If you’re heading to Naxos soon, our ultimate Naxos Travel Guide has everything you need to plan the perfect trip to the largest of the Cyclades Islands.

From the best Naxos travel tips to hotel and restaurant recommendations to lists of the top beaches, villages and historic sites, this Naxos travel guide answers all your questions and prepares you for an unforgettable trip to one of the most authentic Greek Islands.

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View of big rocks in the sea with a man fishing during the sunset.
Naxos is a magical place

The Ultimate Naxos Travel Guide: Travel Resources

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Where Is Naxos Greece

Naxos is the largest island of the Cyclades. It’s situated between Amorgos and the island of Paros, north of Ios and south of Mykonos. The Municipality of Naxos & The Small Cyclades comprises the islands of Naxos, Iraklia, Donoussa, Koufonisia and Schinoussa.

This image shows Portara and a ferry approaching Naxos port during sunset. The photo is taken from a drone.
Sunset in Chora Naxos

Who Is Naxos Island For

Everyone. However, more often than not, Naxos is regarded as a primarily family-oriented island. We feel the need to dismantle this myth. Thanks to its amazing beaches with fine sand and shallow waters, spacious accommodation and a remarkable multitude of activities and dining options, the island is indeed ideal for families travelling with kids.

Yet Naxos Island is so diverse that it has something for everyone. Couples in love who want nothing but to walk hand in hand in dimly lit alleys, adventurous solo travellers eager to explore natural wonders and ancient ruins or groups of friends ready to dance the night away after a day spent doing water sports, no matter what type of traveller you are, you’ll love Naxos.

This image shows a man walking along an alley in the Old Market in Naxos Island Greece.
Walking around the Old Town of Naxos appeals to everyone

Best Time To Visit Naxos

In this Naxos travel guide, we’ll repeat what we’ll never stop saying. Avoid travelling to the Greek Islands during the peak season (mid-July to the end of August). Visiting Naxos during the peak season means crowded beaches, time wasted looking for free parking spots and long queues at the best Naxos restaurants if you show up without a reservation.

Furthermore, visiting Naxos when everyone else does, makes locals’ lives difficult in many ways. For instance, the increased need for water during the peak season leads to shortages. Some villages may be left without tap water for hours on some occasions.

Therefore, apart from having the island almost to yourselves, visiting Naxos outside of the peak season is one of the most sustainable ways to support the local economy when it needs you the most.

View of a street leading to Chora with parked cards.
Parking space is scarce in the peak season in Naxos

The best time to visit Naxos is the shoulder season, from early May to early July. These are the perfect months if you want to experience real island life, swim in the warm sea, and go hiking without the risk of suffering from excessive heat.

If you don’t mind the sea being a bit cold, October is also a great time to visit Naxos. That said, some bars, restaurants, and attractions may be closed in October. Therefore, make sure you double-check in advance.

This image shows Portara and the crowds that gather there during sunset. The Greek Island of Naxos is at its best outside the peak season.
Sunset at Portara during the peak season isn’t as romantic as it should be

How Many Days in Naxos

Naxos is by no means a weekend break destination. To experience everything on our list of fantastic things to do in Naxos and still have time to relax and enjoy the island, a minimum of six full days in Naxos is mandatory. Of course, if you have more time to spend in Naxos, do so. You can’t get bored in Naxos.

A whitewashed staircase lined with colourful plants and flowers.
So many quaint nooks to discover in Naxos

How To Get To Naxos

Flights To Naxos

You can catch a flight from Athens to Naxos as there are no direct flights to Naxos from abroad. Flying from Athens to Naxos takes less than an hour. Once on the island, It’s super easy to get from Naxos Airport to Naxos Town as it’s a mere 10-minute drive between the two.

Ferries To Naxos

You can get to Naxos by ferry from Athens all year round via Piraeus Port. From May to October, there are ferries to Naxos from Rafina Port, too. In this case, you can combine the two largest of the Cyclades Island group, Naxos and Andros, on the same trip.

