Naxos is the most important and greenest island in the Cyclades. Lounge on the white, sandy seashores, go to historic temples, hike to the summit of Mount Zas, go windsurfing, and explore the charming villages…these all make the listing of one of the best issues to do in Naxos.
On our current journey to Greece, we hopped from Mykonos to Naxos to Santorini by ferry and it was Naxos that stole our hearts. We liked this island. Naxos feels quiet, peaceable, uncrowded. With its inexperienced rolling hills and mountains, Naxos seems to be and feels remotely totally different from the other islands in the Cyclades. The beaches are lovely, strolling the village trail and exploring previous ruins was plenty of fun, and the meals is superb. We completely enjoyed our visit right here and hope to return again someday.
Fascinating Details about Naxos
Mount Zas, additionally referred to as Mount Zeus, is the very best level in the Cyclades. In accordance to Greek mythology, Zeus was raised in a cave on this mountain. You possibly can hike to the summit of Mount Zas and explore the cave alongside the best way.
Naxos is extra mountainous than the opposite islands in the Cyclades. These mountains have a tendency to lure the clouds, so the island gets more rainfall, and subsequently it’s greener and more fertile than nearby islands.
The island of Naxos is criss-crossed with numerous mountaineering and walking trails. You’ll be able to hike to the summit of Mount Zas, stroll from village to village, or explore different ruins and statues on the island. For those who like to go climbing, Naxos is among the greatest Greek islands to go to.
Naxos gets fewer tourists than the extra common locations of Mykonos and Santorini. It feels quieter here, extra genuine, and fewer crowded. Plus, because it doesn’t share the same reputation as other islands in the Cyclades, lodge prices could be a lot decrease.
The Portara, additionally referred to as the Temple of Apollo, is Naxos’ most famous landmark. It sits proper beside Chora, the primary metropolis on Naxos, so in case you are arriving by ferry, this might be the first thing you see.
The Portara is a big door, the entrance to an unfinished temple. It was constructed in 530 BC. There are two theories about why this temple was constructed. The Portara faces the island of Delos, so some individuals consider the temple was built to honor the god Apollo. Different students consider it was dedicated to Dionysus, who was worshipped on Naxos.
Getting Here: Cross the artifical causeway from Naxos City and stroll the gravel trails across the door. It’s free to go to and only takes a few minutes of your time. The Portara also makes a fantastic sunset images spot on Naxos.
Chora, or Naxos City
Chora, additionally referred to as Naxos City, is the capital of Naxos. That is the place the ferries dock and where most visitors stay whereas on the island. It is full of great eating places and small outlets and makes an incredible hub for exploring the island.
The city is constructed on a hill. At the prime of the hill is the Kastro, or citadel. This medieval citadel was constructed by a Venetian Emperor in 1207 and was the seat of power in the Cyclades for 300 years. Situated inside the citadel is the Archaeological Museum, a worthwhile visit for historical past buffs.
Hike to the highest of Mount Zas for panoramic views over Naxos and for bragging rights that you simply stood on the very best point in the Cyclades.
The one method to attain the summit of Mount Zas is by yourself two ft. There are two routes to the top. The simplest route is from Aghia Marina. This hike is 7 km round trip with 300 meters of elevation achieve.
The second route begins at Aria Spring and goes past the Cave of Zeus earlier than ending on the summit. It’s solely 5 km round journey however is far steeper and extra strenuous than the Aghia Marina route.
Go to the Villages of Naxos
Dotting the hillsides and mountains of Naxos are small, quaint villages which are a pleasure to visit. You’ll be able to drive from one to the opposite by automotive, or, if you need a more scenic expertise, you’ll be able to walk the trails that join these villages. On the listing are Melanes, Ano Potamia, Myli, Kalamitsia, and extra.
Blue dome church in Melanes
We walked from Melanes to Myli to the Kouroi of Flerio and it was certainly one of our favorite experiences in Naxos. It’s a stupendous stroll and straightforward to do, so it’s great for families and other people of all ages. This walk takes about 2 to 3 hours and is completed as a loop (it begins and ends at Melanes), so it’s straightforward to do if in case you have a rental automotive.
Apiranthos, additionally referred to as “Plenty of Flowers Village,” is among the prettiest villages on the island. Wander the slender marble-paved streets, see extra Venetian structure, and go to certainly one of a number of small museums here.
Hike to Apano Kastro
This was not on our unique to-do record. And this turned out to be our favorite, sudden shock on Naxos.
Apano Kastro is the ruins of an historic citadel in Naxos. It made our “maybe” record from a Google search I did prior to our journey to Greece. The pictures of ruins on a lush, green hillside caught my consideration and we decided to give it a attempt. We had no info to go off of, aside from one image and some extent marked on Google Maps.
We found out how to stroll from the lovable little village of Ano Potamia and up to Apano Kastro. It is a lovely stroll with fantastic views across the interior of Naxos. We might see Mount Zas looming over us and Naxos Metropolis off in the space.
The view from Apano Kastro. Mount Zas is the mountain with the cloud over it.
When you actually need to get off-of-the-beaten-path in Naxos, this can be a nice, brief hike to think about. I’ll be writing more about it quickly, so keep tuned. 🙂
Splurge on a Room with a View
Not often does a lodge make our to-do record. However we stayed at a place so fantastic that I simply had to write about it.
Think about touring the island by day after which lounging in your infinity pool with probably the greatest views of Naxos in the evening. And you will get all of this for a fraction of the worth you’d pay on Mykonos or Santorini.
If you’d like to splurge for a personal pool with a view while in Greece, Naxos is the place to do it. Throughout our search, inns have been significantly cheaper on Naxos than Mykonos or Santorini.
