Naxos


Overview

Were I to produce a list of my favourite Greek island destinations, Naxos would certainly make the top 3. But, as I sit to write this summary, it occurs to me I don’t fully understand how to explain its appeal. I had better try, though, or I will have failed in my duty to you as a reader.

Naxos is undeniably Greek in both look and feel. From the narrow Venetian streets of Naxos Town, with its bustling harbour area, to the long, sandy beaches that adorn much of the western coastline, you immediately feel at peace here.

Arriving by ferry, as I’ve always done, the sight of Apollo’s Gate to the west as you approach the harbour kindles a sense of excitement to be back again. I’ve visited Naxos no fewer than four times in the past three years, and it’s already on my itinerary for 2020.

Highlights

Naxos has a little bit of everything a Greek tourist could wish for: a capital with plenty of shops, bars and restaurants, plus a historic fortress and the aforementioned Apollo’s Gate to serve as a reminder of its long history.

Plenty of good beaches: St. George beach at the south end of Naxos town is a superb stretch of family-friendly sand and sea. As is the stretch from Agia Anna all the way down to Plaka on the western coast.

Head inland to find several pretty villages: Filoti and Apeiranthos are both worth visiting. Combine this with a relatively comfortable hike to the top of Mount Zas for unrivalled panoramic views of the Cyclades from its highest point:

View towards Paros from the summit of Mount Zas

Conclusion and Alternatives

In short, Naxos is one of those rare gems that really does have it all. Prices are reasonable (though each year it feels like its proximity to Mykonos is beginning to elevate costs, often unjustifiably so). It does get quite busy in high season, but never to the Santorini or Mykonos levels of crowds. Plus, being a much bigger island with plentiful and spacious beaches, there is ample room for everyone.

Naxos also has its own airport for domestic flights, meaning you can choose whether to fly from Athens or take a ferry from Piraeus or via a neighbouring island. Coming from the UK, the cheapest and most direct route is via an Easyjet flight to Mykonos and a short ferry ride – catch an early enough flight and – weather permitting – you can get a same-day ferry to Naxos and avoid any costly overnight stays on Mykonos. There are usually similar options for late evening return flights, allowing you to hop on an afternoon ferry back again – though you do take a risk of missing your flight if the ferries are cancelled due to adverse sea conditions.

If you’ve seen enough of Naxos already, or – for whatever reason – it doesn’t sound appealing, the most obvious alternative is its neighbour, Paros. Both islands are often recommended in equal measure online, and indeed are fairly similar. Having only visited Paros once, I don’t feel fully qualified to sing its virtues, but I doubt you would go far wrong there.

Another island to consider if you like Naxos is Crete. Though considerably bigger, it shares the theme of having something for everyone, with the added benefit of two international airports and a pretty good road system to travel around. In my fairly extensive experience, Crete is also cheaper too.

Hotel Reviews

Naxos Resort Beach Hotel, Naxos

Posted in Hotel Reviews

Review Rating: 3/5 Date of Visit: July 2019 Feeling somewhat of a Naxos expert, having visited three times in as many years, I booked 6 nights at Naxos Resort Hotel…

Xenia Hotel, Naxos Town, Naxos

Posted in Hotel Reviews

Review rating: 5/5 Date of visit: July 2018 The last time I visited Naxos I stayed just south of the main town at St George’s Beach. It was a good…

Naxos Mare, Agia Anna, Naxos

Posted in Hotel Reviews

Review rating: 3/5 Date of visit: July 2018 I booked 3 nights at Naxos Mare to finish my 10-day Greece trip, having just returned from Koufonisia and before that 3…

Alkyoni Beach Hotel, Naxos Town, Naxos

Posted in Hotel Reviews, Naxos

Review rating: 4/5 Date of visit: July 2017 Naxos was my third stop as part of an 8-island Greek holiday adventure. Located at the bottom end of St George’s Beach,…


Blog Posts

Touring Greece Without a Plan

I Want to Freestyle it, But… How do you plan a three-month island-hopping itinerary? Well, one option – perhaps the best option really – is to freestyle the entire trip….

