Once a week in high season there is a greek dancing night at Manadendri beach taverna. Costas provides complimentary bus travel from Bastas apartments - just book a slot with him. The food at the taverna is ok - I had vegetable pasta that did taste a little like a veg cuppa soup - but it did make a change from the bog standard neopolitana. The pizza oven doesn't open at night unfortunately.
If you like a mythos then this taverna serves the biggest glass of Mythos I have seen in Paxos - Yammas!!!
There is complimentary ouzo on arrival. As not many of our fellow customers were ouzo fans we inherited quite a lot of their drinks - soon in the mood for dancing. Whilst we were there a newly married couple came to the beach a set of chinese lanterns and fireworks - it was very atmospheric and romantic.
Dancing is provided by Sandra and Babis - and by the end of the night everyone is attempting a sirtaki. A great night out.
You can catch the local bus and go to Gaios for 5 euros return. be warned though Gaios is really tiny. You can walk around the shops in an hour. There are gift shops and food shops - a large co-op so it's a goof place to stock up if you're self catering.
There is a little beach there but probably the best thing to do is sit in a harbour cafe and people watch. you get a great view across the harbour to Mongonissi beach.
For a quieter beach than Harami - take a walk over the top of Lakka to Orkos beach - there are a couple of signposted paths (see travalogue). it's about a 30 minute stroll. The beach is fronted by the Juventos round houses -which are usually empty. When we arrived about 10 in the morning we were the first people on the beach. heaven.
There are no facilities at all at Orkos beach - just pebble and sea.
Costas runs a complimentary minibus to this beach every day at 11am from Bastas apartments returning at 5pm. His family own a teverna on this beach with a large salt water swimming pool. There are sun loungers - canoes and pedalos and all free for customers - even if you are only buying a drink. The frappes are great and if you are hungry the taverna has a pizza oven.
Worth a visit if you fancy a change and a different beach.
Paxos is a really popular destination with walkers - I even found a website recommending the island for naturist walkers - apparently you can walk naked for miles without seeing another person. We didn't come across any nude walkers - although I suspect a bit of skinny dipping was happening off Plani Beach. If your that way inclined the website is http://www.capnbarefoot.info/ionian:paxos
We set off with a guidebook - it's a gently walk and although you probably wouldn't want to spend a whole day on Plani Beach - it can be quite choppy - the views are great and you can explore the big table like rocks.
See travalogue for full story.
There are often flotillas of 10-12 hired yachts sailing together under the leadership of an admiral boat. All the boats are alike, of the same brand, like on this photo. When you see a flotilla sailing along, you have better rush and reach the harbor before them, otherwise, they will take the best moorings. Fortunately, many of these occasional sailors are not very clever sailors and if you pay attention it will be easy to reach the quay before them!
While the quay is widely open both to the sun and to the wind, the small streets that are perpendicular to the quay are narrow and winding. This allows in summer to have almost all the time some shade and in windy periods to break the strength of the wind. No wonder that this feature is often encountered in Greek harbor villages.
I have not found to whom the church standing in the middle of the quay in Gaios was dedicated. It stands very close to the sea but the entrance is on the other side. On one side, there is a parking lot (first photo) and on the other side the wide terrace of a cafeneion (second photo).
I wonder if the church might be the church of the holy apostles that has some interesting frescoes.
For fishermen, net mending is a never ended job! Whatever Greek harbor will you visit, there will always be somewhere a net mending scene! Either fishermen will clean and check their net or will they fold it into their boat for next fishing trip.
We moored our three boats in Maneskos, the northern part of the harbor, where there is enough water.
The first photo shows the terrace of a large cafeneion and the bow of a boat that brings tourist for day visits from Nearby Parga, on the continent.
The second photo shows the small yachts of our party of three. They look very small compared with all the other yachts in the harbor, in the background!
Approximatively in the middle of the quay, stands the statue of an unidentified torch holder. Is him an allegoric figure or a local hero, I do not know. I wondered if it might be Theodoros Kolokotronis, that freeded the island but it seems rather unlikely given that he is clothed like a fisherman from the last century (photo 1 and 2).
The southern end of the harbor is shallow and only local small boats can anchor and moor (photo 3 and 4).
Gaios spreads along the bottom of a large bay. The harbor is a long quay lined with white washed houses. Gaios is a quiet little town but the harbor can become busy in the high season. The northern part of the harbor, named Maneskos is deeper than the southern end and small yachts can moor there.
The photo shows when, on our sailing from Parga to Paxos,we reached the two islands that protect Port Gaios. One is named Panaghia (Holly Virgin), the other Agios Nikolaos (Saint Nicholas). Agios Nikolaos island has two small churches, Agios Nikolaos and Agios Ioannis. An old Venetian fort built in 1423 stand on top of the island and has a strategical position to protect the city.
There are two small islands in Gaios harbour; the island at the mouth of the harbour is called Panayia (which means Virgin Mary). Situated on this island is a small white monastery. The second island is called Agios Nikalaos (St Nicholas). This island forms a natural breakwater that provides shelter for boats passing through to the pretty inlet of Gaios harbour.
Paxos is the smallest of the main Ionian Islands, just 10 km long and 4 km wide so its easy to explore on foot by walking through olive groves to little villages. Unfortunately we just got a taster of the place by visiting Gaios - the largest "town" if you can call it that. Its most charming and an ideal place for a relaxing laid back holiday.