The Paximadia Islands, are two small uninhabited islets in the Gulf of Mesara south of Agios Pavlos and Agia Galini, and to the east of Kokkinos Pyrgos and other famous beaches like Matala and Kommos. Here is a bit of history of the islands along with some of the best shares from Instagram users who have visited.
In Cretan mythology it is believed that the goddess Leto gave birth to the god Apollo and the goddess Artemis on these islands.
Visitors to Crete who are more adventurous, may take one of the daily cruises to Paxamadia Eni and/or Paxamadia Dio to enjoy the amazing aquamarine waters and fine pebble beaches, fishing, dolphin watching on good days.
The two islands appear to be one from a distance, and their outline (viewed from the east) resembles a baby elephant laying down in the Libyan Sea. The locals call the islands Elephanta because of the sweet illusion of an elephant with its trunk pointing north out in the bay.
The easternmost island, Paximadia Dio, actually has four magnificent pebble beaches with crystal clear waters replenished by constant offshore currents headed to North Africa. The westernmost Paximadia Ena has one fabulous beach called Varkaki extending to the very surreal cape of Sakouleva, where the rocks take on an alien-like color scheme. The verticle cliffs of this island are spectacular and full of otherworldly colors. The sturdy adventurous visitor will want to visit the amazing Tzigounas Cave, one of many on the islands.
In ancient times the islets were known as Dionysioi after the god Dionysus and also as Letoai after the goddess Leto, who was worshipped at the Minoan Palace of Phaistos, where she was also known as Fitii in antiquity.
Mare Sud Diving Center offers a dive, snorkeling, swimming, and BBQ trip to the islands from Kokkinos Pyrgos marina for just €40 euro per person in summer months.