March 26, 2023

Naxos Greece

Greece is our favourite nation, so in fact it was our first household vacation spot post-Covid. We visited 4 islands whole this journey, however spent essentially the most time on Naxos. It stays our favourite island.

Naxos Greece - walking down from the Portara
Naxos Greece

I wrote about our first two journeys to Naxos on this put up, however now that we’ve spent over 30 days on the island over time, and on condition that issues have modified since our final journey, I really feel like a very new put up is so as.

Why Naxos is the Finest Island in Greece

First, we’ve solely visited ten Greek islands. We have been supposed to go to two extra this journey, however our crusing expedition was cancelled due to climate. We are going to maintain exploring, and naturally I’ll write about different islands we fall in love with, however for now Naxos stays our favourite. The explanations:

  1. No cruise ships. I’ve stated this earlier than, however cruise ships are horrible for small islands. Most locations have a pure tourism steadiness based mostly on the variety of resort rooms. Greek islands are great even when all of these resort rooms are stuffed. However if you add 8,000-15,000 folks off cruise ships, it fully adjustments the steadiness and makes for a destructive expertise for locals, for regular vacationers and for cruise guests. Santorini and Mykonos was once great (I’ve been visiting Mykonos for 30 years and Santorini for 13 years), however the cruise ships in the summertime result in the primary cities being overrun, and over time we’ve seen smaller outlets shut up, solely to get replaced by upscale outfitters and worldwide chains. Santorini and Mykonos aren’t charming anymore. The Greek islands with out cruise ships nonetheless are.
  2. The locals. After we’re strolling from our resort into city, we’re passing residences the place folks dwell year-round, and listening to much more Greek than English. Even on the town we hear extra Greek than on neighboring islands. That’s a a lot better feeling than when every little thing is predicated round tourism.
  3. The airport could be very near Naxos City and the ferry port is on the town. Each journey we stroll to and from the port a number of occasions to take ferries to neighboring islands. Even with baggage it’s a straightforward stroll. That’s not the case on Santorini and Mykonos, and even on islands like Paros and Kos the ferry and airport are removed from one another, and never essentially close to the place you wish to keep.
  4. The island is massive sufficient to have locations to discover, and plenty of good eating places, however sufficiently small that we don’t want a rental automobile nearly all of the time.
  5. Naxos is close to plenty of different islands, so there are good day journey choices.
Naxos Greece - Halki
Within the village of Halki, Naxos, Greece

How one can Journey to Naxos Greece

To get to Naxos Greece, you possibly can both fly or take the ferry. If you wish to fly into Naxos, the one choice is to undergo Athens. Similar with neighboring Paros. There are direct flights from different European cities to close by Santorini and Mykonos nevertheless.

The ferry from Athens takes 3.5-6 hours and you would need to get from the airport to the ferry terminals. Consequently we’ve all the time chosen to fly.

My purpose in attending to the Greek islands is to have as few flights as doable – there’s much less likelihood of missed connections and misplaced baggage. Additionally, it took ceaselessly for Aegean Airways to refund our cancelled flights throughout Covid, so I’m in no hurry to offer them extra money. By avoiding Athens you possibly can keep away from Aegean.

We usually fly into Santorini or Mykonos and out from the opposite. Mykonos is a bit of simpler – it’s a shorter ferry journey from Naxos, and in Mykonos the airport and port are simply 5-10 minutes from the city/lodges. In Santorini the airport and ferry port are 20-Half-hour from Oia and Fira. This journey we flew Lufthansa into Santorini (Los Angeles-Frankfurt-Santorini), spent three nights, took the ferry direct to Naxos, after which after per week took a ferry to Mykonos, spent one night time, and flew to Florence through Zurich on Swiss Air. The flights have been excellent. Our lodges on Santorini and Mykonos organized transportation for us to/from the airports and ferry ports.

