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Everything You Need To Know About Naxos Island, Greece


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Naxos Island is a reasonably big Greek island part of the Cyclades group located in a central position in the Aegean.

It’s a great family destination with amazing beaches, top gastronomy, and rich history. There are tons of fun things to do on Naxos Island, as well as places to discover for the whole family.

On the gorgeous Greek island of Naxos, it’s also possible to explore the mountains, go trekking, and visit some picturesque villages where life is tranquil and relaxed. Some beaches, hit by strong winds during summer, are perfect to practice water sports, such as windsurfing and surfing, ideal for older children.

Additionally, there are castles, archaeological sites, and a unique old town that kids can explore in total safety, while also offering plenty to enjoy for history buffs.

So, if you’re planning a trip to the island of Naxos in Greece, you’ll find tons of information in our Naxos guide below. We’ll tell you about ways of getting to Naxos, the best things to do in Naxos, where to stay in Naxos, and much more!

Where Is Naxos, Greece?

Naxos, Greece

Naxos is the biggest and probably the most family-friendly of all the Cyclades. It’s located in the heart of the Aegean Sea, fairly close to the islands of Paros, Santorini, and Mykonos.

This location makes Naxos a great destination on its own, as well as a perfect stop for those interested in island hopping in Greece.

How To Get To Naxos?

The best way to get to Naxos is via a ferry from Athens. Ferries to Naxos depart from the main port of Piraeus, with a traveling time from 4 to 6 hours. From here, there are about five daily ferries during the summer season.

Ferries also sail from the port of Rafina, with a travel time from 3 to 5 hours.

Additionally, located not too far from the center of town, the small airport on the island of Naxos receives flights from Athens and from other Greek Islands as well.

How Long Should You Stay In Naxos?

Naxos Island, Greece - Port on the island of Naxos, Greece_Depositphotos_45231899_s-2019

Considering that the island is quite big and super-fascinating to explore, staying less than four days will only allow you to see just a few landmarks.

The best thing to do is to book a vacation between 5 and 7 days long, which will allow you to visit more Naxos beaches, villages and discover the unique beauties of Naxos. By staying a week, you’ll be able to check off all the things on your “what to do in Naxos, Greece” list.

Naxos For Families

The Greek island of Naxos is one of the most family-friendly destinations in the Aegean Sea. Not because there are special activities designed for children, such as water parks or entertainment parks, but simply because the island is safe, there are many shallow beaches, and Greek gastronomy is at its best here.

The island has unique natural landscapes, as well as astounding historical sites and museums, all of which younger and older kids will love to explore.

BEST PLACES TO STAY IN NAXOS

The island features a variety of holiday resorts suitable for every kind of traveler. It can be a super romantic destination for couples and honeymooners and a perfect spot for those into adventure travel. In short, the wide array of things to do in Naxos makes it a fantastic destination for basically everyone, from families and couples to backpackers and thrill-seekers.

When it comes to families, though, the island is nothing short of perfect. These are some of the best villages you can check when trying to figure out the best place to stay in Naxos.

Naxos Town

The main town of Naxos, which goes by the name of Chora, is a whitewashed old town overlooked by an imposing Venetian castle. There is a lot to see and do in this area, so it’s always a great idea to stay in the town of Chora.

Naxos town is close to the Marina, and many beaches are easy to visit with a bus.

A stay in Chora is perfect if you don’t intend to rent a car to explore the island. In fact, those staying in Naxos for only a few days should book a hotel in the area.

This will also allow you to enjoy the best of Naxos’ nightlife, including bars, restaurants, and pubs.

Agios Prokopios

This small seaside town is fairly close to the center of Naxos. It boasts one of the best beaches in Naxos and is well-connected to Chora with a bus.

Taxis are also available, and a ride won’t cost more than 10 euros.

The village has a small and lively seaside promenade with great Greek hotels. The area is good to spend a relaxing holiday, and it’s a perfect family destination in Naxos.

