Naxos Island, Greece – Everything You Need To Know

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Post author Gabi

Written by our local expert Gabi

Gabi is an award-winning writer who lives on the Island of Crete in Greece. She is an expert in Greek travel and writes guides for the everyday traveler.

Here is everything you need to know about the Island of Naxos. In our Naxos guide, we’ve covered where to stay and things to see and do on Naxos Island, Greece.

Greece Travel Blog_Everything You Need To Know About Naxos

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 many fun things to do on Naxos Island and places to discover for the whole family.

On the gorgeous Greek island of Naxos, it’s also possible to explore the mountains, trek, and visit some picturesque villages where life is tranquil and relaxed. Some beaches, hit by strong winds during summer, are perfect for practicing 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 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?

Lesser-Known Greek Islands - Naxos
Naxos, Greece

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

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

How To Get To Naxos Island

The best way to visit Naxos is via a ferry from Athens. Ferries to Naxos depart from the main port of Piraeus, traveling 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 other Greek Islands as well.

How Long Should You Stay On Naxos Island

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

Considering that the Naxis island is quite extensive 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 book a vacation between 5 and 7 days, allowing you to visit more Naxos beaches and villages and discover the unique beauties of Naxos. You can check off everything on your “what to do in Naxos, Greece” list by staying a week.

Island Of 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 of Naxos is safe, there are many shallow beaches, and Greek gastronomy is at its best here.

Naxos Island has unique natural landscapes, important historic sites, and museums, all of which younger and older kids 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 vast array of things to do in Naxos makes it a fantastic destination for 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 finding 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.

The most popular tours in Naxos town:

  • 🚶 Step back to ancient times and learn about Greek mythology as you take an easy walk around Naxos Town during the golden hour on this tour
  • 🍲 Nibble your way through Naxos’ Venetian Old Town’s quaint alleyways as you learn about Greek food culture and traditions on this food tour
  • 🏛️ Enjoy the Naxian life through time, excellent and unique museums, and archaeological excavations on this tour with a local guide

Naxos town is close to the Marina, and many beaches are easy to visit by 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 relatively close to the center of Naxos. It boasts one of the best beaches in Naxos and is well-connected to Chora by 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 suitable for spending a relaxing holiday, and it’s a perfect family destination in Naxos.

Agia Anna

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

There is plenty of excellent accommodation by the sea and homes to rent. Agia Anna’s Beach is well-organized and safe, making it an ideal 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 there are only a few buses connecting Apollonas to Chora, so if you plan to stay here, you must consider renting a car.

Halki

A mountain stay is an excellent option for those seeking an authentic Naxos experience.

The small and tranquil village of Halki, about an hour’s drive from the Chora, is the place chosen 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.

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Why Should You Choose To Visit Naxos?

There are many amazing Greek islands, not to mention the mainland, so why should you choose Naxos over all the other options?

It goes without saying that if you have time, you should see as many islands as you can, but if that’s not an option for you, here’s why we believe Naxos should be at the top of your list.

Beaches To Make Your Jaw Drop

If you love sandy beaches that aren’t crowded and allow plenty of time to chill out, Naxos is for you. You can also enjoy some watersports if you feel like breaking up your sunbathing and swimming.

Gorgeous Towns To Explore

If you get bored of the beach (hey, it’s possible), then Naxos offers plenty of charming towns to explore all year round. Naxos Town (Chora) is one of the best, with a lively vibe and plenty to see and do. Other than that, add Chalki (Halki) and Koronos to your list.

Plenty of accommodation to choose from – If you want to stay somewhere a little more comfortable, perhaps a villa, then Naxos has a great range to choose from. You can even find villas with pools and sea views for great prices if you take the time to look.

Stacks Of History To Check Out

If you’re a history buff, Naxos packs a punch. This island has been inhabited for centuries, from prehistoric times. That means there are plenty of ruins and sites to check out, including the Portara, Temple of Demeter, Kastro, and the Statues of Kouros.

Food, Glorious Food!

This is Greece, so of course, there’s going to be gastronomy in abundance. However, Naxos is famous for its local fare, which means plenty of cheese, seafood, and other tasty morsels! Naxos is also known for its wine production, particularly moschofilero and xinomavro.

Budget-Friendly

Some Greek islands are pricey (we’re looking at you, Santorini!), but Naxos is surprisingly affordable. You can find high-quality accommodation for a lower price, and your money will last you longer while you’re there.

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

Budget-Friendly Hotels On Naxos Island

Naxos Petite Studios

are small units with a cozy and relaxing atmosphere, ideal for traveling with a small budget. The hotel is in the small village of Agios Prokopios and offers beautiful sea views.

Find The Best Rate On This Hotel Here

 

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 short walk away from the best bars and restaurants, the Portara and Naxos Marina.

Find The Best Rate On This Hotel Here

 

Mid-Range Hotels On The Island Of Naxos

Iliada Suite

Iliada Suite 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.

Find The Best Rate On This Hotel Here

 

Naxian Spirit Suites & Apartments

Naxian Spirit Suites & Apartments is a great place to stay near Agia Anna Beach, just meters from the beach. The site is known for its amazing terraces and stunning Aegean views Find The Best Rate On This Hotel Here

 

Luxury Hotels In Naxos

Villa Athena

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

Find The Best Rate On This Hotel Here

 

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.

Find The Best Rate On This Hotel Here

Top Things To Do In Naxos Island, Greece

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, which spans from mid-May to the end of September.

These fantastic weather conditions allow visitors to explore the hidden gems 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 Greece’s most delicious cheese varieties, 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, where you arrive if you’re traveling by ferry, is known by the name of Chora. The town is in 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 in the northern area of the old city.

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

Check out the Venetian Museum in the castle area, which is located in an ancient Venetian mansion.

This way, you will better understand the structure of the old fortification and 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 an excellent opportunity to learn about Cycladic islands 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 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, you can devote a day to visiting 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 explore the different museums 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, Kouros, which you can easily visit with the family.

It’s a mysterious sight that will 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 place to completely disconnect from the hustle of the capital.

Hike Mount Zas

Adrenaline lovers can devote a day to hiking 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.


 Island Of Naxos Beaches

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, 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, 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.

Beautiful coves along this coast protect 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.

NAXOS FAQs

Where is Naxos?

Naxos is an island in the Cyclades, located in the Aegean Sea. It is the largest island in the Cyclades group and is around 98 miles (nautical) from Piraeus Port in Athens.

Is Naxos as expensive as Santorini and Mykonos?

No! Despite being in the same island group, Naxos is nowhere near as expensive as Santorini and Mykonos, which have become known for their inflated price tags. You’ll find accommodation and food at reasonable prices, so this is a great island for those on a budget, especially families.

Does Naxos have good nightlife?

Naxos isn’t like Zakynthos or Mykonos in terms of nightlife, but it still packs a punch with plenty of vibrant choices. If you want to party, head to Naxos Town, where you’ll find plenty to keep you occupied. However, if you want to chill out, that’s totally possible, too.

Does Naxos have mass tourism?

Some Greek islands are entirely geared towards tourism, but Naxos is open year-round and not totally reliant on the summer season. For that reason, it feels quite authentic. While you’ll still find plenty of tourist facilities, you won’t struggle to find something traditional either.

When should I visit Naxos?

You can go at any time of year, especially since the weather is rarely cold. However, the summer season between the beginning of May and the end of October will give you the best of the sunshine and less rain. If you want to avoid crowds, keep away from July and August.

We hope our Naxos guide has helped you decide what to see and do on the Island of Naxos, Greece.

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