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Paximadia islets

About Paximadia islets

Paximadia Islands are two small uninhabited islets off the Gulf of Messara, 12km (7.5 miles) south of Agia Galini. By far they seem like a single island because they are very close, but they are two separate islets, the Big and Small Paximadi, separated by a narrow strip of the sea called Bogazi. You may also hear locals refer to these as “Elephant” since from Messara plane they remind of a lying elephant. Their total length is about 3km.

Almost nobody knows that there are beaches on Paximadia, since they are thought to be two large dry rocks in the sea. The east (small) Paximada hosts four magnificent tiny beaches with crystal clear waters and fantastic pebbles on the easternmost island. Paximadia can be accessed by excursion boats, running from Kokkinos Pirgos and Agia Galini.

The west Paximadi has its own beauty unknown to almost everyone. It hosts one really beautiful beach called Varkaki. From Varkaki starts the western corner of the island ending at the cape of Sakouleva. Sakouleva is a spooky, usually wavy place, full of wild colours. The reason for this colourful set is that Paximadia, despite its small size hosts a large number of different types of rocks resulting in a stunning variety of colours. In fact, the entire Big Paximadi is an incredibly wild place with vertical cliffs leading to the pyramid of the peak, but the area of Sakouleva is the most impressive. From the boat, you can reach up to the edge of Sakouleva with the towering rock. Just in front of the cape, we see a small rock reminding of a sphinx. The majestic scenery continues until the cave of Tzigounas, the largest of the several caves of Paximadia.

Once dominated by Phaestos, a very strong, rich, populous and independent city, the little islands were called the Islets of Dionysoi, after Dionysos, the god of wine. It is said that the goddess Artemis, together with the nymph Vritomartis, often hunted in this area. Another name for these two rocks was Litoai or Letoae, after the goddess Lito, mother of Apollo and Artemis. Lito was worshipped in Phaestos. One legend says that Lito gave birth to Apollo and Artemis on these islets. Nowadays, the two rocky lumps are called Paximadia, because they resemble the shape of this ancient food. Paximadia is a traditional dry bread (rusk), named after the Hellenistic cook Paximus.




What are the Paximadia islets?

The Paximadia islets are two small uninhabited islands located off the southern coast of Crete, Greece.

Can visitors go to the Paximadia islets?

Yes, visitors can take a boat tour to the Paximadia islets and explore the islands.

What can visitors do on the Paximadia islets?

Visitors can enjoy swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing on the beaches of the Paximadia islets. They can also explore the rocky terrain and see the unique flora and fauna of the islands.

Are there any historical or cultural sites on the Paximadia islets?

No, there are no historical or cultural sites on the Paximadia islets.

What is the best time to visit the Paximadia islets?

The best time to visit the Paximadia islets is during the summer months when the weather is warm and sunny.

Is there any accommodation on the Paximadia islets?

No, there is no accommodation on the Paximadia islets as they are uninhabited.

Are there any restaurants or cafes on the Paximadia islets?

No, there are no restaurants or cafes on the Paximadia islets. Visitors should bring their own food and drinks.

Is it safe to swim around the Paximadia islets?

Yes, it is safe to swim around the Paximadia islets. However, visitors should be aware of the strong currents and follow the instructions of their boat tour guide.

What is the water colour of the beach?

The water colour of the beach is deep blue.

What type of sand is found on the beach?

The beach has pebbles and fine pebbles.

How deep is the water at the beach?

The water at the beach is deep.

What is the surface of the sea like at the beach?

The surface of the sea at the beach is usually calm.

What is the crowd like at the beach?

The beach is usually quiet.

What facilities are available at the beach?

There are no facilities available at the beach.

How can the beach be accessed?

The beach can be accessed by boat.

Is the beach nudism friendly?

Yes, the beach is nudism friendly.

What activities are ideal for the beach?

The beach is ideal for snorkeling and spearfishing.

Beach facilities


  • Quiet

Water depths

  • Deep

Beach sand type

  • Pebbles
  • Fine Pebbles

Sea surface

  • Usually calm

Water colour

  • Deep blue


  • Boat

Other information

  • Nudism friendly
  • Ideal for snorkeling / spearfishing

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