Naxos Greece: Our Favourite Island



Naxos Greece

Greece is our favorite country, so in fact it was our first household vacation spot post-Covid. We visited 4 islands complete this journey, however spent probably the most time on Naxos. It stays our favourite island.

Naxos Greece - walking down from the Portara
Naxos Greece

I wrote about our first two journeys to Naxos in this post, however now that we’ve spent over 30 days on the island through the years, and on condition that issues have modified since our final journey, I really feel like a totally new publish is so as.

Why Naxos is the Greatest Island in Greece

First, we’ve solely visited ten Greek islands. We have been supposed to go to two extra this journey, however our crusing expedition was cancelled due to climate. We are going to preserve exploring, and naturally I’ll write about different islands we fall in love with, however for now Naxos stays our favourite. The explanations:

  1. No cruise ships. I’ve mentioned this earlier than, however cruise ships are horrible for small islands. Most locations have a pure tourism stability primarily based on the variety of resort rooms. Greek islands are great even when all of these resort rooms are stuffed. However while you add 8,000-15,000 individuals off cruise ships, it fully adjustments the stability and makes for a adverse expertise for locals, for regular vacationers and for cruise guests. Santorini and Mykonos was once great (I’ve been visiting Mykonos for 30 years and Santorini for 13 years), however the cruise ships in the summertime result in the primary cities being overrun, and through the years we’ve seen smaller retailers shut up, solely to get replaced by upscale clothes shops and worldwide chains. Santorini and Mykonos aren’t charming anymore. The Greek islands with out cruise ships nonetheless are.
  2. The locals. Once we’re strolling from our resort into city, we’re passing flats the place individuals stay year-round, and listening to much more Greek than English. Even on the town we hear extra Greek than on neighboring islands. That’s a significantly better feeling than when the whole lot relies round tourism.
  3. The airport could be very near Naxos City and the ferry port is on the town. Each journey we stroll to and from the port a number of occasions to take ferries to neighboring islands. Even with baggage it’s a simple stroll. That’s not the case on Santorini and Mykonos, and even on islands like Paros and Kos the ferry and airport are removed from one another, and never essentially close to the place you wish to keep.
  4. The island is massive sufficient to have locations to discover, and numerous good eating places, however sufficiently small that we don’t want a rental automotive the vast majority of the time.
  5. Naxos is close to numerous different islands, so there are good day journey choices.
Naxos Greece - Halki
Within the village of Halki, Naxos, Greece

Easy methods to Journey to Naxos Greece

To get to Naxos Greece, you’ll be able to both fly or take the ferry. If you wish to fly into Naxos, the one possibility is to undergo Athens. Identical with neighboring Paros. There are direct flights from different European cities to close by Santorini and Mykonos nonetheless.

The ferry from Athens takes 3.5-6 hours and you would need to get from the airport to the ferry terminals. Consequently we’ve at all times chosen to fly.

My objective in attending to the Greek islands is to have as few flights as doable – there’s much less probability of missed connections and misplaced baggage. Additionally, Aegean Airways by no means refunded any of our cancelled flights throughout Covid, so I’m in no hurry to present them more cash. By avoiding Athens you’ll be able to keep away from Aegean.

We sometimes fly into Santorini or Mykonos and out from the opposite. Mykonos is just a little simpler – it’s a shorter ferry trip from Naxos, and in Mykonos the airport and port are simply 5-10 minutes from the city/inns. In Santorini the airport and ferry port are 20-30 minutes from Oia and Fira. This journey we flew Lufthansa into Santorini (Los Angeles-Frankfurt-Santorini), spent three nights, took the ferry direct to Naxos, after which after every week took a ferry to Mykonos, spent one night time, and flew to Florence through Zurich on Swiss Air. The flights have been good. Our inns on Santorini and Mykonos organized transportation for us to/from the airports and ferry ports.

