Gaios, Paxos – What’s It Like?

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Thinking of booking a trip to Gaios on Paxos?

Here’s what to expect from this beautiful harbour town in the Ionian Islands.

Fishing boats in Gaios harbour.

Where is it?

Gaios is the capital and main settlement of the Ionian island of Paxos.

It’s located on the eastern side of the island’s south coast.

What’s the vibe like?

Gaios is an incredibly picturesque harbour that’s long been popular with the yachting fraternity. It has fine examples of Ionian and Venetian architecture (of the type that has been unfortunately destroyed by earthquakes on other islands) painted in pastel hues and ocres.

It’s a small low-rise town with several uninhabited forested islands in its bay creating a perfect sheltered harbour. There are a few chapels and remains of a fortress on the largest island.

The upmarket waterfront is lined with tavernas, bars, and boutiques. It has a well-manicured feel and is similar in vibe to Vathy on Ithaka, but with slightly more buzz as it’s one of the main calling points for yachts and flotillas in the Ionian – at least during the peak summer months of July and August. It’s almost like a mini version of Fiskardo on Kefalonia.

Gaios is incredibly popular with day-trippers from Corfu who come over daily on a variety of excursion boats so it can feel busy and commercialised during the day.

Pink Ionian villa in Gaios.

Fishing boats in Gaios.

Stacked taverna chairs and tables.

Ice-cream in Gaios.

Taverna tables in Gaios harbour.

Tourist shops in Gaios.

Picturesque restaurant table in Gaios.

Signpost for a beach hotel, Paxos.

What’s the beach like?

Gianas beach, Gaios.

Giaos is primarily a harbour town but there are several small pebble beaches on its outskirts – the closest are Gianas (pictured above) and Plakes to the south.

To the north are more small coves starting at Kamini.

There are also some rocky platforms that you can swim off into crystal clear water.

For bigger beaches take one of the water taxis from the harbour to Vromi and Voutomi on Antipaxos, some of the most beautiful beaches in the Ionian Islands. Journey time is under 20 minutes.

These stunning beaches consist of dazzling white pebbles which results in some of the most vibrant turquoise waters in the Med.

There are also boats to Mongonissi on the southern tip of the island where you’ll find a man-made sandy beach with popular beach bar (you can also drive or even walk there) in a scenic bay.

Plakes beach, Gaios.

Steps to the sea, Gaios.

Turquoise sea, Gaios.

Activities and amenities

Tourist boat, Gaios.

Exterior of Namaste fitness centre.

The main activities in Gaios are eating, drinking, and getting out on the water.

There are plenty of boats trips from the harbour – the main route is to the spectacular beaches on neighbouring Antipaxos.

There’s also a dive shop and a gym and fitness centre which offers massage and sauna.

Paxos is an idyllic island with lush scenery that’s easily explored on foot, bicycle, scooter or car. It’s hilly but not too steep or mountainous. You can rent e-bikes through Fougaros Rentals.

In the summer months it hosts a music festival.

You’ll find plenty of amenities including those catering to the yachts (such as chandleries and supermarkets providing delivery), plenty of ATMs, pharmacies and doctors.

Transport and accessibility

Tourist signposts, Gaios.

From the airport:

The nearest airport is Corfu International Airport.

There are several ferry options for Paxos:

  • In the summer months Azimut Ferry runs up and down the Ionian islands with the direction changing every other day. This route usually stops running in mid-September.
  • In the summer months there’s a hydrofoil from Corfu Port to Gaios run by Kerkyra Lines.
  • There’s a small car ferry from Lefkimmi to Paxos run by Kamelia Lines at least once a day throughout the year. You can buy a ticket from the airport which includes bus transfer to Lefkimmi. E-mail the ferry company for further details.

You’re better off buying tickets when in Corfu, accurate timetables and online tickets are hard to come by. Check with your accommodation for up-to-date information.

For larger groups private sea taxis might also be an option.

For those arriving from the Greek mainland there are also ferries from Igoumenitsa.

For more information read: Ionian Islands – A Practical Travel Guide

Public transport:

Bus services on Paxos are run by KTEL Corfu but timetables aren’t online. Usually there are several connections a day between Gaios, Longos and Lakka except on Sundays.

There are a limited number of taxis in Gaios.

Accessibility:

Gaios itself is flat and the quality of paving on the main roads is very reasonable by Greek standards. The very centre is pedestrianised and narrow. There are some steps required to reach the nearby beaches.

It’s a small town and only several blocks deep.  It’s possible to drive to the waterfront but the main car parks are further back.

Boats arrive at Paxi Port which is a 10 minute walk north of the main part of Gaios.

Prices

Gaios is an upmarket cosmopolitan resort and that is reflected in the prices, which are higher than on neighbouring Corfu and prices in Greece in general.

Where to stay

If you’re just staying for a night or two you might want to check in apartments with a view like Paxos Fairytales.

If you need a pool and more space then check out Blue Horizon just north of town or the plush 4-star Paxos Club Resort & Spa inland (shuttles to town available).

Many opt to stay in villas on Paxos, there’s a great selection – start with VRBO.

Good-value family-run guesthouses and apartments are easy to come by – check Booking.com.

Read more:

A Practical Travel Guide to the Ionian Islands (including ferry routes)

Where to Stay on Corfu: Ultimate Beach Resort Guide