Naxos – our top sights
Naxοs is thе largest island оf the Cyclades. Naxos is also thе greenest and most fertile island. Due to its size and the diverse landscape, there is a lot to discover for everyone – delightful mountain villages, wonderful sandy beaches, numerous restaurants and cafes and historical sights.
The island is located in the center of the Cyclades archipelago, between other famous islands. Mykonos IS above in the north and Santor in the south of Naxos. Because of that many ferry and cruise ships pass the island on a daylie basis. This is one reason why Naxos has become more and more popular in recent years.
The Cyclades island is well suited for beach vacationers, those who are interested in history and active tourists like hikers wind and kite surfers. Because the island is a bathing paradise with miles of sandy beaches and strong winds. Hikers can make their way through the mountains to see the highest peak of all cycladic islands called Zas (1001 meters high).
The flat landscape on the other hand shows a mixture of olive groves and grapevines. Spread out in between, ancient remains, ancient monasteries and chapels which can be discovered.
The capital of Naxos has the same name as the island but its often called chora. It is a typical capital of the Cyclades with cubic, whitewashed houses and a preserved Venetian castle. In the middle of the port, between the Fisherboats is the Pаnagia Мyrtidiοtissа church. The Promеnade is very lively with many cafes, taverns and shops. The old town inside thе castle walls is paved with small and narrow alleys full of souvenir shops and cafés. A real beautiful sight of Naxos.
The inner part of the Naxоs island hides delightful and lively mountain villages. The most beautiful of them are in our opinion Apeiranthοs, Chalki, Filoti, Kоrοnos and Sangri. But you should also visit Halki thе old capital оf thе island.
1. The best restaurants on Naxos
Alex and I are great lovers of Greek cuisine. Therefore, the local cuisine is a must for us to mention. A lot ot of vegetables, fruit and olives are growing on thе island аnd are delivered fresh tо the restaurants аnd taverns.
Since we are gourmets and love to eat, regular feasting is simply part of our live. From fresh salads, delicious meat skewers and delicious fish dishes, there are a lot of diferent dishes to discover on the island. But a definite must is of course the gyros pita. Its not a gourmet food but traditional greek.
We are happy to tell you about our favorite restaurants and cafés and our absolute highlight dishes from Naxos. In the capital Naxos (Chora) are many restaurants and taverns right on the Paralia.
We regularly visit the “Meze”, one of out absolut favourite restaurants in chora. It has a large selection of dishes but my highlight there are the spaghetti scampi. They are served in a large pan, so the portion is easily enough for 2 people.
The scampi and pasta are soaked in a creamy, aromatic sauce and have already been peeled. So you can easily detach the head and the tail without to worry about removing the shell.
The meatballs filled with zucchini and feta are also really good and a special yogurt lime dip is served with it – an unbeatable combination.
I can recommend the white wine for wine lovers. It has a fruity, sweet note and shoud be drunk chilled. A real festival for al goumets out there.
During our 1-year stay here on Naxos, many more posts with our personal impressions and experiences will follow. So please check it out every now and then to stay up to date.
El Proffesor – Spagetti Bollongese
Pepperi – Pita and Burger
2. The best beaches of Naxos
In the 4 month that we have already been living on Naxos, our favorite beaches have clearly emerged. There are of course a variety of beautiful beaches on Naxos, but only the best make it into our Top 5. We’ll probably add a few more once we’ve explored the island further. But especially for holidaymakers who don’t have that much time, the list will be a good overview of the most beautiful beaches on Naxos.
We’d like to start with our absolute favorite beach Prokopios . The beach has already been voted into the Top 10 of the best beaches in Greece several times and is a real attraction of Naxos. The crystal clear water and especially the somewhat coarse-grained sand make the beach a true paradise. Even if it will be a little bit windy, the sand stays where it should be, becuase the sand it not fine. The water is a little nit colder than on other beaches of naxos due to the north stream, an additional advantage on hot days in summer.
The beach is very long and ends on a small mountain on which a restaurant is located. Perfect for a salat in between or a cold drink.
Disadvantage: every beach has its disadvantages, including Prokopios. Over the last years the beach of Naxos has become more popular and some hotel complexes and new apartments have secured their spaces in front of the beach. This means that loungers have been set up here and in the high season many tourists relaxe here. Therefore, the beach is particularly recommended in the low season of April, May or September, October.
Another smaler downside you might have seen in our Instagram stories: When strong north winds hit Naxos, the waves there are very strong and, in combination with the strong stream, it is also dangerous to swim far out.
