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From bohemia to the Saint Tropez of the Ionian Islands

A short sail south-west from the Greek mainland to the island of Paxos brings us to Gaios, the island's main town. It is beautifully situated and very well sheltered by an island directly in front of it on the east side. After mooring at the newly constructed floating dock in the northern part, we feel like we are in a fjord. Everything is green and the seagulls are circling and calling above our boat. The new facility is a little unusual, as the murings are not positioned in line with the lack of bollards and are far too long. We stay here for three days and pull in metres of mooring line every day until our boat is reasonably straight again. However, the new floating dock was urgently needed. Even now, in June, the harbour is full from midday and the race for the very last places begins. When we arrive, the jetty is almost empty; when we leave, it is full. Further in at the harbour pier, it is always full, with excursion boats and yachts coming and going, lots of swell and often a mess of anchors when casting off. We have a much quieter spot a little further out. Gaios is known as the Saint Tropez of the Ionian Islands. That's true.

Pictures of Gaios

We move ashore again during our time in Gaios, feel the need to walk and make two day trips on foot. Our first destination is Mongonisi, an anchorage and bathing bay. We walk along the coast to get there. We've been here twice before by boat, most recently at the beginning of May, when it wasn't yet the season and it was pretty empty. Now it's very busy and we're glad that we don't have to look for an anchorage here today.

Pictures of Mongonisi

We walk and climb to the southern tip of Paxos, a wild rocky landscape with caves and a beautiful view of the nearby smaller Antipaxos.

The second hike takes us to the small harbour town of Longos. We would have been interested in visiting this place by boat. However, the harbour is too shallow for our boat and there are no really sheltered anchorages. The village is beautiful and cosy, although tourism is starting to boom here too. The old olive oil factory is currently being converted into flat blocks.

Pictures of Longos

In the meantime we have taken another long ride to the south-east and are moored in Preveza on the town pier. It's 35 degrees, the second heatwave in a short space of time. There's no wind and it's set to get even hotter. The sweat is pouring off us.

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