Naxos Suggested excursions
Naxos is the biggest and greenest island of Cyclades. Although it has developed over the last years as one of the most favorite Greek destinations, Naxos has managed to keep its authentic lifestyle and ambiance.
One day in Naxos: Chora and the beaches
Naxos, located in the center of the Cyclades, the island of greenery, picturesque villages and wonderful beaches, is a great place to truly relax in summer. Although this is one of the most popular Greek destinations, Naxos has managed to keep its beauty and calm ambiance intact from massive tourism.
The first thing to see in Naxos as the ferry approaches the port is Portara, a big marble door on top of an islet, the only remain from an ancient temple that used to stand there.
The capital of Naxos is Chora, a beautiful village that distinguishes for its Cycladic architecture. Kastro is the most picturesque neighborhood in Chora. In an old 17th century mansion in Kastro, you will find the Archaeological Museum of Naxos with many exhibits from excavations all over the island. Stroll around the narrow paths of Chora, check out the gift shops and have a coffee in the waterfront.
In the afternoon, head off for the wonderful beaches on the western side of Naxos. There are frequent buses from Chora to the most popular beaches on the island. Plaka, Agios Prokopios, Maragas and Agia Anna are the most popular beaches and they all have crystal water and soft sand on the shore. If you enjoy windsurfing and kitesurfing, go to Mikri Vigla beach. This is the best windsurfing spot in Naxos and many water sports clubs are found there if you want to rent equipment.
After a long day, in the evening you get dressed to see the nightlife of Naxos. You can find all kinds of nightlife there, from lounge cafeterias to loud clubs. Some bars and clubs can be found in Chora, while many beach bars in Agios Prokopios play loud music and stay open till early in the morning.
View on map: First day in Naxos
Two days in Naxos: Mountainous villages
1st day as described above.
After an early morning swim, on the second day, you head off to see the mountainous villages of the island. Make sure you start early because there is so much to do today. Along your way, you will find many Venetian Towers, interesting remains of the Venetian rule in the Medieval times. Some of these towers have been turned in museums, some other in hotels and the rest are just standing on the place they were built. For this trip, you'd better rent a car because public transport is quite insufficient.
Starting from Chora, the first stop would be Sangri, about 12 km away, and the temple of Demeter, originally built in the 6th century BC and recently restored. Then, continue to Halki, the old capital of the island. This is a small, traditional village with interesting architecture. There you will find Vallindras Distillery that works as a museum. This distillery opened in 1896 and it produced the famous kitron liqueur of Naxos.
A couple of km away from Halki, there is Filoti, one of the biggest and most beautiful villages of Naxos with views to Mount Zas, the highest peak on the island. Have a coffee at the lovely square under the plane tree and enjoy the beautiful scenery around. About 5 km away, there is Aperanthos, a picturesque village whose name means plenty of flowers. Apart from an interesting Venetian architecture, Aperanthos also has four museums to visit: an archaeological museum, a geological, a folklore and a museum of natural history.
After a quick pass from Koronos, about 8 km from Aperanthos, head off the Moni village to see the church of Panagia Drossiani, one of the oldest Christian churches in Europe. Your last stop is Melanes, about 10 km from Moni. There, you can see Kouros, a giant statue representing a young man. This statue lies exactly on the site where it was found. Chora is about 8 km from Melanes.
View on map: Second day in Naxos
Three days in Naxos: Discover the northwestern side
1st and 2nd days as described above.
As you have done most of the sightseeing in Naxos, devote the third day to relax. From Chora, head to the north side of the island to discover some really quiet spots. About 8 km from Chora, there is the Monastery Tower of Ipsilotera. It was built in the early 17th century by a nobleman and has an excellent architecture. Then, head off to Apollonas, a nice village about 30 km away from Ipsilotera Tower.
On your way, you can pay a visit to Abram beach to swim. This is a complete isolate, small beach to enjoy some privacy. Apollonas has a great sandy beach and lots of delicious taverns around to have a traditional Greek meal. Close to Apollonas, there is the second Kouros statue of Naxos, also left on the site it was originally found.
View on map: Third day in Naxos