LAX Airport Parking -In The Parking Spot at LAX with our luggage for the month in Europe. One of the black duffels was monthly empty, in case we made purchases.
At The Parking Spot at LAX with our baggage for the month in Europe. One of many black duffels was month-to-month empty, in case we made purchases. The youngsters all had their garments of their backpacks.
Santorini Greece - Morning at our cave house in Oia, Santorini
Morning at our cave home in Oia, Santorini
Santorini Greece - The line for the ferry in Santorini
The road for the ferry in Santorini
Naxos Greece - Walking through Naxos Town from the ferry to Nissaki Beach Hotel
Strolling by means of Naxos City from the ferry to Nissaki Seaside Lodge
A quiet corner of Mykonos Town
A quiet nook of Mykonos City
Morning in Mykonos Greece -
Morning in Mykonos
Mykonos Greece - Flying from Mykonos to Zurich
Flying from Mykonos to Zurich

Naxos Resorts: The place to Keep

We’ve stayed on the similar Naxos resort each time we’ve visited the island, and it’s develop into one in every of our favourite lodges on the planet. Nissaki Beach Hotel is ideal. The previous couple journeys we stayed in a two-room suite with the youngsters in a single room (three twin beds) and us in the master suite. Each rooms have balconies over the pool and look out to the ocean.

Naxos Greece - Nissaki Beach Hotel from our room
Nissaki Seaside Lodge from our room

We used to like the breakfast buffet, nevertheless it’s nonetheless closed, so as an alternative you place your breakfast order the night time earlier than. The honey-cinnamon pancakes (principally loukoumades) with Greek yogurt are wonderful! And the setting, on the seaside with cats working round, is great.

Naxos Greece - Nissaki Beach Hotel - The Greek pancakes at breakfast
The Greek pancakes at breakfast

Talking of the seaside, St. George Seaside in entrance of the resort is among the most kid-friendly seashores we’ve discovered anyplace. The water is shallow virtually so far as you possibly can see. We normally deliver (or purchase) a ball and frisbee and throw them round within the water. It’s additionally pleasurable to stroll to the far finish of the seaside and again. Up to now we’ve rented pedal boats with slides, however the rental place didn’t have them but this 12 months (we visited in early June).

Naxos Greece - Nissaki Beach - On an earlier trip, wading out before dinner
On an earlier journey, wading out earlier than dinner

Naxos City

Nissaki Seaside Lodge is possibly a 4-minute stroll from Naxos City (the primary city on the island) and 10 minutes or so to the ferry. We stroll into city a number of occasions a day to eat, store and get cash from ATMs (see under). Virtually each retailer is locally-owned, so far as I can inform, and I’m fairly positive Benetton is the one chain retailer. Strolling round feels genuine. Don’t miss the slim, meandering market space under the citadel – that’s the place plenty of the perfect shops are.

Naxos Greece - The walkways below the castle
The walkways under the citadel
Naxos Greece - Naxos Town
Naxos City
Naxos Greece - In Naxos Cheese Koufopoulos in Naxos Town
In Naxos Cheese Koufopoulos in Naxos City
Greece with kids: Evening in Naxos Town
Night in Naxos City

The Portara (Temple of Apollo) is a really massive doorway/smash courting again to the sixth century BC. You’ll see it from in all places in Naxos City – it’s possibly a 15-minute stroll from the resort however solely a pair minutes from the ferry port. It’s greatest at dawn and sundown, however is a enjoyable stroll any time of day.

Naxos - The Portara during the day
The Portara in the course of the day
Naxos - The Portara / Temple of Apollo at sunset
The Portara / Temple of Apollo at sundown. Naxos City is behind the doorway.
Naxos Greece - The Portara is the most crowded at sunset, but it's worth it.
The Portara is essentially the most crowded at sundown, nevertheless it’s value it.

Exploring Naxos Island

We normally lease a automobile twice each journey (€50-60 a day as of summer season 2022) to discover the island. We’ve been instructed by locals that the cities and seashores down south aren’t well worth the drive, so we all the time focus on the center and north of the island. Worthwhile locations:

The Villages of Halki, Apiranthos and Filoti

Effectively value a visit. All three cities are small, however have good shops, markets and eating places, and it’s good to get out of Naxos City for a meal or two. We like them within the order I listed them above, however actually there’s no want to decide on because it’s straightforward to go to all three in a brief time period.

