"Naxos, Greece" Top 5 Page for this destination Naxos Island by SWFC_Fan

Naxos Island Travel Guide: 288 reviews and 813 photos

A vastly underrated Greek island!

Where?

The Greek island of Naxos is the largest island in the Cyclades and is located close to the centre of this group of islands.

Naxos lies to the north of Santorini and Ios, to the east of Paros and to the south of Mykonos.

How to get there?

Naxos has a small airport which is capable of handling internal flights only. I don't know much about the availability of flights to the island but it would seem that there are regular (possibly daily) connections with Athens.

There are many ferries connecting Naxos with Piraeus, with Naxos being one of the stops on the Piraeus to Santorini route.

Naxos is connected to the other Cyclades islands by frequent ferries and hydrofoils. I arrived in Naxos by ferry from Santorini (a 2 hour journey via the island of Ios) and left Naxos to go to Paros (1 hour by ferry or 30 minutes by hydrofoil).

What is there to see and do?

I arrived in Naxos following 3 days in Santorini and was ready to hit the beach. I wasn't to be disappointed! The beach at Agios Prokopios and Agia Anna is, in my opinion, among the best beaches anywhere is the Greek islands with miles of golden sand and clear blue sea.

There are sandy beaches dotted around the whole of the island's coast, including Agios Georgios beach right next to Naxos Town, but during my 4 days on the island I didn't get a chance to see too many of them, preferring instead to split my time between lazing on Agios Prokopios beach and exploring Naxos Town.

Naxos Town is among the most picturesque Greek island capitals in my opinion and was especially attractive when I arrived on the ferry to see the town bathed in late afternoon sunshine. The town, with traditional Cycladic white-washed buildings and a large Frankish castle, is built on a hill and stretches along the seafront. There are numerous tavernas (specialising in seafood) along the waterfront and among the labyrinth of narrow streets that are located behind.

The island's most famous sight (and the symbol of the island) is the marble gate, the "Portara", which stands on a small island that is connected to Naxos Town. This is the gate to the Temple of Apollo, a structure which never came to be completed.

There are said to be a number of picturesque villages located in the island's mountainous interior, including the largest village on the island, Filoti, which is built on the slopes of Mount Za. Regrettably, I didn't have time to venture to the interior of the island but I'm sure that I'll return to Naxos in future and see more of this fantastic island.

Anything else?

A few observations from my 4 days on Naxos:

Unspoilt island

In spite of its excellent beaches and beautiful, bustling capital Naxos remains outside of mainstream package tourism and has therefore, to a large extent, avoided some of the disadvantages that this brings. While the island attracts its fair share of island hopping backpackers, the lack of a sizeable airport means that tourist crowds are much less than are to be found on islands such as Corfu or Rhodes. There are no neon flashing signs, burger joints or ear-splitting dance music to be found along Naxos Town's waterfront but rather traditional tavernas with octopuses hanging outside and frequented by locals and travellers alike. There are nightclubs and bars in the town but unlike on some other islands they do not overshadow the island's traditional way of life.

The local liqueur - Citron

One of the island's most famous products is its lemon flavoured liqueur, Citron. This, along with other locally produced products such as honey and cheese, can be found in shops throughout the island.

One of my favourite Greek islands

Naxos was my second port of call on a month long island hopping trip which ultimately led me to visit a total of 13 islands. Prior to this trip, I had visited 15 Greek islands over the course of the last dozen years or so. Of all these islands, I would have no hesitation in naming Naxos as one of my three favourite islands and, of all the islands I visited during the month, I would say that naxos is the only one that I left before I really wanted to - in fact, I'd have been happy to spend the whole month there!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Fantastic beaches, not over-touristed, beautiful capital
  • Cons:Relatively difficult to get to - but that's also an advantage!
  • In a nutshell:One of my favourite Greek islands!
  • Last visit to Naxos Island: Sep 2005
  • Intro Updated Nov 14, 2005
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Reviews (19)

Comments (19)

  • gwendar's Profile Photo
    Mar 4, 2014 at 6:04 AM

    Nice island on my list to visit

    • SWFC_Fan's Profile Photo
      Mar 4, 2014 at 11:51 AM

      Naxos is probably my favourite Greek island - I would certainly recommend a visit. The beaches are superb and the lack of an international airport seems to have protected the island from mass tourism. How I would love to spend another summer island-hopping in the Cyclades! :-)

  • iandsmith's Profile Photo
    May 31, 2013 at 2:13 PM

    Your enthusiasm has bubbled over, looks like I'll have to include it in next year's trip. Cheers, Ian

    • SWFC_Fan's Profile Photo
      Jun 3, 2013 at 2:14 PM

      Nice one Ian - you won't regret it! :-)
      It's a lovely island, not tainted by mass tourism, and has some ridiculously good value accommodation near stunning beaches!

  • kat-m's Profile Photo
    Dec 6, 2011 at 7:07 AM

    thanks for the votes, yes I cannot wait to get to Boa vista, count down has begun!!

  • crewrower's Profile Photo
    Jul 21, 2010 at 6:24 AM

    You said you'd put Naxos in your group of 3 favorite Greek isles. What are the other 2?

  • jewels63's Profile Photo
    Jan 7, 2010 at 3:18 AM

    Thanks-great review and especially of hotel - I'm going there in May from Santorini, Cheers!

  • mvtouring's Profile Photo
    Oct 8, 2009 at 1:09 PM

    Thanks for the great tips I think Naxos is def on my list for next year ;-)

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Sep 29, 2009 at 10:23 PM

    Good, helpful transport tips. You certainly got an excellent bargain with your Hotel. From the photos, it looks great! Lucky you!

  • Gillybob's Profile Photo
    Sep 1, 2008 at 11:45 AM

    Shanghai, Saint Malo, Belfast AND Wroclaw and you're throwing my California and Barbados trips at me???? 19 weeks AFTER my last trip!! I think not - thwak! Take that! Gillybob greetings

  • Helenbb's Profile Photo
    Jul 30, 2008 at 3:14 PM

    yes.. thank you thats what i want to say . hahaha.. yr english is perfect. hahahaha.... i just need 4hrs sleeping. if im in travel.. just 2hrs.. up at 8am??? lazy lazy lazy... hahahaha :) see u later. :)

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo
    Apr 21, 2008 at 3:03 AM

    Hi, trying to plan a route of island hopping next mth with 9-10 days - yr pages here are very helpful and as usual great accom and food tips - you were in foodie heaven!(yr food bill more than the hotel bill!?)

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