Looking for a classic Greek island holiday? We discovered peaceful Paxos island, just an hour by hydrofoil from Corfu. A Paxos villa holiday is a chance to explore hidden beaches, villages and olive groves, to swim, relax and soak up the scenery. Here’s the lowdown on our family stay in a villa with a view in Lakka Paxos.
- Modern two bedroom villa
- Postcard-worthy views of Lakka bay
- Pool, terrace and barbecue
- Close to beach, taverna and village
A Villa in Lakka Paxos, Greece
Imagine this view when you wake up in the morning. The sky is azure, the sun is warm and you decide to pop down to the village bakery. You find a little track and follow it down through the olive terraces towards the beach. At each turn you catch a glimpse of the turquoise sea glittering under the sun in the natural circular bay of Lakka Paxos.
You take a path along the edge of the white pebbled beach and in a few minutes you’re in the pretty harbourside village. Fruit and vegetables gleam in boxes outside the mini market and the scent of fresh bread wafts from the bakery.
My sons and I spent a September week in the village of Lakka Paxos. It was the perfect way to wind down after a busy summer, relax, re-charge and explore this unspoilt island.
Paxos Greece is a low rise, low key island. Some very exclusive real estate is tucked away in its hillsides but you won’t be disturbed by the clamour of nightclubs or the roar of jet skis. And a gyros at the harbourside won’t cost a fortune either.
So here’s a close up look at the coastal villa we stayed in at Lakka Paxos.
Disclosure: Ionian Villas hosted our stay in one of their Paxos villas in return for honest coverage of our trip. This post is entirely my own thoughts and opinions.
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How to get to Lakka Paxos
Paxos doesn’t have an airport, which has helped it to retain its unspoilt charm. The simplest way to reach the island is via Corfu, the most northerly of the Ionian islands scattered along the western coast of the mainland. In the summer months more than 20 UK airports offer flights to Corfu. From London Heathrow the flight time is approx 3 hours 15 minutes.
The international airport at Corfu is only 3 km from Corfu Town, so it’s easy to transfer to the port there for the hydrofoils and ferries that cross daily to Paxos. The hydrofoil journey between Corfu and Gaios Paxos takes just under one hour.
Paxos is a small island, just 10 km long and 3 km wide. The drive from Gaios port in the south to Lakka village in the north is about 8 km and takes 15 minutes on a main road.
Villa Avra in Lakka Paxos
Villa Avra is all about the view. And the pool of course. Also the fresh, welcoming vibe. And not forgetting that the beach and Lakka village are just at the bottom of the hill. But still, that view.
It’s where Paxos demonstrates all the blues it has in its palette and leaves you wondering why you ever bother to take a long haul flight.
Inside Villa Avra
Anyway let’s tear ourselves away from the view and step inside.
Avra is a modern two bedroom villa set on the hillside above Lakka village. And it has pretty much all you’ll need for a happy Greek island holiday. As well as a big terrace, a pool and a view of the bay this includes efficient wi-fi, air-conditioning and insect screens at the windows. The villa has been finished to a high standard by its justifiably proud owners who live quietly next door.
The kitchen with dining table is well-equipped with all the usuals including dishwasher, microwave, washing machine and a choice of two coffee makers.
One step down leads to the living area with a sofa and Smart TV. The sofa transforms into a sofabed if necessary.
The main bedroom has a king-size bed and a generous ensuite wet room.
The twin bedroom has its own ensuite too. Avra is modern, fresh and stylish. Not huge but this is Paxos after all and we spent most of our time outdoors.
When we arrived a painted wooden chair was waiting for us in the hall with a pile of pool towels – which we made use of straight away!
Avra is newly built and it’s clear that it has been designed with guests in mind. For instance there’s almost as much space outside as there is indoors. The terrace has two outdoor tables, along with plenty of chairs and loungers.
We hopped from one to another depending whether we wanted to be in or out of the sun. There’s a barbecue of course with a handy outdoor sink and the shower by the pool is another good idea.
The pergola was in just the right position to provide a shady spot for our lunches. We sat here in the evenings sometimes too.
Harami Beach and taverna
Just below Avra, a quick scramble down a track between olive terraces, lies little Harami beach. We didn’t see anyone else use this route all week. Probably because a/ it’s not marked and b/ there are very few other houses around anyway.
We got quite good at the track and used it at night too, with the help of our phone torches, because it was such an excellent shortcut to and from the village. It’s a bit slippery in places so best reserved for the able-bodied and, ahem, sober.
Harami is a very handy place to have at the bottom of the ‘garden’. It’s a pretty little beach with smooth white pebbles and soft sand below the waterline. There’s a taverna alongside with plenty of shade and delicious things to eat and drink.
