Calypso’s Odyssey Paradise: Gavdos

Beach Essentials

The Pilot Guides crew filming on the beach in Gavdos

image: The Pilot Guides crew filming on the beach in Gavdos

Where: Gavdos, near Crete, Southern Greece
When
: May or September are ideal months to avoid the intense heat and tourist hoards
Happenings: home of Homer’s Calypso nymph and the Mediterranean’s most beautiful beaches
Remember to Bring: A tent – there’s no hotel on the island

Where it’s At

Gavdos is the most southerly landmass in Europe and only 250 miles from Libya in north Africa – it floats in the Libyan sea. Only four ferries a week travel to the island and the native popular is a mere 40. The ferry captain is also the President of the tiny island.

You can sleep on the island’s beaches, you may have to as the island has no hotels. It once housed 8000 inhabitant, but the island was almost abandoned in the 18th century when pirates sought refuge on the island during the Crete wars.

Ancient History

It’s an island steeped in religion and history; 5,000 year old pottery and marble statues have been uncovered and according to Homer’s Odyssey, this is the island of the nymph Calypso. Saint Paul spent much time on the island as a castaway when the ship taking him to stand trial in Rome sank off the Gavdos shores.

By Susi O’Neill

Why Visit Gavdos?

Gavdos is said to be the home of the Mediterranean’s most beautiful beaches. The beaches have the award of “Golden Starfish” for their golden sands and crystal clear waters. A local saying is “God has offered Gavdos all that man has deprived it of”. It’s a sight of enchanting purple sunrises and pictoresque sunsets. Agios Ioannis (St John’s beach), next to the tiny village, population ten, is home to several impressively large caves.

 

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