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THE TWO ISLANDS THAT OOZE GREEK PAXOS CHARM..

Where: Two hours' ferry ride south of Corfu, an hour from the mainland at Parga.

Best for: Sailors, walkers, individual travellers, couples.

Why: There's no room for an airport on Paxos - you have to go to Corfu Town or Parga across on the mainland and then catch a ferry. This has meant that the island has kept something of its sleepiness and charm.

There are only two hotels to speak of - the rest of the accommodation are villas, cottages and old houses turned into apartments. It is a centre for flotilla sailing and many people live on board yachts moored in the harbours at Gaios and Lakka.

The island is small, lush and green with no sandy beaches. But just 20 minutes' ride on the regular speedboats that leave Gaios Harbour will take you to Antipaxos, a virtually uninhabited island with white sands and clear blue seas. And for walkers, there are excellent Trails through pine woods and olive groves.

Where to stay: Most of the accommodation is fully booked during high season, so don't get the ferry to Paxos unless you're sure of somewhere to stay. Try the Greek Islands Club (020 8232 9780,www.vch.co.uk/villas/) or Argo Holidays (020 7331 7070), which has a couple of small hotels near Gaios.

Need to know: Planos Holidays (01373 814200, www.planos.co.uk) has a self-catering LEFKADA Paxos brochure with prices from pounds 375pp per week in June with flights and ferry transfer. For sailors, Sunvil Holidays (020 8568 4499, www.sunvil.co.uk) operate flotilla packages around the Ionian islands.

Where: Linked to the Western mainland coast of Greece by a causeway, and most visitors arrive via the airport at Preveza, 15 miles north on the mainland.

Best for: Sailors, walkers, families, couples.

Why: Lefkada retains its true Greek charm with mountain villages, small fishing harbours and some superb beaches. It also has some of the best windsurfing in Europe at Vassiliki in the south.

The mountainous west coast has some of the most attractive smaller resorts, such as the pretty village of Ai Nikitas and the pictur e-postcard bay of Porto Katsiki.

The bustling port town of Nydhri is a hav e n for yachties. Bars and tavernas line the town's quay. And Lefkada Town, the island's capital, is surprisingly sophisticated, with good shopping, a cultural centre and even a cinema.

Need to know: Greek specialist Manos has a week at Hotel Poseidonio on B&B basis from pounds 358 pp, with transfers and return flights from Gatwick. Call Manos on 08707 582519 or visit www.manosbrochures.co.uk for a brochure.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 17, 2006
Words:443
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