The hub of activity in Naxos is Chora, the capital town, on the northwestern side of the island. As you head down the western coast, you will find some beautiful beaches which gradually get less crowded and more isolated. If you travel inland, you will soon find yourself going up in the moutains.
On the mountains, villages perch precariously along with old windmills and Venetian towers. You will also notice the production of olives, grapes, and citrus fruits. That is because Naxos is very fertile, and agriculture has been supporting the island for a long time - tourism has developed in the last few years.
Be sure to explore Naxos away from the tourist strip of the West. Most of the island is rural and still unaffected by tourism. You will see farmers riding donkeys and people picking potatoes or pressing grapes to make wine. Venetian towers still reside on the hilltops and one beautiful church emerges every 100 meters.
The beaches in Naxos are marvelous and very clean. Beware, though, that some are very windy, which is why windsurfing and kitesurfing in Naxos are very popular, particularly in Mikri Vigla and Orkos. If you want to windsurf, avoid beaches full of families.
The island's nightlife is gathered in Chora. Lovely restaurants and tavernas lie everywhere, but bars are only found in Chora.
Practical advice and tips
Arriving at the port
The port of Naxos is located in Town. Some people who will try to sell you a room are waiting for the traveler's disembarkation. A few years ago, there would be hundreds of people harassing you. Today that practice is abandoned, but there are always a few that will try to talk to you.
There are some travel agencies along with car rentals just in front of the port and many in the Town. The central bus station and a taxi rank also lie at the port.
Arriving at the airport
The airport of Naxos is located 3 km from Naxos Town. There is a taxi rank outside this tiny airport. There is no bus route directly to the airport. The closest bus stop is located 500m away.
You can arrange your car rental pickup directly at the airport.
Mosquitos are a bit of a problem in Naxos, so don't skip packing the mosquito-repelling lotion. Of course, you can buy one on the island. Some hotels have mosquito nets, too.
If you have your own mode of transport, be careful on the roads, potholes can turn up at any moment.
Some beaches on the island are undeveloped and if you want shade you will have to bring your own umbrellas to create it.
The roads are in relatively good condition. However, only the main roads are sealed. Access to some beaches across the island requires driving on unmade roads. In addition, since Naxos is a mountainous place, you will encounter windy roads and continual bends outside Chora, so you need to drive slowly and carefully. Also, beware of scooters and other motorbikes - many accidents occur annually.