Introduction & General Information

Located nearly in the center of the Cyclades group, Naxos Greece is the largest of the Cyclades (429.8 km²) and has a population of 20.000 people.
The capital (main town) is Chora, with half the permanent population living there.
The island is located 103 nautical miles from the harbor of Piraeus and has frequent ferry connections with Athens and most of the other islands of the Cyclades. It also boasts an airport; therefore, it can be reached by plane, too.

Naxos is an island offering a wide variety of things to its visitors, such as beautiful beaches, traditional villages, delicious food, important archaeological sites, numerous hiking paths, and windsurfing / kitesurfing spots.
It is considered a destination that can satisfy any taste.

While entering the port by ferry, the view is really amazing. On the one hand, you see the Venetian castle, while on the other hand, the emblematic Portara - the island's landmark. It is a huge marble doorway built during the 6th century BC for a temple dedicated to Apollo that was never completed. Centuries later, it stands like a sleepless guard and welcomes all the travelers arriving on the island. It is also the best place to watch the sunset.

The island has the highest mountain peak in the Cyclades: Mount Zas, rising at an altitude of 1004 meters.
It is also the Cycladic island with the longest coasts of the entire group, extending to over 92 km. The most popular beaches are located on the western side and are considered among the most beautiful in the Aegean sea. Pure soft sand and clear turquoise waters are the main features of the shores. Agia Anna, Agios Prokopios, Mikri Vigla, Plaka, and Aliko are only a few to mention. Organized and unorganized parts, beach bars, and hidden creeks are all available. Once again, it is safe to say that there are types of beaches for every taste and mood! On the western side, the beaches are less touristy and unspoiled and definitely worth your visit. Moutsouna, Psili Ammos, and Panermos are only a few of them.

Because of its many plains and valleys, Naxos is famous since ancient times for being fertile and producing various agricultural products like olives, and high-quality wine. Furthermore, meat and cheese are exquisite!
One thing is for sure: vacation there will be full of tastes and delicious meals. The richness and fertility of the land permitted the inhabitants to be financially independent of the rest of Greece. That explains why it was one of the last islands of the Cyclades to open its gates to the tourism industry and why it is one of the few Cycladic islands that has kept its natural beauty unspoiled by tourism.
Traditional villages such as Halki, Apiranthos, and Filoti have managed to preserve their architecture and authenticity and are real gems.

Finally, Naxos offers interesting archaeological sites such as temples, many beautiful Byzantine churches scattered around the island, and Venetian towers, that testify about the prosperous antiquity of the island.
There is a widespread, organized network of hiking trails passing through fields of olive trees, traditional villages, and abandoned settlements making this island a popular hiking destination in Greece.

Overall, the beaches, the gastronomy, the architecture, and the activities make Naxos a great example of an island that has preserved its natural beauty and traditional character while maintaining good tourism development over the years. It is not a secret that most travelers visiting the place usually come back again.

More about Naxos

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the island look like?

Naxos is a beautiful island. When you approach the island by ferry, you are welcomed by the imposing Portara marble doorway, the main town (Chora), and the mountains behind it.
The island is fringed with sandy beaches (mostly on the western part). If you get to the center of the island, the atmosphere reminds you of Crete, with many verdant valleys full of olive trees and scattered villages.
Take a look at our photo gallery !

For what is the island known?

Naxos is well known for its long sandy beaches (Agios Prokopios, Plaka), ideal wind conditions for windsurfing and kitesurfing (Mikri Vigla, Laguna), high-quality local agricultural products (potatoes and types of cheese like arseniko and anthotiro), the impressive Portara (trademark of the island which is the remaining door of the temple of Apollo), fertile valleys of the mainland, mountainous villages and rich history.

Naxos or Paros?

Read about the comparison in our blog post: Naxos or Paros?

Is it expensive?

Naxos is not very pricey and far less expensive than Santorini or Mykonos. You can find accommodation and food for a very decent price. As the island is rich in water, it produces its own meat and vegetables and does not need to import much.

Is there an airport?

There is a domestic airport, meaning that it mainly receives flights from Athens. The airport is located nearby Naxos town (Chora).

What to do when it rains?

Firstly, it rarely rains in Naxos during summer since rain mainly occurs from October to April. You can see all things to do. If it rains, you can visit the several museums of the town, have a coffee in the many cafes or simply get romantic at home. Usually, the rains are for a short duration. When it stops, consider heading to the mainland and trekking a hiking route.

Is it a touristy place?

Naxos was under the radar for many years, under the shadow of Paros, the neighboring island. In the last decade, the island became quite popular, but it is large, so you never feel like it is too busy. Naxos town (Chora) is bustling during dinner time, though.

Is it a party place?

Naxos is NOT a party place. It is a more family-oriented island. You can party in some places if you feel like it, though. The "Island" bar in Agia Anna is very active, with dancing all night long. "Yazoo" organizes some full moon parties. There are also some nightclubs in town, like Ocean, but they mostly play Greek music.

Is the island ideal for families?

Naxos is the perfect island for families. Many beaches with shallow waters lie across the coastline, which guarantees secure swimming environments for children. The island also boasts a very rich history and many things to see and do.
The best beaches for families are Agios Georgios and Sahara (Mikri Vigla).

What islands are located nearby?

The closest islands to Naxos are Paros, Koufonisia, Iraklia, Schinoussa, and Donoussa. Paros is the most easily accessible, with many daily ferry crossings, especially during the summer.

Where is the port?

The port is located on the northern side of Chora (the main town), within a walking distance from any part of the town.