Paxos is a small island about 2 hours south of Corfu town by ferry. It's covered in olive trees with a rugged west coast of tall cliffs and a string of pebble only beaches on the East coast. There are three towns/villages on the east coast. South from Gaios by speed boat about 20 minutes there is the island of Antipaxos with two magnificent textile beaches separated by a smaller quieter pebble beach where it might be possible to go nude but it was not the case on the Captain's visit, now admittedly some years ago.
Many visitors find Paxos is an absolute gem of a place; there are no lager louts or discos, but just an island 5 miles by 1 mile, covered in olive trees and footpaths. Arguably the jewel in the crown is the town of Lakka, which is located on the northern tip of the island in a splendid bay.
Paxos has no sandy beaches. The west coast is mainly sheer cliffs, but the eastern coast is full of small pebble bays. The larger and more accessible beaches are textile. The island caters mainly for the yachting fraternity and for upmarket European holiday companies so has a rather mature and sophisticated clientele who are not really worried about a bit of bare flesh. Nudity on the boats sailing off-shore is common. As far as nudity on the beaches is concerned it would seem to be first come first served. It may not be the obvious place to go to for a nude holiday, and it hardly compares with Skiathos or Mykonos for nude sunbathing choice, but it does contain quite a bit of nude sunbathing potential. If that is what you are looking for, together with a quiet, small, unspoilt Greek island, then read on!
Naturist holiday venue? No. Places to take your clothes of for an hour or two of sunbathing? Yes, if you work at it.
That being said, the Captain has heard unconfirmed reports (2008) of action being taken against naturists - even on remote beaches - at the behest of the Mayor of Gaios. If true, it seems unusually prudish - the beaches used by naturists are pretty remote and one would have to try very hard to take offence.
The island is very popular with British people, so it is no great surprise that there are two good walking guide books to the island. Many of the walks are delightful. None of the climbs are that steep, and much walking uses paths that run through olive groves and deserted villages, complete with chapels and remains of olive presses, etc. The island is sufficiently deserted to be able to walk quite long distances nude, although in areas there are concentrations of villas, etc, where it may be politic to cover up.
The Bleasdale Walking Map of Paxos refers to a naturist beach on the northern tip of the island at White Bay (see on Google Maps). It is only about 15 mins walk from Lakka, so my contributors tried it out. After getting lost and found a few times, they discovered the beach. To be fair, it was nothing special. It consisted of two dramatic coves, one being sunny, but covered in large rocks. The other beach was a bit shady, but had more comfortable pebbles. My contributors did not rate the beach very highly, so they concentrated their search for nude beaches elsewhere.
The White Beach, more properly Komeno Beach, has become somewhat over-used since a vehicle track was bulldozed out along the ridgeway - by 2006 it was tarmacked and by 2009 there was a terrace of 3 villas to let. There is still a somewhat prickly walk down which may put-off the faint-hearted. It is only shady in the mornings and gets full sun later in the day when the east coast beaches are going into shade. It has some interesting rocks for climbing on and diving off but is only really suitable for swimming on calm days.
My contributors travelled to Paxos with Planos Tours. A small motorboat was included as part of their holiday package, so they were able to explore the bays and coves along the eastern side of the island by boat.
From Lakka they did not have to go too far before they discovered Lakkos beach, which was totally nude. As with all the beaches that they found on the island, it was pebbles rather than sand. However, its location was delightful and the swimming was safe and the water was warm. The beach attracted a complete selection of nude sunbathers, including couples (with babies), and singles of both sexes. Even the local fisherman used to arrive in his small boat in the late afternoon for a quick nude sunbathe.
Lakkos, like many of the east coast beaches is OK on some days. It is a matter of who gets there first and sets the pattern, nude or textile! Orkos is the same and another contributor has used Kipos a lot. Be aware that other contributors have reported that Lakkos beach was not naturist at all. More reports would be welcome.
