Naxos may not be one of the most famous islands of Greece, but it is definitely one of the most beautiful. If you are looking to experience the unique architecture, vistas and atmosphere of the Cyclades in relative peace and without having to break the bank, then Naxos might just be the perfect choice for you next vacation. Here are the 10 things that you should definitely during your stay in this gorgeous island which is just a short boat ride away from Athens, Greece’s capital, and practically next to popular destinations such as Mykonos and Santorini.
1. Visit the Portara
Portara means “Great Door” and it is the island’s “trademark” landmark. It is the entrance to a temple honoring the god Apollo which was never completed. It now stands overlooking the island’s capital, Chora. It is definitely worth the visit. You can’t say that you’ve been to Naxos if you haven’t visited and photographed the Portara.
2. Enjoy the beaches
Naxos is famous for its beaches with crystal-clear turquoise waters. Given that the island is rather small, it is relatively easy to get to most of them by bus or with a rented car. Agios Prokopios, Mikri Vigla, Plaka and Agia Anna are beaches that you should definitely take the time to visit.
3. Enjoy some water sports
One of the most unique things to do in Naxos Greece is get a taste of extreme water sports such as kite surfing and wind surfing. There are plenty of businesses renting the appropriate equipment and providing quick lessons at the islands most popular beaches.
4. Climb Mount Zas
When someone asks “what to do in Naxos” mountain trekking is definitely not one of the answers they are expecting! What few people know about Naxos is the fact that it is home to the highest mountain in the Cyclades island group. Just take the hike to the top of Mount Zas and you will be definitely rewarded by the amazing view! If you are into photography, that hike is a must.
5. Visit the Panagia Drosiani church
The islands of the Cyclades are known for their white color and blue colored domes. There are however some churches that manage to stand out. The Panagia Drosiani church is one of the oldest churches in Greece and everyone visiting Naxos should check it out.
6. Visit the temple of Demeter
The Prtara may be the trademark landmark of Naxos island, however there is an archaeological site that has been trying to steal its thunder. The temple of Demeter is one of the best preserved ancient temples in Greece and if you are into Greek culture and archaeology, visiting should be on the top of your Naxos to-do list.
7. Taste the local cuisine
Naxos is famous for its potatoes and cheese. The local cuisine is just delicious and it is better experienced in small, family-run taverns.
8. Explore Chora
Chora is the island’s “capital” and as such it is where most of the hotels are located. The town is small and very picturesque with many sights to check out. Take the time to explore it and you will definitely be rewarded.
9. Tour the villages
If you can rent a car, take the time to visit some of Naxos’ villages. They are among the most beautiful in Greece!
Like we said earlier, Naxos is much quieter than other islands in the Cyclades so make sure to relax and “recharge your batteries” during your holiday there!
Where to stay in Naxos?
Now that we’ve talked about Naxos Greece what to do we should also talk about accommodation on the island. You will find many hotels and “rooms to let” in Chora. The best to place in Naxos though is a hotel or small villa with an amazing sea view and – preferably – a private pool. Believe it or not, such accommodations are surprisingly cheap in Naxos!