Naxos Travel Guide: Top 10 Things to Do

Naxos Travel Guide: Top 10 Things to Do 

Naxos Travel Guide - Port of Naxos

Naxos is a beautiful Greek island located in the Aegean Sea. After spending a previous summer in Greece visiting touristy areas like Athens, Paros, and Ios, Jugo and I wanted to find something a little more off the beaten path. To our delight, Naxos had plenty of sandy beaches all surrounded by turquoise water, traditional whitewashed houses decorated with flower trees and amazing Naxos cuisine. It felt as if we stepped onto the movie set of Mamma Mia! We also knew we were in a great place because we were the only foreigners there surrounded by golden Greeks who had come to Naxos for their own vacation. From Naxos beaches to the best things to do, and where to stay, keep on reading for the ultimate travel guide to Naxos. 

Naxos Travel Guide 

  1. Things to do in Naxos
  2. The best beaches on Naxos 
  3. Where to stay 
  4. Transportation

Some links in this article are affiliate links which I may earn a small commission from at no extra cost to you. 


Top 10 Things to Do in Naxos

1) Portara

Things to do in Naxos, see Portara

Cruising into the port of Naxos, it’s hard to miss this 2,500 year-old-doorway that stands at 100 feet. Since levels of the Mediterranean sea have risen, what was once a hill on Naxos, is now a small island that Portara rests on. Interestingly, this doorway leads to nowhere as it was to be an entrance to a temple that never was completed.

2) Cycling to the Temple of Demeter

An ancient ruins marble temple dedicated to the ancient goddess of grain. This temple dates back to 530 BC and is located near the village of Sangri.

A great way to see this site is to get there by bike.

  • Naxos Bikes offers rentals as well as tours
  • Rentals start at €10 ($12 USD)  
  • Tours cost €30 ($37) which involves a moderate ride across 35km. You will get to visit the interior of Naxos and villages of Galanado, Agios Mamas, Sagri where Demeter Temple is located, Vivlos, and Galanado Naxos Town.

3) Hiking through traditional villages or Mount Zas

Traditional village in Naxos

One of the best ways to experience Naxos is by wandering through authentic villages. Traditional footpaths connect many of the villages where you will pass by olive groves, fig trees, rugged mountains, and vineyards. In the villages, visit the tavernas, cafes and local shops. In 3 hours you can walk from the port of Naxos to Agkidia, Agios Thaleleos and finally Melanes. Click here for the full guide to the charming villages on Naxos.

If you are up for more of a hike, start at the village of Filoti and hike to the summit of Mount Zas. The route is 5.6km and should take about 2.5 hours. Mount Zas is the tallest mountain on the Cyclades standing at 1004 meters. It is named after the Greek god Zeus where tales say is where he grew up. For more information about this route and others, click here.

4) Naxos Horse Riding Club

If hiking and biking aren’t your things, give horseback riding a try. Naxos Horse Riding Club is a family run business which offers rides through ‘jungle roads’ and onto beaches for 2-3 hours which costs between €45-€55 ($55-$70 USD). This is great whether you are a beginner or advanced rider.

5) Vallindras Kitron Distillery

Kitron is a traditional liqueur famous in Naxos and popular across Greece. It is made from the Citron tree which is similar to a lemon tree and has been cultivated in Naxos since the 17th century. At the Vallindras Kitron Distillery, they have been producing the liqueur in traditional copper stills for five generations and offers a free tour of their facility. It is small and will only take around five minutes and afterward, you will have a chance to sample some of their products.

6) Open Air Cinema

One of my favorite things to do in Greece is open air cinema. Watch a movie underneath the stars while snacking on popcorn and drinking beer or wine.

7) Scuba Diving

For the adventurers, you can go scuba diving through caves, amazing reefs, and shipwrecks with Blue Fin Divers located on the beach of Agios Prokopios.

8) Castle of Naxos

Castle tower of Naxos

Built by the Venetian Duke Markos Sanoudos in 1207, this castle was originally designed to defend against the Turks. It also offers great views of the town and holds movie nights and open-air concerts during the summer months. Once you are done exploring, follow the stone path down into Old Town and visit the local tavernas, boutique shops, and cafes.

