Our travel guide to Naxos lets you in on where to stay, eat, drink and play on the largest island of the Cyclades complex, a gem that’s nestled in the heart of the Aegean Sea.
With its breathtaking landscapes, crystal clear waters, sandy beaches, delicious food and atmospheric mountain villages, Naxos invites you to embark on an unforgettable journey.
Perfect place for
Naxos is ideal for all kinds of travellers; those seeking to relax on an isolated beach, those who would prefer a sunbed with a cocktail in hand, the ones who love water sports, hardcore foodies, art enthusiasts, for couples who want to enjoy the nightlife or even families with young kids. Naxos is ideal for long holidays or long weekends. In a few words, this Cycladic island is perfect for all!
Where to stay
One of our favourite areas for accommodation is Plaka. Being one of the most popular beaches in Naxos, but not excessively crowded at the same time, it means that you can grab your towel and enjoy a dip in the crystal-clear cool waters or relax on a sunbed and order an iced coffee at one of the many beach café-bars. Here you’ll find plenty of accommodation, as well as restaurants.
You can also stay around Plaka, at Agia Anna, Mikri Vigla, or Agios Prokopios.
Another great option is Kastraki. It features a beautiful sandy beach, with a small part that is organised with umbrellas and sunbeds. There are also plenty of tavernas with excellent food, as well as bakeries and supermarkets. It’s an ideal choice for those wanting to avoid crowds.
Where to sleep
There are so many accommodation options in Naxos, including hotels, villas, or Airbnb. I recommend Helen Luxury Villas in Kastraki, Sea & Olives in the area of Plaka and Naxian on the Beach for a bit of luxe.
Must See + Do
The options are endless! You shouldn’t leave the island before visiting Apeiranthos, Chalki and Koronos villages; picturesque, nostalgic, and charming, they remain authentic.
Apeiranthos is 25 km away from Naxos Town. Surrounded by lush greenery and authentic architecture, it’s most definitely the island’s jewel! For great traditional homemade food, visit Lefteris Tavern or Platanos and pay a visit to one of the local craftsmanship shops for unique souvenirs.
Chalki (or Halki) is 16 km from Naxos town. It’s a small, lovely village that used to be the capital of Naxos. It’s well known for its olive cultivation and amazing galaktoboureko (Greek dessert of semolina-based custard and phyllo).
Koronos is 27 km from Naxos town and it’s built amphitheatrically on the slopes of a hill. You will definitely enjoy a walk among the beautiful narrow paved streets, and if you’re a culture aficionado, there’s an eco-museum for you to visit as well as a Folklore museum. The village is also known for its delicious wine and fine agricultural products.
Naxos is an island that caters to all tastes. Culture fans will be thrilled to know there are so many fascinating museums to visit!
The Old Town is home to the Archaeological Museum of Naxos; located in the Venetian Tower of the Kastro district, the museum has a significant collection of Cycladic idols and works of art.
The Temple of Demeter Museum at Gyroulas is a must-see museum as well. Located at Sangri (11km from Chora), it features archaeological finds from the excavation of the site that dates back to the 6th century BC.
The Apeiranthos Archaeological Museum features exceptional findings of the Cycladic Civilization; more than 1200 artifacts, such as jewellery, marble, and tools, cover the pre-Cycladic period and the Neolithic age.
The Olive Press Museum is definitely worth visiting as it showcases the different stages of olive production.
Naxos is a vibrant island; numerous events and festivals take place every summer all over the island; we recommend you keep an eye on advertisements scattered around the island.
Eat + Drink
Visit Melimilon for the best homemade jams, and a hearty breakfast, and Yucca and Picasso at Plaka beach for refreshing, delicious salads and snacks for lunch.
You will find excellent local meat at Kinidaros village and Potirou at Damarionas and local dishes with interesting twists at Yucca at Plaka beach. For the best Italian, go to Dal Professore in Naxos Town. Aksiotissa tavern is a true gastronomic experience; all dishes are prepared with local ingredients and flavours are full of imagination! And last but not least, Stou Vasilarakiou, is another traditional tavern set in a picturesque mountain village that specialises in perfectly grilled local meats.
Coffee + Sweets
The best galaktoboureko is at Chalki and top profiteroles at Dal Professore.
Island at Agia Anna; delicious cocktails and inviting music. Meli & Kanela is another great option for cocktails and, of course, Swing. Jazz & Blues is the place to be for, as the name suggests, great jazz and blues music in the background.
Don’t skip a visit to the Saint Anna Winery if you love good wine and appreciate the art of making one. It’s a family business that oversees all stages of production, from separating the grapes to labelling the wine. You will have a fantastic time tasting the local wine along with local delights coming straight from the farm.
As for beach bars, there is no shortage in Naxos! If you want a full day at the beach, followed by drinks in one spot- head to Tortuga, Nomad Naxos, Santana, or Tohu– you won’t be disappointed!
The Naxian potatoes, of course! They are famous for a good reason; top quality and amazing taste, the result of soil composition and climate conditions. And citron liqueur at Chalki village.
A few of the best beaches are Plaka, Mikri Vigla, Agios Prokopios, Hawaii Beach and Psili Ammos.
Best view… check out the fantastic sea view and all the surfers from Mikri Vigla, watch the sun go down at the famous Portara and if you feel adventurous, climb Mount Zeus and enjoy the breathtaking view of the island with the Aegean Sea surrounding it.
Ultimate day trip
If you’re up for a short-day trip from Naxos, Koufonisia is the way to go! Located south of Naxos, Koufonisia is known for its pristine and turquoise waters.
Katerina Vasilaki makes the best handmade jewellery; Naxos Art has unique handmade textiles, such as tablecloths, weavings and embroideries, while Apodo and Riza Greek Experience Store sell super cute Greek souvenirs. Lastly, if you visit Apeiranthos, visit the Yperoon store for unique handmade decorative objects.
Make sure you take home… Local cheese and kitro from any local shop that sells traditional delicacies.
Getting there: Naxos is easily accessible. It’s a short 30-minute flight from Athens airport or a 4-5-hour trip by ferry.
Best time to go: Summer is the best season to visit, ideally from May to September; however, it’s also worth visiting during Easter, as various local traditions and happenings take place.
Ideal time to stay: One week is great!
Getting around: We recommend hiring a car; Naxos is a big island, and you need a car to explore. I wouldn’t recommend bikes for safety matters. The streets are dark and narrow, and not all of them are paved.
What to pack: Your swimsuits, of course! And light, comfortable clothes if you’re visiting during the summer period. Don’t forget to pack a jacket, as it can get breezy at night.
Main Image | Naxian on the Beach