LAX Airport Parking -In The Parking Spot at LAX with our luggage for the month in Europe. One of the black duffels was monthly empty, in case we made purchases.
At The Parking Spot at LAX with our baggage for the month in Europe. One of many black duffels was month-to-month empty, in case we made purchases. The youngsters all had their garments of their backpacks.
Santorini Greece - Morning at our cave house in Oia, Santorini
Morning at our cave home in Oia, Santorini
Santorini Greece - The line for the ferry in Santorini
The road for the ferry in Santorini
Naxos Greece - Walking through Naxos Town from the ferry to Nissaki Beach Hotel
Strolling by way of Naxos City from the ferry to Nissaki Seaside Lodge
A quiet corner of Mykonos Town
A quiet nook of Mykonos City
Morning in Mykonos Greece -
Morning in Mykonos
Mykonos Greece - Flying from Mykonos to Zurich
Flying from Mykonos to Zurich

Naxos Accommodations: The place to Keep

We’ve stayed on the similar Naxos resort each time we’ve visited the island, and it’s grow to be certainly one of our favourite inns on this planet. Nissaki Beach Hotel is ideal. The previous couple journeys we stayed in a two-room suite with the youngsters in a single room (three twin beds) and us in the master suite. Each rooms have balconies over the pool and look out to the ocean.

Naxos Greece - Nissaki Beach Hotel from our room
Nissaki Seaside Lodge from our room

We used to like the breakfast buffet, but it surely’s nonetheless closed, so as a substitute you place your breakfast order the night time earlier than. The honey-cinnamon pancakes (principally loukoumades) with Greek yogurt are superb! And the setting, on the seaside with cats working round, is great.

Naxos Greece - Nissaki Beach Hotel - The Greek pancakes at breakfast
The Greek pancakes at breakfast

Talking of the seaside, St. George Seaside in entrance of the resort is among the most kid-friendly seashores we’ve discovered wherever. The water is shallow nearly so far as you’ll be able to see. We often deliver (or purchase) a ball and frisbee and throw them round within the water. It’s additionally pleasing to stroll to the far finish of the seaside and again. Previously we’ve rented pedal boats with slides, however the rental place didn’t have them but this yr (we visited in early June).

Naxos Greece - Nissaki Beach - On an earlier trip, wading out before dinner
On an earlier journey, wading out earlier than dinner

Naxos City

Nissaki Seaside Lodge is possibly a 4-minute stroll from Naxos City (the primary city on the island) and 10 minutes or so to the ferry. We stroll into city a number of occasions a day to eat, store and get cash from ATMs (see beneath). Nearly each retailer is locally-owned, so far as I can inform, and I’m fairly certain Benetton is the one chain retailer. Strolling round feels genuine. Don’t miss the slender, meandering market space beneath the citadel – that’s the place numerous the most effective shops are.

Naxos Greece - The walkways below the castle
The walkways beneath the citadel
Naxos Greece - Naxos Town
Naxos City
Naxos Greece - In Naxos Cheese Koufopoulos in Naxos Town
In Naxos Cheese Koufopoulos in Naxos City
Greece with kids: Evening in Naxos Town
Night in Naxos City

The Portara (Temple of Apollo) is a really massive doorway/smash relationship again to the sixth century BC. You’ll see it from all over the place in Naxos City – it’s possibly a 15-minute stroll from the resort however solely a pair minutes from the ferry port. It’s greatest at dawn and sundown, however is a enjoyable stroll any time of day.

Naxos - The Portara during the day
The Portara throughout the day
Naxos - The Portara / Temple of Apollo at sunset
The Portara / Temple of Apollo at sundown. Naxos City is behind the doorway.
Naxos Greece - The Portara is the most crowded at sunset, but it's worth it.
The Portara is probably the most crowded at sundown, but it surely’s price it.

Exploring Naxos Island

We often hire a automotive twice each journey (€50-60 a day as of summer season 2022) to discover the island. We’ve been instructed by locals that the cities and seashores down south aren’t well worth the drive, so we at all times think about the center and north of the island. Worthwhile locations:

The Villages of Halki, Apiranthos and Filoti

Effectively price a visit. All three cities are small, however have good shops, markets and eating places, and it’s good to get out of Naxos City for a meal or two. We like them within the order I listed them above, however actually there’s no want to decide on because it’s simple to go to all three in a brief time period.

