Paxos is one of Greece’s best-kept secrets. This small island in the Ionian Sea has everything you would expect from Greece, without the mass tourism associated with Athens or Mykonos. In other words: marvelous, white, pebbly beaches, turquoise waters, lively ports with waterfront terraces, and delicious food in quaint little tavernas.
Paxos has another secret: its sister island Antipaxos. Sparsely populated, this island has arguably the best beaches on this side of the Caribbean. Fine, white sand line a tranquil, aquamarine sea that screams for you to jump in.
All this may have you wonder whether Paxos is a year-round destination, or whether there is a particular seasonality to tourism on this island. We do realize that tastes are different and that some prefer a cooler period if that means fewer foreign visitors. So Instead of telling you when the best time to travel to Paxos is, we will list the seasons and what you can expect of them.
Winters are humid
Winters in Paxos are mild and rainy. Especially the month of December can be humid, with an average rainfall of 180 mm. In December, an average of 13 days has rainfall. In January and February, rain is felt on 12 days of the month. Usually, there will be outbreaks of cold air from the Balkans that bring wind and slight frost at night.
Most visitors will try to avoid Paxos in the winter season. However, if you are a writer or composer, the silence of winter, combined with the warmth of the sun on a sheltered terrace, can be perfect. Needless to say, this season is also when accommodation is at its cheapest. In fact, many hotels decide to close for a few months.
Spring temperatures are lovely
From late February till early April, the almond trees are in bloom. Their white flowers, when combined with a blue sky, are a beautiful sight. As spring progresses, the rainy days become less and less, and temperatures rise. In May, temperatures rise to maximums of around 24 degrees, but the sea water remains chilly at 18 degrees.
Summers are spent in the water
If you want to have a beach to yourself, June is a perfect month for you. In July and August, families descend on the island. Mind you, Paxos has no airport, and visitors have to take a ferry to get to Paxos. This fact alone ensures that the island never feels like it’s too small or overrun.
In summer, you get to enjoy an average of 11 sunshine hours a day. It hardly rains and daytime maximum temperatures rise to 31 degrees. Yes, it gets hot, but those summer days are best spent splashing in the Ionian Sea, which by this time has reached its maximum temperature of 25 degrees. In summer, most hotels and holiday villas in Paxos are full, so make sure you book well in advance.
Autumn: the best of both worlds?
When the school holidays are finished, the beautiful weather stays. In September and October, daytime temperatures are 23 to 28 degrees while the sea water is at 22 to 24 degrees. These days are perfect for exploring the islands (Paxos and Antipaxos) and for frolicking in the water. Towards the end of October and in November, however, rainy days become more frequent and the sea gets colder. So if you decide to visit Paxos in the fall, try to do so in September or October.
Best time to travel to Paxos for a beach holiday
If you are bound to the school holidays, July and August are obvious choices for your beach holiday. The days are long and hot, and the sea water has a comfortable temperature. Sure, it will be a little busier on the island, and accommodation is more expensive. But that is the price you pay for an unrivaled holiday experience. If, however, you are not traveling with children, try and postpone your visit till September.
Best time to travel to Paxos for sports
Whether you want to hike the donkey trails, explore Paxos on a mountain bike, train for a marathon, or like to play tennis, you will want the temperature to be in the low twenties to avoid excessive sweating or sunstroke. Therefore, the period of May till early June, and late September till mid-October, are your best bets.
Best time to travel to Paxos for sailing
The yacht charter season in Greece goes from April till early November. The sailing high season, however, peaks between June and September. If you want to avoid busy marinas and anchoring spots, you would do well to go sailing in May or early June. The water temperatures are perfect and the days are long, providing you ample opportunity to work on your sailing skills and visit some unforgettable island sceneries for good measure.