If previous visitors to Paxos are unaware of an annual music festival on the island they may very surprised to learn that the event takes place in the sleepy village of Loggos. Yet every year since 1986 the sounds of the world’s famous composers can be heard drifting sweetly across the east of this small island, popular with visitors for its laid-back atmosphere.
In recent years the Paxos Music Festival has taken place in the Old Schoolhouse in Loggos, set right along the waterfront and easily distinguished by its pleasing pastel-painted facade. Every September the village buzzes with locals, visitors from the nearby mainland and international tourists, all eager to enjoy the sounds of classical music set in a remarkably picturesque setting.
The Paxos Music Festival was started by the late John Gough, an Englishman who fell in love with Paxos and became a long-term resident of the island. Early festivals took place in Gough’s own garden and as the popularity of the event grew a more suitable venue was needed. Using the Old Schoolhouse allowed the festival to remain the intimate event that had already begun to attract a devoted following. John Gough died in 2006 but the Paxos Music Festival continues to draw an international audience, keen to enjoy the performances by some of Europe’s finest young musicians. The 2012 festival is due to take place between the 3rd and 17th of September.
Loggos is considered by many to be the prettiest settlement on Paxos. With barely 40 homes and less than 200 inhabitants it is hardly known as a place to come for action or to enjoy the nightlife, and that’s just how those who live in Loggos prefer it to stay. There are a handful of tavernas, a bakery and a few shops, while the beach is a few minutes’ walk from the centre of the village. On most days the most exciting activity to observe is the sight of the various fishing boats entering and leaving the little harbour.
Many visitors to come to the Paxos Music Festival choose to stay in the larger village of Gaios and then travel to Loggos for the performances. Everything on is close by on Paxos, an island only 7 miles long and 3 miles wide. A free shuttle bus has been provided in previous years to allow visitors to get to Loggos for the concerts.
People fall in love with Paxos for many reasons and any time of the year will reveal a distinct side to the island’s charm. For those with a taste for classical music played in a beautiful setting, the Paxos Music Festival is an excellent reason to visit this charming Ionian island.
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