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Naxos, a four-hour ferry ride southeast of Athens, is a tranquil respite from neighboring Mykonos and Santorini. It is the largest of the Cyclades Islands and the only one that is completely self-sufficient, with all food resources available on the island without the need for imports.
Food in Naxos is one of the remarkable things on the island. Of over millennia of habitation, resident Naxiots have cultivated the island’s 165 square miles of verdant, diverse terrain, and today hundreds of thousands of tourists flock there each year to feast on its gastronomic treasures.
Naxiots honor these bold natural flavors in recipes that don’t call for fistfuls of salt. It’s easy to find excellent traditional dishes in the town of Naxos, but you’d be remiss not to venture out onto the winding, cliffside roads to enjoy your meal.
What can you do in Naxos?
There are some amazing things you can try other than the food in Naxos. Experiences that will make your stay on the island more memorable than you may think!
From Portara, take in the sunset.
The Greek island of Naxos has a rich historical and cultural heritage. The ancient monument of Portara on your left and the old castle of Chora on your right are among the first things you see as you enter the port.
Investigate the “Kastro” Castle.
Kastro is one of the most well-preserved Venetian castles in the Cyclades. It is located in Chora, the island’s capital.
When you enter the Castle through its massive, centuries-old wooden doors, you will be surrounded by whitewashed churches, Catholic Monasteries, and schools, the Archaeological Museum of Naxos, some of the island’s oldest houses, antique shops, and beautiful cafés.
Explore the food in Naxos!
From the first day of your vacation, you will fall in love with the culinary and tasteful uniqueness of Naxian products.
Naxos is a fertile land with a thriving agricultural economy, producing some of Greece’s most delicious vegetables, cheeses, meat, and, of course, fresh fish and seafood.
Choosing a restaurant for your daily meals is never a letdown because the majority of them serve delicious, traditional cuisine.
Which food in Naxos you can’t miss?
Kokoras with Makaronia (rooster braised in red sauce).
For the tough meat of Naxos roosters, which roam rugged terrain and bulk up their muscles, longer cook times are required. Simmering the chicken in red wine and tomatoes for hours results in a luxurious sauce that’s spooned over fresh spaghetti. Though this dish is widely available, it is best served in village taverns: Pigi in Ano Potamia or Matina & Stavros in Koronos are two options.
At Kastraki’s family-run Taverna Axiotissa, chefs enhance the animal’s naturally rich flavors by braising it with lemon, onion, and oregano in a dish called kouneli riganato. Try the rabbit at O Giorgis in Melanes: it’s slowly cooked into a stew (stifado) with red wine and tomato sauce.
Often boiled with hórta (wild or cultivated greens), goat imparts strong flavors from its herb-rich diet. Simple recipes, such as goat roasted with onions (kleftiko) or goat stew, are best enjoyed at Apeiranthos’ Taverna Lefteris and Taverna Platanos, which are known for their communal food celebrations.
Food in Naxos will be stuck in your mind.
Naxos is an island of many surprises, a lot of great sightseeing, amazing food, and also crystal blue beaches. The base of their diet is meat as it is in most parts of Greece. But, they use some unique recipes and flavors which are used only on the island.
So, what else can you ask for?
Your next paradise destination is Naxos!