We had heard that Paxos island, ten miles west of the mainland and just south of Corfu, gets very crowded in summer so you need to get there early to grab a spot. Our first port of call was Lakka in the north. A lovely natural harbour, well sheltered with a town quay, bars and restaurants. We were going to anchor and heeded advice that it’s best to anchor and take lines ashore in the north end. By 11am we were tied up and swimming off the back of the boat.
By 1pm another 20 boats had come in but only a few had left. This continued right up into the evening. By dusk, 50 boats were in the anchorage and that would have been fine if there weren’t weird currents and wind patterns. Boats were all swinging at different angles and getting very close to each other. Some ended up re-anchoring. The town itself is quite sweet with lots of shops for Liz to browse in. We decided to stay two nights.
We left Lakka early on the Tuesday morning as we wanted to get to Gaios just down the coast. It is very popular as well and we were keen to snaffle a spot on one of the quays as we were staying for a couple of days. It’s set in a narrow channel so you have to drop your anchor and then motor back to the quay. We decided to go for the north quay slightly out of town as we saw a spot free. We were pretty sure that the town quay would be full of charter boats and we weren’t sure whether we would end up with crossed anchors. This was the first time we had to pay for mooring since leaving Italy but at €24 a night we weren’t too upset as we could also fill up with water and recharge our batteries.
Whilst we were having dinner on the first night, an old, classic yacht came in looking for a berth. They had to anchor opposite us and then tie ashore on rocks on the island. I presume that the boat doesn’t go well backwards as they hit the same boat next to them twice before getting it right. Much hollering and screaming amongst the three gentlemen aboard.
Later, we strolled into town to catch the second half of the France Belgium game. On the Wednesday, we hired a scooter to tour the island and were just going to pick it up when we saw that someone was about to come in next to us. They perfected it really well except they had forgotten to drop their anchor so had to do it all again!
The island itself is lovely and only 15km long. It has two main roads and lots of tracks. Luckily, our scooter was 200hp so could cope with both the terrain and the hills! We spent the day exploring the island including the white cliffs at Erimitis, Trypitos’ Arch, coves and beach bars (much to Liz’s delight) before settling down for a meal to watch the England Croatia semi final.
We had decided that we would have a leisurely morning so Liz could do some more shopping but this was cut short when our neighbours decided to leave and went out at such an angle that they managed to catch our anchor chain around their keel. Yes, the same ones who forgot to put their anchor down first time! We managed to sort them out but felt we probably ought to leave relatively promptly in case something else happened.
We continued south to a harbour called Mongonisi that apparently got good reviews but when we arrived it was full of charter boats so we moved onto Anti Paxos.
We found the most amazing turquoise beach on the north of this little island. You can see why super yachts come here. Voutoumi Bay was extraordinary with its white sand, turquoise water and trendy beach bar. We stayed for a few hours to soak in the atmosphere but we knew that it wasn’t going to be an overnight stop for us. At around 5pm we set sail (and for once we really did sail!) for the main land to ensure we had a safe anchorage for the night.