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If you are already dreaming of Summer Holidays and want to make some plans for your 2021 getaway to the Greek islands, we totally get you! The Greeka team is in the process of revising different sections in our travel guide in order to be as up to date as possible and always have you covered.
Right now, we are focusing on our beloved Naxos, an island that has a special place in our hearts. You can check our new version of “things to do in Naxos“ along with the “Highlights” section in order not to miss anything out! Parallel to that, we thought that we could make a blog post with a very short selection of some more special things to do or see when visiting Naxos. This list of attractions is for travelers who want to gain a thorough insight on this Cycladic island.
We went, we saw, we wrote, and now share with you a selection of restaurants, hotels, tours, beaches, and archaeological sites that are the island’s upcoming trends. Take notes!
#1 Panermos bay and tour to the sea cave of Rina
You will have to drive across the Naxian mainland to reach the east coast of the island and then continue further down to finally arrive at this secluded little bay called Panermos which translates to “always calm”. As the name suggests, no matter how strong the Meltemia winds blow during summer, the sea here always remains tranquil. There are some huge palm trees at the beach offering their shadow to visitors and a family-run cantine for the essential, meaning: water, coffee, Greek salad, souvlaki, or even a mojito with mint directly cut from the pot. The biggest highlight though and the number one thing to do remains the tour with the Gialitissa fishing boat. Captain Yannis, will show you the raw and wild beauty of the southeastern coastal part of the island and will take you swimming and diving in the sea cave of Rina.
Discover more tours in Naxos here
#2 Ayiopetra exclusive getaway
Ayiopetra is a complex of five luxury suites located in the sacred land of Sangri. It overlooks the most fertile valleys of Naxos, the archaic temple of Goddess Demetre and the Bazeo tower. This amazing place seems to be in the middle of nowhere and at the same time in the heart of everything. Ayiopetra’s architecture and design was based on an open dialogue of the past and the future. Unique pieces of antique furniture blend in with minimal spaces. Staying at Ayiopetra is not yet another luxury accommodation but a true experience itself.
Check availability and book your stay at Ayiopetra here
#3 Vasilarakiou tavern for foodies
If you are a foodie and a meat lover, note down this tavern because it is one of a kind! Vasilarakiou is not just another meat tavern. It is THE place to eat meat when visiting Naxos. It is located in Kinidaros, a not touristy village in the mainland of the island. The Klouvatos family has a farm and breeds their own animals but they also have a butcher shop and a tavern. Apart from the famous Greek grilled dishes of “Kokoresti”, “Kontosouvli”, “Paidakia” and homemade sausages that are perfectly executed, on the menu, you will find Strip Loin Beef Steaks, Ribeye, Picanha, and other dry-aged beef. Vasilarakiou is a real gastronomic discovery! If you are not a vegan or vegetarian, this tavern should be on top of your list of things to do.
Find more restaurants in Naxos here
#4 Dolce Vita, the sweet life in Halki village
The small picturesque village of Halki has turned over the years to a travel blogger’s and Instagrammer’s favorite and has always had a high ranking on things to do in Naxos. The beautiful neoclassical designed houses, the Jasmine and Bougainvillea trees, and the small paved alleys make it very photogenic. When finishing your stroll around the village, it is a good time to taste the most delicious patisserie on the island at the Dolce Vita cafe. From the Greek President, to renowned chefs, to locals and travelers, everyone rushes to this cozy, little cafe to taste a Cheesecake with myrtle, an orange pie, a brownie, or a choco praline. All desserts are prepared the same day by the owner and patissier, Christina, using the finest products, lots of care and love. One thing is for sure: Dolce Vita will offer you the sweetest memory of your summer holiday!
#5 Boat tour to Koufinisia
Koufonisia is a complex of two islands: Kato and Pano Koufonisi located at a very close distance on the East side of Naxos. Koufonisia stands out for their piscine-like turquoise waters, sandy beaches, sea caves, and a laid-back atmosphere. Kato Koufonisi is inhabited with only one tavern operating there for day-visitors whereas Pano Koufonisi has a main village with whitewashed traditional houses, lots of restaurants, and several amazing beaches such as Pori, Italida and Finikas. Koufonisia are pretty small and no car is needed. Taking a boat tour to Koufonisia from Naxos is totally worth it and will be a strong highlight of your holidays!
Book your boat tour to Koufonisia here.
#6 Kitesurfing & Windsurfing courses
Naxos is a very famous destination among the windsurfing and kitesurfing community. Especially during the Meltamia season (July and August), the beach of Mikri Vigla is the most popular spot where the perfect conditions are met and people from all around the world come to enjoy their favorite sea activity. At this wonderful sandy beach with the turquoise waters, you can rent equipment or if you are not already familiar with the sport, you can take kitesurfing lessons from a certified professional.
If you are keener on learning or practicing windsurfing, then Laguna Beach Park at Laguna beach is the perfect playground for you.
#7 F.B.I.-sa cantine in Alyko
Aliko is a region that consists of many small secluded bays with soft white sand and crystal waters. Above the beach of Aliko, there is a unique cedar forest with marvelous sand dunes and some ruins of an abandoned hotel that have turned into an open gallery for street artists. The worldwide famous Artist WD has painted some of his most significant works on these walls. This region has been declared a protected natural area so the infrastructure is almost nonexistent. There are no sunbeds, only a few shops near the area, and this delicious cantine called F.B.I.-sa (Food, Beverage and Ice cream). It is a colorful food truck where you can taste Asian fusion fast food with fresh products from the island, homemade ice-creams and cocktails. Exploring the region of Aliko should not be left out from your things-to-do list.
#8 Monastery of Fotodotis
North of Danakos village is a short track road of 1 km that leads to the Monastery of Fotodotis Christ. The name of this monastery means Christ who gives the light and it is found at an altitude of 500m, on top of a hill with a fantastic view over the sea and Donoussa island. It is the oldest castle-monastery in Naxos with very interesting architecture and amazing frescoes.
#9 1739 Terrasse Cafe
In the heart of the Castle of Naxos, the 1739 Terrasse Cafe is a place where you can enjoy a coffee, brunch, or drinks with a sense of French atmosphere while gazing at a panoramic view of Naxos. The cafe is an open museum itself since it is part of the French Ursuline Monastery Boarding School (est. 1739) that existed in the Castle of Naxos and educated girls of wealthy Catholic families. Old items, antique furniture, and pictures are scattered all around the building making your visit there a true time-travel!
Find more cafes in Naxos here
#10 Hiking in Potamia
Truth be told, Naxos is an island with some of the most fantastic sandy beaches in the Cyclades. This is a fact that no one can debate. But trust us when we say that the Naxian mainland is a place full of surprises! For example, the villages of Kato, Mesi, and Ano Potamia (Down, Middle, and Upper Potamia) have a very different scenery from what you normally come across in the Cyclades and should definitely be a part of your things-to-do list. Those three neighboring villages are built by a riverside in lush nature. There is a well-signed hiking route (number 6) that you can take from Ano Potamia and wander around huge, centuries-old trees, many watermills, lovely gardens with vegetables, fruits and flowers, fountains with drinkable water, small rivers and lakes, ducks, turtles, and Venetian stone Towers. In the area, there are a few local taverns with delicious home-cooked food (Pigi Restaurant).
Book a hiking tour in Naxos here