9) Naxos Wine, Cheese & Seafood

Octopus being hung to dry in Naxos

If you read my post on the Top 22 Greek Dishes, you’ll know that Greek food is my all time favorite so discovering the food on Naxos was definitely one of my favourite things to do. Naxos offers its own distinct island specialties from cheese to wine and a few others in between.

In fact, there are myths that the god of wine, Dionysus, grew up on Naxos and made the land perfect for growing vineyards. Arrange a visit at Korres Family Winery or try what the locals are making, sometimes sold in plastic bottles without labels, every in local shop and tavern.

 For cheeses, try the hard goat cheese called arseniko, graviera, and xynotyri.

10) Naxos Beaches

Naxos Beaches

Naxos does not disappoint when it comes to beaches. With 18 beaches located around the island, there’s a beach for every different type of vacationer.

For tips on what to pack for Naxos and the rest of Greece, click here.


The Best Beaches on Naxos

Best beaches in Naxos

If you are looking for a spot to put your feet up with sunbeds, umbrellas, and cafes serving cold drinks visit Agios Georgios and Agios Prokopios which are the most popular. 

Jugo and I wanted to be on a less touristy beach so we went to Maragas and Plaka beach. It’s a great walk from Agia Anna. You will first pass by a small bay where boats are docked, then the church of Agios Nikolas.

It’s small but beautiful and dates back to the 11th and 13th centuries. Shortly after the church is the Ayia Anna Nudist Beach. Stop here if you are looking to get golden without tan lines!

Other notable beaches with fewer tourists include:

  • Aliko (Located 17km south of Naxos Town. It’s an unorganized beach, with soft white sand, surrounded by a cedar forest and sand dunes)
  • Kastraki (Another sandy beach located 16km from Naxos town. It’s a great beach if you are looking for privacy and there are a few tavernas around offering tasty meals at great prices).
  • Pyrgaki (Located 18km south of Naxos town. This sandy beach offers a few sunbeds and umbrellas but still fewer tourists. There’s also some cafes close by if you want a refreshing drink or snack). 

Place Beach, Naxos

An alternative and fun way to get in some beach time and explore is by booking a boat trip or sailing cruise. 


Where to Stay in Naxos

Where to stay in Naxos

While Naxos is less touristy than other islands, the majority of the tourists that visit stay in Naxos Town. That’s why Jugo and I chose to stay in Agia Anna Village which is around 7km from Naxos town. What’s great about this area is that we were walking distance to some nice isolated beaches but still had plenty of local tavernas around for our meals. To get there, we hopped on a local bus straight from the ferry port. No matter where you choose to stay in Naxos though, you can find a variety of accommodation options from luxury to budget. Here are some great choices of where to stay in Naxos. 


Best Luxury Hotels

Nissaki Beach Hotel Naxos, Naxos, Greece

A 5-star modern boutique hotel located on Saint George beach. Spacious rooms come with satellite tv, wifi, a hydromassage shower and your own private balcony. Wood beam ceilings complement the white earthy tones of the room. Hotel amenities include a pool, a seaside restaurant, buffet breakfast, and bar.

Click here to check prices and availability at Nissaki Beach Hotel

Mitos Suites, Agios Prokopios, Greece

A boutique hotel offering 8 luxury suites in the traditional Cycladic architecture and colors. This hotel is located in a seaside village of Agios Prokopios and is a 5-10 minute walk from the beach. Each suite includes a traditional breakfast with fresh produce, king-sized beds, balcony and veranda, a welcome gift upon arrival and a taste of a local drink upon departure. Some rooms also include a heated jacuzzi for two. Onsite facilities include a central and kids pool, pool bar, and organized trips.

Click here to check prices and availability at Mitos Suites

Naxos Island Hotel, Agios Prokopios, Greece

A unique boutique hotel which has been designed as a miniature of Naxos island and each room is inspired by a Naxian village. The hotel is in a great location, just 30 meters from Agios Prokopios beach. Upon welcome, guests are treated to complimentary wine and a fruit basket. Rooms either have a balcony or veranda and if you are looking for added luxury, you can find rooms with a jacuzzi. A complimentary breakfast is also included. Onsite facilities offered are a rooftop swimming pool, two restaurants, health and spa center, gym, free transfers, and a reserved umbrella on the beach.