Journey times vary depending on the ferry type. It takes about three and a half to four and a half hours on a high-speed ferry or five to six hours on a regular ferry from Piraeus to Naxos. You can get to Naxos from several nearby islands, too. Some of these are Santorini, Serifos, Sifnos or Astypalaia. Fill in the boxes below to check ferry schedules and book your tickets to Naxos.

This image shows a highspeed ferry. Seagulls fly in the foreground. In our Naxos travel guide, you'll find out how to get to Naxos.
The Athens to Naxos ferry greeted by a flock of seagulls at the ferry port of Naxos

How To Get Around Naxos

For an island the size of Naxos, with so many things to do and see in all directions, the best way to get around is to rent a car. If you want to enjoy your time in Naxos without worrying about public buses, car rentals are ideal.

Driving in Naxos is generally easy. Some roads could be in better condition, though. Therefore, you’d be better off renting a car that’s as high off the ground as possible. Also, don’t forget to buy Full Coverage, just to be on the safe side.

If driving isn’t an option, don’t miss the chance to check some of the best things to do in Naxos off of your list by booking this high-rated bus tour of the island. It will take you to the Temple of Demeter, Chalki Village, the Kouros of Apollonas and several other attractions in Naxos in one day. Alternatively, when the weather allows it, you can opt for amazing sightseeing boat trips instead.

This image shows our car on a dirt road in Naxos.
Our Fiat 500 getting us to where public transportation can’t

Where To Stay in Naxos

The island of Naxos is abundant in top-quality accommodation options that range from boutique hotels to fully serviced apartments. Deciding where to stay in Naxos has to do with your preferences and needs. One of the best places to stay in Naxos is Chora and the area around Agios Georgios Beach.

Panoramic view of Chora from the Temple of Apollo. There is a rocky causeway that connects the islet of Apollo temple to Naxos Chora.
Dominated by one of the prettiest Venetian castles, Naxos Chora is the perfect place to stay

Have a look at some of the best hotels in Naxos Chora:
Galini Hotel on Agios Georgios Beach – Conveniently situated right next to one of the largest parking lots in Chora, Galini Hotel offers impeccably clean, smartly decorated rooms, some of which enjoy views of the Aegean Sea or the quaint chapel of Agios Georgios.
Naxian Spirit Inn in Naxos Town– One of the best hotels in Naxos Town, Naxian Spirit Inn offers smartly decorated rooms in the heart of the modern part of Naxos Town.
Naxos Center Houses in the Old Town – Beautiful home-like apartments that offer the unique opportunity to stay in the Old Town of Naxos.
Cyano Suites in Grotta – Elegance and affordable luxury with splendid views of Portara.

This image shows the church of Agios Georgios in Chora.
The chapel of Agios Georgios near the beach

If you’d like to experience the local life of Naxos, wander around dimly lit cobblestone streets at night and stay at a central location that will facilitate either your hiking or driving trips in Naxos, you should consider staying at one of the island’s picturesque mountain villages.

Have a look at some hotels in the best villages in Naxos:
Dreamcatcher of Zeus in Filoti Village – An easy walk from the main square of vibrant Filoti, a village at the foot of Mount Zas, the highest point in the Cycladic Islands, Dreamcatcher of Zeus features the most home-away-from-home rooms in Naxos. Recently built but with traditional decoration, these rooms in Filoti will make you feel at home in Naxos.
Naxos Chalkion Beautiful Detsis House in Chalki Village – Feel like a local in this sunny and spacious apartment in the heart of picturesque Chalki Village.
Petra Home Heritage & Hospitality in Apeiranthos Village – Step inside and sleep within the walls of a gorgeous mansion dating back to 1936.

