Less busy and touristy than its neighbors, Mykonos and Paros, despite being the biggest islands in the Cyclades complex, Naxos is no shape or form a less interesting destination. Vibrant, diverse and with a bright nightlife that caters to all ages and tastes, the visitors of Naxos will have the time of their life providing they know where to go. That’s what we’re here for: to present to you what to do in Naxos at night and ensure you get the most out of your Greek holiday experience!
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As already mentioned, Naxos’ nightlife is pretty buoyant, with no shortage of things to do and see, and places to visit for a drink or a dance. The vast majority of its bars are located in the heart of the capital along the seashore and tucked away in its cobbled alleys. From quite taverns to cozy bars and trendy night clubs, you can listen to whatever music you prefer, drink whatever you want to drink and make memories that will stand the test of time!
Enjoy a sunset on a beach bar
Beach bar - credits: DisobeyArt/Shutterstock.com
As a typical Greek island, Naxos has a number of gorgeous beaches. Most -if not all- of the top beaches in Naxos have beautiful beach bars that serve the beachgoers all day long and turn into delightful bars at night, where you can sip delicious cocktails while letting the sea touch your toes on a walk along the smooth, sandy coast. Watching the sun submerge into the sea will one of the top moments of your trip; even you’re not the romantic type, such a beautiful sight cannot leave you untouched. What’s more, a drink by the beach at night, or even a night dive, is the ultimate Greek island experience and one you should delve into if given the chance. The best Greek summer stories start with ‘So the sun went down but still we stayed at the beach…’
Take a romantic walk in Portara
Portara by night - credits: Christos Siatos/Shutterstock.com
One of the most popular attractions in Naxos and an important archaeological site of Greece is the huge marble gate of a temple that began to be built in the 6th century BC most likely in honor of the god Apollo, Portara, a location famous as one of the best places to catch the sunset in Greece. It is located on the islet ‘Palaces’, or ‘Island of Bacchus’, at the north end of Naxos port. According to mythology, Theseus abandoned Ariadne on this islet, which was then abducted by Dionysus in his pursuit. A walk around this magical location at nightfall will give you the opportunity to catch a view of Naxos illuminated by the night lights and admire Greek history and mythology in a dreamlike setting. Combine culture with pleasure and explore the island of Naxos in a Naxos Castle and Portara walking tour; who said archaeological sites are only for the daytime?
Taste the riches of the local cuisine
Local tavern in Naxos - credits: Socrates Baltagiannis/Shutterstock.com
Although unique, Naxos is no different than any other part of Greece in regard to one thing: its heavenly cuisine. The island is famous for its local produce and especially for its cheese and potatoes, which local producers export with great success to the rest of Greece and the world; don’t you dare leave Naxos without tasting its gruyere. Mouthwatering traditional local dishes are thankfully not hard to find at all, with the Chora of Naxos bustling with charming restaurants and tavernas. Patoudo, -lamb stuffed with rice, liver, and herds- Rosto, -pork with garlic and wine cooked in the pot- and Kalogeros, -braised beef with eggplants and cheese- are the tastiest and most popular authentic Naxian dishes. If you happen to get overwhelmed by choice, our top picks for traditional taverns are Maro, Melimelon Naxou, Kozi, Mpoulamatsis, Nteountas, Amorginon Naxos, and Naxian Gastronomy. While visiting those taverns, don’t forget to try the local liqueur or Kitro, one of the most delicious and original Greek spirits and perfect as an aperitif.
Sip on your Greek-inspired cocktail
Greek-inspired cocktails - credits: Lisa Holmen Photography/Shutterstock.com
If you want to experience Naxos’ nightlife, a good place to start would be one of the many cozy bars you can find downtown that serve delicious drinks and inspired cocktails while playing pick-me-up music. Our most favorite bar in Naxos, hands down, is the popular Swing Cocktail Bar. Forget about the cocktail bars you’re used to and can stumble upon anywhere and everywhere; Swing Cocktail Bar is both uncommon and one-of-the-kind, using the science of chemistry to make mind-blowingly delicious concoctions. In addition to your cocktails being served in a seashell, it is possible they will also be served steaming! Of course, the interior design is just as unique, while the music is so pleasant it will make you want to stay for more than a couple of drinks! Another great option is Like Home Bar, a bar that fulfills the promise of its name. Cozy and homey, with its mouthwatering drinks, laid-back vibe, and excellent music, it will lure you in and make you sway. Last but not least, Naxos Cafe will make you stray from the trite and enjoy live Greek music accompanied by local meze. This small and cute cafe-bar in the cobbled streets of Naxos castle is a must-visit to anyone who wants to experience Naxos in an alternative way!
Dance the night away in a local club
Dance club - credits: bbernard/Shutterstock.com
If a relaxed drink is too tame for you and you’ve set your mind on dancing till the early morning hours, it is time for you to hit the Naxian night clubs; and boy oh boy aren’t they lively and buoyant! On most Greek Islands, both visitors and locals come together under the same roof to party and for Naxos, that roof is The Ocean Club, where the heart of Naxos by night beats. In the summertime, you can dance to the beat of mainstream dance music, while during the off-season the club hosts special events, such as concerts, unique DJ sets, and themed parties. Put your hair down, grab a drink and clear your head; it is time to have a fun, carefree time and dance like you’ve never danced before!
Treat yourself to a hangover cure
Naxos cafés by night- credits: Heracles Kritikos/Shutterstock.com
Of course, after your wild dancing endeavors, it’s only natural that you’ve worked up an appetite. Yes, Naxos has amazing restaurants and taverns, but after a few drinks and at the crack of dawn a restaurant is not what you’re after; street food is. Don’t miss out on a crepe overflowing with the traditional Naxos gruyere, creating crispy edges that resemble a delicious saganaki. Alternatively, opt for FBI South Aegean, a street food cantine that is a prime example of the Naxian gastronomic excellence! Taste hamburgers and sandwiches that carry flavors from all over the world and don't miss the awesome Ice Rolls, the Thai Ice cream that has taken the worldwide culinary culture by storm, made with Naxian milk and fresh local fruit. Slumdog is another excellent choice for street food. From hot dogs, chicken nuggets, chicken wings, and crispy onion rings to homemade burgers, it is a must-visit eatery, especially after a boisterous night out!
Now that we’ve revealed Naxos’ nightlife secrets and you know exactly where to go and what to experience, all that’s left for you to do is book your tickets to experience this wonderful island for yourselves. After all, in the words of Greek writer Nikos Kazantzakis, ‘Happy is the man, I thought, who, before dying, has the good fortune to sail the Aegean sea.’