Day trip from Corfu: A Cruise around Paxos and Antipaxos Islands

They say no Greek holiday can be defined as such if you do not take a sea cruise. With so many islands surrounding the mainland, how could anyone disagree? Being based in the tranquil northern Corfu, we didn’t want to miss some of the stunning beauties of the Ionian so we arranged a day trip to Paxos and Antipaxos. A stunning day cruise for the family to check the amazing blue caves around the small islands. Check what it was like to cruise around Paxos and Antipaxos with kids!

Paxos and Antipaxos with kids 1S

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Corfu Day Trip: A Sea Cruise of the Ionian with Children

Sailing the Ionian with children, Paxos, Antipaxos and the Blue Caves of the Ionian Sea.

We were spending a few days on the northern coast of Corfu, in Acharavi. To reach the port fo Corfu we took a bus, the trip lasts a bit more than an hour.

From the bus, it’s possible to see the city, the most important buildings, palaces, and the two fortresses overlooking the sea.

The Blue Caves of Paxos

Sailing the Ionian with Children: Paxos and Antipaxos.

Boarding is quite fast. Once the ferry starts sailing, it’s possible to admire the views from the city of Corfu and the spectacular fortresses that the Venetians once built to protect the island.

As you venture further towards the open sea, the breeze helps easy the extreme Summer temperatures that hit Greece in July. The trip can be particularly exciting since, in this area of the Ionian, it’s possible to spy on some lazy dolphins shyly jumping the waves!

The stunning blue shade of the water reflects on the walls of the caves. Paxos and Antipaxos, cruising the Ionian with children.
The stunning blue shade of the water reflects on the walls of the caves.

After about 50 minutes sailing, the ferry slows down the speed to visit some of the famous Blue Caves around the island of Paxos.

Having a spectacularly rugged coastline, dramatic cliffs, and outstanding solitaire beaches, the place offers unforgettable views.

According to Greek mythology, the island of Paxos was formed when Poseidon, God of the Sea, fell in love with Amphitrite. Poseidon, to build a shelter for the two of them, struck the island of Corfu with his trident thus creating Paxos and the smaller Antipaxos.

Sailing the Ionian with children: Paxos and Antipaxos. Inside the Blue Caves.
Inside the caves, the turquoise water is calm and even shinier.

Once the boat enters the caves, the silence is only disturbed by the hundreds of birds that have their nests inside. The crystal clear waters shine and reflect the light on the rocks.

The effect is impressive: The bird’s singing echoes in the darkness producing a magic atmosphere.

The last stop around the caves is known as Poseidon’s marble palace. Right after, you sail past a natural rocky bridge formed by the wind and sea erosion. Finally, you head to the small gem of Antipaxos island. Paxos and Antipaxos Cruising the Ionian Sea with Children

Sailing the Ionian with children: Paxos and Antipaxos.
A natural arch formed through erosion.

Jumping off the Boat: Antipaxos

Paxos and Antipaxos. The blue caves of the Ionian sea. Sailing in Greece with Children.
The first sight of Antipaxos.

Not more than fifteen minutes from the Blue Caves of Paxos, the small island of Antipaxos is there to welcome you with a beauty robbed from some Caribbean dream.

Less than 5 km big, it is renowned for the spectacular indigo blue of its waters. I bet you have seen those stunning pictures of boats that seem to be flying over water. Well… this is the place. And we are amazed at the sight of them.

Once there you can jump off the boat or simply go down the stairs (if your kids are smaller, which was our case) to swim into clear waters with incredible views of sea life.

Antipaxos, Greece. Sailing the Ionian with Children
Antipaxos, well-known all over the world for the beauty of its coastline.

Life jackets for children are provided, and everything is extremely safe. If you’re into diving, remember to bring your mask!

You can also swim towards the beach, have a beer or lunch in a taverna. There are also caves you reach swimming or even walking as the water gets shallow towards the area. In our case, we never left the sea. With such hot weather it was refreshing and extremely pleasant to swim in.

