Naxos island, Greece

September 12, 2016 11182 167 5 Comments


Naxos travel guide

Naxos, the largest island of the Cyclades complex, is characterized by its beautiful, large sandy beaches, its traditional villages and the delicious cuisine. An island with a variety of landscapes that even the most discerning travelers will enjoy. Naxos is home to 33 villages, and its coastline forms 19 magical beaches. You can book a hotel in Naxos by clicking here.

Villages in Naxos

  • Chora (Main town)
    Chora lies on the western side and it is the largest settlement on the island. The edge of the town is dominated by the Portara, which is a huge marble gate of a temple which was built in the 6th century BC, probably in honor of the god Apollo. Above the coastal road leading to the port is a Venetian castle built by Marco Sanudo, when in 1207 AD he designated Naxos as the capital of the Duchy of the Archipelago. Definitely worth a walk through the picturesque narrow streets, where you will see a mixture of Venetian and Cycladic architecture, and you’ll find many tourist shops and restaurants. The main town is a vibrant city, with many choices for accommodation, food and entertainment.
  • Apiranthos
    It is located at a distance of 26 km from Chora and the road to it is full of alluring, natural beauty. Apiranthos was built around two towers, probably of 17th century origin. The use of marble prevails strongly throughout the village. It’s definitely worth taking a stroll down the narrow streets and to enjoy a cup of coffee or a meal at a traditional tavern.
  • Filoti
    It is the biggest village on Naxos, located in the center of the island. It is characterized by its huge trees, whose shade offers a really great place to enjoy a cup of coffee or some raki.
  • Kronos
    It is located north of Apeiranthos. It is a beautiful traditional village built on a steep ravine, which ends at the only beach on the island that most people don’t know about, Lionas.
  • Chalki
    Chalk is a small settlement below Filoti, with old mansions, Venetian towers and Byzantine churches. It also has a distillery that produces citron, the local traditional drink of Naxos.
  • Apollonas
    It is located at the north part of Naxos, about 35km from Chora following the western route. It’s a small coastal fishing village and it has a small beach with several cafes and tavernas for lunch.
  • Moutsouna
    In the past, Moutsouna was a port used primarily to load emery onto ships (emery is a material which was mined in large quantities on the island). Today is a fishing village with nice taverns.

beaches in Naxos

  • Agios Georgios
    It’s the closest beach to Chora, at about 10 minute walking from the harbor. There are many hotels here and the beach is ideal for children as the water is shallow. Also you’ll find taverns, cafes and a beach bar.
  • Agios Prokopios
    It’s a long beach, organized in the biggest part, and has thick golden sand. Conditions are ideal when the wind is blowing north, as it’s location cuts the wind and there are no waves, especially as you approach the chapel on the north side of the beach.
  • Agia Anna
    Is the next beach after Agios Prokopios and has a variety of options as you walk along it. Here you will find places with beach bars and taverns right on the sea, even secluded areas for nude swimming.
  • Plaka
    One of the largest and most popular on Naxos. It’s very beautiful, with golden sand all along its length, it offers many accommodation and dining options.
  • Mikri Vigla
    Mikri Vigla has two bays. The north one is called Parthena and it’s a surfer’s paradise, as the north wind creates ideal conditions for surfing. The south is a windless shelter where you can enjoy swimming in this beautiful area.
  • Kastraki
    Long beach with a few organized sections, ideal for relaxation.
  • Glifada
    Beautiful and quiet beach, which has only a tavern and a few rooms to let.
  • Aliko
    A beautiful small promontory with a cedar forest and beautiful beaches that create an exotic scenery. The forest has been declared a protected area and the beaches are Agios Georgios to the south, Mikrolimano and Hawaii to the west and the nudist beach to the north.
  • Pirgaki
    Beautiful beach with sand dunes, that has two taverns and a cafe. It is one of my favorite when I want to relax on the island. The road after Aliko is a dirt road.
  • Ro
    A nice beach which consists of two pretty small bays, where in order to find a place to put your umbrella you have to go early in the morning.
  • Psili Ammos
    Sandy beach in the east side of Naxos, at a distance of 45km from Chora.
  • Panermos
    One of the furthest beaches from Chora, that has small pebble and palm trees over the sea. It has a canteen for the necessary and the distance from the main town is about 55 km.

Sights and attractions in Naxos

  • Hiking in Zas mountain
    Zas is the highest mountain of Cyclades complex (1.004m) and from the peak the view is absolutely amazing, as you can see around the other islands. The path starts at the chapel of Agia Marina, just outside the village Danakos and takes about half an hour to get there.
  • Hiking in Kinidaros river
    A beautiful hiking route at a small river that starts at the water spring of Garinou in Kinidaros village and ends in Eggares. You need several hours for this route and you can find in the island agents who organise it as a day trip with a guide.
  • Temple of Iria
    The archaeological site of Iria is located in Livadi area, about 10 km south of Chora. It was discovered in 1982 and now it has become a major tourist attraction in Naxos. The religious rituals began taking place here as early as 130 BC, in order to honor the ancient Greek God Dionysus.
  • Temple of Demeter
    The temple of Demeter is one of the most important historical monuments in Naxos and is worth a visit. Known locally as Gyroulas, it is located 1.5 km south of Sangri village. It was built around 530 BC by the tyrant Lygdamis and is currently being restored. It is one of the main attractions of the island.
  • Kouroi
    Kouroi are naked male statues from the middle Archaic period that are very popular in Greek art.
  • Monastery Fotodoti
    Fotodoti is close to Danakos village and it is the oldest monastery in Naxos. It was founded during the Byzantine era around 600 AD. According to tradition, the monastery was built by a princess who fell in big seas and was saved after by a miracle of Jesus Christ.
  • Monastery Holy Mary Argokoiliοtissa
    It took its name from the icons of the Holy Mary that was discovered in the area (Argokoili). It is located near Koronos village, at a distance of 28km from Chora. The church houses two Byzantine frescoes where pilgrims believe that are miraculous.
  • Chimaros Tower
    It is located on the way to Kalandos beach and ιt differs from the other towers of Naxos because it has rounded walls.