- Greece offers numerous luxury islands with sandy beaches and unique cuisine, making it tough to choose just one.
- Naxos, with its cultural richness and humility, emerges as an exceptional destination for travelers.
- Naxos Town, Agios Prokopios, Apeiranthos, Plaka, and Agia Anna are recommended towns to stay in Naxos, each with its charm and accommodations.
- Top activities in Naxos include visiting the ancient Temple of Apollo, exploring Halki village, enjoying water sports at Mikri Vigla Beach, savoring local cuisine, and hiking to experience natural beauty.
Greece is full of luxury islands offering everything from sandy beaches to unique cuisine, with 227 inhabited islands. So picking your dream destination is no easy feat.
That's not to say it's impossible, though, as Naxos is one destination that has it all. It's an island of culture and humility, from its historic landmark of Portara to the picturesque marble village of Apeiranthos.
With so much to see and do, Naxos vacations aren't the easiest to plan. This is why we'll help you prepare by providing all the essential details, from where to stay to the top things to do in Naxos.
Ready or not, here we go!
What Are the Best Towns to Stay in for Your Naxos Vacation?
Finding unforgettable Naxos accommodation is challenging, mainly because there are so many to pick from. So if you're wondering where to stay in Naxos, these fantastic options will have you saying 'Opa.'
1. Naxos Town (Chora)
Naxos Town (or Naxos Chora) is a must-visit for the perfect blend of Venetian and Cycladic architecture, and whether it’s your thing or not, after a vacation here it will be.
This is the best destination for first-time visitors. It's the main port of Naxos, Greece, so it's easy to reach. That's just the logistics. We are yet to get into the fun stuff.
This is an island of mythological intrigue, much like all of the Cyclades islands, and it’s something that Naxos Town shows perfectly.
It's easy to find details of how the island partook in Greek Mythology and explore the Mythological Tale of Naxos throughout the city, from the Temple of Apollo to the ancient tower of Glezos.
There's more to enjoy, like the pristine beaches of Agios Georgios, with its soft sands and gentle waves. Is somebody looking for a party?
If so, Naxos Town also has some of the best nightlife on the island, with the Ocean Club and Barozzi Restaurant being particularly vibey spots.
The Best Naxos Town Accommodation
- Nissaki Beach Hotel — This is the ideal lodging for families looking to enjoy the luxuries of Agios Georgios Beach. It's a stone's throw from the turquoise waters of the Aegean Sea, and there's a fantastic restaurant for all your dining desires. Simply put, Nissaki Beach Hotel is an idyllic option.
- Naxian on the Beach Hotel — If it's a luxury adult-only hotel that you seek, look no further than the Naxian on the Beach Hotel. There's nothing better than starting your day with a customized breakfast or ending it by watching the sunset in your private pool.
2. Agios Prokopios
Agios Prokopios Beach is arguably one of the best beaches in Naxos, and trust us, the competition in this for the best beach is pretty stiff.
Aside from enjoying the sunkissed water of this coastal village, what makes Agios Prokopios such a great option?
The diving opportunities are one such thing that pushes the village into legendary status — as if Greece needs more legends (although it can never have enough).
There are numerous sites to explore in the depths of the ocean here, from the British WW2 Beaufighter Plane to the coral reefs teeming with wildlife.
If diving isn't your thing, how about enjoying the Arts Festival in the summer months? This quaint village offers art, movies, and music that can compare with the legendary nightlife of Mykonos.
Greek hospitality is world-renowned and brims from every one of the town's many (insert excitement here) eateries. Giannoulis Taverna is a humble and delicious option, while Del Mar Cafè is the best place for fine dining.
The Best Agios Prokopios Accommodation
- 18 Grapes Hotel — For a boutique hotel that offers mesmerizing sea views, stay at the 18 Grapes Hotel. The owners are a family of fine winemakers, so they consider your every need, from the pampering spa treatments to the delicious food.
- Naxian Collection — For crisp finishings that complement the Naxian lifestyle perfectly, consider this 4-star hotel. Besides, who doesn't want to relax on a sun terrace overlooking the Aegean Sea?
Moving across the island, we find the stunning Medieval village of Apeiranthos. With Mount Zeus overlooking this picturesque town, it's no wonder this region has been a destination for pilgrims and, more recently, history lovers.
