Naxos Things to Do

We have gathered a list of the Best Things to Do in Naxos, which includes the absolute must-sees and must-dos on the traditional Cycladic island: places to visit, attractions, where to swim, activities, tours, where to eat, and more.

In brief, the top things to do is to spend your days on the beautiful sandy beaches, visit some of the historical sites, stroll in Chora (the main town) and the many traditional villages, and, dine in nice restaurants.

Open the table of contents to see our proposals at a glance.

The turquoise watrs of Agios Prokopios Beach

1. Swim at the best beaches

Category: Beaches

First things first; summer is for seaside fun, and Naxos offers just the beaches for it!
As aforementioned, Naxos is a big island, resulting in an extended coastline. The most well-known beaches lie on its west side.
Famous locations one has probably heard of before their initial visit to the island are Plaka, Agios Prokopios, Aliko, and Sahara (Limanakia). Those location names are linked to long, pure white, sandy beaches with crystal clear waters and should be rated top on your bucket list.
They are regarded as some of the most beautiful beaches in the Aegean sea, so it is advisable to spend a considerable part of your holiday there.
After all, both the organized ones with beach bars and sunbeds, as well as the unorganized, secluded ones, offer a great tan that visitors are sure to be complimented on back home!
Worrying about transportation? No need to; just book your car with us and get the best rates.
Note: You can now rent your sunbeds online!

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People gathering at Portara (or gate of Apollon) at sunset time

2. Gaze at the Sunset from Portara

Category: Sights

Naxos in Greece hosts a significant historical and compelling cultural heritage. Among the first things that you gaze upon while entering the port are the ancient monument of Portara on your left and the old castle of Chora on your right.
Portara is the most well-known landmark on the island.
It constitutes a huge, centuries-old marble doorway standing on a small islet. When you see it for the first time, its elegance will leave you speechless.
For the romantic souls, the best time to visit this site is during sunset when the sky turns to gold!

Discover the Portara

The alleys of the Venetian Kastro Castle in Chora

3. Explore the Castle "Kastro"

Category: Sights

Kastro is one of the most well-preserved castles built by the Venetians in the Cyclades. It is located in Chora, the capital of the island.
After entering the Castle through its enormous, centuries-old wooden doors, you will find yourself among whitewashed churches, Catholic monasteries and schools, the Archaeological Museum of Naxos, some of the oldest houses on the island, antique shops, and beautiful cafes.
The 1739 Avaton is a place where you can enjoy a coffee or drink while feasting upon a panoramic view of Naxos. The cafe can be considered an open museum since it is part of the Ursuline Monastery Boarding School which was situated in the Castle of Naxos and used to educate girls of wealthy Catholic families.

Explore Kastro (Castle)

Chora, the town of Naxos and its imposing Venetian castle

4. Stroll around Chora, the Town

Category: Villages

Chora is the capital of Naxos and expands from the port to Kastro. Anything you know about Cycladic architecture, you will find it there. Whitewashed, sugar cube houses with blue doors and windows, chapels, arches, and endless narrow paved alleys, make that labyrinth so charming.
The old citadel is the center of life on the island. It is lively, with numerous restaurants, taverns, cafes, bars, and shops.
Jazz & Blues Bar is strongly recommended if you want to enjoy a drink and unwinding music. The Pocket Gallery is your place for tasteful souvenir shopping, whereas, at Pagonis Greek Sandals, you can buy the finest hand-made sandals in the Cyclades. Lastly, at the old grocery market of Tziblakis, you can purchase olive oil, cheese, honey, and other Naxian delicacies to bring home.
Let yourself get lost in Chora and experience the true Greek island ambiance!

Explore Chora

The Seaside Hotel Medusa at the end of Plaka Beach

5. Stay at the best hotels

Category: Hotels

Finding lodging suited to your needs will not be a draining task, since the island provides quite a variety. However, attention to distances and amenities provided by each facility can go a long way in arranging a smoother stay, especially for first-time visitors.

Some of our favorite hotels in Naxos are 18 grapes in Agios Prokopios, Ayiopetra in Sangri, Ploes seaside houses, and Medusa beach resort in Plaka.

Discover the best areas for your stay along with a selection of the most suitable hotels on the island depending on your plans: Best luxury hotels, best for a honeymoon, best hotels by the beach, best places to stay for kitesurfers and windsurfers, best for families and more!

Find the Best Hotels

Local Car Rental agency Motonaxos in town

6. Explore the island with your own car

Category: Transportations

Naxos is the largest island of the Cyclades, so a car is almost mandatory. Booking a car rental in Naxos is strongly recommended if you want to explore the island. Although a public bus (KTEL) serves routes on the island, many remote beaches, mountainous villages, archaeological sites, and nice restaurants can only be reached by car.
In cooperation with the best local car rental agencies, we offer the best prices and our service is rated .

Book your car with us

The famous seaside Paradiso restaurant in Agia Anna

8. Explore the gastronomy scene

Category: Eat & Drink

From day one of your holiday, you will fall in love with the culinary and tasteful uniqueness of the Naxian products.
Naxos is a very fertile land and maintains a thriving agricultural economy, producing some of the most delicious vegetables, cheese, meat, and last but not least, fresh fish and seafood in Greece.
Choosing a restaurant for your meal is never disappointing since most serve palatable, traditional food.
If we had to recommend only two not-to-miss restaurants on the island, those would be Axiotissa for the finest Greek cuisine with a twist in a lovely location (due to high demand, a reservation 4-5 days in advance is necessary) and Vassilis tavern for a local, more homelike touch.
Kontos Restaurant is also recommended for toothsome, traditional Greek dishes by the sea.

