Any lingering pre-holiday stress will slip away as the ferry docks at the island of Naxos. Halcyon days – a minimum of five would be our recommendation – await at one of the most beautiful islands of the Cyclades, where sandy beaches and calm waters are complemented by an interior of Venetian castles and traditional villages perched on mountain cliffs.
Chora, Naxos’s capital town, is a lively and fun place to be and the remains of Portara, the ancient temple dedicated to god Apollo, provide archaeological interest. Overlooking the town is the Venetian influenced castle called Kastropoliteia, the palace of the conqueror Marcos Sanoudos. Visit at sunset, just after your late afternoon swim, before meandering the narrow, bougainvillea clad alleys in search of that perfect blue tabled taverna.
When it comes to beaches Naxos is blessed but our favourites are sheltered Agios Prokopis and Agia Anna, a paradise for wind surfers and water sport lovers. But there are others. Hire a car and go in search of your own slice of paradise or let us arrange a private boat trip to the Little Cyclades – now they are off the beaten track.
Inland, Naxos has dozens of villages to explore including Apiranthos, Filoti and mountainous Halki, with its well-preserved mansions along have I travelled back in time streets. And it is in this mountainous area food lovers will unearth the traditional cuisine of the island such as Patoudo, a local lamb specialty seasoned with local herbs such as white beets, fennel, garlic and olive oil.