There are hundreds of little tracks through the olive groves of Paxos and walking them will get you away from the main villages and give you a glimpse of Paxiot life.
The island has so much natural shade from the olive and cypress trees that, even in July and August, the walking isn't too difficult. Just remember to take water and a map.
For ideas of where to walk on Paxos, our favourite is the Paxos Walking Map by Ian & Elizabeth Bleasdale, available on the island or in advance from Friends of the Ionian - see link below. There are also some good walking tips in the Paxos pages of the website Walking the Greek Islands -
Just wandering around the quaint streets of Paxos, radiating out from the main square, is a photo opportunity waiting to be captured. This fishing net adorning the window simply typified the fishing nature of this port town.
The main photo shows Loggos mill by night, when it is spotlit and dominates the Loggos harbourfront.
The second photo is a view from the mill looking northwards towards Corfu. If you follow the path north from the mill, you eventually reach a small church with a very impressive graveyard, which I didn't feel it would be quite right to photograph, but I think some very rich families must be buried there.
In the corner of Loggos harbour stands the disused soap factory, with its slightly precarious-looking chimney. Over the years this has been earmarked for development as tourist apartments and a cultural centre, amongst other things. In July 2005 it was still standing derelict, but we were told that the local villagers were trying to purchase it from the current owner, who also owns the Manor House at the opposite end of the harbour.
Some see it as an eyesore, but to me it's part of the essential character of Loggos and I hope it stays there for many years to come. The photo is of the statue which stands guard over the factory entrance.
If you hire a boat and go down the east coast, south from Gaios, you'll eventually come to the channel between the small islands of Mogonnisi and Kaltsionisi. There is a tiny church on the edge of Kaltsionisi, Ag. Spirodon I think, which is home to a herd of goats that seem to spend all day curiously watching the tourists go by in their boats and hoping that some will stop and feed them tasty treats!
On the opposite side of the channel from the church you'll see a curious building, which looks like an old fortress. It's actually a brand new luxury mansion which belongs to the Agnelli family (think Fiat, Juventus and Cinzano) and is reputed to have cost many millions of euros to build.
A walk between Loggos and Gaios will take you through little hamlets and olive groves. About halfway along the walk is the village of Fontana, which has a church, a shop, a kafenio and a taverna, so it's a good place to stop for a short rest if you need one. Just before you enter the village centre, you'll pass an olive factory and see the pressed olives piled up outside.
If you carry straight on, you'll walk through more villages and hamlets on the way to Gaios, but if you take the new road off to the left, this will take you along the coast, where there are small beaches to swim off after you've passed the reservoir on the right.
This road takes you into Gaios alongside the new port and as you walk along the harbour front to the town centre you'll pass hundreds of boats, ranging from small open boats to millionaire-style yachts.
Walk to Ipapanti Church - its not far from Lakka, take the right hand road out of town and the signpost for Ipapanti is hidden in undergrowth after about 15 minutes. The views from the bell tower are spectacular - even when its cloudy and the old track leading away from the church is cool and shady. Watch out for snakes tho - I kicked one that was dozing in the middle of the path....I don't know who needed tranquilisers more - me or the snake!!!
Take the path that starts just behind the old soap factory and follow it upwards. The last few metres are a bit of a scramble through the bushes, but you should be able to make out the path.
Once you reach the mill, climb up on the walls and gasp at the views! This first photo shows the view over Loggos village.
The abandoned village of Geromonachos is just off the main road about half a mile north of Gaios. You can see the deserted houses and olive presses and it's a good place to have a picnic in the shade of the olive trees.
The last time we visited it there seemed to be a few people moving into the area and refurbishing the old houses, so maybe it won't stay deserted for much longer.
The photo shows the faded grandeur of one of the old house entrances.
Follow the coast road north from Gaios and at the corner where the newer part of the road forks off to the right, stay left on the old road. The track into Geromonachos is a few yards further on the left.
This is another west coast "must see" - especially at sunset if you can manage it. From the hamlet of Boikatika, follow the signs for the church of the Apostles - Ag. Apostoli. The cliffs can be seen from the edge of the church grounds.
All the main villages on Paxos are situated on the more accessible East coast, facing the mainland, but the West coast of the island has some magnificent cliffs and beaches and is well worth a trip.
Unfortunately, because of its slightly wild and rugged nature, you aren't allowed to take private hire boats to that side of the island and so the only way to see it from the sea is by going on an organised excursion boat. But if you hire a car or take the local bus to that side of the island and then walk the coastal paths, there are some spectacular views. Just be careful near the cliff edges, because some of the paths have a habit of disappearing over the edge!
This is Sterna Bay at the southern end of the west coast. It's about a mile from the small village of Makratika.