If you’re staying on the Ionian island of Paxos, Greece then a day trip to tiny Antipaxos island is a must. Its sheltered bays and crystalline turquoise waters are beautiful and there’s a choice of lovely tavernas for lunch too. We caught a taxi boat from Gaios harbour in Paxos to check out the picture perfect Antipaxos beaches.
- beautiful Ionian island beaches
- white sand, blue sky, turquoise water
- short boat trip from Paxos island
- tavernas with blue sea views
Who went where and when: I visited Paxos, one of the Ionian islands of Greece with my sons, Nick 20 and Ed 18, in early September. We arranged to meet up with friends during our Paxos villa holiday and we caught a water taxi to spend the day on Antipaxos island.
An Antipaxos Beach Day
Paxos beaches are pretty. But tiny Antipaxos island is famous for its Caribbean colours and secluded sands. The simplest way to get to Antipaxos is from Gaios harbour on Paxos. Small sea taxis provide a shuttle service from Gaios to Antipaxos several times a day. We met our friends on the quayside around 10am on a lovely blue sky morning.
Taxi boats gathered and we didn’t have to wait long. Our return tickets were 14 euros each and we bought them as we got on a shuttle boat along with a dozen other people. Soon we motored out of the harbour for our day trip to Antipaxos island.
There’s a lovely view of Gaios as the boat sets out across the strait.
The journey takes about 15 minutes, passing the little islet of Mongonissi and heading south to Antipaxos.
Voutoumi Beach Antipaxos
The taxi stops at Vrika beach first to drop off passengers but we stayed onboard to go around the headland to Voutoumi beach. A path links the two bays so you can go exploring on foot if you’re feeling active.
We hopped off onto the little wooden jetty at Voutoumi beach before the taxi set off back to Paxos.
Voutoumi beach is a pretty curved bay, bordered with smooth white pebbles and a narrow strip of pearly pale sand leading into the water.
The water is ridiculously pretty: every shade of turquoise, striped with deep indigo blue as you look further out into the bay and towards mainland Greece. We jumped straight in!
Yacht owners had moored off shore, and little day boats with canopies came and went throughout the day. Antipaxos island is almost uninhabited with just a handful of villas and tavernas and no shops at all. But the tavernas are good and holidaymakers often anchor in the bay to come ashore for lunch.
A little row of beach beds and umbrellas fringe the shore. The beds are 5 euros each and filled up quickly as the shuttle boats arrived. There’s no other shade on the beach but some of us brought our own parasols.
Lunch at Voutoumi beach
Before too long we went to investigate the nearest taverna, set back from the beach with lovely views. Its terraced floor gives views out over the bay and there was an appetizing smell of grilled squid. We sat with coffees for a while, then the boys needed pasta and burgers. Luckily they were on the menu along with lots of Greek dishes.
It was soon time to get back on the beach.
We swam, chatted and went for a walk. At the far side of the bay is a little cave.
And the first of the steep steps up to the Bella Vista restaurant which has great views at the top.
The taxis go back to Gaios at 2.30, 4 and 5pm, but on the day we visited they seemed to turn up regularly and we didn’t have to queue.
Vrika beach Antipaxos
After the boys and I went back to London our friends had a few days longer on Paxos. They visited Antipaxos almost every day and went to Vrika beach too.
Vrika is sandier than Voutoumi and has the same beautiful clear blue waters. Spiros taverna on the beach serves the local organic Antipaxos red wine.
And one member of the family managed two helpings of the mutton chops – on both visits!
Boats from Paxos to Antipaxos island
The shuttle boats run every day during the season as long as the sea is calm. This isn’t completely guaranteed but in fine weather a day trip to Antipaxos is a must if you’re staying on Paxos.
Day Trip to the Antipaxos beaches
The boys and I arranged our Paxos villa holiday, transfers and hire car on Paxos with Ionian Villas, click here to go to their website
This family-run specialist villa company offers a personalised service and can advise on destinations and tailor-make itineraries.
Their charming and efficient on-island managers, Dimitris Aronis and his father, are based in the village of Lakka, Paxos. Dimitris emailed us in advance of our trip: according to requirements he can organise transfers, meet and greet, hire cars, villa cooks and even hampers. Having this local expertise to hand helps allay worries about island transfers or co-ordinating flights with boats. As we were staying in Lakka we often passed by the office – and who could ignore Pongo the office dog!
Disclosure: Ionian Villas hosted our Paxos villa holiday in return for honest coverage of our trip. This post is entirely my own thoughts and opinions.
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