apparent favorite for the villagers of Longos, lots of whom are employed at sea.
The largest household in Longos known as Anemoyannis. The older inhabitants say that the name derives from the fact that the founding father of the household was brought by the wind (‘anemos’) to this place. Right now, the Anemoyannis household is certainly one of the biggest on Paxi.
One other fascinating construction on this village is the Tzilios water-tank, which bears an inscription testifying to its date of building (1837) to the proper and left of the entrance. Since the tank was constructed by the British, the inscription is in Greek and English. There is a large stone-flagged sq.the middle of which slopes barely inwards. Next to the community water tank is the church of St Kyriaki.
Roughly half-manner along the street from Gaios to Lakka is the village of Magazia (‘retailers’), which takes its name from the wine-shops which used to stand in the village sq..
Virtually in the midst 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 monitor which results in the western aspect of the island. This street ends on the impressing Erimitis precipice, with its white rocks. The precipice took its name (‘of the hermit’) from a monk who used to stay 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 the place the rocks end is known as 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 leave Magazia is a monitor main north to another equally effective and wild spot on the west coast of the island. This known as Kastanida, and it has dizzy cliffs.
A track leads down to the sea, where a bit of to the north we can see a rock within the shape of a submarine. Behind it is sea-cave the place the Greek submarines used to cover in the course of the Second World War.
Lakka stands on the northernmost tip of the island. Before we come to the steep hill down into the village, we can see an abandoned quarry on the hillside going through us. At about this point is the brand new church of St Nicholas. It is a straightforward building with an arched door and windows. Below it we will see the old ruined windmill of Lakka.
The road now runs downhill and handed a group water-tank, one other structure erected by the British. Right here there’s a magical and magnificent view of Corfu and the mountains and coastline of Albania.
Lakka took its title (‘pit’) from its natural position: 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 superb. The primary lighthouse, the ruins of which might nonetheless be seen right now, was inbuilt 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 especially impressive.
From the lighthouse, a footpath leads to the door of an old damage: called ‘Ellinospito’ (‘the Greek house’) by the locals, it was a kind of refuge and fortress, and it stands beside an virtually impassable hollow. The inhabitants of Lakka -and indeed of the whole island- used to take refuge there when pirates and Turks came to call.
We return, stopping for a moment on the fantastic church of the Presentation. From the belfry there is an unforgettable view of Lakka. The church was inbuilt 1774 and has Renaissance options.