Naxos is the largest and greenest island in the Cyclades and is recommended for combining with Santorini or Mykonos.
The capital, Naxos Town (Chora), is a Venetian town. Enter the old town (Kastro) through one of two gates and you are immediately plunged into a maze of narrow streets, covered alleyways, dead ends and many steps! It's a pleasure to potter around the town looking at the little (and not so little) houses- some Venetian families built mansions here many centuries ago.
The iconic image of Naxos Town is the Portara, a huge archway dating from the 6th century. On a fine day you can reputedly see Paros, Delos, Mykonos and Syros from here and it's a lovely spot for sunset photos as well.
The temple was started in 530 BC when Naxos was one of Greece's great powers. Its ruler wanted to build the highest building in Greece and ordered a temple to be built but war broke out and work stopped. The ruler was overthrown and work ceased completely. It is believed that the temple was to be built in honour of Apollo as the temple faces Delos, Apollo’s birthplace, although some say that the temple was dedicated to Dionysus, patron saint of Naxos. The temple became a church in 6th AD, most of the marble was taken to build Kastro but fortunately the columns were too big to move so the Portara remains to this day. Some say that if you make a wish at the doorway it will come true.
Agios Prokopios lies about 5kms from Naxos Town and has one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe with fine golden sand bordered by soft sandy dunes. The beach is partly organised with sunbeds and umbrellas. The resort has a good choice of restaurants, shops and bars.
St George is only about 5 - 10 minutes walk from the capital of the island. It is tourism-centred with water sports, including wind surfing, and a good variety of tavernas and cafe bars, many of which are on the beach. The beach itself is over a kilometre long with fine sand and safe shallow waters. It's a resort to suit everyone!
Naxos is a stunningly beautiful island with a long coastline and mountains. It is green and fertile and is one of the main potato producers in Greece. Livestock farming is also popular. To see Naxos at its best it is advisable to rent a car to explore the interior, where photo opportunites abound. In May the island is covered in wild flowers, gorse and herbs. Rosemary, wild sage and thyme scent the air.
Where to stay
One of the most established hotels on Naxos which combines comfort, hospitality and luxury.
The Naxos Resort Hotel lies a few yards from the beautiful beach of Agios Georgios.
One of our favourites on the island! A lovely hotel, designed in the Cycladic style, with wonderful staff and a fabulous restaurant.
"Overall we enjoyed our holiday, and given that is was a fairly late booking with minimal input from us we thought it was good. There are one or two things which would have been an improvement. We really loved Milos and Santorini and would go back there. In comparison we thought Naxos and the resort there were a bit lacking in character. Also, we felt local people were less organised and friendly with respect to visitors (this does not apply to the staff at the hotel in Naxos who were warm and welcoming). In retrospect, less time in Naxos and more time in Milos would have been a better mix. All in all though, thank you. We did have a really nice and much-needed break and we appreciate you making the booking process so easy for us."
H Jackson, UK, June, 2015
"Just arrived back and wanted once again to thank you for helping to organise such a terrific holiday. Naxos is a jewel; the Lagos Mare delightful with lovely staff; and the Herodion in Athens a great location. Their new rooftop restaurant Point is superb. The only complaint was rather rattle and poor aircon and quite rude/abrupt reception staff but otherwise all other staff delightful. These two comments I now see are echoed on Tripadvisor so might be useful info - but in the scheme of things, minor. We particularly appreciated your responsiveness to the last minute changes. "
J Pendleton, UK, June 2016