A full holiday of a week or two on this island has made it to our bucket-list without second thoughts. This is a true paradise. If you are staying in Paxos, instead, you can reach Antipaxos everyday with a taxi-boat and spend the day on the island. If you ever manage to leave the beach, they say the heart of the island is full of vineyards and wild flowers.

Afternoon in Gaios, the capital of Paxos

Back on board, we sail for about twenty minutes and we are in Gaios. We enter a narrow picturesque channel to reach the harbor of the small village. Luxurious yachts mix with small fishing boats.

Little fish restaurants and traditional Greek tavernas serve those wonderful Greek dishes, including fresh shrimp, grilled octopus, and a superb local wine that Paxos is famous for.

Paxos and Antipaxos, cruising the Ionian with children.
Main square of Gaios: tavernas and the church of the village.

Gaios spreads along the waterfront displaying the gorgeous typical landscape many Greek islands share: shops, trees full of pink flowers, rustic tavernas, small churches. And, in Paxos, not white but often orange little houses against a calm blue sea. It’s like a tiny postcard of Greece.

Cuirising the Ionian with children: Paxos and Antipaxos. One of the traditional narrow lanes in the village of Gaios, Paxos.
One of the traditional narrow lanes in the village of Gaios, Paxos.
Ionian: a cruise with children around Paxos and Antipaxos

The sun bathes the narrow lanes, an ice cream break is a must while we walk to the next secluded beach.

We swim for the rest of the afternoon in that blue sea that makes us love Greece madly.

We don’t care about the heat. We relax for the next few hours, when it’s time to go on board and get back to Corfu.

Sailing the Ionian with children. Port of Paxos
Traditional houses of Paxos near the port.

Planning a trip to Greece?

Finally, make sure you’ve got everything you for a hassle-free trip!

  • Ferry and plane travel from one island to the other is much (really very much!) easier with a comfortable, roomy but also light carry-on… Nothing beats my Osprey backpack, the most loyal travel partner over the last 5 years. I just love it. To join tours, explore archaeological sites, and visit museums, this little crossbody bag is always around.
  • I always take my Nikon D7200 for the best shots of the island I’m lost without any of them. In summer I also carry good sunscreen lotion since the sun in the Aegean can be pretty merciless.
  • Greece is a fairly safe destination, however, I’m sure you know that it’s always better to travel with an insurance policy for complete peace of mind. My favorite? World Nomads. Already left home? Buy your travel insurance online now!
  • Always bring with you a good travel guide! Lonely Planet’s Best of Greece & the Greek Islands is filled with inspiring photos and focuses on Greece & the Greek Islands’ most popular attractions to experience the best of the best.
  • Airfares to Greece are very different from one airline to the other, make sure you always compare ticket prices with a powerful search engine. And once in Greece, don’t miss the romantic opportunity of traveling by sea. I always choose Direct Ferries to visit the islands or to travel home to Crete from Athens. It has a powerful search engine to get the right ticket you need!
  • Driving in Greece can take you to places you never thought to see. Find the cheapest rental car using a good car rental search engine. Discover Cars searches over 500 trusted rental companies for you to find the best deal. Compare prices for rental cars in Greece here.

Do you have everything you need? Then you just have to get ready to discover the beauty of Greece!

These articles about Greece have been thought just for you!

If you’re curious about traveling the Greek islands, check the most amazing places to visit in Greece. Crete is my favorite island of all, and these 50 unmissable things to do in Crete is a great article from where to start planning a visit. Greece is also an ideal place for scuba diving, here you can discover where to do in on the islands.

Head to this article to check the best ports for cruises in Greece. This guide, instead, shows you the best things you can do in Athens if you visit for three days. If you have less time in the capital of Greece, find inspiration in this article describing all you can do with one day in Athens.

How would you like to visit Paxos and Antipaxos?
Let me know in the comments below!

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Paxos and Antipaxos with kids
Paxos and Antipaxos with kids 1S
Gabi Ancarola | The Tiny Book

About the Author

Hola! I’m Gabi. Welcome to The Tiny Book – Crete Travel Blog! I moved to Crete to explore the island all year round. I love taking pictures and driving on the mountain roads of Crete. I’m a beach freak and on this island I’ve found heaven on earth!

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