The island of Naxos is the largest of the Cyclades. It is also the most fertile of the islands, growing vegetables, fruit such as lemons and oranges. Apart from the main town or Chora of Naxos, there are a number of villages and beach towns worth visiting.
Agios Geórgios lies south of the town and with a fine west facing beach and plenty of accommodation is popular with visitors.
The beach Agios Geórgios
This beach is the most popular among the many beaches in Naxos Island. Its popularity could have been because of its undeniable beauty and the so many things that it has to offer. Agios Gerogios is also called St. George Beach. It is a kilometre stretch of endless beauty.
The golden sand living harmoniously with the crystal blue shallow water is a plainly picturesque scene. The shallow water makes it ideal for families with children. It is also Naxos’ busiest island. Found here are lots of business establishments like restaurants, bar-cafes, taverns, small markets, and so forth.
Both night and day are ideal for a stay in the beach. In the morning people could enjoy swimming and trying some water sports while during the night they could stay there for a nice romantic dinner. Moreover, St. George’s is just a few minutes’ worth of walk from Naxos town which makes it a very good place to stay in.
After a day exploring the island or lazing on a beach relax in one of the seafront cafes as the sun fades below the horizon castng a myriad of colours across the sky
Naxos is the center of attention among the Cyclades. It holds the record of being the largest among the islands of Cyclades and it also resides in its core. This island prides itself with many attractions: a city with cobbled walkways, numerous local shops, a collection of romantic beaches, and Greek architecture.
Adventurous travellers could also try windsurfing and kitesurfing. This wonderful island also carries a story of its own.
According to Greek mythology, this is where Dionysus, the god of wine and ecstasy, had entwined with Ariadne. Here a sanctuary was built in honour of Dionysus. As if the god is working, Naxian wine is known to be so good that it could mend a broken heart. Mt. Zeus or Mt. Zas is the highest and most visible landmark of the island. Naxos is recognized as one of the most fertile islands of the Cyclades.
The lagoon is only five minutes away from Agios Georgios via walking. From Naxos town, it would take you fifteen minutes to reach the area also through walking. Water activities like windsurfing and kitesurfing are ideal to be done there that is why many tourists go to the lagoon to try them.
The water is very shallow, just a meter deep. The rocks which usually make these activities impossible are also absent here. It is very safe unlike the other beaches. Sea urchins do not also occupy the area.
The lagoon is actually a beach; however, due to its shape and the shallowness of the water, people call it Laguna or Lagoon Beach.
The waterfront of Naxos town extends from the harbour right around to the sea cliffs of Grótta.
The harbour Water Front
Even the harbour of Naxos is fascinating and is actually quite busy. Rows of white boats could be found here, a typical harbour setting.
What is unique about the harbour is that it is characterized by the industrial vestiges of the cable railway system. Along the harbour, local restaurants are ideal for a relaxing lunch overlooking the harbour and the beautiful nearby citadel. There are also many bars, coffee shops, and local shops in the area. The iconic landmark of the harbour is the archway of Portara which was originally built as the entrance to the temple dedicated to Apollo. However, the temple was not completed.
Now, the archway just stands there to welcome the visitors of Naxos who came via ferries. A relaxing stroll along the boardwalks is a good activity for visitors. Boat tours are also available there, if tourists fancy a visit to the other islands like Santorini, Paros, Mykonos and Delos.
In Naxos, there is a beautiful neighbourhood with the name of Grotta.
From here, travellers would have easy access to the other parts of Naxos. Kastro, for example, could be reached by foot from Grotta.
Grotta is a good place to stay in; however, it is not an ideal place for people who want to go for a swim. The beach here is more for snorkelling rather than swimming due to the rocky surface and strong winds in the area.
View from Ferry
There are many ways to reach Naxos via ferry. Naxos Island is connected to the ports of Piraeus and Rafina. There are daily trips that could be accessed from there. Reaching Naxos would only take about five hours from Piraeus port and around four hours from Rafina port.
From Piraeus port, there are many available routes going to Naxos. Travellers could choose among the six different routes.
• Piraeus-Paros-Naxos-Syros-Mykonos • Piraeus-Paros-Naxos-Ios-Sikinos-Folgandro-Anafi-Santorini • Piraeus-Paros-Antiparos-Naxos-Santorini-Ios
• Piraeus-Kythos-Serifos-Sifnos-Milos-Kimolos-Folegandros-Sikinos-Ios-Naxos-Paros-Antiparos • Rafina-Syros-Paros-Naxos • Thessalonki-Skiathos-Skopelos-Syros-Tinos-Mykonos-Paros-Naxos-Ios-Santorini-Heraklion
View from Ferry
Sailing West into Sunset
If you head back to Athens in the evening your last memories of Naxos may be of it's beautiful sunsets.
Sailing West into Sunset
The town of Naxos or Chóra can be divided into a number of distinct areas, the Kastro lies on a hill overlooking the harbour, the Bourg lies below.
The Old Bourg was the home of the Greeks back in the olden days when the town was divided into two neighbourhoods.
It has witnessed the rich history of Naxos so history buffs may find the place very interesting.
Here you can find the 18th Century Orthodox Cathedral as well as some of the most satisfying local shops and restaurants in Naxos Town located along the serpentine alleys of the medieval Bourg market area
The Kastro is a Venetian fortress found in the old town of Naxos. Kastro which means castle is a very historical place.