This image shows an alley in Apeiranthos, one of the recommended villages to visit in our Naxos Travel Guide.
Staying in dreamy Apeiranthos

Last but not least, if you wish to stay as close to the beach as possible, there are several accommodation options on the popular beaches of Agios Prokopios, Agia Anna and Plaka. However, if you ask us, we’d prefer a quieter beach. This is why we’d love to stay at the quaint small port of Moutsouna next time we travel to Naxos.

Have a look at some hotels on Naxos beaches:
Avali Deluxe Suites on Agios Prokopios Beach – Dreamy elegant rooms right at the seafront, located on the best part of Agios Prokopios Beach, near the chapel of Agios Prokopios.
Naxian Breeze on Agia Anna Beach – Elegant fully equipped apartments on the sandy Agia Anna Beach.
Dream on Plaka Beach – Beautiful fully equipped apartments with easy access to Plaka Beach.
Agerino in Moutsouna – Spend an authentic Greek summer at one of the quaintest beach hotels in Naxos.

This image shows Moutsouna's port. Old facilities of the emery mines can be seen on the pier. In the foreground, chlidren play in the sea.
The epitome of Greek summer in Moutsouna

Where To Eat in Naxos

There are so many amazing restaurants in Naxos that it’s next to impossible to try them all. That said, we did our best to try as many restaurants as possible to be able to include only the best in this Naxos travel guide.

View of the quaint courtyard with plants and climbing vines in a restaurant in Koronos.
Matina Restaurant in Koronos Village

Here are our favourite places with vegetarian options in Naxos:

  • Boulamatsis in Chora (promenade) – An unassuming yet not-to-miss traditional restaurant in Chora with delicious food that comes in large portions.
  • Maro in Chora (modern part of Naxos Town) – You know you’re in the right place when the friendly staff offers you free wine while you patiently wait for your table. The portions are huge here, too. Ask the staff for an improvised vegetarian dish.
  • Apostolis in Chora (Old Town) – Probably the most picture-perfect restaurant in Naxos Chora. Great food and atmosphere with cute lampshades hanging over a gorgeous courtyard.
  • Metaxi Mas in Chora (Old Town) – Delicious meze dishes in the heart of the buzzing Old Market.
  • Velonis Bakery in Chora (Old Town) – Try to resist the flavour of freshly baked bread when you walk around the Old Market. You can’t. Actually, it’s this mesmerising aroma that will lead you to the bakery, which is not that easy to find if you miss the only sign pointing in its direction. Once you find it, step inside, grab a loaf and then go to the nearby grocery store for a chunk of Arseniko cheese and half a kilo of local tomatoes. Lunch sorted. Thank us later.
  • Kavouri in Chora (Agios Georgios Beach) – Dip your toes in the fine sand and feast on large portions of local dishes.
  • Yialos in Chora (Agios Georgios Beach) – Another restaurant serving traditional Greek dishes right on the sand.
  • Nissaki in Chora (Agios Georgios Beach) – One of the best restaurants in Naxos if you’re in the mood for high-end cuisine in a romantic setting.
  • Matina in Koronos – Hands down the best food in Naxos and the most authentic culinary experience you could ever wish for in a fairytale-like setting like no other. Save room for the dessert, it’s delicious.
  • Axiotissa in Kastraki – Probably the most famous restaurant in Naxos, Axiotissa serves Greek dishes with a twist. Don’t miss the fried green tomatoes. One of the best restaurants in Naxos, Axiotissa is open for lunch and dinner by reservation only.
  • Stou Koutoupa in Apeiranthos – Nibble on local delicacies while sitting on one of the prettiest streets in the Cyclades.
  • Lefteris in Apeiranthos – A traditional Greek restaurant with superb views of the Naxos mountains.
  • Amorginos in Apeiranthos – Loved by locals with equally stunning views of the Naxos mountains.
  • Platanos in Filoti – A fantastic place for mouthwatering pizza and pasta, washed down with amazing cocktails.
  • Waffle House in Chora (modern part of Naxos Town) – Probably the most famous ice cream shop in the Cyclades, offering freshly made ice cream that comes in many inspired flavours and, of course, delicious waffles. Size-wise, brace yourselves for large portions here, too.
  • Kafeneio Galani in Chalki – Fresh galaktoboureko that sells out fast and for good reason.
  • Dolce Vita in Chalki – Don’t leave Naxos without having at least one piece of portokalopita (orange pie) and another of chocolate pie.
This image shows a baker taking out bread from the oven.
The bread at Velonis Bakery smells of childhood and bliss