Naxos Travel Guide Video

Posted in Naxos

Another recent release on our YouTube channel: a Naxos Travel Guide. You can watch it via the embedded player below, or find it on our destination page for Naxos.

Day 13: Naxos, Mykonos and Flight Home (or not)

Posted in Naxos

Thursday 25th July 2019 (and Friday 26th July 2019) We ate breakfast at the hotel before returning to our room to start the process of packing for our journey home….

Days 11 and 12: Naxos Relaxation

Posted in Naxos

Tuesday, 23rd July 2019 and Wednesday, 24th July 2019 I’ve taken the unusual step of combining our last two full days of the trip into a single post. We’d had…

Day 10: Iraklia and Koufonissi Day Trip

Posted in Naxos

Monday, 22nd July 2019 Having booked our day trip to Iraklia and Koufonissi a couple of days ago, we got up early and had breakfast before making our way down…

Day 9: Naxos Mount Zas

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Sunday, 21st July 2019 After an early hotel breakfast, we packed up our gear for the day and made the short walk back to the car rental place to pick…

Day 8: Naxos Beach Day

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Saturday, 20th July 2019 As we had a busy day planned for tomorrow with the hire car, we decided today would be a beach day. After a decent breakfast at…

Day 7: Folegandros to Naxos

Posted in Folegandros, Naxos

Friday, 19th July 2019 Today we leave Folegandros and head to our final island, Naxos. To say I was excited would be an understatement! Naxos is one of my favourite…

Day 1: Mykonos, Naxos and Amorgos

Posted in Amorgos, Mykonos, Naxos

Thursday 30th May 2019 Today was going to be a long day… Ed and I set off from Norfolk at 3 a.m. – sleep deprived but full of enthusiasm –…

Day 11: Naxos, Mykonos and Home

Last day today. I knew it was going to be a long one with lots of travelling – my flight back from Mykonos didn’t depart until 9 pm, it would…

Day 10: Agia Anna last full day

Today was my last full day of the trip. I decided to get moving early and head down to Mischa Beach Bar on Plaka beach. It’s about a 4.5k walk…

Day 9: Naxos Agia Anna

A brief apology… Before we go any further, I’ll admit that the last few days of my trip were fairly uneventful and won’t make the most riveting of reads. When…

Day 8: Heading back to Naxos

I continued the theme of waking early and decided to make the best use of my last few hours on the island by getting the drone out again. It’s been…

Day 4: Naxos chill and Ed goes home

I woke up feeling slightly fragile from last night’s celebrations, so the first priority was some coffee and breakfast. We hadn’t really planned an itinerary for today as it’s Ed’s…

Day 3: Naxos Hiking

After a quick (and slightly disappointing) breakfast at the hotel, we set off in our little VW Polo towards Filoti for the start of our Mount Zas hike. The drive…

Alkyoni Beach Hotel, Naxos Town, Naxos

Posted in Hotel Reviews, Naxos

Review rating: 4/5 Date of visit: July 2017 Naxos was my third stop as part of an 8-island Greek holiday adventure. Located at the bottom end of St George’s Beach,…

Day 7: Naxos

A lazy day spent recovering from sun exposure (or food poisoning, who knows), followed by an evening walk around Naxos town, exploring the Venetian Kastro and winding side streets.

Day 6: Naxos

Woke up fairly early but feeling refreshed after a good night’s sleep. Breakfast at the hotel was slightly disappointing, with a fairly limited selection and the bread wasn’t the best….

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZZw6tcr0j4&t=64s

Day 5: Mykonos to Naxos

So today’s the day my friend (and guide) Ed flies back home and I continue my adventure as a solo traveller. I have to admit I wasn’t looking forward to…