Naxos Island Travel Guide

  • Stavros and his Ecologically Friendly Transport
    Stavros and his Ecologically Friendly...
    by janetanne
  • Mikri Vigla beach
    Mikri Vigla beach
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  • Naxos Island
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Naxos Island Highlights

  • Pro
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    SWFC_Fan says…

     Fantastic beaches, not over-touristed, beautiful capital 

  • Con
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    xuessium says…

     Dullsville if partying is in your blood 

  • In a nutshell
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    soccergrrl says…

     Go now, before more tourists discover it! 

Naxos Island Things to Do

  • Activities

    When you have been in Naxos for more than 2-3 times, then you want to do something more than see the "Portara", sleep at the beach and visit the villages. And Naxos won't let you down, there are many things to do. I would start with water sports like windsurfing, cannoning, sailing or whatever you prefer. There are quite a few business working on...

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  • Ancient Monuments & Structures

    Naxos has many ancient sites, the most visible of course being the Portara, on the islet of Palatia, which is just outside the harbour. The huge frame is all that remains of a temple that was dedicated to Apollo.Built in the 6th Century, this magnificent landmark was built with marble. There is a walkway to the Portara, and once on the Palatia...

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  • The Archeological Museum, Castro

    Not everyone enjoys wandering around museums. However, this is a small one, with some fascinating artifacts, which were discovered on the island. All of Greece is an Archeologist Paradise- so if one can't actually do the digging, at least one can admire the treasures that we are fortunate to examine.The artifacts and statues are well dispayed, with...

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Naxos Island Hotels

Naxos Island Restaurants

  • Lefteris

    My favorite place for eating in Naxos is located up in the mountains, at Apiranthos village. It’s called Lefteris and I go there every time I visit the island. Homemade foods, some typical greek plates, very delicious all the time. The prices is slightly more pricey but it’s worth every euro. The view from the terrace is nice too although I like...

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  • what to eat

    Do yourself a favor and avoid the touristic restaurants at seafront of Hora. In some villages there are some nice small taverns, right next to the sea. In most of the taverns you can find many plates although it’s a surprise the island isn’t famous for its fishes. I guess it has to do with the fact that there aren’t many local fishermen. Here’s a...

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  • The oldest restaurant in Naxos

    In the heart of the Kastro, in the middle of nightlife, pleasantly crowded, it is better if possible to take a seat outside in the narrow pebble-covered street. Loud music and loud voices are the soundtrack of one of the best dinner in Naxos! I took Shrimps sautè and grilled swordfish with pesto, pink pepper and basmati rice. My husband took fried...

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Naxos Island Nightlife

  • From sunset till dawn

    From sunset on many cafès and reataurant have "happy hour":everything costs the half and you can rest from a "heavy" day spent on the beach sipping a tasty cocktail looking at the sunset... then you can start walking up and down the seaside and do a lot of things: sit down to eat from pyttagiro to grilled fish, look at the boats, talk with some...

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  • Shopping by night

    Nightlife in Naxos starts from the Kastro. In the night it changes from a silent maze of narrow white streets to a labirinth of little restaurants, cafè and shops of every kind!!! Just walk, walk, walk and look at the shop-windows: you will certain find domething that suit you for a good price! none.

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  • Un unforgettable night

    Since 1998 in Naxos Town in june there is a festival of local musica and dancers. Every night there's something different to see or listen to, the price is very good (about 10-12 €), you sit outside the Rocca Barozzi museum (where you also buy tickets), seeing the breathtaking panorama on Paros by night, they offer you different kind of wines and...

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Naxos Island Transportation

  • how to go there

    Some tourists don’t come here because there is no international airport. I guess it’s one of the reasons the island is still pretty!There are daily flights with Olympic Airways from Athens but... I prefer the boat connection with Piraeus port. Many companies have it on their route. The trip lasts 4-6 hours depending the type of the boat (31,50euro...

