Introduction & General Information

Located nearly in the center of the Cyclades group, Naxos island is the largest of the Cyclades (429.8 km²) and has a population of 20.000 people. The capital (main town) is Chora and half of the inhabitants of the entire island live 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 has also an Airport and can be reached by plane too.

Naxos is an island that has a vast variety of things to offer 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 Castle with its traditional white houses and on the other hand, the emblematic Portara which is the landmark of the island. It is a huge marble door built during the 6th century B.C. for a Temple that was never finished. Centuries later, the door still remains and welcomes all the travelers arriving on the island.

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 beaches of the entire group that are extending to over 92 km. The most popular beaches are located on the western side of the island and are considered among the most beautiful in the Aegean sea. Pure white soft sand and clear turquoise waters are the main characteristics. Agia Anna, Agios Prokopios, Mikri Vigla, Plaka and Aliko are only a few to mention. There are organized and unorganised parts, beach bars, and hidden creeks. 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 touristic and unspoiled and definitely worth your visit. Moutsouna, Psili Ammos, and Panermos are some of them.

Because of its many plains and valleys, it is famous since ancient times for being fertile and for producing various agricultural products like potatoes, olives, and wine of great quality. Furthermore, fresh fish, 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 of the island to be financially independent of the rest of Greece. This explains why it was one of the last islands of the Cyclades to open its gates to the tourism industry. This is also the reason why it is one of the few Cycladic islands that has kept its natural beauty unspoiled by mass 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 on the island. There is a big 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 this place come back again.

More about Naxos

Frequently Asked Questions

What is naxos?

Naxos is an island of Greece and the largest of the Cyclades islands group. It is a great place for your holiday and you can combine it with other islands like Paros, Santorini, Mykonos and more.

What is the island like?

Naxos is a beautiful island. When you approach the island by ferry, you are welcomed by the imposing castle of the main town (Chora) and behind it, all you see is mountains.
The island is surrounded by many sandy beaches (mostly on the West part). If you get to the center of the island, the atmosphere reminds a lot of the one in Crete, with many verdant valleys full of olive trees and scattered villages. you can understand the feeling of the island based on our photo gallery.

What is the island known for?

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

Naxos or Paros

Read a comparaison on our blog post: Naxos or Paros?

Is it expensive?

Naxos is not expensive at all and by 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.
Read what our members think about this question.

Is there an airport?

There is a domestic airport, meaning that it mostly receives flights from Athens. The airport is located in a very short distance from the main town, Chora.

What to do when it rains?

First of all, note that during summer it rarely rains in Naxos. You might find rain mostly from October to April. If it rains, you can visit the many museums located in town, you can have a coffee in the many cafes and just get romantic at home. Usually, the rains are for a short duration. When it stops, it is a good opportunity to head to the mainland and take a hiking route. There are many of them!

Is it a touristy place?

Naxos was under tha radar for many years and was under the shadow of Paros, the neighboring island. In recent years, the island became quite popular. But the island is very large and therefore you never feel it is too busy. The main town, Chora, get very busy for dinner time.

Is it a party place?

Naxos is NOT a party place. It is a more family oriented island. You can party in some places though. "Island" bar in Agia Anna is very active with dancing all night long. Yazoo organizes some full moon parties. There are also some night clubs in town but the mostly propose Greek music (Ocean).

Is the island good for families?

Naxos is a perfect island for families. There are many beaches with shallow waters (security for kids). The island has a very rich history and many things to see with kids.

What islands are located nearby?

The closest islands to Naxos are Paros, Koufonisia, Iraklia, Schinoussa and Dononoussa. Paros is the most easily accessible as there are many daily ferries making the route (from/to)

Where is the port?

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