Paxi Ionian Islands
This little inexperienced island seven miles off the coast of Corfu island conquers its visitors from the primary moment they step ashore. The towering olive bushes which cowl almost all its surface, its idyllic little coves and the massive rocks with their sea-caves all impress themselves on the mind. All these features are to be present in an space of lower than 25 sq. kilometers. The bottom slopes gently as much as the west, reaching an altitude of solely 250 metres – Ayios Isavros, the island’s tallest ‘mountain’. The inhabitants of Paxi, who quantity about 2,500, are engaged principally in growing olives, fishing and tourism. The olive oil which they produce is among the best in Greece and, together with tourism, is the islanders’ important source of earnings.
Gaios, the island’s harbour, can be its capital. The identify comes from St Gaius, who brought Christianity to Paxi and who in response to tradition additionally died here. His reminiscence is preserved in a tomb behind the altar in the church of the Holy Apostles, which for many centuries now has been claimed as that of the apostle Gaius. An old tradition says that earth from the tomb was utilized by the locals as a cure for snake-chew. The church’s feast day is on 5 November, which is the saint’s day. Crucial festival on Paxi is the procession on 29 June, in memory of Saints-Peter and Paul, when the church of the Holy Apostles and the tomb of Saint Gaius are also revered.
The first thing the customer sees on getting into Gaios harbour is the Panayia islet. On the islet stand a lighthouse and a monastery. On 15 August, the feast of the Dormition of the Virgin, there’s a custom of providing pilgrims boiled meat. The coasts of Albania and Corfu will be seen from the lighthouse. The islet of Panayia has a rocky coastline with beaches that are very clean and good for swimming.
The islet of Ayios Nikolaos is sort of a continuation of stone island bandana the Panayia islet. This islet takes its identify from the chapel of St Nicholas which stands on it, within the foreground. There can be a ruined windmill on Ayios Nikolaos, and the islet is topped with a castle. The partitions of the castle are ruinous as we speak, but there is a really tremendous view of the harbour from it.
The northern a part of the harbour is known as Manesko and this is where the larger vessels dock. The southern part of the harbour is suitable only for fishing-boats.
At the entrance to Manesko is a ruined however magnificent mansion. Gaios harbour is protected from all of the winds, and since it is open at each ends the water is constantly in movement; in consequence, the harbour is all the time clear and the water is cool.
Strolling south east from Gaios, we quickly come to the primary municipal seaside, called Yannas.
Additional alongside the road we will see the deeply indented and thickly wooded coastline, and we ultimately come to Mongonisi.
Mongonisi is a vacationer resort with just a few range of services. Visitors may discover interesting folklore occasions right here. To the south of Gaios, we travel by means of the hinterland of the island and attain the village of Makratika. There are two fascinating churches within the village, that of the Pantokrator, in-built 1739, and that of All Saints, built in 1700 and renovated in 1885.
As we depart the village -in a westerly course- we cross the ruins of the outdated Lessanitis windmill. Behind this is the spot often known as Mousmoulis, which has a superb view. This precipice has what is maybe the island’s most interesting view, out across the broad ocean to Italy within the west and Africa within the south.
Still additional south, the street leads all the way down to a spot the place the rocks kind a pure arch by way of which the water flows. This is the world often called Tripitos.
From Gaios, a surfaced road crosses the island on a north-south axis, passing by way of a seemingly limitless forest of olive bushes. There are stated to be 300,000 olive bushes on the island.
Our route into the hinterland of the island brings us via numerous small villages which take their names from the households which live there: Bogdanatika from the Bogdanos household, Vlachopoulatika from the Vlachopoulos family, and so forth.
As we depart Gaios to the west, just before the sharp bend by the soccer pitch, there’s a pure water tank in the rock which fills only from the channels which result in it.
From right here, the view of the olive forest which spreads out in front of the visitor is superb. On clear days, Lefkada could be seen, with Ithaca and Cephalonia in the background.
To the best of the street after the sharp bend is the church of St Charalambos, patron saint of the island. We proceed to the best point on the island, Ayios Isavros hill. The altitude at this point is 250 metres. The hill takes its title from the church of St Isavros which stands on the summit, a simple constructing next to the telephone firm tower.