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  • KTEL buses

    If you don't ride scooters and you don't want to rent a car, bus is the perfect solution in Naxos. They are well organized, they take you almost all over the island and are surprisingly on time and inexpensive. I used them a lot for mostly of my days in Naxos and had always good experience.They depart from the port and you need to buy the tickets...

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  • Blue star ferries

    When I was planning this trip I understood there were two options to go from Athens to Naxos Island by ferry, a fast Hydrofoil boat and the slower traditional ferry. I decided to take the Blue Star ferry, even if slower (7 hours) for many reason:- cheaper- work with every kind of weather, the hydrofoil does not run with bad sea.- you are allowed to...

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Naxos Island Shopping

  • Try and buy Graviera and Kitro

    The shop is located on the port road of Naxos and it sells everything that is produced in Naxos island. Some of the products that you can find is milk, many different kinds of cheese, local drinks like kitro and sweets. You simply can't go back home before you try the local cheese called graviera, it is one of the most famous cheese in Greece and...

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  • Buy from the locals

    Buy your products from the locals, there is a small farmer market just outside the Chora on the way to Saint George beach, farmer sell vegetables, local fruit like oranges and their home made cheese. While at Alyko beach I saw a old man (see picture) climbing down the hill overlooking the beach, he went by and I found out he was selling his...

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  • Kitron .... what else?

    Tle little distillery is situated in the heart of Halki, little village in the middle of the island. You'll find it in the main street. Inside you can find the little family museum, taste different kind of liqueur an buy them. There are 3 kinds of Kitron: green one with clorophylle, orange one with citrus fruits and white plain. They all have the...

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Naxos Island Local Customs

  • traditional dances

    There are many festivities, basically on the celebration of a saint. If you are lucky you will see for free local traditional dances and songs.Like in many other villages in Greece on August 15 you will see festivals in many villages of Naxos but in Filoti is the biggest. On July 14 at Hora, on July 25 at Agia Anna.

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  • Ayios Nikodimos Festival

    The "Ayios Nikodimos" festival is the biggest celebration in Naxos island and it is dedicated to Saint Nikodimos who was born in Naxos. The festival takes place on the 14th of July every year and it starts at the big church which has his name. Priests are taking his icon all around the city and the people are following, when the icon is back to the...

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  • Can a cactus produce "tuna?"

    Can cactus produce "tuna"? yes, it can, if cactus is called opuntia aka prickly pear.There are plenty of those "pears" or "grapes" (opuntia is translated as "French grape" from Greek as it is believed to be brought to Greece by French) on islands. you should definitely try this exotic fruit called "tuna," which tastes like forest berries. but pick...

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Naxos Island Warnings and Dangers

  • Fuel!

    Some areas of this island don' t have any petrol stations; so, be sure your motorbike has enough fuel before leaving for your excursion.I think that tourist offices on the island have some maps showing where petrol stations are.

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  • Drive always carefully

    No matter what you are driving, scooter, quad or car, if you are the driver, I am sorry, you will not get to look around too much. You better keep ALWAYS your eyes on the road. Wherever you will go you will have to drive in the mountains, the roads are often narrow, curvy and slippery for the melted asphalt. You will never know what is after the...

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  • Keep your tank full

    Be very careful when you drive around with a small scooter (80-100cc), they will assure you that it will be fine for two people to go all over the places, and it is true even if a bigger one would be more confortable BUT make sure you keep your tank always full or nearly full if you plan to visit the Southern and Eastern part of the island,...

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Naxos Island Tourist Traps

  • DO NOT look for the water tunnel

    It is not exaxcly a tourist trap, but I read somewhere on the guidebook about this water tunnel that was supposed to be intersting as an example of ancient aquedoct. It was suppose to be near Melanes Kuoros site. Well, we went looking for it and we walked for half an hour under a killer sun, on a small trail that was 20% rock and 80% goats' sh*t......

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  • Don't eat at the port!