This town is full of Venetian and Franc history, as the marble courtyards and alleyways paint the prettiest pictures. Decorative carvings ordain fences and walls, so spending hours staring at the town's beauty is definitely in order.
Did the doctor order stunning museums that add to Apironthos’ unique charm? We think so, and the Folklore Museum of Apeiranthos is an interesting one, while the Tower of Zevgolis holds the same level of grandeur as it did back in the 17th century.
While the nearest beach is half an hour's drive away, the hikes in and around the area make this an unforgettable Naxos vacation spot.
The Best Apeiranthos Accommodation
- Petra Home — For a quintessentially Naxos accommodation, the Petra Home has everything, from a picturesque garden to the Masterchef level kitchen. It's also in the heart of the village, so you can easily visit the top sites and restaurants like Platanos.
- Laina Traditional Guest House — This 3-star guest house has all the simple luxuries of life. The rooms have tasteful finishings, while the private courtyard allows guests to enjoy the Greek outdoors in peace.
Plaka is the perfect Naxos family destination that will forever be the beach of memories. Okay, we made that up, but seriously, the memories you'll make here are out of this world.
For starters, it's a popular but serene coastal oasis that everyone can enjoy, from families to couples. There aren't any public amenities, so the best bet is to visit the bars or restaurants.
That said, the beach isn't short of fantastic spots to grab a drink — or five — with places like Tohu Bar and the Cedar Cafe. This is the perfect vacation spot for foodies, as Tortuga is a tribal-chic restaurant serving mouthwatering dishes.
When you're not indulging in food or relaxing on the beach, you can go snorkeling amongst the coral reefs that put the Great Barrier Reef to shame.
The Best Plaka Accommodation
- Ammothines Cycladic Suites — If it's comfort you seek, this minimalist accommodation is a gentle stroll away from Plaka Beach and waiting for you to pay a visit. While the interior is simple and elegant, the poolside restaurant is the perfect place to watch the sunset over the Aegean Sea.
- Sea and Olives — There's nothing better than relaxing at the Sea and Olives droplet-shaped pool or dining in style at their luxury restaurant. These are just some things that contribute to your unforgettable experience at this lodging.
5. Agia Anna
Last but certainly not least, we have one of the most beautiful Naxos villages in Agia Anna. The crescent-shaped Agia Anna Beach is oh-so inviting, along with the baby-blue water of the gentle sea.
Naxos Town is only a 15-minute drive from this lovely town, so say 'Hello' to the iconic sites on the island. That said, spending the day perusing the idyllic streets with quaint eateries is another excellent way to learn about the town.
One of the top landmarks in the town is the Cathedral of Agios Nikolaos, which overlooks the town and beach. Its Cycladic architecture pops thanks to the iconic blue roofs and pale white walls. It’s truly a Cycladic wonderland!
The magic of the Cathedral of Agios Nikolaos is on full display at sunset. So be sure to snap some sublime photos. The town is also the perfect place to take a boat trip to the hidden caves of Rina and Kalados Bay.
The Best Agia Anna Accommodation
- Majo Suites Hotel — The simple combination of timber and white furnishings makes this luxury accommodation a spacious and relaxing stay. It's a self-catering option, but you can always go to Akrogiali or Taverna Faros for delicious food.
- Cycladic Islands Hotel and Spa — This 4-star hotel is ideal if you're looking for an all-inclusive stay in the heart of Agia Anna. Its picturesque pools overlook the beach, while its rooms are the epitome of relaxation and comfort.
Unforgettable Things to Do on Naxos Island
Now that the best places to stay are out of the way, it's about time we dive into the best activities in Naxos.
Aside from enjoying the pristine Naxos beaches and beach resorts, there's a variety of things to do on this magnificent island.
1. Snap Some Photos at the Ancient Temple of Apollo
The Temple of Apollo — or Portara — is a gold mine of archaeological intrigue. The 9-foot-tall (six meters) doorway is the island's most popular site. So free up memory space because your camera will work overtime.
Lygdamis built the massive marble temple in 530 BC, so it's crazy to think it's been here for over 2,500 years.
Despite most of the materials from the temple being re-used when making the Venetian castle of Naxos, this monument still overlooks the island's capital city.
