Paxos y Antipaxos


Agriculture and fishing in Paxos (General Part)

13/05/2013 9:33:49


Paxos, as Archduke described it, was mostly covered by Olives trees ( Olea europaea L. var. Europaea) since it was the main activity of the island.

Currently we find that the island still preserves large amount of olives that Archduke mentioned but although still grown, is no longer observed to be the predominant activity, but still retained the terraces –now abandoned- where many were cultivated.

The Archduke also mentions that it was customary to cultivate lentils, beans, chickpeas, etc.. under the olive trees but currently there is not anywhere that this custom is still practiced, most likely because it is now easier and more affordable in a market purchase.

During the tour on the island we discovered that the olive trees, in this part of the Mediterranean, are not trimmed (so they do not reach excessive height like in Spain), therefore olive trees can be seen up to 10 meters or even 15. On our way we can see olive trees with diameters of 13 and 11 meters that indicate that may be ancient.

Also noteworthy local customs as to the ownership of the olive trees that shared an historian of the place. All olives have a number and a color corresponding to an owner of the tree, though the earth where it is grown may or may not belong to the same person. But in addition, may have different owners of the parts of a tree, ie part of the branches may belong to one person to another and the rest of the tree trunk to another.

The vineyard, practically not grown, is restricted to its own use or as decoration. This is primarily due to the Phylloxera attack on the island –also studied by the Archduke-. Vine cultivation is still carried out on the island of Antipaxos although production is very small.


Fishing activity is observed as a minority on the island, with about 20 fishermen (according to the information provided by the Mayor of Gaios), far from the 100 in Salvators time, although only 2 or 3 exerted the work throughout the year. The nets used by fishermen are similar to those described by the Archduke and the boats have suffered slight modifications, including the incorporation of winches to lift the nets.

Link to the Archdukes extract of the Paxos and Antipaxosbook.

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