Naxos Greece - My son in the same doorway in Halki at 7 and 14-year-old
My son in the identical doorway in Halki at 7-years-old and 14-years-old
Apiranthos Naxos
Apiranthos Naxos
Lunch in the village of Filoti Naxos Greece
Lunch within the village of Filoti
Naxos Greece - Filoti

Kouros of Apollonas

There are just a few historic websites across the island. We tried to go to the Temple of Demeter nevertheless it was closed (on a Tuesday). That’s the one web site with a fence, museum and admission sales space. In any other case you possibly can drive, park and rise up near Greek historical past, probably with nobody else round. The Apollonas Kouros (close to the villages of Apollonas) is the perfect web site we’ve discovered on Naxos – a 1,300-year-old statue that depicts both Apollo or Dionysus. Only a brief stroll from the street (park anyplace).

Naxos Greece - The Apollonas Kouros
The Apollonas Kouros
Naxos Greece - Looking back towards Apollonas, with my kids there for perspective - Apollonas Kouros
Wanting again in the direction of Apollonas, with my youngsters there for perspective

Apollonas and Lionas

I discussed above that the southern seaside villages aren’t purported to be well worth the drive. The identical might be true of the northern seaside villages. We all the time wish to purpose someplace although, so our final couple drives we went to the villages of Apollonas and Lionas. In Apollonas we relaxed and went swimming. In Lionas we had lunch at one of many top-rated locations on the island. Neither cease was wonderful, however when you’ve got a full day with a rental automobile, you might as nicely take a look at coastal areas. And we actually just like the drive across the northern coast.

Naxos Greece - A quick stop at a church on the road to Apollonas
A fast cease at a church on the street to Apollonas
Naxos Greece - Apollonas
Lionas Naxos Greece

Agios Prokopios

Right here’s the place we differ from plenty of guests to Naxos Greece. We like basing in Naxos City, and stress-free at St. George Seaside. Others although select to base at Agios Prokopios, quarter-hour south of city, after which drive or take the bus into Naxos City. Agios Prokopios undoubtedly is a good seaside, nevertheless it’s by no means value it to us to pack up and head there for a day when basing out of our resort is a lot simpler. It’s a straightforward cease on a loop across the island although.

A Day Journey to Paros

Paros is our second favourite island in Greece, and it’s solely an hour away on the ferry. We all the time buy ferry tickets far prematurely since there are solely a few good choices for going over within the morning and coming again within the afternoon. The ferry drops you in Parikia, which has most likely the perfect purchasing of any island, and there are good eating places for lunch. This journey we had lunch at Taverna Mouragio, and would return.

Walking around Parikia, Paros
Strolling round Parikia, Paros
Paros Greece - Gelato in Parikia (at Vanilla)
Gelato in Parikia (at Vanilla)

My weblog put up on our final lengthy keep in Paros is right here.

Finest Naxos Eating places

We’ve by no means had a nasty meal on Naxos – and that’s plenty of meals. We usually have sit-down lunches in eating places, though we’ll get take-away gyros periodically. And dinners are virtually all the time in eating places, until we get pizza and produce it again to our room.

Versus Santorini and Mykonos, it’s hardly ever essential to make reservations earlier than you arrive on Naxos. Twice this journey we made reservations a day prematurely, and each different meal we confirmed up and have been seated – both with zero wait or after just some minutes. Having stated that, if you happen to’re visiting throughout a busier time and it seems to be like eating places are principally full, work out the place you wish to eat and cease by both the day earlier than or that morning and make a reservation. It could possibly’t harm.

Naxos Greece - Walking through Naxos Town
Strolling by means of Naxos City

Our meals have been anyplace between €60 and €110. We usually order 4 essential programs for the 5 of us, since parts are massive, together with tzatziki and one other starter, a number of bottles of water, and possibly a half carafe of wine.

These are our favourite Naxos eating places proper now:

Nissaki Restaurant

Most likely the perfect restaurant on the island, and at our resort which makes it very easy! We love eating on the seaside. The meals is all the time glorious. TripAdvisor.

Naxos - At Nissaki Restaurant. We have a No Phones rule, but if a cat jumps onto someone's lap, everyone documents it!
At Nissaki Restaurant. We have now a No Telephones rule, but when a cat jumps onto somebody’s lap, it should be documented!