Top Tip: Join our Portara sunset walking tour for the best experience of this iconic landmark.
2. Explore the Picturesque Village of Halki
For dramatic views of the island from the plateau of Tragea, we highly recommend exploring Halki. Exploring the streets of this quaint village is a sublime experience.
Don't forget to keep an eye out for the Byzantine church of St. George with its fantastic frescoes.
The Old Town is another fantastic walking experience when visiting Naxos, or you can go to Vallindras Distillery to discover the art of making citron liqueur.
3. Enjoy Some Watersports at Mikri Vigla Beach
Mikri Vigla is the best beach for kitesurfing, wakeboarding, and scuba diving. Of course, you can always relax on the golden beach, but where's the fun in that?
The Naxos Kitesurfing School is a fantastic establishment and the best place to start hitting the waves of Mikri Vigla. Remember that they're swamped during the island's popular months from May to August, so book in advance.
4. Eat Your Way Around the Island
The joys of food are something everyone can get behind, and if you don't while here, you're not living your best life, trust us. Although this island has archaeological wonders and glorious beaches, its food scene is just as grand.
Our Naxos food guide explains all the best meals you can enjoy on the island. These traditional dishes range from the hearty Safou Kloti — a fragrant pie – to sweet treats like Melachrino.
5. Work Off the Carbs on a Hike
With all the extra eating going on — trust us, it happens — working up a sweat is a great idea. Naxos has several fantastic hikes across the island, from trekking up Mount Zeus to the Filoti trail.
The hikes range from easy to difficult. This means whatever your fitness level, you'll be able to enjoy the natural surroundings of this mythical island.
Some Practical Things to Know for the Ultimate Naxos Vacation
You’ll need to keep a few essentials in mind when traveling to Naxos.
How Do You Get to Naxos?
The other option is to fly directly from Athens International Airport to Naxos Apollo Airport. Flights generally take 40 minutes, with fares starting from $65 per person.
Do You Need a Car to Get Around Naxos?
Although Naxos has public transportation, it's a great idea to rent a car to access the more remote regions of the island. Renting a car is also more reliable and reasonably affordable, with prices starting at $16 per day.
Do People Speak English in Naxos?
Most of the Naxian population can speak English, which is part of why Naxos is such a popular vacation destination.
When Should You Look to Visit Naxos?
The best time to visit Naxos and the nearby islands is between April and October. These are months when you'll have the best weather, and all the tourist attractions are open (some of them close in the winter months).
When is the Peak Tourist Season in Naxos?
The peak tourist season is between May and July. So, if you want to avoid the crowds and the fully-booked Naxos hotels, we recommend visiting in April or from August to November.
What's the Ideal Duration for Your Naxos Vacation?
We recommend spending anywhere from five days to a week in Naxos. This way, you'll be able to explore the island without feeling rushed and visit its best beaches and sights.
What Should You Pack for a Naxos Trip?
During the peak season, the weather rarely drops below 68°F (20°C) at night, so here's a list of some of the packing essentials you'll need:
- Light and airy clothes
- Sandals and walking shoes
- Sunhat and sunscreen
- Some smart but casual clothes for dinners
- A beach umbrella if you plan to visit unorganized beaches, such as the famous Hawaii Beach
Final Thoughts | Your Naxos Vacation Awaits
It's fair to say that Naxos is an island paradise that everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime. It's a region with diverse history, culinary delights, and beaches that are difficult to beat.
So, when planning your next Greek vacation, include Naxos in the itinerary for a world of luxury and unforgettable memories.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Naxos Famous for?
Naxos is famous for its beautiful beaches, crystal-clear waters, and picturesque villages. It's also known for its rich history, as it was an important center of ancient Cycladic civilization. It boasts impressive archaeological sites such as the Temple of Apollo and the Portara.
Is Naxos a Party Island?
While Naxos has a lively nightlife scene, it is not considered a party island like Mykonos or Ios. Instead, it offers a more relaxed and laid-back atmosphere. It has various places to enjoy all kinds of music, from jazz to modern trance and live Greek music.
Is Naxos Very Touristy?
While Naxos is a popular tourist destination, it has managed to maintain its authenticity and charm. It is less crowded than other Greek islands and offers a variety of experiences, from relaxing on secluded beaches to exploring traditional villages.