Being more fond of walking than using a motorboat, on most of their subsequent visits to the beach my contributors followed the various footpaths that lead to the beach. It took about 40 mins to walk from Lakka to the beach, which again took them along paths and tracks through the olive groves, providing some magnificent views across the island and coast. It was quite possible to walk nude along the paths near the beach, so as to arrive on the beach nude. Then spend the day nude sunbathing, and then to commence the walk back to Lakka, still naked!
They did however, use the motorboat to explore further afield along the east coast, and various nude bodies were to be seen in the smaller coves and on some of the rocky ledges.
Most of the beaches on the island were accessible by footpath, but you could not guarantee road access. Obviously to get to some of the smaller coves or rock ledges you would need a boat, but there were plenty for hire on the island. As you probably will have gathered, they thoroughly enjoyed themselves on the island!
In the later editions of the Bleasdale Walking Map (it is currently in its 12th edition with a new one due out in 2010) another nudist beach is discussed between Kaki Langada and Alati. If you get up early enough even the main beach (Harami) in Lakka Bay is OK for nude sun-bathing and swimming off the rocks at the south end below the Lime Kiln or at the northern end. We regularly use it up to about 11.00am before most people come down (holiday makers tend to get up late in Paxos, it is SO relaxing!). Even off the rocks, the bottom is lovely sand below the waterline. My correspondents use a simple beach shelter/tent and this is quite enough to make nude sunbathing acceptable on almost any of the island's beaches all day - except perhaps on Sundays when the Greek families come down. Keep generally to the ends of the beach and you should not have any problems.
Glyfada (Glyphatha) beach is in a lovely cove backed by olive trees just north of Loggos. Its accessibility, only by sea or on foot (40 mins from Loggos), makes it ideal for a quiet day in the sun. The beach is approx 5m wide and 80m long of gently shelving pebbles and has other sunbathing areas of flat rock at either end. When visited on 3 occasions during 2nd week in June 2005 there were never more than half a dozen people (mix of nude/clothed) there, and one afternoon my reporters had the whole beach to themselves. Note, at the northern end of the beach the onshore breeze in the afternoon gives the odd whiff of sulphur from an underground spring … you'll get a funny look from your partner if you're not aware of it!
The footpath to this beach is difficult to find. My reporters followed the route in Landscapes of Paxos by Noel Rochford (Sunflower, 2005 edn.) which they found was an excellent guide to the island. Adjacent Phykia beach does have a capful of sand at the right-hand side but, even on foot, access requires full explorer's credentials.
Kipiadi beach is located south of Loggos and the southern section is nude. Access is by footpath, but you can get a car / moped to within a 10 minute walk away. A very pleasant day out is to catch the bus to Loggos, then walk south along the old Military Road and other footpaths to Fontana. Have a beer and maybe a spot of lunch, then descend via path 22a to the beach. Then walk back to Loggos for another beer and the bus home! (2015)
Antipaxos is not a naturist holiday venue, unless you manage to rent a villa with a secluded garden. There are two sandy beaches Voutoumi and Vrikas separated by a pebbled beach (large pebbles!) called Mezzovrikas. The sandy beaches are overrun during daylight hours by scores of textile visitors who arrive by boat from neighbouring Paxos and Corfu. Boats also anchor in a wide arc across the mouths of all three bays so although the centre pebbled beach may be less crowded it it is not obviously naturist.
The Captain himself visited some years ago, and clearly remembers the occasional naturist on Voutoumi beach hurriedly dressing when an enormous tour boat from Corfu arrived, disgorging dozens of textiles who had to swim to the beach.
There are other small pebble beaches around the island. These are very difficult to reach on foot and not very inviting; although you could probably take your clothes off as nobody else is there, I would say it is not worth the effort of getting to them. It is a very pretty island, very quiet off the popular beaches, and an extremely pleasant place to unwind and chill out. There are no shops on the island but there are 4 tavernas which operate during daylight hours. Outside these times visitors will need to arrange or bring supplies of food and drink. But probably not ideal if naturism is your priority.