Click here to check prices and availability at Naxos Island Hotel 


Best Budget Hotels

Grotta Hotel Naxos, Naxos, Greece

This lovely family-run establishment is located on the hillside overlooking the town of Naxos and the Aegean sea. A perfect, peaceful retreat ideal for couples. All rooms have a balcony with most providing a spectacular sea view. Breakfast is included every morning and onsite facilities include pool, jacuzzi, wet and dry saunas, rooftop deck, excursions and bike rentals.

Click here to check prices and availability at Grotta Hotel 

Korali Palace Studios Naxos, Greece

Korali Palace Studios Naxos
Image provided by Korali Palace

Located just a few minutes away from Saint Georges beach and the city center, designed in typical Aegean style. Each room has air conditioning, a flat screen tv, and wifi. Onsite facilities include, transfer from the port, car & ATV rentals, and a small kitchenette if you are up for cooking some of your own meals.

Click here to check prices and availability at Korali Palace

Paradiso Studio & Apartments 

Paradiso Studio & Apartments 

After visiting Naxos myself, I convinced my parents that they needed to visit and this is one of the places they chose to stay. It actually consists of two different complexes with spacious studios and apartments all with a private balcony or terrace. It’s in a great location just 20 meters from the Agia Anna beach as well walking distance from a few other beaches. 

Click here to check prices and availability at Paradiso Studio & Apartments


How to get to Naxos 

Small church in Naxos

Ferry 

Naxos is very easy to get to by ferry with frequent trips running daily. If you are flying in from Athens, catch a ferry from Piraeus to Naxos with SeaJets, Hellenic Seaways, or Blue Star Ferries which all take between 3-4 hours and costs between €29 – €50 ($36 – $62 USD). There are also many options to easily hop around to the other islands as well. If you are visiting during high season, book your tickets a few weeks in advance. 

Flight

Naxos has an airport 3km south of town center. Budget airlines offer cheap flights from Athens and to other islands in the Cyclades. 

Taxi & Bus

Taxis are available on Naxos as well as frequent buses that run from Naxos town to the other villages. The bus departs every 30 minutes from the port (close to the tourist information center) which goes to Prokopios, Agia Anna, and Plaka. Cost varies between €1.60-3.20 ($2 – $4), depending on where you go. 

Car & Motorcycle 

If you are planning on exploring a lot of the island, it may be easiest to rent a car, quad bike, or motorcycle. Car rentals cost around $60/day but you get a better rate if you book for the week. I use Skyscanner to find the cheapest rental options. You can find rental agencies for the quad bikes and motorcycles along the waterfront but you will need a valid license to rent. 


Hope you find this travel guide to Naxos useful. From my top things to do in Naxos list, what are you most excited for? Comment below! 

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Naxos Greece Travel Guide Pin


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10 thoughts on “Naxos Travel Guide: Top 10 Things to Do

  • Um, now I want to go here! I didn’t know about Naxos until this post and OMG is it gorgeous! Thanks for the guide, we are planning to go to Europe at the end of summer and might make our way to Greece, and if so we will be considering Naxos thanks to you!

  • Never knew Naxos was so gorgeous! Really want to go there now. Thanks for sharing this, makes it a lot easier to plan a trip.

    • Hi Theresa, thanks for your comment. It really depends how much time you’ve got in Greece and how many islands you want to see. To me, between 4-5 days is perfect. That way if you find the perfect beach in the first couple days, you can go back during the last few. For more info on your island hopping itinerary, check out my Greek Islands Guidehttps://www.amapforkandcork.com/greek-island-hopping-itinerary/

  • Loved this post. Spent two weeks in Europe earlier this year but sadly didn’t make it to Greece. It is still on our short list and plan to visit maybe next year. I loved all these great ideas and would love to check out a cave. Sounds amazing. Thanks for sharing your adventures.

    • Thanks for your comment Samantha! That’s great you had a chance to visit Europe earlier this year. I’m sure you’ll make it to Greece soon 🙂 It’s such an amazing country with so many places to see and great food to taste. The problem is once you visit, you’ll want to keep returning back every year!

  • Jenn! Hello from another Jenn! This post is fantastic, thanks so much for all the tips. This has inspired many ideas for my upcoming trip – thank you so much!

    • Hi Jenn, so sorry for the late reply! I’m glad you enjoyed my Naxos post. That has been one of my favorite places to visit and I’d go back there in a heartbeat. If you have any questions while trip planning, feel free to ask!

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