Naxos Greece - My son in the same doorway in Halki at 7 and 14-year-old
My son in the identical doorway in Halki at 7-years-old and 14-years-old
Apiranthos Naxos
Apiranthos Naxos
Lunch in the village of Filoti Naxos Greece
Lunch within the village of Filoti
Naxos Greece - Filoti

Kouros of Apollonas

There are a number of historic websites across the island. We tried to go to the Temple of Demeter but it surely was closed (on a Tuesday). That’s the one web site with a fence, museum and admission sales space. In any other case you’ll be able to drive, park and rise up near Greek historical past, possible with nobody else round. The Apollonas Kouros (close to the villages of Apollonas) is the most effective web site we’ve discovered on Naxos – a 1,300-year-old statue that depicts both Apollo or Dionysus. Only a quick stroll from the street (park wherever).

Naxos Greece - The Apollonas Kouros
The Apollonas Kouros
Naxos Greece - Looking back towards Apollonas, with my kids there for perspective - Apollonas Kouros
Wanting again in direction of Apollonas, with my youngsters there for perspective

Apollonas and Lionas

I discussed above that the southern seaside villages aren’t alleged to be well worth the drive. The identical might be true of the northern seaside villages. We at all times wish to purpose someplace although, so our final couple drives we went to the villages of Apollonas and Lionas. In Apollonas we relaxed and went swimming. In Lionas we had lunch at one of many top-rated locations on the island. Neither cease was superb, however when you’ve got a full day with a rental automotive, it’s possible you’ll as effectively try coastal areas. And we actually just like the drive across the northern coast.

Naxos Greece - A quick stop at a church on the road to Apollonas
A fast cease at a church on the street to Apollonas
Naxos Greece - Apollonas
Lionas Naxos Greece

Agios Prokopios

Right here’s the place we differ from numerous guests to Naxos Greece. We like basing in Naxos City, and stress-free at St. George Seaside. Others although select to base at Agios Prokopios, 15 minutes south of city, after which drive or take the bus into Naxos City. Agios Prokopios undoubtedly is a good seaside, but it surely’s by no means price it to us to pack up and head there for a day when basing out of our resort is a lot simpler. It’s a simple cease on a loop across the island although.

A Day Journey to Paros

Paros is our second favourite island in Greece, and it’s solely an hour away on the ferry. We at all times buy ferry tickets far upfront since there are solely a few good choices for going over within the morning and coming again within the afternoon. The ferry drops you in Parikia, which has in all probability the most effective purchasing of any island, and there are good eating places for lunch. This journey we had lunch at Taverna Mouragio, and would return.

Walking around Parikia, Paros
Strolling round Parikia, Paros
Paros Greece - Gelato in Parikia (at Vanilla)
Gelato in Parikia (at Vanilla)

My weblog publish on our final lengthy keep in Paros is here.

Greatest Naxos Eating places

We’ve by no means had a nasty meal on Naxos – and that’s numerous meals. We sometimes have sit-down lunches in eating places, though we’ll get take-away gyros periodically. And dinners are nearly at all times in eating places, until we get pizza and produce it again to our room.

Versus Santorini and Mykonos, it’s not often essential to make reservations earlier than you arrive on Naxos. Twice this journey we made reservations a day upfront, and each different meal we confirmed up and have been seated – both with zero wait or after just some minutes. Having mentioned that, in the event you’re visiting throughout a busier time and it seems like eating places are largely full, determine the place you wish to eat and cease by both the day earlier than or that morning and make a reservation. It will possibly’t harm.

Naxos Greece - Walking through Naxos Town
Strolling by way of Naxos City

Our meals have been wherever between €60 and €110. We sometimes order 4 important programs for the 5 of us, since parts are massive, together with tzatziki and one other starter, a number of bottles of water, and possibly a half carafe of wine.

These are our favourite Naxos eating places proper now:

Nissaki Restaurant

In all probability the most effective restaurant on the island, and at our resort which makes it very easy! We love eating on the seaside. The meals is at all times glorious. TripAdvisor.

Naxos - At Nissaki Restaurant. We have a No Phones rule, but if a cat jumps onto someone's lap, everyone documents it!
At Nissaki Restaurant. We have now a No Telephones rule, but when a cat jumps onto somebody’s lap, it have to be documented!