5 Best Beaches in Naxos

This Naxos travel guide wouldn’t be complete without a mention of the island’s spectacular beaches. Home to a large number of beaches, Naxos has something for everyone. Here is our list of the five best beaches in Naxos:

  • Agios Georgios Beach: With several options for food and drinks, Agios Georgios is only a short walk from the heart of Naxos Town. No matter its proximity to the main town though, this long sandy beach with its crystal-clear waters is just as amazing as the island’s other beaches.
  • Agios Prokopios Beach: A short drive from Chora, Agios Prokopios is one of our favourite beaches in Naxos. It’s protected from the strong winds, thus the perfect choice to swim in calm turquoise waters even on windy days. In the high season, the beach is usually packed, so try to find a quiet spot away from the village and closer to Agios Prokopios Chapel.
  • Agia Anna Beach: Right next to Agios Prokopios, the sandy beach of Agia Anna is home to plenty of beach clubs and bars, ideal for party-goers.
  • Mikri Vigla Beach: Situated on the west coast of Naxos, Mikri Vigla Beach is perfect for surfing enthusiasts.
  • Panormos Beach: Hidden on the south coast of Naxos, the secluded Panormos or Panermos Beach is a small beach by Naxos standards, ideal for those who want to escape the crowds.
Panoramic view of Panormos Beach lined with palm trees.
The exotic small cove of Panormos, one of the most beautiful beaches in Naxos

3 Most Picturesque Villages in Naxos

Although Naxos Town is lovely, true magic lies in the traditional villages of Naxos. Several villages are scattered across the mountains and valleys of Naxos but these are our favourite three among them:

  • Apeiranthos: Boasting dazzling traditional architecture, incredible local cuisine and many a small museum, Apeiranthos, also known as The Marble Village, is the most popular of Naxos mountain villages.
  • Chalki: With its splendid neoclassical mansions, Chalki is undoubtedly one of the most picturesque villages in Naxos. It used to be the main village and capital of Naxos. A citron liqueur tasting at Vallindras Distillery and a stop for galaktoboureko at Kafeneio Gallini are some of the village’s highlights. From Chalki, you can also set out on scenic hiking trips among olive groves.
  • Koronos: Often overlooked over Apeiranthos, the remote Koronos Village is a rugged hidden gem in the Naxos mountains.
The main cobbled street in Apeiranthos lined with traditional tables and chairs.
The timeless beauty of Apeiranthos Village

3 Best Ancient Sites in Naxos

Naxos is an island overflowing with Greek mythology legends and a rich history that dates back to ancient times. Here are the three archaeological sites in Naxos you shouldn’t miss:

  • Temple of Apollo: With its only remaining part being the standing gate known as Portara, the Temple of Apollo is the island’s symbol. It’s usually crowded before sunset for a reason.
  • Kouros Statues: You can see the three Kouros Statues that were abandoned in the ancient quarries of Naxos. Two of them are in the archaeological site of Flerio and one near Apollonas Village.
  • Ancient Temple of Demeter: Situated near Sangri since the 6th century BC, the Temple of Demeter is one of the best ancient sites on Naxos Island.
The partially restored temple of Demeter.
The beautiful Temple of Demeter is one of the best historical sites in Naxos

We hope that our complete Naxos travel guide helps you plan your own trip to Naxos, this diverse island that has something for everyone, a slice of Greek paradise that guarantees a vacation to cherish for life.

WORDS: Maria & Katerina
IMAGES: Katerina

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