Slow Travel in Greece

Gavdos,the island of Calypso, with the primitive, exotic beauty.

A dive in the Southern edge of Europe. Slow Travel destination: Gavdos.

The island of Calypso, with the primitive, exotic beauty.

Gavdos is the Southern edge of Europe, right under Crete. Surrounded by the Mediterranean and the Libyan Sea, Gavdos is the ultimate destination for Slow travelling, as its captive exotic beauty offers a back to basics quality of being.
Thirty-two nautical miles from Palaiochora, Crete, 22 from Sfakia and 170 from Tobruk, in Libya, Gavdos is a triangle island of just 30 km2 and the southern residential national border of Greece.
Gavdos primary school has only three little students and the island less than 40 permanent residents.
In the summertime, looking at the seaside, you think you see an African landscape, and as the temperature rises to 40 degrees, you may feel like being in a desert!
The island’s infrastructure cannot provide the necessary electricity, some generators do, but the sun’s light, and the bright starry nights, light the multiple footpaths across the island.

Where time has stopped and the clocks mute

Time seems to have stopped in Gavdos. The ‘’Zen Vibe’’ of life on the island will capture you from the very first moment when you reach Karave port.

Sleep under the stars

Camping on the beach is allowed and well-preferred by the visitors of the island, where the respect for the environment is granted.
What is impressive in Gavdos, is the sense of pure freedom and the primitive lifestyle on the island, which is unique.
Here you will discover your own rhythms, as they will easily follow the rhythms of nature.

Take it Slow

Gavdos is rich in pine and cedar forests, thyme bushes, summer savoury and juniper trees, which according to the Greek mythology were the sacred tree of Artemis and the Naiad-nymph Aia.
There are four settlements on the island, Kastri, Ksenaki, Vatsiana, and Abelos. There is a local bus that transports travellers from the port to the settlements and the beaches.
The capital of the island is Kastri where you can find various shops such as tavernas and a mini-market. Here is based the only post office of the island, a doctor`s office and the only police officer of the island.
Ksenaki, Vatsiana, and Ampelos have also some small shops, rooms to rent and tavernas. Walk along well-paved paths, among the 17 traditional chapels of the island, the sandy beaches, and the aromatic herbs, as part of nature and as local!

Back to primitive

Gavdos has multiple beaches to visit as Karave, Korfos, Tripiti, Sarakiniko, Ai-Giannis, and Potamos.
Take a dive in the Southern edge of Europe, in the crystal-clear waters of Gavdos and its charming uniqueness will lure into the tranquillity of island life!

Easy hiking paths in Gavdos

Sarakiniko- Ai-Giannis beach

The easiest hiking path in Gavdos starts from Sarakiniko and connects it with Ai-Giannis beach. It is a 45-minute easy walk among sandy dunes and law vegetation.

In Sarakiniko golden beach, just 1,5 from Karave port, you can find rooms to rent, tavernas, beach bar, and a mini-market.
The waters are shallow and there are small juniper trees, providing some precious shadow.

Ai-Giannis exotic beach has been declared by the Discovery Channel as the second-best in the world!

In Ai-Giannis it is common to camp on the beach and enjoy the nature on your nakedness.

In the settlement nearby you can find a mini-market and a couple of shops for your basic supplies.

Kastri -Ampelos -Potamos 

This hiking path to Potamos sandy beach is well signed and starts from Kastri, the capital of Gavdos.

On your way you will cross the abandoned village Metochi. Here is settled a small Folklore Museum, open during the summer months. 

One kilometer further from Ampelos (330m.) begins the footpath that leads to Potamos red sand beach.

It is a two-hours easy route with a steep ending that overviews Gavdopoula islet and a small gorge.

Here you are, in Potamos beach and its clear waters. What is exceptional here, is the green clay, found in between the rocks at the seaside.

Treat yourself a mud therapy right next to the sea, under the skies, for free!

Korfos-Tripiti-Vatsiana

The route starts from the church of Agios Georgios in Korfos beach and ends at Vatsiana, the most southernly settlement in Europe.

Korfos beach is close to Karave port with fine pebbles, rooms to rent and taverns. Walking to Tripiti beach, just 7 kilometers from Karave port, you will find yourself at the Southern point of Europe!

Tripiti beach is rocky and hosts the fantastic artwork of the gigantic chair, at the top of the hill. Climb it, take a seat, and enjoy the breathtaking view of Libyan Sea!

An outstanding spot to be!

The hiking route to Vatsiana goes uphill and crosses green areas, archeological sites, and small churches.

A bridge between Europe and Africa

Gavdos is a stop-over for migratory birds on their long journey from Africa to Europe and a refuge for the endangered seal species and Caretta Caretta turtle.
Especially during the summer months, when it very rarely rains in Gavdos, there is a lack of freshwater on the island.
The use of the water must be done thoughtfully, concerning the nature and the people on the island.
When the heavy weather cause high seas the conditions are not proper for sailing.
This means that no supplies are coming to Gavdos island and it is not possible to sail back to Crete.
In this case, you must postpone your day of departure for a later date. Do not worry. Be sure you are not the only one!

Travel through history

In the Middle Ages Gavdos was called ‘’Gotzo’’, and in the epic poem ‘’Odyssey’’, Homer name Gavdos ‘’Ogygia’’.

The hero of ‘’Odyssey’’, Odysseus, was a prisoner of Calypso, a nymph in Greek mythology, who kept him under her spell on the cape of Tripiti, in a cave, for seven years.
Pirate Barbarosa used Gavdos as a hideaway, and Apostle Paul, according to the Bible, crossed the shores of Gavdos on his journey to Rome. During the Roman Empire and Byzantium Gavdos had flourished and survived the Venetian and Ottoman conquests.

The Venetian Castle in Kefali is a wonderful site on the island to visit and the Roman and early Christian ruins on the hill of Ai-Giannis can catch your attention. In Ampelos there is a historic lighthouse.

Built-in 1880 and bombed by the Germans in May 1942, today functions as a cafeteria and a small museum, open only during the summer months. Back in time, it was the 2nd lighthouse worldwide with the longest distance visibility of 40 miles!

Visit Gavdos ideally in April, May, June, September & October.

Travel Slow, live as a castaway and rediscover the pleasures of life as for the very first time!
Gavdos can be reached by boat from Paleochora, Sougia or Chora Sfakion, Crete. Gavdos regional clinic: +0030 28230 42195
Rediscover Taste Slow Travel Greece
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