We popped up and down regularly for coffees, lunch and swims.
I’m possibly a bit biased but Lakka is my favourite of the three harbour villages on Paxos island. It has just the right amount of shops, tavernas and local life, as well as Instagram-worthy views in every direction.
There’s an Italian influence in the architecture on Paxos, thanks to the centuries it spent under the rule of the Republic of Venice. The Venetians introduced the thousands of olive trees to the island, you see them everywhere in Lakka, in shady groves, terraces and even growing along the water’s edge.
Lakka is a safe harbour and so it attracts holidaymakers sailing in the Ionian sea and hopping from island to island. So the village is busy with the boating fraternity as well as visitors staying in villas on the hillsides.
There are two or three ways to get to Lakka from Villa Avra. Obviously you can drive on the steepish tarmac road, but our favourite route was on foot, along the little track by Harami beach. We liked it best because after the steep bit there’s a pretty seaside walk into the village.
Here’s the morning walk to the bakery for fresh bread and Greek doughnuts.
This was our evening stroll along the beach towards the welcoming glow of Lakka village and its tavernas.
Villa Avra is a good choice for a family with teens as both village and beach are walkable, giving everyone a bit more independence. We all liked it and I’ll happily recommend it to friends for its great position, its seclusion and – did I mention the pool with a view!
How to Choose a Paxos Villa
Ionian Villas arranged our Paxos villa holiday accommodation and transport to the island.
You’ll find some wonderful Paxos villas to choose from but make your plans early because Paxos is only a small island. It has a limited amount of accommodation and it’s the sort of place people return to again and again.
We wanted somewhere to relax and catch up with friends who were also staying on island. And the village of Lakka Paxos filled the bill nicely. If you’re happy to swim, snorkel, beach-hop and chill then I reckon you’ll enjoy it too.
Paxos has two more harbour villages: Loggos on the east coast and Gaios, the capital of the island which is further south.
Gaios is bigger than the other two and has a bit more of a buzz. This is the port for the hydrofoils and ferries from Corfu. And it’s also the place to catch the sea taxis which whisk you across the strait to lounge on the sandy beaches of Caribbean-esque Antipaxos. Our friends stayed in a villa in Gaios town and enjoyed it too.
Please note that all visitor information here is for guidance only. Please check the relevant websites for the most up to date information eg. accommodation details, tickets, entrance requirements, opening times etc.
What to Read Next
Here are more posts about the unspoilt and beautiful Ionian islands of Greece:
Want to know more about Paxos including where to go, what to do and how to get there? Paxos Greece: an Unspoilt Island Getaway to Remember
The tiny island of Antipaxos Paxos with its Caribbean-style white sand beaches and turquoise sea, has no shops, hotels or proper roads. Visit for the day from Paxos or escape to a villa there.
On Lefkada we stayed at Vasiliki, it has a unique bay for watersports and is close to some of the best beaches in Europe.
From Lefkada visited magical Meganisi, one of the best kept secrets in the Ionians!
And beach buffs will love the spectacular Lefkada beaches.
In stylish Fiskardo Kefalonia we stayed in a modern villa with harbour views that’s well placed for exploring the island.
An there’s plenty to see and do on Kefalonia the largest of the Ionian islands.
Also in Kefalonia we stayed at a secluded Italianate catered villa in an olive grove, convenient for the island’s south coast beaches.
A Paxos Villa Holiday
The boys and I arranged our Paxos villa accommodation, transfers and hire car with Ionian Villas, click here to go to their website
This family-run specialist villa company knows everything there is to know about the Ionian islands. Based in the UK, the Watrous family have an in-depth knowledge and love of the islands coupled with years of experience in the travel industry. They offer a great range of Paxos villas and carefully select every house and apartment on their books.
Ionian Villas gives a truly personalised service: they will advise on destinations and can tailor-make individual itineraries to allow flexibility in arrival dates to suit flights or two-centre trips.
Their charming and efficient on-island managers, Dimitris Aronis and his father, run an agency in Lakka and oversee their Paxos villas. Dimitris emailed us in advance and, according to needs, he can arrange meet and greet, transfers, Paxos car hire, villa cooks and even hampers. This on-the-spot expertise smoothed over any worries about transfers or co-ordinating flights with boats. We could walk to their office from Villa Avra and popped in several times to ask for tips and say hello to Pongo the office dog.
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About the author Nancy Roberts is a former women’s magazine editor and writer. She lives in London and is mum to two 20-something boys. In Map&Family she shares info and inspiration for curious travellers: singles and couples as well as families travelling with teens and young adults.
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