It is where Markos Sanoudos II, the Venetian Emperor, and his Venetian citizens resided back in the 13th century. The Kastro used to have an exterior and an interior wall. However, what is only left now is the interior wall. Back then, it also held seven towers.
Unfortunately, only one has been lucky enough to survive, the Glezos tower. The castle has four floors and is unique for its round shape. The Kastro is now handled by the Archaelogical Service.
They are currently working on turning it into a museum. Mr. Petros Glezos personally entrusted it to the institution.
The town is also called Chora by most residents but is officially named Naxos Town.
This gorgeous town is the capital of Naxos Island. Many popular attractions that have outlived history are found here. Some of which are Portara, Grota, the Kastro or the Venetian Castle, and the Archaeological Museum of Naxos. This town is best explored via walking although bikes are also available for rent.
It is a good place to stay in if you want to enjoy Naxos in the fullest. The town is a combination of four areas: the harbour or port, Nea Chora or Agios Georgios, Kastro, and the Bourg. It is also connected to Palatia by a breakwater which serves as the protection of the northern harbour. Back in the olden days the town have been a witness to many historical events like the Fourth Crusade.
Marco Sanudo the nephew of the doge of the Venetians actually rules here. The town was actually divided into two historic villages namely Bourgos and kastro. The Greeks stayed in Bourgos while the Venetian Catholics lived in the Kastro. Moreover, in this day and age, Naxos has already expanded southwards, near the beautiful Agios Georgios beach.
The best beaches on the island lie to the south of the Chóra. The Pláka with it's long white sandy beach is regarded as being the best.
Pláka The Beaches
Plaka Beach, which stretches for about four kilometres, is known to be one of the most beautiful among the beaches of Naxos Island. It is just seven kilometres away from Naxos Town and could be reached by passing through Agios Prokopis and Agia Anna.
It actually appears to be like an extension of Agia Anna. This beach is very popular for the panoramic greenish blue water as well as its white sand. The southern part is ideal for nudists but take note the beach is also perfect for families and couples too.
In the area, taverns and restaurants which offer local cuisine are found. There are also a couple of hotels and places to stay in. The calming beauty of Plaka should definitely not be missed on a trip to Naxos Island.
Agia Anna has lots of taverns, places to stay in and restaurants compared to the others. During peak seasons, Agia Anna is crowded by tourists so if you want a quieter place you could try the nearby beaches.
Agia Anna is a 1.2 kilometres stretch of wonder. The beautiful white sand feature as well as the transparent blue water completes the panoramic setting of Agia Anna. There, caiques and yachts gather. The beach also used to be the central commercial port before.
It is just 500 kilometres from Agios Prokopis and Plaka is just 500 metres from there as well. From Naxos town, Agia Anna is just 6 kilometres away, very accessible anytime of the day. From the beauty it possesses to the activities it can offer, Agia Anna could just be the place for you.
Drive by Maragas Beach
What makes it different from the other beaches is its abundance of big trees.
The sand and water of Maragas is not as striking as Plaka’s but it still nice and comforting. The beach is still visited by a lot of people especially those who loves camping. This is the reason why Maragas gets crowded.
A camping site and some places for accommodation are found in the area. Activities like beach volleyball and some water sports could also be done there. Maragas is just as beautiful like the others. It could be best enjoyed through beach camping there.
Drive by Maragas Beach
Vineyards, olive groves, orchards and white villages greet the visitor on a drive through the island.
Filoti is just nineteen kilometres away from Naxos Town. It is a beautiful town of serenity and is considered as the largest village in Naxos Island. It is surrounded by olive groves and a few taverns.
It also stands on a lovely valley near Mt. Zas. The few commercial establishments are found on the town’s main road alley. It is also located on the center of the island so it serves as the hub for the areas around the place.The traditional Cycladic village is the image shown by Filoti, with its white colored, flat-roofed houses as well as the slender alleys.
Byzantine churches also reside in the town which people can visit.
On the center of the village stands a tall old tree which they dubbed as Gefyra, meaning bridge. This serves as the landmark for the village. From Filoti, some nearby attractions like the Tower of Himaros, and Mt. Zas could be accessed.
Aperianthos has been known as the “marble village” due to trend of architectural design in the place. The Venetian style of narrow marble pathways with the typical archways characterizes the place. Venetian defense towers also reside there.
Fortunately, these had been preserved through the ages. This lovely village is found at the bottom of Mt. Fanari, surrounded by two valleys and fertile vineyards and orchards. The landmark of the place is the Zevgoli Tower which was built in the 17th century.
It is a very striking structure which stands on top of a rock, welcoming the visitors at the entrance of the village. This village would be best enjoyed by walking and just appreciating its unique beauty. Moreover, it is said that the people in Aperianthos exhibit unique chracteristics which make them stand out. They are said to be dynamic, romantic, poetic, and skilled weavers.
Do not miss a chance to interact with the locals and witness this for yourself. For art and culture lovers, three museums could be visited there, one for archaeology, geology, and folk culture. Aperianthos is thirty-two kilometres from the Chora.
Drive across the Island
A regular island bus service departs from the waterfront throughout the day. Buses head north but the easiest and probably most pleasant trip is across the island to the village of Filoti.
Drive across the Island