THE SOUTHERNMOST PLACE OF EUROPE
Gavdos has a remarkable situation in the map. Particularly, it is the southernmost edge of Europe, at a distance of 22 nautical miles from Chora of Sfakia and 32 nautical miles from Paliochora, in the Libyan Sea. Other key points are that the area of Gavdos is only 26.6 square kilometers, its highest point is at 345 meters and its permanent population does not exceed 50 inhabitants. The capital of the island is Kastri and the port is Karave. What’s more, the inhabitants of the island are mainly engaged in fishing and tourism during the summer months. Gavdos also owns the uninhabited island of Gavdopoula in the northwest. Equally important, the area is under the protection of the Natura 2000 program due to its unique and rare natural beauty.
Beginning with a point often overlooked, the island has an important reference in mythology and specifically in the Odyssey, as it has been identified with Ogygia, where Calypso held Odysseus as captive. Moreover, according to the findings that have seen the light, the island seems to have been inhabited since the Neolithic Age. During the Roman Era, the Romans “took advantage” of the flora of the island, a fact that caused the disintegration of Gavdos, which is evident even today. Notably, the island is also mentioned by the Apostle Paul, in “Acts 27:16” as during his departure from Crete in the direction of Rome, a storm took his ship off course, as a result of which it passed by Gavdos. In the light of the Byzantine Empire, the population of the island was 8000 inhabitants, with three bishops and an archbishop. On the contrary, during the Ottoman period (1665-1895), the population of the island shrank to 500. At the same time, during the Ottoman rule, the island was known as Gotzo. Finally, in the middle of the 20th century due to the mass urbanization that existed throughout the country, the inhabitants of Gavdos exchanged their land in Gavdos with former Ottoman land in Crete, which was available for exchange by the state. For this reason, the area that the habitants of Gavdos settled in Chania was named Gavdiotika.
HOW TO GET THERE
Gavdos can be reached from Crete and the ports of Paliochora, Sougia, Plakias or Chora Sfakion.
HOW TO GET AROUND
Due to the small size of the island you can move on foot, by local bus, by your private vehicle and rent a car or motorbike.
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