Gavdos

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The Island of Calypso

Unspoilt Beauties at the Extremity of the Libyan Sea
An unspoilt and unadulterated island of exceptional natural beauty is lying at the extremity of the Libyan Sea. Gavdos is blessed with the finest of nature! The pristine seashores with the turquoise waters are surrounded from pine trees, shrubs and perennial cedars while the beautiful cobblestone footpaths invite you to discover the mysterious beauties of the island.The colourful biodiversity of the seabed is competing the earthly vegetation of the land. You will be enchanted from the mysterious atmosphere emitted on this island and the magical desire of yours to wander around the tropical beaches by crossing beautiful sandy dunes while gazing the starry sky. You might even fell like that you are in another planet, a place where peace and freedom are the only citizens.

Discover Gavdos

Best of Gavdos

The Island of Gavdos 

The Island of Gavdos is the southernmost point of Europe. The few inhabitants of the island are scattered in the small settlement. The capital of Gavdos is Kastri located on a hilltop while Vatsiana is the southernmost settlement of Europe. The charming harbour of Karave, the picturesque settlements of Abelos and Xenaki and the exotic region of Sarakiniko are the sole settlements of Gavdos.

The Beach of Agios Ioannis 

The Beach of Agios Ioannis is a long sandy beach with turquoise waters located on the western side of the beach of Sarakiniko. The beach is characterized from the unimaginable beauty of sand dunes, beautiful rocks and cedar trees. The beach was awarded as the second best beach in the world from Discovery Channel in 2007.

The Lighthouse of Gavdos 

The Lighthouse of Gavdos is one of the most signifant attractions of the island dominating the ruggest coast of the southwest side of Gavdos. The lighthouse was built in 1880 and was visible from a distance of fourty miles, a record of these times. Although the Germans bombed the lighthouse in 1942, the lighthouse is still standing imperious.

The Flora of Gavdos 

Gavdos is one of the most important areas stations of the migrating birds through Europe. The island has been declared as a Protected Area under the European Network of Natura 2000.

Archaeological Sites

Excavations have brought to light traces of a roman settlement on the hill of Ai Giannis, the carved tombs in the area of Lavrakas, the remnants of ancient settlements in the areas of Korfos and Sarakiniko and the ruins of a Venetian castle at the area of Kefali.

Monuments

The Chair of Gavdos is located on the south side of the island. The giant chair marks the southernmost side of Europe. On this location, one will have the opportunity to enjoy panoramic views of the endless blue of the Libyan Sea.

The Folklore Museum of Gavdos is located in the area of Vatsiana. It is a small museum that exhibits traditional folklore artefacts and objects from the culture and heritage of the island.

The Lighthouse of Gavdos is one of the most signifant attractions of the island dominating at the ruggest coast of the southwest side of Gavdos. The lighthouse was built in 1880 and was visible from a distance of fourty miles, a record of these times. Although the Germans bombed the lighthouse in 1942, the lighthouse is still standing imperious.

Promenades and Villages
 

The few inhabitants of the island are scattered in the small settlement. The capital of Gavdos is Kastri located on a hilltop while Vatsiana is the southernmost settlement of Europe. The charming harbour of Karave, the picturesque settlements of Abelos and Xenaki and the exotic region of Sarakiniko are the sole settlements of Gavdos.

Sunset Spots

Spot: Beach of Ai Giannis, Western Gavdos

Spot: Lighthouse of Gavdos, Southwest Gavdos

Activities

Bird Watching: Gavdos is one of the most important areas stations of the migrating birds in Europe. The island has been declared as a Protected Area under the European Network of Natura 2000.

Hiking: Gavdos hosts numerous paths ideal for lovers of hiking. (1) One of the most beautiful routes is the one starting from the Lighthouse of Gavdos and passes through the settlement of Ambelos and the beach of Potamos and leads to the beach of Pirgos. (2) Another interesting route includes the one starting from the beach of Korfos passing through the cape of Tripiti and leads to the village of Vatsiana. (3) The route that starts from the beach of Sarakiniko is also interesting. The trail passes through the the beach of Ai Giannis and leads to the beach of Lavrakas. It is a really beautiful route encompassed from tropical landscapes adorned from pine and cedar trees.

Snorkelling: The crystal clear waters of the beach of Lakoudi are ideal for snorkelling.

Beaches

Agios Ioannis is a long sandy beach with turquoise waters located on the western side of the beach of Sarakiniko. The beach is characterized from unimaginable beauty of sand dunes, beautiful rocks and cedar trees. The beach was awarded as the second best beach in the world from Discovery Channel in 2007. There is a tavern close to the beach.

Korfos is a pebbled beach with turquoise waters located on the southern side of the harbour of Karave. The beach has beautiful pebbles and amenities. On the southern side of Korfos, one will find the secluded beach of Lakoudi.