Dal Professore

This previous journey Dal Professore is the one restaurant we ate at twice. We love the combo of Naxian and Italian, and the pizzas are superb. TripAdvisor.

Naxos Greece - At Dal Professore
At Dal Professore
Naxos Greece - The pizza at Dal Professore is spectacular
The pizza at Dal Professore is spectacular


Every thing that’s superb about Greek meals, a fantastic setting and near the resort. The one place we got complimentary ouzo this journey – it was once much more widespread. TripAdvisor.

Naxos Greece - At Oasis
At Oasis

Naxian Capriccio

Of the entire locations alongside the water on the town, Naxian Capriccio often impresses us probably the most. Regular seafood and Greek dishes. TripAdvisor.

Avaton 1739

Avaton 1739 (together with its earlier iterations) has at all times been our favourite place to go for pre-dinner drinks. It’s a hike to rise up to the citadel, however the view is price it. We often go for the selfmade lemonade and the sangria (not presently on the menu, however they’ll make it for you in the event you request it). TripAdvisor.

Naxos Greece - Drinks at Avaton 1739
Drinks at Avaton 1739
Naxos Greece - The view from Avaton 1739
The view from Avaton 1739


Near the resort and superb pizza. A simple possibility after we don’t really feel like committing to a different restaurant meal. We at all times deliver the pizzas again to our deck and dine on the balcony. TripAdvisor.

Naxos Greece - Pizza from Pizzadelia on our balcony
Pizza from Pizzadelia on our balcony

To Elliniko

Wonderful meals and a very nice out of doors setting, on a road that we often by no means stroll down. We made a reserving a day upfront since they have an inclination to replenish. TripAdvisor.

Naxos Greece - Dining at To Elliniko. Another lap cat!
Eating at To Elliniko. One other lap cat!

Money and ATMs in Greece

Shops, eating places and inns in Greece all want money. We subsequently make each day journeys to ATMs. At all times select ATMs related to Greek or worldwide banks (don’t use the stand-alone bright-colored ones in entrance of shops), and at all times have the fee undergo to your financial institution as Euros. Should you select US {Dollars}, you’re throwing cash away – as a lot as 11% per transaction. A few of the ATMs get tough, actually wanting you to allow them to convert the transactions to {dollars}, so take every display screen slowly and select the proper prompts to maintain the whole lot in Euros. Do the identical in shops and eating places – at all times select the native forex and never {dollars}.

Greece ATMs - An ATM in Greece. FYI, this transaction went through to my bank as $437.66
An ATM in Greece. FYI, this transaction went by way of to my financial institution as $437.66, so I saved nearly $30 by selecting Euros.

Word: there’s a €2.50-3.00 cost each time you utilize an ATM. My US financial institution refunds these. You probably have the selection of a number of banks / credit score unions, attempt to discover one which reimburses you for ATM charges. Additionally, it doesn’t harm to have two debit playing cards from two banks so you’ve gotten a backup in case of loss or fraud.

Is it doable to get by in Greece solely utilizing a bank card? Perhaps, however the Greeks actually like money, so don’t be the ugly vacationer that’s making a small market pay bank card charges in your €1 water. The flip-side: there’s usually a money low cost at inns and shops. But additionally, we visited numerous locations that mentioned that their card machines have been down and they also have been solely accepting money transactions. Mainly, carry money always.

Journey Well being Insurance coverage

We have been alleged to take this journey in 2020 after which once more in 2021, however the world had different plans. We pushed ahead our resort deposits for each islands, and if something had occurred to make us cancel this journey, I’m certain we may have achieved the identical once more. However on condition that we by no means received any of our Aegean Airways tickets refunded from 2020 or 2021, and would have had a hefty penalty if we cancelled our Mykonos resort, I felt much more comfy having a travel health insurance plan through G1G in place. It’s an annual household plan, so I by no means have to consider it as I’m reserving or altering journeys. Smartest factor I’ve achieved within the final yr.

Naxos Greece – Your Flip

Have you ever been to Naxos? What did we miss? What’s your favourite Greek island?

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