Trip idea / Greece

Is Naxos the Perfect Greek Island?

Authentic Greece

Get to Know Naxos

The lowdown

  • Getting there

    With no direct flights to Naxos, mass tourism is kept at bay. You can choose to arrive by ferry from Athens (perhaps with a few days here to explore the Acropolis) or connect from Mykonos or Santorini by ferry (50 mins).

  • When to go

    If you can travel outside of school holidays then April and May are lovely during spring, and October is great for hiking. Unlike some other Greek islands, you’ll find a few tavernas stay open outside of the season. For hot sun and beaches, June-September are your months.

  • Combine with

    Island hopping is easy from Naxos and a great opportunity to see more of the Cyclades. Foodies should explore the gourmet enclaves of Sifnos and Folegandros and Milos will lure sun-seekers with its stunning beaches.

Over the years, the Real Holidays’ team have done some serious travelling around the Greek Islands and one we often return to, or frequently recommend, is Naxos. The largest of the Cyclades Islands, Naxos delivers a full-blown classic Greek charm offensive, from sandy beaches, white-washed villages, great food, a pretty harbour town with dock-side restaurants, to an easy-to-explore interior brimming with hilly landscapes, bell-chiming goats and farm-to-table foodie experiences.

And with its own productive wine and olive oil industry, Naxos is more than just a holiday hotspot – it’s a working island, giving it an authentic feel. This also means that if you’re travelling out of season, you’re still likely to find tavernas and shops open. For those that like to mix activity with a dose of relaxation, Naxos is the perfect fit. Alternate days of beach lazing with discovering 6th century marble statues in hilltop villages, kite-surfing or horse riding by day with balmy nights at the tavernas and local bars of Naxos Town. And if you just crave a peaceful, pine-shaded beach for a swim and a doze, you’ll find that too.

    Highlights:

    • Sandy beaches – some of the best in Greece including well-known Agios Prokopios and Agia Anna plus wild and remote options such as Orkos
    • Naxos Town – ideal for strolling with its pretty harbour, restaurants and Venetian kastro
    • Rugged, white-washed hilltop villages such as Filoti and Apirathos, which have churches, cobbled streets and family-run tavernas
    • A range of accommodation to suit all budgets from remote villas, boutique hotels and self-catering apartments
    • Well connected to nearby islands making it easy to island hop to one, two or even five Cycladic Islands on one trip
    Naxos’ Accommodation

    Below we’ve highlighted some of our favourite spots on the island to stay. Depending on your needs, we can advise on what’s best for you. Villas work for well families or groups that like their privacy and we can help with the extras like car hire, food deliveries to the villa or local babysitters. We have a great recommendation for a boutique hotel on the island plus we know many of you like the freedom of self-catering – Kavos Naxos and its friendly owner get consistently great feedback.

    Villa Venti, Orkos

    Overlooking one of Naxos’ most beautiful and remote beaches, the four-bedroom Villa Venti perfectly merges classic Greek architecture with modern living. Guests looking for a high standard of living and a chic interior design will love Villa Venti’s white-on-white colour palette, typically-Cycladic built in beds and traditional use of local stone. Outside, the tiled pool area and moulded, white-washed stone benches overlook a mesmerising sea and beach panorama which makes for incredible sunsets. Make life easy on yourself by having a Greek breakfast made for you every day, and perhaps add on a massage or yoga class to get you into relaxation mode.  Nearby, scenic Orkos beach awaits with its glassy waters and white sand, backed by cedar trees; Naxos Town is only a twenty-minute drive away for shopping in the cobbled streets and dinner by the harbour.

    Kavos Naxos

    One of  Real Hols’ faves and for good reason, Kavos Naxos is a great choice for those looking for the freedom of self-catering. But Kavos Naxos is so much more than this. Run by the affable Barbara, this gem appeals to families and couples alike – many are drawn to its panoramic views over Paros, its proximity to the sheltered bay of Ayios Prokopio and its pretty, bougainvillea-clad pool area. The spacious villas and suites, which are simultaneously homely and stylish, come with kitchenettes, but equally you can enjoy the convenience of the onsite restaurant which is extremely good. All-in-all, staying at Kavos Naxos means a fuss-free holiday where you can enjoy the slow-lane pleasures of local beaches, long fishy lunches in tavernas and jaunts into sleepy mountaintop villages.

    18 Grapes

    If you’re travelling as a couple or even on your honeymoon, it’s nice to feel looked after, and at the chic, boutique hotel 18 Grapes, you can feel the warmth of friendly staff at this family-run hotel. With just 18 rooms, it’s a fairly small place that has a laid-back ambience which perfectly sets the tone for your holiday. What sets this hotel apart though; aside from being, in our opinion the only great boutique property on the island, is the opportunity to learn about this Naxian family’s wine-producing history, some five centuries old. We recommend having a guided tour of the 18 Grapes estate and vineyard and taste wine from grapes that have grown in Naxos for thousands of years. Back at the hotel, cool off at the pool, head to the spa to enjoy a sauna, hammam or massage then unwind with a cocktail at the rooftop garden bar, perhaps pondering activities for tomorrow. Maybe a beach day enjoying the crystal clear waters of Agios Prokopios, a mere 200-metres away or wander the cobbled streets of Naxos Town, a 20-minute drive with its cafes, fish restaurants and shops.

    There’s food to suit any mood at the hotel, from pizza and prosecco at I Grusoni to Mediterranean influenced Michelin-starred fine-dining at Il Cappero.