|The Greek Islands||Paxamidia Islands HOME||Agia Galini||Kokkinos Pirgos||Crete|
|The Paximadia islands in Greece|
The Paximadia Islands are two small uninhabited islands which lie 12 kilometers off the coast of Crete opposite the village of Agia Galini. Because they are close together, it seems from a distance it is only one island. The Cretans sometimes call the island "Elephantaki" whhich means "small elephant", because they think that the island looks a little bit like an elephant that is lying in the water with its trunk towards the west.
In ancient times, when the islands were part of the dominion of the important city of Phaistos, the island has had other names, such as Dionysioi, after the God Dionysis. According to legend the Goddess Leto gave birth to the God Apollo and Goddess Artemis on the island. And also the islands has been named after this goddess Leto for a while.
Today the islands are named after a type of traditional Cretan dry bread, called Paximadia. This bread is so dry and hard that you have to dip it into something liquid before you can eat it. The bread was invented by the Greek cook Paximus with the intention that the shepherds could take it with them on their long journeys.
On the Paximadia islands are small beaches that you can visit with an excursion boat from Agia Galini or Kokkinos Pirgos during the high season. The best and largest beach is a pebble beach on the south side of the easternmost island.