Discover Naxos: where to eat, where to stay, where to watch the best sunset, the best beaches. All the information you need plus an infographic you can download.
Welcome to a new article of my new blog series: “A compact guide to Greek islands”, a series of brief but complete guides to most Greek islands, written in collaboration with other bloggers.
These guides are meant to be compact and to give you a quick idea on what to expect from the island as well as practical information on the main things to do and see on the island.
I hope you find this new series useful and enjoyable!
The island of Naxos
Today we are going to talk about is Naxos and I have written this article in collaboration with Roxanne de Bruyn author of Faraway worlds, a wonderful and inspirational travel blog with uncommon destinations.
Naxos is part of the Cyclades and it is the biggest of them with an area of 428 square kilometers. The biggest city is Naxos City, also known as Chora and the main villages are Filoti, Apiranthos, Tragea, Koronos, Sangri e Apollonas.
How to reach Naxos?
The island has a national airport, which means that you can’t fly directly from Europe but you need to land in Athens and take an internal domestic flight to Naxos. Another way to reach the island is to fly to either Santorini, Mykonos or Athens and then take a ferry to Naxos.
How to move on the island?
As the island is quite big and mountainous, the best way to move around is to rent a car. You can also use public transports however it will take you some time to get from one side to the other of the island.
If I can recommend something, do not book with Green Motion car rental, I had a horrible experience in Kos. Here you can find the link to the article.
Download the infographic of Naxos island
What catches the eye when you first arrive on the island?
The view from the ferry is stunning and what greets you as you arrive is even better. When you first arrive in Naxos town, near the port is a marble doorway which leads to nowhere.
It’s called the Portata and it was originally part of a temple to the god Apollo, which was never completed. It sits on the islet of Palatia, which juts out into the harbour. Seeing that beautiful, mysterious remnant of the ancient world – Roxanne says – as I arrived made me fall a little bit in love with Naxos immediately. As I saw more of the town, I liked it even more.
What makes this island more interesting than others?
As the largest of the Cyclades islands, Naxos has more of a “working town” feel about it, which I love. There’s a strong agricultural industry – Naxos produces a huge amount of cheese and olives – which gives it a sense of local identity and purpose that goes far beyond tourism. Because of it’s size there’s a lot to see and do on the island… and there’s a huge number of myths associated with the different places there.
Where to eat on the island?
There’s so much good food on the island, it’s hard to know where to start. The Greek yoghurt and tzatziki is incredible. If I had to pick a restaurant, I’d pick O Fotis in Agios Prokopios. The food is simple and delicious, but the point of difference is the few roadside tables, directly above the sea… the view is incredible.
Where to stay in Naxos?
There is a lot of good accommodation on Naxos so it’s hard to choose. The last time we visited, we stayed at Hotel Katerina, which was a small mid-range hotel, which was close to the beach and had beautiful breakfasts.
The most beautiful beaches of Naxos
All of them!
- Agios Prokopios,
- Aliko Beach,
- Limanakia/Sahara Beach,
- Agios Georgio,
- Little Paradise beach
Where is the best place to watch the sunset on Naxos island?
The Portera in Chora or Mikri Vigla Beach
Naxos what to do: the best experiences to do on the island
- Visit the historical sites – Portera, Temple of Demeter, Naxos Castle;
- See the statues of the kouros;
- Visit the Monastery Fotodotis;
- Enjoy watersports;
- Explore the Naxos Town;
- If you want a change of scenery, do a day trip to Delos and Mykonos.
Why visit Naxos?
It’s stunning and very relaxing if you go outside the peak months. You can do as much or as little as you want to do here, from exploring ancient sites, visiting olive groves, going windsurfing or just relaxing on the beach. Naxos has to be one of the favourite island destinations to visit. It’s large enough that you don’t feel trapped, but it’s still an island experience. The sand is white, people are very friendly, and if you go in the shoulder season, there’s lots of room on the beaches (and there are a lot of beaches). Perhaps most importantly, with so much locally grown produce the food is delicious!
Naxos island is suitable:
- for families with kids
- for people looking for fun
- for people looking for peace and quiet
The best period to visit the island is September, however, all summer months are perfect on the Greek islands.