Gavdos or otherwise the paradise of Kalypso …..

Gavdos is the most southern part of Europe, with few inhabitants in the winter, about 150, and with countless visitors in the summer, mostly campers.

An island of tranquility with wild beauty, a small paradise. Experience as if you live in a fairy tale with dreamy sunrises and enchanting sunsets. With breathtaking scenery, beaches with turquoise waters that enchant every bather.

Not at all absurd, the fact that Gavdos joined the Natura 2000 protection program. It is a station for the evacuating birds traveling from Africa to Europe and vice versa, and it is a refuge for threatened species such as seal and the turtle Caretta-caretta.

Findings prove the island’s inhabitation since the Neolithic years. During the years of the Roman Empire, the island had 8,000 inhabitants, and later during the Ottoman Empire, its population declined dramatically. In the 1930s the island was used as a place of exile by the Communists. During the Second World War, allied forces transferred some forces to Gavdos after the German victory in the Battle of Crete. During the 1950s, the period of urbanization for the whole of Greece, the islanders exchanged their land with former Turkish lands in Crete. Once settled in Crete, they created a community known as Gavdiotika, which exists today and is part of the city of Paleochora.

Though Gavdos is a small island with an area of 29.6 sq. Km, its sights are a lot and worth to visit. Apart from the excavations that testify to the history of the island, the traveler has to visit the island’s trademark, the Lighthouse. The Lighthouse of Gavdos or the Lighthouse of Ambelos is located in the south of the village of Ambelos, at an altitude of 368 meters, on the west coast of the island. It was built in 1880 by the French Lighthouse Company and is visible at 42 miles.

The visitor’s stops must be the building of exiles in Sarakiniko, the Venetian Castle in Kefalos, the Roman and early Christian ruins on the hill of Agianni, the carved graves in Lavraka, and the famous Kamareles in Tripiti. A beautiful beach with turquoise crystal clear waters and large round stones and pebbles.

Next stop … The Throne of Gavdos. A landmark attraction of the island. A giant chair located in Tripiti, which has been set up by a team of scientists from all over Europe to symbolize the peaceful nature that characterizes Europe’s southernmost point. The chair is placed on a rock of 2.50 meters high and on a compass with four points on the horizon.

Finally, there are 17 small churches on the island, like small ornaments with the metropolis of Agia Triada in Kastri and the Folklore Museum. The museum is located in the settlement of Metochi, with its founder and owner, the priest Emmanuel Bikogiannakis, who with great love gathered and exhibited all those kinds of folk art of Gavdo, which concerned all kinds of employment, such as the art of the farmer and The ship’s harbor. You will admire beautiful hand-woven textiles, bed linen, and towels, as well as household utensils, most clay pots.

Unfortunately, two of the island’s major problems are water and electric power. Gavdos is not raining enough, so the lack of water is intense in relation to the efforts of each government to find water through drilling. The electric power problem is very intense but covered with generators.

For those who love hiking but are looking for easy routes, they have to visit Gavdos. Beautiful paths to enchanting landscapes. One of them is the Sarakino Path in Agianni and Lavrakas. Here you will discover the tropical side of Gavdos with the “African” beaches with pine trees and cedar.

Gavdos can be reached from Paleochora, Sougia or Hora Sfakion. The routes are not stable, so one should be informed by the port authorities of Sfakia and Paleohora.