Naxos - An Independent Travellers guide

We Last Visited Naxos in 2008

A Map of Naxos With about 15km of almost un-interupted white sand beach on the west coast it isn't hard to see why Naxos is so popular. Combine this with a mix of cosmopolitan style and Greek authenticity, a caotic capital and sleepy village life and modern infrastructure with history dating back to Homer and beyond the island must have something for everyone. Geographically huge in comparison to the other Cycladic islands this guide is going to be far from comprehensive but will hopefully give you a taster.

Naxos Town

All ferries dock at Naxos town which feels much more touristy than it's neighbours principal ports, particularly if you have just arrived from the satelite islands.The front is packed with tourist boutiques, bars, restaurants & ticket agencies but in the miriad of winding Photo of The `Portara` on Naxos streets behind there are a whole host of more pleasant tavernas, gift shops as well as the Kastro which encompasses the museum and some interesting churches. The complexity of the alleys make it a pleasure to discover yourself lost. Rooms abound both in the original town and the sprawling settlement surrounding it with perhaps the best combination of proximity to the harbour & chance of a nights sleep available in the 'Grotta' area to the north. Although the beach here is mediocre and unusable when the meltemi is up.

The most striking feature of Naxos Town (Hora) is the Portara purched on a promotory to the left that you may well have seen on your arrival. Once, the entrance to an uncompleted temple of Appollo built by Lygdamis in the 6th century BC but still an impressive structure.

The West coast of Naxos

Kastraki beach - West coast of Naxos A 15 minute bus journey (or room / campsite mini-bus) south of the port are the hamlets of Agios Prokopios & Agia Anna which almost blend into one another. Less commercialised than they first appear this district is in many ways a more suitable base. Accommodation, whether they be rooms or tents, are only a stones throw from the beach with, in addition to the usual facilities, the chance for wind/kite surfing and makes the west coast famous among this fraternity and attracts large numbers throughout the summer. Recommended are the 'Annas Studios' (20E Sept` 03) set back from the road in pleasant agricultural land. The coastline in this region is divided into almost equal halves. The first beach being Plaka reaching about 6km down as far as the promontory at Mikri Vigla with the second and much quieter Kastraki beach leading further south. In high season you may want to relocate down here after having your fill of the north-west with the bus calling twice a day.

Interior of Naxos

Photo of the Interior of Naxos Watersports are not the only attractions for the more adventurous. The interior of Naxos, with a wide plain, more authentic island life and the highest peak in the Cyclades provides excellent hiking possibilities. In agreement with the Rough Guide we recommend
Christian Ucke & Dieter Graf`s 'Walking the Greek Islands' as a guide for walkers although we have included links to pages for our own interpretations of these instructions regarding 'Moni' and 'Zas' at the end of this page. The village of Filoti is the best place to stay for many walkers with a quaint central square shaded by large plane trees and makes both a pleasant early morning coffee venue and provides welcome return beer. The Babulas Grill & Restaurant has good rooms (20E Sept` 03) but poor evening meals. Try the tavernas adjacent or up the main road towards Apiranthos.

Despite the flagrant commercialism of the port, Naxos is still much more Greek than the similar sized islands in the Dodeconese that have been ravaged by 'package deal' tour operators. As long as the runway for the airport remains too short for jets it will be safe.


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The Portara at Naxos Naxos Town Pyrgaki Beach Drosiani Church Filoti and the interior of Naxos