We then descend to the village of Fountana, which takes its name from the fountain in the centre of the village. Right now the spring has run dry, but the name stays.
The large airplane tree subsequent to the church of Our Lady ‘Vlacherna’ is the village’s different essential characteristic.
To the north of Fountana is Longos. The port of Longos took its identify from a word which means forest, due to the dense vegetation which is a characteristic of the world. The water in Longos harbour is shallow, and enormous vessels cannot moor here. To the south east are the beaches of Levrechi, Marmari, Kipos and Kipadi. All these beaches are good for bathing, wind-surfing and even camping. To the north west are the beaches of Fikia and Glyfada, that are nonetheless virgin territory.
An previous ruined mill is testimony to the history of Longos. The church of St. Nicholas within the centre of the village stands behind a small platform from which there is an excellent view of the harbour. St Nicholas, the patron saint of seafarers, is an obvious favorite for the villagers of Longos, many of whom are employed at sea.
The most important family in Longos is called Anemoyannis. The older inhabitants say that the title derives from the truth that the founding father of the family was introduced by the wind (‘anemos’) to this place. Immediately, the Anemoyannis family is one in all the biggest on Paxi.
One other interesting construction on this village is the Tzilios water-tank, which bears an inscription testifying to its date of building (1837) to the suitable and left of the entrance. Because the tank was built by the British, the inscription is in Greek and English. There may be a large stone-flagged square, the center of which slopes slightly inwards. Subsequent to the neighborhood water tank is the church of St Kyriaki.
Approximately half-means alongside the road from Gaios to Lakka is the village of Magazia (‘shops’), which takes its name from the wine-retailers which used to face within the village square.
Almost in the course of the village is the church of the Archangels, which has a large wall-painting of Our Lady above the altar.
On the left as we enter Magazia is a observe which leads to the western side of the island. This highway ends on the impressing Erimitis precipice, with its white rocks. The precipice took its name (‘of the hermit’) from a monk who used to reside there, surviving on the roots of plants he picked on the rock-face.
We descend past the church of the Holy Apostles to a contemporary-water spring operating into the sea. The angle formed the place the rocks finish known as Pounta and the entire area is called Boikatika.
A tall rock which emerges from the sea here, in a conical form, is at all times surrounded by the sea-gulls which have their nests there. Within the summer season, there are swallows from Africa as well.
On the left as we leave Magazia is a track main north to a different equally nice and wild spot on the west coast of the island. This is known as Kastanida, and it has dizzy cliffs.
A monitor leads down to the sea, where slightly to the north we will see a rock in the shape of a submarine. Behind it’s sea-cave the place the Greek submarines used to cover throughout the Second World Struggle.
Lakka stands on the northernmost tip of the island. Before we come to the steep hill down into the village, we can see an abandoned quarry on the hillside facing us. At about this level is the new church of St Nicholas. It is a simple constructing with an arched door and home windows. Below it we can see the previous ruined windmill of Lakka.
The road now runs downhill and passed a group water-tank, another construction erected by the British. Here there’s a magical and magnificent view of Corfu and the mountains and coastline of Albania.
Lakka took its name (‘pit’) from its natural position: the village is surrounded by hills, and the homes stand at precisely sea degree. The primary constructing we come to as we enter the village is the church of St Andrew, which is the island’s oldest (built in 1686).
The view from the lighthouse at Lakka is very good. The primary lighthouse, the ruins of which might nonetheless be seen as we speak, was built in 1832 and was accompanied by a chapel to St. Nicholas, now abandoned. The view of the Ionian Sea from the lighthouse on the western facet of the bay and of the precipice crowned with bushes is particularly spectacular.
From the lighthouse, a footpath results in the door of an old spoil: called ‘Ellinospito’ (‘the Greek home’) by the locals, it was a form of refuge and fortress, and it stands beside an almost impassable hollow. The inhabitants of Lakka -and indeed of the entire island- used to take refuge there when pirates and Turks came to name.
We return, stopping for a second at the advantageous church of the Presentation. From the belfry there may be an unforgettable view of Lakka. The church was inbuilt 1774 and has Renaissance features.
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