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In this blog post, we will showcase a beautiful Greek island that should definitely be on your travel list for 2023! Our Naxos travel guide will give you all the information you need to plan the ideal trip!
Naxos is the largest island in the Cyclades and is located in the Aegean Sea. It is known for its stunning beaches, picturesque villages, and great food. Naxos also has a rich history dating back to ancient times.
There are many things to do in Naxos, so you will never be bored. Some popular activities include swimming, sunbathing, windsurfing, sailing, hiking, and cycling. There are also plenty of cultural attractions such as museums, churches, and archaeological sites!
Naxos travel guide: Island’s brief history
In Greek mythology, Naxos is Zeus’ boyhood home, where he was reared in a cave on what is now Mount Zas to avoid his father Cronos, who had already devoured his five siblings. Dionysus, Zeus’ son, was also nurtured in Naxos, where he subsequently fell in love with and married Ariadne, whom Theseus had abandoned in Naxos.
The island’s initial residents were the Thracians, dating back to 4000 B.C. Naxos is home to some of Greece’s oldest Byzantine churches. In the 13th century, the Venetians formed the Duchy of the Aegean, named Naxos their capital, and erected a fortress in what is now Naxos Town. In the 15th century, the Ottomans sought but failed to capture the island. In 1832, it became a formal part of the independent Greek state.
Where is Naxos located?
Naxos is a Greek island in the Aegean Sea that is part of the Cycladic group. Naxos is located around 40 kilometers south of Mykonos, 180 kilometers southeast of Athens, 85 kilometers north of Santorini, and 200 kilometers north of Crete. Flights to Naxos take 40 minutes from Athens. No other cities have direct flights to Naxos.
Photo by David Kaloczi from Unsplash
How to get to Naxos?
Naxos, the largest island in the Cyclades archipelago, offers a mesmerizing blend of pristine beaches, ancient ruins, and charming villages. Getting to this enchanting Greek destination is easier than you might think! Whether you’re arriving from Athens or other nearby islands, multiple transportation options await. The most popular route is by ferry, with frequent connections from Athens’ ports like Piraeus or Rafina. Ferry rides are not only convenient but also a chance to revel in the stunning Aegean Sea views.
Alternatively, Naxos also boasts its airport with direct flights from Athens and other major cities for a quicker option. So, pack your bags, and let’s uncover the secrets of Naxos – where breathtaking landscapes and rich history converge to create an unforgettable holiday experience.
The best time to visit Naxos
The best time to visit Naxos is from May to October when the weather is warm and sunny. However, the island is also beautiful in winter with its traditional Christmas markets and festive atmosphere.
No matter what time of year you visit, Naxos will enchant you with its natural beauty, friendly people, and incredible food. So start planning your trip today!
Getting Around Naxos
Getting around Naxos is a breeze, offering travelers a convenient and efficient transportation network to explore every corner of this enchanting Greek island. Here are the various options for navigating Naxos with ease:
- Renting a Car or Scooter: One of the most popular ways to explore Naxos is by renting a car or a scooter. Several rental agencies are available at the main towns and the airport, allowing you to have the freedom to venture off the beaten path and discover hidden gems at your own pace. Keep in mind that some of the remote areas may have narrow roads, so cautious driving is essential.
- Public Buses: Naxos has a well-organized bus system that connects the main towns and popular beaches. The buses are clean, comfortable, and reasonably priced, making them an excellent option for budget travelers. Check the schedule in advance, as the frequency of buses may vary depending on the season.
- Taxis: Taxis are readily available in Naxos Town and other major tourist spots. They are a convenient option, especially for shorter distances or when you need a quick ride back to your accommodation after a day of exploration.
- Bicycles: Embrace the island’s laid-back vibe and rent a bicycle to discover Naxos at a leisurely pace. Many hotels and rental shops offer bicycles for hire, and it’s a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the stunning landscapes while being environmentally friendly.
- Walking: Naxos is a walker’s paradise, with many picturesque paths and trails that lead to breathtaking viewpoints, quaint villages, and historical sites. Exploring on foot allows you to experience the island’s natural beauty up close and at your own leisure.
