Cradled by cliffs, Agios Pavlos is little more than a couple of small tavernas with rooms and a beach bar set around a picture-perfect crescent with dark, coarse sand and the distinctive silhouette of Paximadia Island looming offshore. Its beauty and tranquillity have made it a popular destination for yoga retreats. A steep staircase on the bay’s western end leads up Cape Melissa to some intricately pleated multihued rock formations.
The bay gets busy in summer when excursion boats arrive from Agia Galini, but it’s possible to escape the crowds by heading to the beaches behind Cape Melissa. Beware that getting there involves a scramble down (and up) a steep sand dune; bring water and snacks since there are no facilities. The furthest cove is the least busy and is popular with nudists.