Agia Anna

Another popular seaside resort in Naxos is Agia Anna, also close to Naxos’ Chora and home to another great beach, both for families and couples.

There is plenty of excellent accommodation by the sea as well as homes to rent. Agia Anna’s Beach is very well organized and very safe, making it a great destination for families with children.

Close to Plaka, it’s also possible to enjoy the long sandy beach of Plaka, safe and with shallow waters, and full of pleasant bars and cafeterias by the sea.

Apollonas

Another lovely place to stay in Naxos is Apollonas, a lonely fishing village far from the center of town on the island’s northern coast.

The place is quiet and not usually busy, with a lovely beach and unique archaeological findings to discover in the area.

The place is somewhat remote, and they’re only a few buses connecting Apollonas to Chora, so if you plan to stay here, it’s definitely necessary to consider renting a car.

Halki

A stay in the mountains is a great option for those looking for an authentic Naxos experience.

The small and tranquil village of Halki, about an hour’s drive from the Chora, is the place chose for those not so interested in going to the beach every day.

Halki is a great place to stay if you’re seeking to focus on discovering Naxos’ nature, mountains, and traditions.

Where To Stay In Naxos – Best Naxos Hotels And Resorts

Being so big, the island features dozens of beautiful hotels, resorts, and rental homes for your vacations.

Whether you’re traveling with friends, with children, alone or with your partner, you’ll certainly find great accommodation no matter the size of your budget. These are the ones we recommend:

Budget-Friendly Hotels In Naxos

Naxos Petite Studios

are small units with a cozy and relaxing atmosphere, ideal if you’re traveling with a small budget. The hotel is in the small villages of Agios Prokopios and offers beautiful views of the sea.

 

Korali Palace Hotel

Korali Palace Hotel is another budget option in Naxos, in the center of Chora. It’s close to the main attractions of the old town and just a walk away from the best bars and restaurants, the Portara and Naxos Marina.

 

Mid-Range Hotels In Naxos

Iliada Suite

Iliada Suite is is a very picturesque place to stay in full Cycladic style, quite close to Agios Georgios Beach and not far from the capital of Naxos.

 

Naxian Spirit Suites & Apartments

Naxian Spirit Suites & Apartments is a great place to stay in the proximity of Agia Anna beach, just meters from the beach. The place is known for the amazing terraces with stunning views of the Aegean

 

Luxury Hotels In Naxos

Villa Athena

Villa Athena is a top luxury property in the area of Plaka beach. It’s ideal both for family holidays and for a romantic vacation in Naxos. The villa offers a beautiful pool and a garden just meters from this stunning beach.

 

Hotel Grotta

Hotel Grotta is a gorgeous place to stay in the center of Naxos Chora. Among the main features, the hotel has earned excellent reviews for the quality of the service, the comfortable facilities, the location, and the food.

 

Top Things To Do In Naxos

The unique Greek island of Naxos, in the Aegean sea, is a great vacation destination if you’re eager to discover more about the Greek islands.

The weather is often mild and pleasant during the summer season, which spans from mid-May to the end of September.

This fantastic weather conditions allow visitors to explore the several hidden gems that the island treasures, including the highest peak, Mount Zas, the picturesque mountain villages, the beaches, the archaeological sites, and other Naxos sights.

The island has a striving economy based on land products. When visiting Naxos, don’t miss tasting some of the most delicious cheese varieties in Greece, great meat, and marvelous potatoes. In fact, Naxos’ potato crops are among the most valuable sources of income and powerful engines of the local economy… and they are delicious too!

In no particular order, these are the best things you can do in Naxos for an unforgettable holiday!

Visit Naxos Chora

Naxos main settlement, the place where you arrive if you’re traveling by ferry, is known by the name of Chora. The town is on a high position overlooking the sea and the stunning Portara, one of Naxos’ most remarkable ruins.

This old town is overlooked by an imposing Venetian castle which can be accessed through the main gate on the northern area of the old city.

