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There’s no denying it. Naxos is one of those islands that have it all!
We’re not exaggerating, far from it.
There are thousands of travelers that would wholeheartedly agree with us!
From a selection of archaeological sites to quaint villages and from beautiful beaches to delicious food and show-stopping sunsets, there are plenty of reasons why Naxos is love at first sight.
Are you planning your holidays to Naxos, or are you already there?
Either way, there are some experiences you NEED to have during your holidays in Naxos. As always, we don’t like to keep secrets when it comes to traveling. So we’re going to let you in on the top 6 things to do before leaving Naxos!
Keep reading to find out what they are!
Watch the sunset at Portara Naxos
Portara is not only the trademark and most popular archaeological site in Naxos but also a perfect spot to watch the sunset!
To start with, Portara is basically an enormous marble gate that sits at Palatia islet, above Naxos Chora. This gate is supposedly part of an ancient temple dedicated to the Greek god Apollo, protector of musicians and poets. Portara, which consists of four separate columns, is 6 meters high and 3.5 meters wide. It looks like a huge window to the Aegean!
Thanks to its elevated position and breathtaking view, Portara is the perfect spot to watch the sunset. Watching the sun sinking into the horizon, spraying shades of gold onto the island is a once-in-a-lifetime experience!
Can you imagine the magic?
Swim at Plaka beach
If we had to pick just one beach in Naxos, it would definitely be Plaka!
It is huge, covered with sparkling white sand, it has enticingly clear emerald waters and is lined with traditional fish taverns, where you can enjoy the best local delicacies. Add its beautiful natural setting to the mix and it becomes obvious that this beach is one of a kind!
Plaka beach might be organized with seabeds and umbrellas, but it also has many quiet spots. So, no matter if you like privacy or not, there’s the right spot for you!
Nevertheless, Plaka beach is not only a go-to destination for luscious swimming but also an amazing place to watch the sunset. Watching the sun setting behind the sand dunes that line Plaka beach will be a memory you’ll treasure forever. So, make sure you’ll stay at Plaka beach until sunset time and then sit at a seaside tavern for a delightful dinner!
Have we just described your perfect day, or what?
Explore the island’s sophisticated culinary scene
Fellow foodies, rejoice!
It’s not a secret that the Cyclades are famous for their gastronomy. Naxos couldn’t be an exception! Long a popular destination for food-lovers, Naxos island has many traditional taverns, where you can taste many local delicacies.
But, if you think traditional cuisine is the only culinary delight that Naxos has to offer, you’re dead wrong!
What most people don’t know is that Naxos hides many fine-dining and creative cuisine gems, like Barozzi Restaurant & Cocktail Bar. Choose among a great selection of traditional dishes with a modern twist, like ravioli with Naxian rabbit and Morchella mushrooms, slow-cooked pork collar with Naxian potatoes, and shrimps with beetroot cream and feta cheese and wash them down with a glass of wine or a sophisticated cocktail, enjoying the magical scenery.
Sounds dreamy, right?
Get lost in the narrow streets of Apiranthos village
If you manage to peel yourself away from Naxos beaches, you should visit the mountainous Apiranthos village. Apiranthos is also a nice place to stay in Naxos, especially if crowds are not your thing. Surrounded by nature, you’ll find peace from your hectic life!
Sitting between two green valleys, 32 km from the island’s capital, Apiranthos is one of the most beautiful and picturesque villages of Naxos. The architecture of Apiranthos is strongly influenced by the Venetians. Ornate balconies, narrow alleys, and coats of arms above the houses’ doors will make you feel transported to another era.
Apiranthos has also a lot to offer in terms of sightseeing! The Archaeological Museum of Apiranthos, the church of Panagia Apeiranthitissa, the Museum of Folk Art, the Geological Museum, and the Venetian Tower worth a visit.
Go trekking at Mount Zas
Heads up nature lovers, this is for you!
Mount Zas, which sits 18 km from Naxos Chora, is the highest mountain of the island. It’s also connected to mythology. The legend has it that Mount Zas was where Zeus grew up, so that’s why it was named after him! The son of Zeus, Dionysus, also grew up at mount Zas, in a cave called the Cave of Zas.
Thanks to its morphology and natural landscape, Mount Zas is ideal for trekking! There’s a trekking path that starts from Danakos village, on the southeastern side of the island and passes from Saint Marina chapel and the Cave of Zas. The whole trekking route lasts for an hour.
As soon as you reach the top, you’ll stand in awe before the breathtaking view that encompasses the vast Aegean sea and the nearby Cyclades islands. We recommend you stand there for a minute (or several) and take in the scenery!
Do a tour from Naxos
Doing a tour in Naxos is hands down the best way to explore the island!
Sitting in the heart of the Cyclades island complex, Naxos has the perfect location for island hopping tours and excursions. Super popular islands, like Santorini and remotes islands, like Koufonisia and Iraklia, lie just a short ferry ride away from Naxos, making the latter an ideal base for island hopping.
But, island hopping tours are not the only way to tour in Naxos! Sightseeing, biking, and walking tours are also great if you want to explore the island and make sure you’ll visit all the points of interest.
To sum up, there’s a whole bunch of things to do in Naxos! But, if you want to make sure you won’t miss the best ones, you should cross the experiences above off your list!
Are you ready to catch a ferry to Naxos and have an unforgettable holiday experience?
Is this a yes?