Paxi or Paxoi and Antipaxoi or Antipaxos is the smallest island group within the Ionian Islands. In Greek it is a plural form. The largest islands are Paxos and Antipaxos Antipaxos is famous for its wine and sand beaches. The main town of Paxoi and the seat of the municipality is Gaios. The municipality has an area of. The area of the island is. In Greek mythology, Poseidon created the island by striking Corfu with his trident, so that he and his wife Amphitrite could have some peace and quiet.


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 Paxos, 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, the United Kingdom established the Ionian Union. In 1864, together with the rest of the Heptanese, Paxos was ceded to Greece.


The island is approximately in length and tipped up towards the west. The west coast is dominated by steep white, chalky cliffs that are greatly eroded at sea level, and harbour many 'blue caves', which can be explored on launches departing from Gaios. Much of the attractive landscape is still covered in olive groves. These stretch from Lakka, the harbour community in the north, through Magazia to Gaios, the capital. Olive oil making, soap manufacture and fishing were supplanted by tourism as the main industry in the mid sixties, resulting in a construction boom, which has greatly altered the coastline around Gaios, the capital of the Paxiot demos. There are ferry and jetfoil connections daily with Kerkyra and with the mainland at Igoumenitsa. Excursions via Corfu to Albania can also be arranged with the local jetfoil operators.



The province of Paxoi was one of the provinces of the Corfu Prefecture. Its territory corresponded with that of the current municipality Paxoi. It was abolished in 2006.

Foreign residents

Among well known semi-permanent British inhabitants were Audrey Good, former commander of the UN refugee bases in Epirus following the Greek Civil War, the late actor Peter Bull and actress Susannah York. Some members of the Agnelli family have built a palatial holiday home—complete with faux medieval tower—on a small island situated near the southernmost tip of Paxos, close to the beach of Mongonissi. The presence of such residents, and the development of the coastal area explains why Paxos has now become one of the most expensive pieces of real estate in Greece. One of Loggos's landmarks, the so-called 'Manor House' was put on sale for 1.6M€ in 2006.
Paxos is part of a European network called Cultural Village of Europe. It hosts a yearly classical music festival, which attracts some of Europe's finest young performers. This festival usually takes place in late August/early September, however the 2010 festival is in doubt as sponsorship cannot be determined. Concerts are usually held in the now-disused school of Longos, Paxoi.


The island is serviced by ferry boats from the mainland Greece port of Igoumenitsa, hydrofoils and ferry boats from Corfu and from Bari and Brindisi. There is no airport but there was a privately owned seaplane service operated by AirSea Lines. As of late 2009, this service is no-longer operational.


A dialect is spoken resembling that of Corfu and having a similar prosody. It is heavily influenced by Italian.


In his scientific article The Part-Time Parliament, Leslie Lamport presented his Paxos algorithm for distributed voting, inventing a society on a fictional ancient Greek island named Paxos as a whimsical illustration of an otherwise dry subject. He later admitted that the allegory was a dismal failure, in that it failed to pique readers' interest in the underlying material.The Paxos Animal Welfare Society is a small Anglo-Greek charity, dating from 2005 and registered in the UK, whose purpose is to improve the plight of animals on this Greek island. The charity has established a permanent surgery at Magazia, which was opened by the mayor in September 2013.

Communities and settlements