- Boat Tours: Take advantage of boat tours to explore the neighboring islets and secluded beaches. Whether it’s a sailing excursion, a fishing trip, or a day trip to nearby islands like Paros or Mykonos, there’s no shortage of maritime adventures to enjoy!
Regardless of your preferred mode of transportation, getting around Naxos is relatively straightforward, making it a delight to uncover the island’s diverse landscapes, historic sites, and charming villages while creating memories to last a lifetime. Remember to check the schedules and availability in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons, to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey. Happy exploring!
Naxos travel guide for accommodation
Naxos has managed to avoid becoming too touristic, and the island’s hotel facilities are exclusively Cycladic in order to offer an unforgettable experience. Whitewashed hotels, tranquil villas, well-furnished flats or apartments, and a variety of other lodging options will expose you to the Cyclades’ fascinating architecture! They may be found by the beach, in town, or various areas across the island.
When it comes to accommodation, Naxos has something for everyone. There are luxurious hotels, quaint guesthouses, and budget-friendly apartments.
Things to do on Naxos Island
Discovering Naxos is a true delight for every traveler, as this captivating island offers a myriad of unforgettable experiences. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a beach lover, or an adventurer seeking outdoor thrills, Naxos has something for everyone. Begin your journey by exploring the island’s historical wonders, such as the ancient Portara, a majestic marble gate that dates back to the 6th century BC. Wander through the charming alleys of Naxos Town, where you’ll find a perfect blend of traditional Greek architecture and modern vibes.
For beach bliss, head to Agios Prokopios or Plaka Beach, boasting crystal-clear waters and golden sands, perfect for sunbathing and water sports. Don’t miss the chance to delve into the island’s scenic countryside, dotted with olive groves and ancient ruins, ideal for hiking and biking adventures. As the sun sets, savor the delectable local cuisine at seaside tavernas, serving fresh seafood and traditional Greek dishes. Whether you seek relaxation, cultural exploration, or thrilling escapades, Naxos promises to leave you with memories to cherish forever.
Why should you visit Naxos?
Portara, the only intact gate of an ancient temple devoted to the Greek deity Apollo, is the most recognizable of them and the island’s hallmark. Apart from its remarkable structures, Naxos has stunning natural scenery, since it is the Cyclades’ greenest island. Mountains, lush valleys, lovely beaches, and rural settlements will lift the emotions of nature enthusiasts!
Despite being underappreciated compared to other Greek islands, Naxos remains one of Greece’s most intriguing destinations! Its wonderful ancient heritage and strong Venetian and Frankish influences are responsible for the plethora of historic sites. Naxos exudes history!
Savor Naxos Food
Naxos is the perfect destination for foodies looking to experience something new and unique. Taking a Naxos cooking class is a great way to learn more about Naxos cuisine, so you can truly appreciate the island’s culture through its delicious flavors. From traditional Naxian cheese pies to homemade Naxian spiced meatballs, Naxos has a myriad of traditional dishes that will have your taste buds singing. For those who are adventurous enough to join a Naxos cooking class, you’ll gain first-hand experience in learning techniques and recipes that have been around for centuries. After taking the class, you’ll be able to savor Naxian flavors whenever you please!
Experience Naxos Food Tour
If you’re looking for a unique and delicious experience on the beautiful island of Naxos, then a food tour is a must-try! I recently had the pleasure of going on a Naxos Walking food tour, and I can honestly say it was one of the highlights of my trip. I got to taste some of the most mouth-watering traditional dishes and local delicacies and learned a lot about the island’s culinary traditions and culture. Our friendly guide took us to some hidden gems, such as small family-run restaurants and local markets, where we were able to sample the freshest ingredients and enjoy the warm hospitality of the locals. The tour perfectly combines gastronomy and cultural exploration, and I highly recommend it to anyone visiting Naxos!
Naxos: Half-Day Cooking Class at Basiliko Family Tavern
💬Read more: 10 Best Restaurants in Naxos Greece
Naxos: Naxos Town Food Tour with Included Tastings and Wine