Although it was possibly inhabited from prehistoric times, the Phoenicians are traditionally held to have been the first settlers on Paxos. The name is believed to be derived from Pax, which meant trapezoidal in their language.
This island is noted for the Battle of Paxi, fought between the ancient Greek and Illyrian fleets during the First Illyrian War in 229 BC. The battle is recorded by the ancient historian Polybius.
The Romans ruled the island from the 2nd century BC, and during the Byzantine period and Middle Ages it was constantly attacked by pirates. After various rulers and Crusaders had passed through, the island was taken by the Venetians at the end of the 14th century.
During the Napoleonic wars, the Ionian Islands were taken by the French and the Russo-Turkish alliance. On 13 February 1814, the island of Paxos surrendered to the Royal Navy frigate HMS Apollo and 160 troops from the 2nd Greek Light Infantry from Cephalonia and the 35th Regiment of the Royal Corsican Rangers. In 1815, United Kingdom established the Ionian Union. In 1864, together with the rest of the Heptanese, Paxos was ceded to Greece.
The island of Paxos with its beautiful beaches and underwater caves, small bays and lush hills welcomes those lucky find on the island. Our first stop in Paxos is at the graphical Gais, the capital and main port of the island, which is separated by a narrow channel from it’s natural breakwater, Agios Nikolaos, where a Byzantine castle was built, fortress of its time. Loggos is a small picturesque village built among pine and olive trees, which is worth visiting for the church of the Life Giving Fountain and it’s taverns and bars. At Lakka you’ll find the stone lighthouse which was built in 1832, with a height of 36 meters and rises 108 meters from sea level. Also the hot springs of Paxi are known since ancient times, arising from the subsoil and ending into the sea.
As for culinary delights, the kitchen island is famous for its distinct flavors, which, served with local wine, is simply heavenly.The rare wine of Antipaxi, sweet and dark. This wine is made from little known grape varieties like Pheidias and Petrokodrynthos. Production is small, so you won’t find it in every bar, but it’s worth tasting, so do seek it out.
Last but not least do not forget to pay a visit at the Italian ice cream gelaterias at the port of Lakka.