    One of the most popular places in Chora (Naxos main city) is the road facing the port. You will see that there are a lot of restaurants there. Above all at night, restaurant owners will try to convince you to enter their restaurant, sometimes in an irritating way.We had a couple of bad experiences: once seated in a restaurant, we waited for 30mins...

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  • don't eat in the port

    Most, if not all of the restaurants in Naxos Town, mainly on the main street in the port, are only for tourists. Don't go there. There are so many other great places to eat, if you just wander around a little. The best food is out of town, which means you'll need a car, or scooter. Go to Agia Anna, or Mikri Vigla, or even Agia Prokoios.

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Naxos Island What to Pack

  • Take as little as possible

    Take one small suitcase with good wheels, one handbag and one rucksack or beach bag. Sunglasses, flip-flops, thin cotton spaghetti tops, skirts, dresses, shorts, sunhat. No trousers or warm clothes with sleeves needed in the middle of summer, unless you need to cover up because you had a sunburn... Lots of strong sun tan lotion and insect...

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  • If you don't want to buy them there

    Make sure you don't have huge and heavy bags with you because you will probably have trouble carrying them at the boat, maybe pay more at the taxi...and lets hope that you won't have to carry them on foot. Bring with you something warm for the nights. The nights on the island can get quite chilly specially because of the humidity. If there is a...

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  • Travel light

    One good sturdy suitcase on wheels because when you arrive in Naxos harbour you will have to walk from the ferry to where the taxis are waiting and this is about 5 mins walk.One small rucksack that will be handy in all sort of circumstances and can hold all your immediate neccesities. If walking you will need a good walking boot as some of the...

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Naxos Island Off The Beaten Path

  • Mountain Biking and Trek

    Hire a bike in Naxos (a couple of good places there) and head south along coast. Plenty of off-road paths through cane fields and along beaches. A few km south you can find a few farm tracks over hills. We took no maps as usual, and got lost as usual. But great fun. Sometimes unsure whether of not we were on some farmer's private tracks - we got...

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  • Walk the ancient Donkey trails on the...

    When in Chora (the town of Naxos), you can easily pick up a little book on the walks of Naxos. You can then follow trails after you take the bus or taxi to get to your starting point of your walk.Some of the walks are very remote and we seldom met anyone. These walks are glorious and you come across beautiful scenery and Byzantine churches and...

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  • Authentic Pottery Workshop

    As you drive from Naxos Town to apiranthos (there's only one road, so you can't get lost, you'll see a sign for "Pottery Workshop". It's owned by Manolis, who has been doing pottery his whole life. He actually comes from a long line of potters. His whole family has been potters. It's a pretty amazing place. He doesn't speak Englsih, so be prepared....

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Naxos Island Sports & Outdoors

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    Beginers in action

    by oriettaIT Updated Feb 12, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I am not a windsurfer but I enjoyed watching the school teaching some beginners. They rent equipment and they seem to be very well organized.

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Naxos Island Favorites

  • Mikri Vigla beach

    This beach is on the West side of the island, northern than Naxos town.I rented a Quad to get there and it was a real fun experience as this part of the island is the most suitable for this kind of bike. There are plenty of unpaved sandy roads along the cost where you will need the 4 wheels and wide sandy areas where you can really enjoy the drive...

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  • Kalandos beach

    This beach is on the further South part of Naxos, we wanted to rent a quad to get there but the hotel manager gave us the much appreciated advice to rent a big scooter instead.The drive to reach it is long, you have to go East toward Filoti and than South, the road is deserted, there is absolutely nothing after Filoti all the way down to the beach....

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  • Psili Ammos beach

    While in Apiranthos I asked a bar tender which one was the best beach on the East coast of the island. He told me to go to Moutsona bay. We drove the scooter down a steep, narrow, curvy and not protected road for about 25 minutes but we did not liked Moutsona bay too much, so we kept going to the next one Psili Ammos bay, about 9 km South.Psili...

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