The magic of Paxos

Guest writer Peter Devecchis lived and worked on Paxos for several years. Here he tells us how he fell under the island's magical spell.

"As a child I used to love reading Roald Dahl, but what I remember more than his books is this inspiring quotation:

And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.” 

There are many situations to which you can apply this quote, but to me, it means ‘be aware of your surroundings’. The magical place you may have dreamt about may be closer than you think. In my case it was work that lead me to what I still consider to be one of the most remarkable places you can ever visit: the tiny Ionian island of Paxos.

"Within hours, sometimes minutes, of arriving on this 19 kilometre-square island, you start to unwind. The Paxiot pace of life turns relaxation into an art form. From the east coast with its private coves and stunning beaches to the rugged scenery of the west, you could travel the world in search of similar and then return happily to Paxos. Many do.

There are three main villages dotted along the shimmering 8km length of the east coast, lapped by the pure, deep blue of the Ionian sea. Each has their own individual personality, but all share that special Paxiot charm, unaffected by mass tourism. People here are proud of their history and legendary hospitality, happy to embrace visitors and share the magic of their island. That such warmth and openness should thrive in our cynical 21st C world is a fact that continues to astonish and delight me.

"Initially as I started to write this piece I was going to list the top places to see and visit on Paxos, but I realised what I really wanted to share was how it makes you feel. Paxos is not about ‘doing’ and all about ‘being’. Relaxed, happy, care-free, special; the glorious intangibles that comprise the perfect holiday mood. Paxos is not your typical Greek island, yet to me, it is precisely how your typical Greek island should be.

So the next time you find yourself desk-bound, stuck in traffic or defeated by domestic drudgery, remember the words of Roald Dahl, because that magical place may well be hiding closer than you think."