We stayed on the fabulous Naxos Rock Villas. This small property presents three villas (but they will be adding on more rooms in the close to future). We stayed in the Apollo villa and had two bedrooms, three loos, a kitchen and dwelling space, and probably the most superb terrace with an infinity pool. It was unbelievable.
Within the mornings, we might have breakfast on the terrace, with views of Mount Zas, Naxos City, and the rolling hills of Naxos. Within the evenings, we actually rushed back to the villa, keen to hang out again on the terrace. Do you blame us? Take a look at this place!
Naxos Rock Villas is situated about 10 minutes from Naxos City, so you will have a automotive for those who plan to stay here.
Disclaimer: We discovered this property on our personal and paid full worth for our visit. Naxos Rock Villas is considered one of our favourite accommodations of all time and it truly is something special. Not often do I rave a few lodge as much as this however all 4 of us have been simply blown away by the expertise right here. Click on the link offered to learn critiques, see more pictures, and verify availibility on Booking.com.
Go to the Seashore
Take your decide from the white sandy seashores that line the coast of Naxos. Agios Prokopios, Plaka Seashore, Mikri Vigla, and Agia Anna are a number of the prettiest seashores on the island.
Agios Prokopios Seashore
Windsurf or Kitesurf
The northern winds that blow over Naxos create wonderful circumstances for windsurfing and kitesurfing. The preferred seashores embrace Agios Prokopios, Agios Georgios, Laguna, and Mikri Vigla beaches.
Study extra here.
The Temple of Demeter
This temple was constructed in the 6th century BC to honor Demeter, the goddess of grain and the harvest. Within the sixth century AD, the temple was demolished and the marble was used to build a Christian basilica on the identical website. Lately, German archaeologists restored the temple to its present type.
The Temple of Demeter is situated close to the city of Sangri. From Naxos City it takes 30 minutes to drive here.
Panagia Drosiani Church
This is the oldest Christian church on Naxos and it dates back to the top of the sixth century AD. It’s free and quick to visit and worthwhile in case you are street tripping around the island.
Kitron is a liqueur distilled on Naxos from the leaves of the citron tree. Situated in Chalki, it’s free to visit the distillery and do a tasting of kitron. Study extra here.
Kouroi of Flerio
In the 6th and seventh centuries BC, craftsman quarried rock on Naxos and used this rock to carve monumental statues. You possibly can still see two of these statues, and the quarry, for those who don’t thoughts doing slightly walking.
You’ll be able to drive to some extent near the Kouros or embrace a go to here while walking the village path. Study more in our article about walking the village path on Naxos.
Apollonas is a fishing village on the northern coast of Naxos. It’s enjoyable to discover, a terrific place to dine on recent fish, and nearby is another Kouros (statue) to visit.
Dine on Greek Meals
There are many great eating places to attempt on Naxos. We couldn’t get to all of these throughout our brief keep however here’s a listing of a few of the greatest eating places on the island.
Rotonda. If you would like a scrumptious meal with a tremendous view, put Rotonda in your record. It’s situated in the mountains near Apiranthos, so you will want a automotive to get here, but this restaurant gets rave critiques not only for its food but for the view. Sadly, they have been closed throughout our go to, nevertheless it seems to be like a wonderful place for lunch or dinner in case you are street tripping around the island.
O Vasilis. Situated in Melanes, this conventional Greek restaurant makes a nice place for lunch or dinner, particularly when you plan to go to the city whereas strolling the village path.
In Naxos, we ate at Nostimon Hellas, which serves conventional Greek meals with a twist. To Elliniko was excessive on our record nevertheless it was not but open in early April. For those who go, get the orange cake, I hear that it is scrumptious! Different notable spots to attempt in Naxos embrace La Vigne Wine Bar, Scirocco Café, and Barozzi Naxos Restaurant.
See Them All on a Map
About Our Visit
We visited Naxos in mid-April. The island was just waking up from an extended winter. We have been the primary visitors of the yr at Naxos Rock Villas and lots of eating places nonetheless had not opened their doors.
Through the day, temperatures ranged from 13°C – 18°C (mid-50’s to mid-60’s). We had in the future of excessive winds and clouds and someday of sunny skies and low wind. Although it was a bit chilly, Kara could not move up a fast dip in the pool at our villa.
Despite the fact that temperatures have been cool and Naxos had not absolutely woken up from the winter season, we beloved visiting this time of yr. Crowds have been very low and temperatures have been pleasant for climbing.
If you need good weather and need to keep away from peak season crowds, Might and September are nice months to go to Naxos.
Getting Round Naxos
To actually get out and discover Naxos, you will have a rental automotive. As you’ll be able to see from our record of things to do in Naxos, there is a lot to do that is situated away from Naxos City.
For probably the most half, getting round Naxos by automotive is comparatively straightforward and easy. Simply comply with the signs on the roads that point you to the cities, seashores, and different points of interest. There have been a number of occasions the place Google Maps directed us down extraordinarily slender, rural roads, so we had to backtrack and find a new route, however in some ways, that simply added to the journey.
How A lot Time Ought to You Spend on Naxos?
We spent two days in Naxos and wished we had no less than another day. The island is deceptively giant with rather a lot to do, so having three or extra days is right.
Three or more days would offer you sufficient time to hike to Mount Zas, walk the village path or discover different trails on the island, chill out at the seashore, take windsurfing lessons, and discover Naxos City. Plus, when you stay at the Naxos Rock Villas, or somewhere comparable, you want some additional time to lounge at your lodge.
Are you planning a trip to Naxos? Comment under when you’ve got any questions or if you’d like to share your experience.
More Info for Your Journey to Greece:
You May Additionally Like:
Observe: This submit incorporates affiliate hyperlinks. Whenever you make a purchase utilizing certainly one of these affiliate hyperlinks, we get paid a small fee at no additional value to you.