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Gavdos is a small island in the south of Crete just 22 nautical miles from Chora Sfakion. It is of unique beauty and if you are a nature lover and are looking for peace and relaxation for your vacation, all you need is to let yourself embrace the rhythm of the island and enjoy the enchanting nature.

Gavdos is said to be the mythical Ogygia where Calypso held Odysseus captive. Archaeological findings have documented the Roman presence on the island. Apostle Paul, during his journey to Rome, had to find shelter in the windless waters of the island. During the Byzantine period, the island was inhabited by 8000 people but the population began to shrink during the Ottoman hegemony. In the 1930s it was a place of exile for the Greek communists.

Nowadays, the permanent residents in winter do not exceed 150 while in summer they exceed 3500, most of whom are campers. Gavdos is one of the few islands in Greece that allows free camping. Visitors can enjoy the dreamy beaches. Sarakiniko is just half an hour from Karave, the island's port, and it is famous for its golden sand, shallow waters and a background of wild landscapes with sand dunes and sea cedars. Ayanis, 4 km west of Sarakiniko has been voted the second most beautiful beach in the world by the Discovery Channel in the past. Potamos, 7 km northwest of Karave, is located at the exit of a small canyon and is famous for its magnificent clay formations of geological interest.

Gavdos is an ideal destination for hikers. Whoever decides to leave the relaxation, walk inland and get to know hard-to-reach beaches, they will be intoxicated with the scents of pine trees and they will draw from the mysterious energy of the island. They can walk on ancient paths in the hinterland and feel that they live in times when man and nature were one, climb to places with small picturesque churches and abandoned villages, visit small rocky coves of wild beauty and explore the coastline which connects beautiful beaches. Trypiti beach is accessible through a path of pine trees of rare beauty just three kilometers from Korfou. Here, on a 2.5meter rock, there stands a huge wooden chair,2 meters high, which is a magnet for those who visit the island as it is the southernmost point of Europe.

To get to Gavdos, you have to take the boat from Sfakia. The trip lasts for 2 hours. The island is connected by ferry to Paleochora, which is located on the southwest side of the prefecture of Chania. This journey takes 4 hours. A boat also leaves from Agia Galini for Gavdos. In any case, passengers must be informed online about itineraries and changes. The visitors must provide for money and gas as there is only one ATM, only one bus connecting the most famous beaches, and no gas station.

It is certain that the visitors will definitely want to come back. Gavdos with its impressive and exotic beauty is a true jewel in the South Cretan Sea.

(More articles about Crete on www.gomega.gr)