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. I decided to catch the bus to Plaka beach which is one of the islands main beaches and only a few km south of the capital. The bus system on Naxos is slightly unusual for Greece as you have to buy a ticket before getting on – luckily my friends had told me this yesterday or I wouldn’t have known – so I found the nearest stop and went into the shop opposite to buy my ticket. I assume they do this to save having an extra person on each bus to collect the money, but I saw several people try to get on with no ticket and then run across to the shop to try and get one before the bus left, so it’s not very well known and is at odds with most of the other islands I visited (I think Paros is the same though).
I got off the bus at the last stop which turned out to be about half way along the main stretch of beach, so decided to keep walking south to explore a bit and try to find a decent spot to lay and sunbathe.
Looking south on Plaka beach.
After walking nearly to the far end, I back-tracked and decided to use the free sun loungers on offer at Misha Beach Bar, a fairly small and quiet-ish cafe/bar about 2/3rds of the way down. I think there are a few small hotels and apartments around (set back off the beach so not visible at all) and towards midday the bar started to get busier and the loungers around me became occupied, so I decided to sit and have a beer at the bar and then packed up to walk back along the beach to Agia Anna in the north.
Looking north. Most of the beach was very quiet and as it’s such a long stretch of sand there’s plenty of room for everyone.
Feeling hungry I stopped for lunch at Manolis Tavern at Maragas which is on the northern end of Plaka beach. I had a burger which seemed fine at the time, but I think might have given me food poisoning as you’ll see later…
Lunch at Manolis: great view, not so sure about the burger!
After lunch I walked along Agia Anna beach and then waited at the bus stop to catch an afternoon bus back to Naxos Town and my hotel. At the hotel I decided to spend a bit of time in the room chilling out as I’d had quite a lot of sun already. After a short nap I woke up around 5pm feeling slightly unwell. Initially I put it down to a mild case of sun stroke due to the long exposure in the morning and perhaps not drinking enough water (beer is no substitute!), so I bought a couple of bottles of water from the hotel pool bar and made sure to re-hydrate as quickly as possible.
I met my friends later on in Naxos town and they wanted to get some proper sunset photos at Apollo’s Gate so we walked up to it around 8:30pm and took a few photos while the sun slowly set on the horizon. A very pretty event to watch. Afterwards we found a different taverna for dinner, but as I was still feeling quite poorly I didn’t eat anything but a single slice of bread, but we chatted while they ate and then headed back to our hotels again.
Took way too many sunset photos, these two are my favourites.
Feeling quite nauseous at this point I tried to go back to bed, but had a bad time sleeping as I thought on several occasions that I would be sick, but fortunately it didn’t happen and I eventually managed a few hours’ sleep.
In hindsight I think I had a mixture of sunstroke and mild food poisoning – having had sunstroke before it usually clears up after drinking lots of water and avoiding the sun for a few hours, but I completely lost my appetite for several days and the underlying feeling of needing to be sick didn’t subside for quite a while either. Whether or not it was the burger at Manolis I can’t be 100% sure but it seems like the most likely explanation as I’d only eaten bread and butter at breakfast.