Gavdos Island, do you know where it is?
In search of destinations unknown to mass tourism where to experience the authenticity of the place, we came across this small island: Gavdos Island..
You will ask yourself “Where is it?”, Gavdos is a small island in Greece at south of Crete, facing Libya, and is considered the southernmost point of Europe. To celebrate this record they even built a sculpture.
To reach this beautiful island you need time and a lot of patience, but if you love peace, tranquility, beautiful beaches, spetacular landscapes, .. you hace come to the right place. Given the remote location, the island has always attracted “alternative” travelers, backpackers, naturists. Here you will not find nightlife, you will not find night clubs nor super luxurious shops, there is only one supermarket that sells only the goods that arrive by ferry, hope in the well time.
It is the ideal island for backpackers.
How to reach Gavdos?
Gavdos can only be reached by ferry, there is no airport. The ferry, weather permitting, departs daily from Chora Sfakion. These are slow ferries on which you can embark your car. The crossing in the Libyan sea takes about 2 and a half hours.
It is a very dangerous stretch of sea where several shipwrecks have occurred in the past. The ferry leaves only with calm sea, I suggest you to plan the return a few days before the flight for the return. We had to wait two days to reach Gavdos and two days to come back to Crete.
We went to Chora Sfakion after the trip to “Samaria Gorges”. Our stay was planned for only one night but, due to the rough sea, we stayed here for three nights. It is a small village with a road along the sea with shops, bar, restaurants. There is a small equipped beach on the right of the town where you can rent sunbeds and umbrellas. From here, every days, daily excursions leve to the nearby beach. If you, like us, are waiting to leave for Gavdos, I recommend you to take part to this excursion. Hre you will find sunbeds, umbrellas, a bar/restaurant.
In the end, after two days without boat for Gavdos, we started for this island. We, to avoid unpleasant inconveniences, booked the ferry in advance, I suggest you to do the same if you travel by car: the ferry is not large! If you trael without a car, simply go to the ticket office in the morning of departure. The ticket office is located at the beginning of the town directly on the harbor, where the ferry docks. The crossing takes about two and a half hours, the boat is old……
Gavdos Island - Where to stay
When you will reach the island you will seem to have landend in a old movie, it ia another world. We booked via internet at the Panorama tavern, managed by a Gavod’s family. They picked us up form the harbor. Their taver is in a fantastic location, overlooking the sea, we were in a room with four beds and a bathroom, all very clean and minimal. In their taver is possible to have breakfast, lunch and dinner.
For the breakfast we bought biscuits and fruit juice from the only shop, for the lunch we eated something on the beach but every evening we eated there, very well thanks to Maria’s cuisine. Her husband is a fisher and so every day you can eat fresh fish, the only limit is that you cannot always have what is on the menu, it depends on the ferry, if it does not arrive, even the food do not arrive. The host are very kindly, they consider you part of a large family and will give you tips to visit the island, suggesting the best beach every day according to the wind. Here it is possible to meet interesting people from all over the world.
During the summer the island comes to life, in winter only few people live there. They told us that the school only had one student…….
Let’s talk about the beaches, there are many and different: comfortable beaches that you can reach by car, isolated beaches that can be reached after a long walk, ……
Gavdos Island - Potamos Beach
My favorite is Potamos, in the northwestern part of the island, seven kilometers north of the port of Karave. It is a long and wide sandy beach, whose color changes from golden to red, with a sea of beautiful colors. We were the only ones on this beautiful beach, apart form a “hermit” who had built a hut on the beach and lived there for the summer.
To reach the beach, you will have to drive to Ampelos and from there continue by foot for a long path in the middle of nature, it will take about an hour. The goats will be your travel companions. You will go through a canyon and suddenly the beach will appear below you with its beautiful colors.
There is nothing on the beach, if you want to stay all day bring water and food, not like us: we were told that to reach the beach we would pass through the center of Gavdos, so we planned to buy food and water there, but we were not told that the center of Gavdos is simply the center of the island, with no shops ad we expected.
On the way back stop at the lighthouse, from here you can watch a beautiful sunset while drinking a cocktail.
Gavdos Island - Tripiti Beach
Another very beautiful beach is Tripiti, located in the south of the island, seven kilometers from the port. It is the southernmost point of Europe. You can reach this beach on foot, on a 3 km path. The beach is in front of Libia, pebbly with very clean water, there are some small trees where you can rest in the shade. On this beach there are no service, bring with you water and food.
This beach is famous for its large rock formations, there are the kamarelle, three very suggestive arches in the rock. Start from Korfos and follow the three-kilometer long footpath (about an hour), the path is marked, you can’t miss it.
Gavdos Island - Lakoudi Beach
Lakoudi beach can be reached on foot from Korfos or by sea. It is one of the most beautiful beaches on the island and is usually deserted.
To access it you have to follow the path from Korfos to Tripiti, before to reach Tripiti there is a road on the left that will take you to this magnificent beach
Agios Ioannis is located in the northernmost part of the island, it is considered as the second most beautiful beach in the world. The beach is not organized and is frequented by numerous boys who practice free camping and nudism, tents are pitched in the middle of beautiful cedars and do not disturb the panorama. Nearby you will find a tavern where you can find water, food and souvenirs. The sea is shallow, ideal for children and for windy days.
Sarakiniko is perhaps the most famous beach of Gavdos where all the main taverns of the island are located, the beach is of fine sand, it is one of the most popular as it can be reached directly by car. There is no service and no shadow.
If you are planning a vacation in Crete, plan to spend a few days in Gavdos, if you love nature you will love this island. It will give you beautiful landscape that you will remember for a long time.