We visited Naxos, Greece during our 2021 trip and had the best time exploring this island. Naxos is an island in Greece located in the South Aegean Sea and some believe it is the best Island to visit! It is the largest Island in the Cyclades. Naxos has something for everyone and is a great destination. We spent four days here but could have spent a couple more, as there were a few things we wanted to see but ran out of time.
Before we visited Naxos we had heard about Naxian Marble, Naxos cheese, Naxos potatoes and Kitron. Much of Naxos has marble throughout its villages and also in the countryside as it is quarried here. Naxos cheese and potatoes are local and taste so fresh and delicious. As a matter of fact, Naxos food is some of the best we have ever dined on. Naxos prides itself on being a self sufficient island and also have livestock and grow many other vegetables and fruits. Kitron is a citrus liquor and although I thought it quite strong, it is flavorful. You can recognize it by it’s bright green color.
We arrived in Naxos by ferry but you can also arrive by air. We rented a vehicle here and all in all had no problem driving on the island. That being said, roads are narrow with plenty of curves and some roads are unimproved.
There is so much to explore in Naxos. Each town and beach seem to have their own characteristics yet are distinctively Naxos. The beaches were all pristine and also well kept.
Naxos town is the main town of Naxos Island, also referred to as Chora. This is where you will arrive if you come by ferry. We enjoyed walking around Naxos town and also the port. Make sure you check out the Old Market, walk along the port and enjoy one of the many places to eat or snack here.
The Kastro, or castle is located in Naxos Town. Built in 1207 by a Venetian Emperor, the Kastro once fortified the old Venetian town. It is located on the top of the hill in Naxos Town. You can’t miss it.
The Portara, also known as the Temple of Apollo was built in 530 BC and was never finished. This large marble gate is all that is left. Standing on a hill, it overlooks both Naxos Town and the Sea.
Apeiranthos Village is set in the mountains and close to the central part of Naxos. In addition, the drive here is absolutely beautiful. This lovely village is unique and authentic, I had heard that this is the best village in Naxos Greece to visit so made it a must stop. The people of this village have a unique accent as they are descendents of the island of Crete. We arrived here early afternoon. Although there were very few people out and about, a lady welcomed us with a warm smile and hello as she waved from her window! We would have liked to spend more time here and will definitely return if we are in Naxos again.
We enjoyed a catamaran tour while in Naxos. During the tour, we visited several beaches and had a great time snorkeling and swimming in the Aegean Sea. We were aboard the Danae operated by Naxos Yachting which you can read more about if you click the link. I highly recommend this company.
Kalamistia Monastery was tops on my list to see and I would say for me, this was the very best thing to see in Naxos and also one of my favorites in Greece. Known as the Jesuit Palace, this out of the way ruin was so much fun to explore
Naxos is known for their Kouros and there are two of them near the village of Melanes. Although there is some walking involved on finding these giant statue, the walk is very peaceful and the Melanes Kouros are worth checking out.
Apollonas and Apollonas Kouros
The small village of Apollonas is on the North part of Naxos and a bit of a drive but we were near and wanted to check out the village as well as the Apollonas Kouros. The Kouros was just off of the road above the village and up the steps as seen below. If you look close, you can see me at the foot of this marble giant.
Mount Zas and Cave of Za
Mount Zas is the largest mountain in Naxos so of course we wanted to hike it. In addition, along the way is the Cave of Za where the god Zeus was raised.
Temple of Demeter
The Temple of Demeter dates to 530 BC and built of marble from the Island. Unfortunately, we did not get to go into this area as it closes at 3:30. We did view it from outside the fence though and it looked amazing.
We loved this little rocky beach on the Northeast side of the island. A bit tricky of a road to get there, but we were glad we did. Lionas Beach is at the end of a small fishing village. Very peaceful and also very picturesque.
Plaka Beach is the longest beach in Naxos, Greece and possibly the best beach if you want to lay out and sunbathe. This sandy beach has loungers and places to eat along it. We stayed at Naxian on the Beach here while in Naxos.
Hawaii Beach is a unique beach located in the south east part of Naxos. We enjoyed just walking along here.
Great Places to Eat
Tortuga was located at our hotel and was fantastic. Breakfast each morning was delicious. Diner was a fine dining experience with impeccable service and food. Steve had swordfish and says it is the best he ever had.
We ate here twice. The name is actually Taverna. The view was lovely. The food was fantastic. We loved sampling the cheese and we both enjoyed souvlaki both evenings.
We absolutely loved this taverna. The food was fantastic. Steve’s shrimp was caught that morning! We really enjoyed just being here.
This was the most peaceful place we ate at. The views were magnificent and the food was wonderful.
Waffle House-Naxos Town
We stopped here for ice cream. Twice. Highly recommend it!
Where We Stayed
Naxian on the Beach-Plaka Beach
Naxian on the Beach was the perfect place to stay. This bo-ho boutique stye hotel was comfortable and accommodating. The view of Plaka Beach was perfect from our balcony. The perfect place to unwind after our busy days. The manager was especially helpful and assured we had a great stay.
We rented a car from Motonaxos and couldn’t have been happier. I emailed the company before our trip and they replied promptly. We took advantage of the option of having the car delivered and picked up from our hotel. This worked out perfect for us.
We absolute loved Naxos, Greece and believe we found the best things to do here. Although I suspect there are many more great places and villages. Naxos has such fantastically fresh and delicious food. I would love to go back someday!
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