Our second recommendation is Agia Anna, another attraction of Naxos. and lies a little further behind Prokopios. This stretch of beach is also well protected and relatively calm. Clear, calm water and light waves promise pleasant bathing pleasure. Here, too, word got around about this beautiful beach. Because some areas are occupied by loungers. Nevertheless, there are also enough free spaces for your own towel. We particularly like the smaller section, which is protected by a jetty. It looks like a small port. The advantage of this stretch of beach is: 1. that it is completely sheltered from the wind and 2. that it creates a very idyllic atmosphere with a small number of cute fishing boats. The beach section of Aghia Anna is not very big, but it is also not used that often by holidaymakers. Some cafes, restaurants and supermarkets can be found directly behind the beach section. So there is plenty of food and drink.
A small downer is that there is a bus stop on the street right there at the harbor bay. So there is more traffic there than maybe. in other places. However, this is hardly noticeable when you are lying on the beach.
Parakia Mikri Vigla
Mikri Vigla is located on the west coast and is a real magnet for bathers. It is also a famous beach for windsurfers and kite surfers. The beautiful whitish sandy beach of Mikri Vigla is 4 kilometers long. Really a beach for families, water sports enthusiasts and nature lovers.
The beach is framed by some tamarisk trees that provide shade. Which is really great because there are no sun loungers or parasols set up here. The reason for this is probably that this beach is a bit out of the way and therefore not overcrowded at all. Wonderful for just relaxing.
This special region consists of many small bays with soft, white sand and turquoise crystal water. In some areas the sand is also coarser and pebble-like. It’s great that you can find both here.
A small disadvantage, however, is that there are also a few cafes, supermarkets or taverns within walking distance of the beach. We only discovered a small supermarket that provided us with sufficient food and drink. Therefore, remember to take your own food with you.
The recently built asphalt road that runs along the airport runway takes you to this region via Plaka Beach. The last kilometers, however, are dirt roads that are a bit bumpy but easy to reach. The “old-fashioned” route offers an incomparable panoramic view of the entire coast. So the drive there alone is worth it.
Kastraki is a very long and beautiful beach with light, soft sand. It is about 16 kilometers from the town of Naxos and is located directly after that of Mikri Vigla. This sandy beach is characterized by cool, crystal clear water, spaciousness and a steady breeze. The northern part of Kastraki beach is very quiet and the southern part of Kastraki is called “Glyfada”. This part is in turn exposed to north winds, which makes it ideal for windsurfing. On windless days it is just amazing there. We like to call this section of the beach the “rocky beach” because there are large boulders at the end of the indentation. You can also lie down on the rock with your towel and climb into the water from there. There are also some small, hidden corners where you can relax in the sun all by yourself. And the view from there is also impressive when you have dared to go up.
Access to the beach is via an asphalt road and a dirt road in good condition for the last kilometer. Therefore, we would recommend arriving by car. The beach of Kastraki is quite long, so that you can take a long stroll on the beach and choose where you want to swim.
Sidefact: On some days it can be particularly windy here, as the sand whips at you from all directions. We even tried to let our drone fly off the big rocks. But we underestimated the wind and briefly lost the connection to our drone. Alex could land it anywhere on the beach. Therefore we know from our own experience how loooong the beach section can be on foot. So the beach is ideal for longer walks. Fortunately, we found the drone again.
Hawaii Beach, also known as Aliko Beach, is a real Naxos sider tip. It is 11 miles away in southwest of Naxos. Hawaii is the second beach with the characteristic 10m gradient to a fantastic sandy beach. Rock formations separate it from the adjacent beaches. The crystal clear water and white sand add to the beauty of the magnificent beach.
The main Hawaiian beach on the southern is a part of a group of larger bays. Even if the strong north wind blows, you are well protected due to the high, reddish colored rocks. While the water is clear and calm the beach is ideal for those who don’t like noise and crowded palces. Since the area is rather quiet, the beach is not equipped with sun loungers and umbrellas. It’s a nice place to relax in private.
If you are lucky, you can have the large bay all to yourself. Not many tourists come here because of the distance and the hidden place. But be aware that this beach is often used as a nudism beach. So think twice if you want to go here with your children
There is a unique cedar forest nearby beside the amazing sand dunes. This forest is designated as a nature reserve and creates an exotic atmosphere.
On top of it there is a great tavern a few minutes walk away with an excellent sea view and really good local cuisine that we have already tried ourselves. The tavern is called Psili Ammos.
3. Live Webcams der Naxos Sehenswürdigkeiten.
There is a live webcam that gives you a view over the port of Naxos. Here you can watch the actions in the city, how the weather is like on your favourite island and if a ship is currently docked. Have fun with the live webcam from Naxos Hora and the other sights of Naxos.
Good to have you here…