It was about time I tell you about my fantastic stay in Naxos, ten incredible days in the biggest island of the Cyclades. As you may know I have a big passion for the Greek islands and I have been before to Hydra, Crete and Rhodes too. You can read previous posts on this blog about my days there.
This summer I really wanted to come back to Greece and, this time to Naxos, after years of listening wonderful things. My expectations were high but the island did not disappoint at all! I have to confess that I got use to it so well that it seemed I was living there since months ago!
We decided to reach Naxos by ferry from the Piraeus harbour (Athens) and come back by plane. The travel by ferry was a good experience. It was big, very well-maintained and decorated, and with cafes and bars in every floor. It was beautiful to see the sea and the islands in the distance during the 5 hour- trip.
In Naxos we rent a car in Chora (the capital of the island) and we drove to our hotel, 15 minutes from there. I always suggest people to stay away from the main towns and enjoy a less-crowded area in a Greek island. Going in May, June, September or October is also better.
For our days there we chose the Melidron hotel, 3 minutes walking from the Agios Prokopios beach. If you continue walking or driving, then the next beach/area is Agia Anna and the next one is called Plaka. We decided to go to this, once again because quieter, and we especially enjoyed the area run by the Peppermint tavern. For just 7 euro per day you have to two sunbeds, one sun umbrella and food service with waiters on the beach! Imagine, you arrive there in the morning and start by enjoying an authentic frappe and later you have a Greek lunch with your feet on the sand while enoying that beautiful sea views!
Ok and now that I’m talking about the food, what do I suggest to eat in the island? Several of the Naxian specialities, including the delicious tomatoes and capers, olives, local cheeses, roasted kid (young goat), octopus and fava, this one very typical not only in Naxos but in all of the Cycladic islands. I hope to be able to publish the traditional fava recipe soon here on the blog since I bought some while I was there and brought back home.
What would you like to visit?
First of all, renting a car or motorbike is the best way to travel around the island. Naxos has also a bus system which joins most of the town and villages and running all day and part of the night.
Visit the Temple of Demeter and its beautiful surroundings. The entrance only costs 2 euro and it’s the best archeological site preserved in Naxos.
Go to typical and cute inland villages such as Filoti, Apeiranthos and Chalki, and others on the coast like Apollonas, where you can go for a swim on the beach and then eating fish recently brought in by the fishermen in a tavern overlooking the sea.
In Chora, go to Portara to view the sunset. Naxians are really proud of this part of the island. It’s essentially a massive marble doorway standing as the jewel of the island and from 530 b.C. It lies close the port and the views are incredibly beautiful.
Visit also the old town and wander through the cute streets, doing some shopping as well in a nearby shop called Tziblakis, where you can get spices, local cheeses, tea, olive oil and fava.
In Agia Anna the sunset it’s also super beautiful as the area, full of life and another good option to stay in Naxos.
If you want to visit nearby islands the good news is that Naxos is well-communicated via ferry with others like Santorini, Mykonos or Paros.
Greek taverns to come back?
If I ever visit Naxos again I am sure I will come back to these ones.
Axiotissa, 25 minutes by car from Chora and very famous for her homemade cuisine. Suggested by the locals and with typical dishes such as roasted kid and fava, as well as other Greek specialities.
Peppermint, on Plaka beach where you can eat on the sand or in the area they have around the pool. Here I ate the best Naxian salad and tzatziki… so delicious!
Petrino, a romantic restaurant with scrumptious food including dishes of the day. I ate here the best fava. We loved their cuisine so much that we decided to come back here our last night in Naxos.
(Better to book in advance. Located at the end of the Plaka beach)
And last but not least, one my best suggestions: avoid as much as you can to visit a Greek island between mid July and the end of August.
A Greek island means to me a relaxing time, soft sound of waves, nice weather, sun, smell and flavour of fresh food and few tourists. This is what I found in Naxos. The island captivated me and I would come back there thousand times!
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