Gavdos

Gavdos is the southernmost island of Europe. It is a very small island of only 30 square kilometers. It is located 32 nautical miles from Paleochora Chania, 22 from Sfakia and 170 from Tobruk, Libya.

There are only a small number of year-round residents of Gavdos and the available services for tourists are only basic. In reality, fewer than 50 people live permanently on the island. During the summer, the total population on the island can reach over 3,500 people, most of whom are campers and tourists.

Karave is the port of Gavdos and Kastri is the capital. Vatsiana is the southernmost inhabited village, with the total population measured as 23 people.

Gavdos has exceptional beaches. Karave, Korfos, Lakkoudi, Tripiti, Bo, Fetife, Sarakiniko , Agiannis, Lavrakas, Pirgos and Potamos are some of them.

Besides, it is not a coincidence the fact that the Discovery Channel had declared Agiannis as the second best beach in the world!

Kastri, Xenaki, Vatsiana, Ambelos, are only some of the most picturesque villages of Gavdos.

There is an islet called Gavdopoula to the northwest of Gavdos. Both Gavdos and Gavdopoula are important stops for migrating birds, during their long journey from Africa to Europe and vice versa, as well as a nature reserve for two endangered species: the Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus) and the sea turtle (Caretta caretta).

Gavdos is surrounded by pine trees, cedars and lentisks coming up to the sea, while heathers, thymus and savory secrete beautiful, almost intoxicating, aromas. It is not a coincidence the fact that Gavdos joined the Natura 2000 program, through which numerous pathways are recommended as the ideal choice for enchanting tours.

The old lighthouse is a place from where you can admire the endless view of the crystal blue sea and the sky and it is considered to be the distinctive characteristic, the trademark of Gavdos. It was built in 1880 and it was visible from a distance of 40 miles, which was the longest distance in the world at the time. Nowadays, the old lighthouse is a cafeteria and the compound includes a museum devoted to the history of the lighthouse, which is unraveled through a collection of photographs and the old equipment that is exposed and available to the public.

During the dictatorship of Ioannis Metaxas (1936-1940), the island was used as a place of exile. The building at Sarakiniko in which those who were exiled lived, the Venetian castle in Kefali, the Roman and early Christian ruins on the hill of Agiannis, the carved tombs at Lavrakas, the famous Kamareles at Tripiti, the excavations at Sarakiniko and at Korfo and certainly the small Folklore Museum at Vatsiana, are all sights that absolutely worth visiting.

At Gavdos, the lack of rain limits significantly the water supplies for tourists. In fact, when the driest periods come, water supplies are so insufficient that you cannot even take a shower!