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Naxos Tourism And Travel Guide
11° C / 51.9° F
May to October
3 to 4 Days
Naxos Island National Airport (3 kms)
Naxos island is one of the many Cyclades island, located towards the south of Athens and Greece's mainland. It is located centrally between the other islands, which makes it easy to keep as a hub to visit other islands. The weather in Naxos is especially favourable for a beach holiday which makes tourism in Naxos a thriving economy. The island has a population of only about 20,000 people - with about 2000 of them living in the main Naxos town. If you plan on visiting this beautiful island, read this travel guide to Naxos to know about the best places to visit and awesome things to do!
How To Reach
There are no direct flights to Naxos from any other country except Greece! So while travelling from India, you will need to travel via Athens, Greece to reach Naxos. The flight from Athens to Naxos is less than 40 minutes. The airport is located close to the main town and finding public transport from there is quite easy.
Travelling to the Cyclades is best experienced by sea. You can either take a cruise that tours across many of the Cyclades islands including Naxos - or you can take a ferry from Pireaus Port in Athens that takes anywhere between 4 to 6 hours, depending on the ferry operator. The port is located within Naxos town.
There are many ways to explore the island. You can walk around Naxos town and few of its neighbouring villages & beaches. To visit distant places, you can get on a public bus, which has frequent service during the summers. Taxis are also available but are more expensive. You can also rent a car, quad bike or bicycle and travel at your own leisure.
Weather & Best Time To Visit
Spring (March to May):
The weather in spring is cool to pleasant between the months with the temperature ranging from 16°C to 22°C on an average. The island is less crowded and greener during this season. Few days of rain may be experienced. Easter is a big celebration and the revival of the Naxos Carnival may be seen during the early weeks of March.
Summer (June to August):
There's no better feeling than having a cool dip in the deep blue sea on a hot summer evening! And that's exactly what you can expect and experience during the summers at Naxos. The average temperature is 27°C with a forecast of bright sunny days and no rain! However, you can also expect throngs of tourist during this season. There are many festivals and events held during the summers because of the no. of tourists. So keep a watch for music concerts, dance performances, street plays, art exhibitions etc.
Autumn (September to November):
Autumn may be the most underrated season yet. Weather is still quite pleasing in the first half, which means you can enjoy many beach activities, while the temperature slightly cools down to 19° C towards the latter half. Tourists are far lesser than spring or summer, which makes this season attractive. There may be a few cloudy and rainy days. The most popular festival that takes place during this season is the Dionysia Festival and the Rakee Distillery Festival
Winter (December to February):
Winters are cold but not too cold! Light jackets would be enough to keep you warm. However, a swim on the beach may not be the best thing to do - depending on how cold you like your water! The average temperature during winter is 14°C. There are plenty of other activities that you can enjoy - including hiking, visiting historic places & traditional villages and just enjoying the peaceful and beautiful nature around. Carry an umbrella as it will rain.
Things to Do
Naxos has over 20 beaches - while you may not want to explore them all, you definitely must visit the popular ones and enjoy the different natural scenery as well as some thrilling water sports like windsurfing, stand up paddleboarding, banana boat rides etc. Beach of Agios Georgios, Plaka, Saint George, Orkos and Mikri Vigla are a must-visit!
A trip around some of Naxos's picturesque villages is definitely one of the top things to do. Some of the towns which are located in mountainous regions have stunning aerial views of the island. At least visit the towns of Filoti, Halki, Apiranthos, Koronos & Melanes if not others.
Historic Sites & Buildings:
Naxos has a few archaeological sites that are quite interesting and unique from other places you might have visited. The Portara is a symbol of Naxos and is highly recommended during sunset or sunrise. The Kouros of Apollonas is also a unique place. Other places include - the Temple of Demeter and many churches and monasteries from the Byzantine period.
Exploring the waters around the island is very popular with tourists. Some of the top tours include visits to Mykonos, Santorini, Amorgos, Paros and Koufonisia etc. You can also opt for smaller tours just around the Naxos island with snorkelling, fishing or cave hunting activities.
Naxos doesn't have too many shopping streets, but you will find enough tourist shops around the old town area of Naxos town and a few other villages like Filoti, Chalki and Apiranthos. You may also find some tourist shops near popular beaches during the summer season.
Some of the things you can buy here are clothes, jewellery, wooden products, ceramics, linens, olive oil products, local bakery products etc. You may also want to buy local drinks like Kitron, Ouzo and Raki. Some well-known shops are - Pagonis Leather Sandals, Aelia Gallery, Ariadne Naxian Soaps, Apodo Hellenic Design Gift Store, El Gallery, Helais Olive Tree Creations, Organic islands etc - all located in Naxos town.
Greek cuisine includes a variety of meats, seafood and vegetables... and Naxos has them all. Must-try local food includes - Kokoras me Makaronia, Wild Rabbit and Goat, Batoudo and Patsas (a soup). Naxian potatoes are quite famous, so you must try their fries/chips. Another popular dish is their variety of cheese - thiliko, graviera, xinomyzithra and kopanisti.
Apart from these, most of the popular greek foods like souvlaki, gyro, greek salad, different mezze etc will be available at all Greek restaurants.
Here's a list of some popular restaurants:
- Ippokampos - A beach bar on Agios Giorgios beach
- Palatia Island and Palatia Beach Restaurant - for their amazing seafood.
- Scirocco Restaurant - located in the main town
- Giorgis - located in Melanes
- Other popular restaurants - Delfinaki, Rotonda, Nissaki, Sarris Tavern, Nostimon Hellas Naxos & Antamoma
- Most restaurants are vegetarian friendly.