Once inside, don’t miss the different art exhibitions as well as the Catholic church, which used to belong to one of the Venetian aristocratic families that ruled on the island for centuries.

In the area of the castle, check the Venetian Museum, which is located in an ancient Venetian mansion.

This way, you will better understand the structure of the old fortification as well as taste local wines produced by the family who has owned the mansion for centuries.

Discover The Ruins Of The Portara

Naxos Island, Greece - Portara, Naxos island, Greece

You can access the imposing marble door at the entrance of Naxos port by walking through a passage over the sea.

This huge, distinctive door is located on a small islet known as Palatia, and it’s a must-see place in Naxos and the most famous sight of the island.

The best moment to visit the Portara is in the afternoon when the sun starts to go down.

Visit The Archaeological Museum Of Naxos

The Archaeological Museum of Naxos is located in a small building within the walls of the old town. The visit can be a great opportunity to learn about Cycladic art from very remote historical periods, starting from the Neolithic.

Discover Naxos’ Mountain Villages

The island is home to unforgettable shores and beaches and hosts a lush green landscape, spectacular mountains, and traditional villages.

It’s always a great idea to rent a car when visiting Naxos; this gives you both the freedom and the flexibility to spend days exploring off-the-beaten-path landscapes.

There are several small settlements to explore when you venture far from the coast; the most famous and picturesque ones are Halki and Apeiranthos.

Not very far apart from each other, you can devote a day to visit both. From the center of Naxos’ Chora, start your trip driving north to reach the Halki, one of the best-known traditional villages you can check in Naxos.

Halki’s best known for being home to a unique distillery called Vallindras, producing the most famous Naxos spirit since 1896: Kitron. This somewhat strong liquor is made in the area with the zest and the leaves of a local tree.

Another vital settlement on Naxos is Apeiranthos, an original village wholly made of marble.

Here you can taste the most authentic local gastronomy and spend time exploring the different museums that the village proudly hosts.

Visit The Village And Beach Of Apollonas

Once you’ve visited Apeiranthos, you are probably in the mood for… so why not keep driving north until you reach the remote village of Apollonas?

The settlement is better known for an abandoned 12-meter long male statue known as Kouros, which you can easily visit with the family.

It’s a mysterious sight that will definitely catch the attention of the smaller members of the family.

Right after, head to the beach of Apollonas to spend a relaxing time in the small fishing village, an ideal placed to completely disconnect from the hustle of the capital.

Hike Mount Zas

Adrenaline lovers can devote a day to hike the tallest mountain on the Cyclades. This place of mythological importance is thought to have been where the Greek God Zeus grew up.

This favorite destination for trekking features different paths that are well marked and easy to follow.

Besides, once you reach the mountain top, you will be rewarded with breathtaking views of the sea and other Greek Islands.

Best Beaches In Naxos

Naxos Island Guide - A beautiful beach with turquoise water on the coast of Naxos Island

If you’re visiting Naxos for only a short time, that does not mean you can’t enjoy city beaches. Close to Chora, it’s possible to swim in Agios Giorgos and Grotta Beach, which are among the best beaches in Naxos, Greece.

Grotta is a perfect place for snorkeling since once you go under the sea, you’ll be able to explore some curious submarine Minoan settlements.

If you come to Naxos with more time to spend, you must check some of the beaches on the island. Start by visiting Plaka, a long and wide shore with crystal deep blue waters and super safe for children.

Another great beach in Naxos is the exotic Mikri Viglia, with soft, powder-like sand and transparent waters.

There are beautiful coves along this coast that provide protection against the wind and make it a romantic spot to discover on the island.

Not as awesome as Mikri Viglia, but still worth a visit is Agia Anna, a lovely beach close to the center of Naxos.

Going a bit further, don’t miss the chance to spend some time in one of Naxos’ most popular and beautiful beaches, Agios Prokopios, with a strip of restaurants and traditional tavernas right opposite the waterfront and the most spectacular azure waters on the island.

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