The little bay at Mongonissi on Paxos is one of my favourite places, we have been there many times. You must be careful not to confuse the name with Meganissi, which is a whole Greek island further south, or the town of Messalonghi, in the Gulf of Patras.
Holidaymakers who come to Paxos usually stay in or near one of the three main little towns of Gaios, Lakka, or Loggos, although there are several other more remote small villages. Mongonissi is well known to cruising sailors like ourselves, as it is a well sheltered bay on the very south of the island. The main attraction is the lovely family taverna, run by two brothers, Pan and Theo. There is no shop here. The taverna has a commanding position at the head of the bay, where there is a well-kept sandy beach which is in the sun all day long.
The taverna has an excellent concrete jetty, with mooring rings, for visiting yachts. It is a regular stop on the flotilla route, but you can always anchor in the bay if the jetty is full. The jetty gets rather shallow as it gets closer to the beach.
It’s always a shame when people arrive on a yacht in Mongonissi but never bother to explore their surroundings. We have been on two or three lovely walks this week. You can theoretical walk into Gaios, about 4km away, but it’s a bit of a trek around the road if it is very hot, and you might get lost if you try to take the paths through the olive groves, especially if you follow the infamous Ian Bleasdale’s Walking Guide to Paxos, which we found very confusing. You can read about our other disastrous walking exploits on Paxos HERE and HERE.
We took a very steep narrow road near the Dolphin Villas, which seemed to be at an angle of 45 degrees for about 500 metres, and a killer on my unfit body. But it was worth it when we reached the summit. There was a wonderful olive grove, I love the twisted trunks of these ancient trees. We followed a sign to an ancient Christian basilica, and found it nestling in the woods, rather derelict and crumbling.
Further along the road was a once splendid mansion, but now also derelict. Inside you could see where the floors once were, and the fireplaces.
Tim spotted a hare in the distance. It sat very still for ages, as though it was trying to hide from us. Unfortunately it would make a good target for anyone hunting, and we did see lots of cartridge cases around. I hope this old hare escaped unscathed!