Find the Best Restaurants

Vioma Cooking Workshop in the village of Kaloksilos

9. Cooking workshops & Wineries

Category: Workshops

Due to its fresh products and delicious Mediterranean recipes, a new trend of cooking lessons has emerged in Naxos.
If you want to take the secrets of Naxian cuisine back home, you can attend a cooking workshop at Vassiliko or Vioma.

For wine lovers, a visit to the Saint Anna winery is strongly recommended! A tour and wine tasting at the pocket-size winery with the picturesque white chapel located in the small village of Kato Potamia is simply heart-warming!

Find the Best Cooking Classes

The picturesque alleys of Halki village

10. Wander around Halki village

Category: Villages

In order to visit Naxos’s beaches and villages more freely, it is strongly recommended to rent a car. If booking one for your entire stay is not ideal, a rental for a few days is advisable in order to explore the island’s mainland and some rather remote places.
A short road trip crossing the island from West to East is definitely a must! Visiting the picturesque village of Halki is essential during your holidays on the island. Two-story houses with neoclassical architecture, small paved alleys, bougainvillea and jasmine trees, olive groves, and fine shops like Fish & Olive are only a few of the things to expect in this village; it is no wonder why it has become such a trend among travel bloggers and photographers!
After your stroll around the village, you should pay a visit to the Dolce Vita cafe, where the most delicious patisserie on the island is served.
Lastly, do not forget to pay a visit to the Vallindras Distillery to see how the local kitron liquor is being produced.

Explore Halki

Kitesurfing sails floating above the beach of Parthena (Mikri Vigla)

11. Learn to Kitesurf in Mikri Vigla

Category: Sports

Among the sea sports community, Naxos island is a very popular destination for windsurfing and kitesurfing.
The beach of Mikri Vigla is a place where perfect wind conditions are met, so people from all around the world come to enjoy their favorite sea activity. Another popular location with such clubs is Laguna, next to Naxos town. If you are a beginner or unfamiliar with those sports, you can take up lessons from the windsurfing and kitesurfing schools at the beach.

View the Kitesurfing Clubs

The amazing crystal clear waters of Koufonisia Island

12. Visit nearby islands & hidden beaches

Naxos is located in the middle of the Cyclades complex and is ideal for island hopping or one-day trips to nearby islands such as Koufonisia, Paros, and Mykonos.
Other ideal single-day tours from Naxos are to the small Cyclades islands of Iraklia, Schinoussa, and Donoussa which are less than two hours away from Naxos. You can discover some of those islands with an organized day cruise or you can take a ferry independently. If your itinerary allows it, consider scheduling a full-day boat trip to Santorini!
Discover what islands are ideal for ferry day trips from Naxos.

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The alleys of Apiranthos village

13. Visit the marble village of Apiranthos

Category: Villages

Apiranthos is a well-preserved village with a strongly traditional ambiance, located only a few kilometers from Filoti. It comprises the highest village of the Cyclades altitude-wise and features old stone mansions.
It is famous for taverns serving local meat dishes. We highly recommend that you taste the rosto dish, a local recipe with pork.

Explore Apiranthos

Aliko beach (Hawaii) and its protectd cedar forest just behind

14. Visit the cedar forest at Aliko

Category: Beaches

Another beach that should be on your bucket list, is that of Aliko. It is a region that consists of many small secluded bays with soft white sand and pristine waters.
Above the beach of Aliko lies a unique cedar forest with enchanting sand dunes.
An abandoned hotel that has been repurposed into an open gallery for street artists also lies nearby the shore. Some of the most significant works of the renowned artist WD are hosted here.
Moreover, the forest has been declared a protected natural area, so the modern infrastructure is almost nonexistent. No sunbeds or umbrellas are available, but guests may encounter a few shops near the area and a delicious canteen where you can taste fast food with a twist, homemade ice-creams, and cocktails.

Explore Aliko

Moutsouna harbor & beach

15. Off-the-beaten-track places

Category: Villages

On the east side of the island lies the quaint small harbor of Moutsouna, which is a lovely and peaceful spot to eat fresh fish and seafood.
Once you get there, you can also take a 16 km coastal ride that leads to a small secluded bay called Panermos and discover more of the pristine region of Naxos.
The clear and calm blue waters, the palm trees on the beach, and the traditional boat taking you for a tour to hidden beaches, as well as Rina sea cave, are worthy of a spot on your bucket list of Naxos.

Hiking & biking on dirt roads in the mainland of the island

16. Hiking on the mainland

Category: Sports

A very popular activity in Naxos is hiking. The island boasts a very well-organized hiking network.
You can get a guided tour or go by yourself. If you hanker for adventure and nature, a hike around Potamia village or trekking on the top of the highest Mount of the Cyclades, Mount Zas, is surely something you won’t regret trading a day at the beach with!

More about Hiking

17. Visit the Naxos Animal Welfare Society

Naxos Animal Welfare Society is a group of people who care about the welfare of stray and maltreated animals on Naxos.
The organization was established in 2005 and offers first aid to animals, vaccination for strays, sterilizations, and hospitality to dogs and cats before they find a loving adopting family.
Visit their website: