Naxos is the place to go if you’ve already been to Santorini and Mykonos and are sick of the crowds of cruise passengers snapping their cameras the whole time you’re there. When you visit here, you’ll get the real deal: a genuine Greek experience.
There is no getting around the fact that the biggest of the Cyclades islands has an unmistakable allure that has not been tarnished by the effects of mass tourism. As a genuine crossroads of Hellenic and Byzantine culture, the island of Naxos provides visitors with a taste of traditional Greek life.
1. Chóra, a Harbor Renowned for its Allure
You should take the “metropolis” designation of Naxos, with a grain of salt given that the island is home to a population of less than a few thousand people, is a picturesque harbor with blue Aegean boats, meandering cobblestone lanes, and jovial shopkeepers.
This is also where the locals first developed the island’s culinary traditions. Think about how they serve octopus fillet at Fisherman’s Harbor freshly caught fish as a garnish. Or try the sumptuous yogurt at Irini’s Tavern, which chefs top with candied grapes and so smooth that it makes it simple to keep a spoon upright.
In addition to this, it has a rich Venetian tradition. It is even conceivable to attend a classical performance staged by a flamboyant nobleman in an ancient prison that peole have converted into a music hall.
The steep and pedestrianized lanes of the Kastro, which was once the Roman Catholic district (as opposed to the Bourgos, which was the Greek Orthodox sector), are lined with attractive stores. The Bourgos was the historical location of the Greek Orthodox quarter. A trip there is well worth it due to the fuchsia azaleas and the many cats congregating around them.
2. Apollos's Temple
Chora’s geographical and touristic attraction is just a few short steps from the heart of the town’s historic district.
On one side, the Temple of Apollo, located on the peninsula in front of the port, has a massive arch that seems to go into another realm. On the opposite side is a massive hilly region with hidden communities and a suspended sense of time. It is impossible to visit Naxos without attempting to climb those few dozen meters to observe the sunset that sparkles on the sea and illuminates the lush hills of the hinterland.
3. Pristine Shorelines
It’s not simply the island’s cuisine and culture that set Naxos apart as a top destination in the Cyclades. In addition to that, it has beaches. Naxos draws visitors with its year-round sunshine and warmth and, of course, its beaches.
We may break down the beaches into two distinct groups here: those that are unmanaged and those that locals control. The earlier ones do not have toilets and furnishings. While the latter are often more crowded and include a small restaurant that serves food and drink and has changing rooms, the former do not.
In any event, guests may anticipate incredibly fine golden sand and calm waves throughout their time at the destination.
4. Apeiranthos and Halki
Tourists may find over thirty charming villages that withstood the test of time tucked away in the hills, home to marble and emery quarries. These are two of Naxos’ most important exports.
On the streets of Apeiranthos and Halki, both thousands of years old, you will encounter craftsmen whose joy will make you smile and spread like wildfire. They offer a variety of goods, including figs, ceramics, olives, jewelry, textiles, kit, a lemon liqueur, and honey, a local delicacy on Naxos.
The two towns are comparable because they have charming residents and terraces shaded by holm oak trees. They sit there playing dice, talking about anything and everything, laughing at visitors who engage in self-portraits, and sometimes drinking a little glass of kitro to keep healthy. Typically, older people do all of this while maintaining their good health.
Sometimes, the community donkey awkwardly makes its way up the stone pathways to deliver food from the fields to the houses. It is an everyday occurrence in Greece that couldn’t be more beautiful in its presentation.
5. How to go to the island of Naxos
There are three departures daily on a ferryboat from the two ports of Athens to the island in the middle of the Cyclades. There is also the option of flying to the island as another mode of transportation.
Visitors are presented with two options once they have arrived. To begin, you should get a rental vehicle so that you may explore the island in its entirety. Second, make a reservation at a villa at the Naxian Collection in Chora and rent a motorcycle to go about the island.