Dal Professore

This previous journey Dal Professore is the one restaurant we ate at twice. We love the combo of Naxian and Italian, and the pizzas are wonderful. TripAdvisor.

Naxos Greece - At Dal Professore
At Dal Professore
Naxos Greece - The pizza at Dal Professore is spectacular
The pizza at Dal Professore is spectacular


All the pieces that’s wonderful about Greek meals, an awesome setting and near the resort. The one place we got complimentary ouzo this journey – it was once way more frequent. TripAdvisor.

Naxos Greece - At Oasis
At Oasis

Naxian Capriccio

Of the entire locations alongside the water on the town, Naxian Capriccio normally impresses us essentially the most. Regular seafood and Greek dishes. TripAdvisor.

Avaton 1739

Avaton 1739 (together with its earlier iterations) has all the time been our favourite place to go for pre-dinner drinks. It’s a hike to rise up to the citadel, however the view is value it. We normally go for the home made lemonade and the sangria (not presently on the menu, however they’ll make it for you if you happen to request it). TripAdvisor.

Naxos Greece - Drinks at Avaton 1739
Drinks at Avaton 1739
Naxos Greece - The view from Avaton 1739
The view from Avaton 1739


Near the resort and excellent pizza. A simple choice once we don’t really feel like committing to a different restaurant meal. We all the time deliver the pizzas again to our deck and dine on the balcony. TripAdvisor.

Naxos Greece - Pizza from Pizzadelia on our balcony
Pizza from Pizzadelia on our balcony

To Elliniko

Wonderful meals and a very nice out of doors setting, on a avenue that we normally by no means stroll down. We made a reserving a day prematurely since they have an inclination to replenish. TripAdvisor.

Naxos Greece - Dining at To Elliniko. Another lap cat!
Eating at To Elliniko. One other lap cat!

Money and ATMs in Greece

Shops, eating places and lodges in Greece all favor money. We subsequently make every day journeys to ATMs. At all times select ATMs related to Greek or worldwide banks (don’t use the stand-alone bright-colored ones in entrance of shops), and all the time have the fee undergo to your financial institution as Euros. In case you select US {Dollars}, you’re throwing cash away – as a lot as 11% per transaction. Among the ATMs get tough, actually wanting you to allow them to convert the transactions to {dollars}, so take every display slowly and select the right prompts to maintain every little thing in Euros. Do the identical in shops and eating places – all the time select the native foreign money and never {dollars}.

Greece ATMs - An ATM in Greece. FYI, this transaction went through to my bank as $437.66
An ATM in Greece. FYI, this transaction went by means of to my financial institution as $437.66, so I saved virtually $30 by selecting Euros.

Observe: there’s a €2.50-3.00 cost each time you utilize an ATM. My US financial institution refunds these. In case you have the selection of a number of banks / credit score unions, attempt to discover one which reimburses you for ATM charges. Additionally, it doesn’t harm to have two debit playing cards from two banks so you will have a backup in case of loss or fraud.

Is it doable to get by in Greece solely utilizing a bank card? Perhaps, however the Greeks actually like money, so don’t be the ugly vacationer that’s making a small market pay bank card charges on your €1 water. The flip-side: there’s usually a money low cost at lodges and shops. But in addition, we visited plenty of locations that stated that their card machines have been down and they also have been solely accepting money transactions. Principally, carry money always.

Journey Well being Insurance coverage

We have been purported to take this journey in 2020 after which once more in 2021, however the world had different plans. We pushed ahead our resort deposits for each islands, and if something had occurred to make us cancel this journey, I’m positive we may have accomplished the identical once more. However on condition that we by no means received any of our Aegean Airways tickets refunded from 2020 or 2021, and would have had a hefty penalty if we cancelled our Mykonos resort, I felt much more comfy having a travel health insurance plan through G1G in place. It’s an annual household plan, so I by no means have to consider it as I’m reserving or altering journeys. Smartest factor I’ve accomplished within the final 12 months.

Naxos Greece – Your Flip

Have you ever been to Naxos? What did we miss? What’s your favourite Greek island?