Lavrakas is an isolated golden sandy beach with turquoise waters located on the western side of the beach of Agios Giannis. The beach is ideal for those looking for seclusion. The caves of the beach are linked with the myths of Calypso.

Pirgos are two isolated sandy beaches with emerald waters and junipers, dunes and steep cliffs located on the northwest side of the island. The beach is ideal for those looking for seclusion. Access is possible either by a long adventurous walk from the beach of Agios Ioannis or by boat.

Potamos is an isolated long yellow and red sandy beach with majestic clay formations and steep cliffs located on the northwest side of the island. The beach is considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches of Gavdos. Potamos is accessible either from a difficult walk from the beach of Lavrakas, where there is no a trail, or by boat.

Sarakiniko is a long sandy beach with turquoise waters located on the northern side of the island. The beach was named after the Saracen pirates and it is considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches of the country. It is a long beach hidden in a wild landscape of dunes and junipers. The beach provides some basic amenities.

Tripiti is a sandy beach with turquoise waters located on the southernmost side of Europe. The landmarks of the beach are the three arches called Kamareles and a huge chair standing above the arches.  The beach is located at the exit of a dried river hosting migratory birds during the spring.

Coffee Corners, Gastronomic Delights and Cocktails Inspirations

Coffee Corners 

Coffee Shop: Coffee, Karave

Lighthouse: Coffee, Lighthouse

Stella’s Bakery: Pastries, Kastri

Gastronomic Delights

Gavdos: Greek Cuisine, Beach of Sarakiniko

Kapetan Theofilos: Greek Cuisine, Beach of Ai Giannis

Metohi: Greek Cuisine, Metohi

Nostimies tis Eftihias: Greek Cuisine, Fokia

Panorama: Seafood, Beach of Korfos

Steki tis Gogos: Greek Cuisine, Kastri

To Kyma: Seafood, Karave

Cocktails Inspirations

Lighthouse: Cocktails and Drinks, Lighthouse

Saropol: Cocktails and Drinks, Beach of Sarakiniko

History & Mythology

Mythology

According to Homer, Gavdos was Ancient Ogigia, the island of Calypso, where the ship of Odysseus was shipwrecked. It is believed that the palace of nymph Calypso, where she captivated the hero Odysseus, was at the region of Erikia on the northeastern part of the island.

History
Archaeological findings show that Gavdos has been inhabited since the Neolithic times. Gavdos acted as a stopover for the merchants on their journey to Egypt while ruins of an early Minoan settlement have been found in the islet of Gavdopoula. During the Byzantine Empire, Gavdos had 8.000 inhabitants and experience a great development. However, the inhabitants of the island were decreased into 500 when it was captured from the Ottoman Empire till 1895. All these years the area around Gavdos was a base for pirates. Also, the island was used as a place of exile for communists in the 1930s. During the Second World War, allied forces evacuated the island following the victory of the Germans in the Battle of Crete. In the 1950s, the inhabitants of Gavdos exchanged their land with ex Turkish land on Crete, and it became exchangeable from the state. After the creation of the State of Crete, a community was created known as Gavdiotika that belongs to the village of Paleohora.

Travel & Transport

By Boat (22.2 Nautical Miles): Gavdos is accessible by boat from the villages of Paleohora and Sfakia. Find more information from the website of Anendyk Ferries.

Mysterious Greece Tips

Camping in Gavdos

Although law prohibits free camping, Gavdos is an ideal destination for free camping.

Leave only Footprints

Eliminate your carbon footprint on Gavdos by choosing not to spearfish in the surrounding areas of this wildlife refuge!

Necessary Accessories: Hat, Sunglasses and Sunscreen

Don’t forget to bring with you your hat, your sunglasses and a sunscreen as the temperature during summer months reaches 40 degrees of Celcius!

Travel Information Center

There is a travel information centre at Karave!

The Local Bus of Gavdos

You can use the local bus that serves routes between Karave, Sarakiniko, Agios Giannis and Korfos whilst it has daily excursion to Ambelos, Vatsiana and the Lighthouse! You can rent a car or a motorcycle at Sarakiniko!

Photo Credits

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Note: All the images are copyrighted from their owners. Please see Terms & Conditions. You can find the original images at the following links:

Ai Giannis Beach: Sebastiano Di Rosa by Flickr

Giant Chair: Milad A380 by Wikimedia

Kamareles: Agyrovoli by Panoramio

Rocky Formations: Trekgreece

Sarakiniko Beach: Anna X. by Skaikairos.gr

Sunset: Stephan91 by Panoramio

Tripiti beach: Panagiotis Vratsidas by Skaikairos.gr

Windy Weather: Shutterstock