Naxos Greece sits in the center of Cyclades island group, in the heart of the Aegean sea. It is the biggest and the greenest island of the Cyclades, boasting a beautiful natural landscape. Naxos Chora, the main town of Naxos, is a wonderful mixture of Venetian and traditional Cycladic architecture.
The island has a lot to offer - friendly people, diverse landscapes, delicious food (the famous Naxos potatoes!), deep-rooted mythological history, and beautiful beaches. Simply put, this island offers an authentically Greek experience.
Naxos is easy to reach either by plane or by ferry from many different locations around Greece, like Athens and nearby islands. It takes about 5.5 hour by the fastest regular ferry from Piraeus, faster by catamaran, and about 2 hours by regular ferry from Santorini.
Ferries: Naxos is a central hub in the sea transport system, and enjoys multiple connections to many directions. Ferry boats and high speed catamarans, costing about €34 to €52 one-way in economy class, run daily from Piraeus, Paros, Santorini and Mykonos during high season.
In Naxos, ticket offices for ferries to all directions can be found along the quay in Hora (Naxos Town). Ferries from Pireaus to Naxos are frequent, as many as half a dozen a day during the summer but generally two or more. The length of the trip does not require a cabin.
Daily ferry to Naxos departs from Piraeus port, the main port of Athens. A normal ferry to Naxos takes about 5 hours to reach Naxos from Piraeus. There is also a ferry to Naxos from Rafina port, the other port of Athens, and the trip takes about 4 hours.
There is also a local express ferry, known as `Skopelitis`, that carries out routes between Naxos, Amorgos and the islands of Small Cyclades (Koufonisia, Donoussa, Schinoussa, and Iraklia) approximately 6 times per week.
In total, five ferry companies offer services to and from Naxos:
-Aegean Speed Lines
-Blue Star Ferries
-Small Cyclades Lines
Flights: Naxos National Airport `Apollon` receives domestic flights from Athens International Airport `Eleftherios Venizelos`. The trip from Athens to Naxos by plane lasts about half an hour. `Apollon` airport does not receive any flights from abroad. The airport is located close to Agios Prokopios, about 1.5 miles away from Naxos Town.
Within town walking is the best method of transport. Bus services do operate between the towns, and car and motorbike rentals are readily available. Since Naxos is the largest island in the Cyclades, there`s a wide variety of easy and safe transportation options to get around. Since day trips to see the entire island is highly recommended, it`s best to rent a car which you can easily do near the port. For budget travelers, however, busing is your best option!How do I get around Naxos by Car or Motorbike?
A car is the best way since you have the freedom of getting around at your own flexibility. There are many car rental offices near the port and airport. We highly recommend this option since it`s relatively affordable, and major villages are quite spread out so having your own car is ideal.
When renting a car, be very careful to fully document all dents and even scratches at the time of hire to avoid additional expense and unpleasantness later (and even this may not save you from hassles later). Dependable rental agencies include RUN (Rental Union Naxos) and Rental Center.
August rates for hire cars during peak season range from about €45 to €65 per day, quad bikes from €30 and scooters from €20. Hire from Naxos Auto Rent, Rental Center, Auto Tour or Fun Car. Moto Art rents out brand new scooters (from €25 per day) and ATVs (from €30 per day).
There are several buses that leave Chora to other villages and Naxos beaches every day. It`s also the cheapest way to get around the island, and it`ll reach major village stops including: Chalki, Filoti, and Koronos. During summertime, the buses will run more often and it`s a great way to enjoy the view without stressing over navigating on your own. Price: about €2-4/one way.How do I call/hail a taxi?
There are tons of taxis on the island, especially around the port, the airport, and near Chora. Though far more expensive than buses, this is the most practical way if you`re short on time. You can also book taxis online. Price: Around €15 from port to Plaka beach.
Taxi-boats: They`re available for day trips to Koufonisia islands, but they can only be reserved ahead of time.
Naxos is generally a safe island.
Be aware of are rental scams, especially with agencies working only with motorbikes and ATVs. Some of these rental companies are guilty of renting faulty motorbikes for a lower price, but in case of an accident they will demand that the customer pay for the entire cost of damage. They offer insurance, but often misrepresent what they offer. Also, their vehicles are generally dusty and dirty at these types of rental places.
Also, be aware of taxi drivers trying to scam tourists. Drivers do not use a taximeter so they will charge based on their mood. It is best to always negotiate your price prior to entering the taxi, and do not hesitate to report them to the local authorities if you believe that you were overcharged.
The main villages are Apiranthos, Filoti, Glinado, Koronos and Vivlos (also called Tripodes). A tour of these villages will expose that it is by no means a sophisticated island in the tourist sense. It does, however, provide everything and more, necessary to make visitors very comfortable. Each of the villages mentioned has an individual charm, associated with its building types, views, festivities and activities.Can I pay/tip in US dollars?
The currency of Greece is the Euro, US dollars are not accepted. In Naxos there are ATMs around the island to withdraw cash, and most of the top restaurants, shopping centers, boutiques, guided tour companies, hotels and the like accept credit cards.What is the nightlife like in the Naxos?
Less busy and touristy than its neighbors, Mykonos and Paros, despite being the biggest islands in the Cyclades island group, Naxos is no shape or form a less interesting destination. Lively, diverse and with a fun nightlife that caters to all ages and tastes, with a wide range of bars, a few nightclubs and a bouzoukia (Greek nightclubs that feature laïkó music) in Naxos Town. During high season, many beach bars are open until late and organize unique parties.What is the weather like? When is the best time to visit?
Naxos weather is naturally Mediterranean, warm from the spring through the fall. May is a great month to visit Naxos, and Greece in general. Characterized as the shoulder season, the islands are still relatively quiet in May. With that being said, Naxos never gets that busy compared to many other islands in the Cyclades, so there really is no bad time to visit.
In late spring, the weather is typically around 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The mornings and evenings do get a bit chilly, so if you are going to Naxos to soak up the sun on the beach, this may not be the best time to go, as the water is also still a bit cold. However if you`re going to hike and sight see, the temperatures at this time of year are perfect. Early fall is also a great time to visit, when the summer crowds have departed and the sea is at its warmest. During both spring and fall you can expect attractive prices for accommodation compared to summer.
It is worth noting that late in fall (end of September, early October), many facilities close down, storms do hit and ferries get sparse. There are also swarms of flies to contend with that generally arrive in late August through October. If you come in the off-season, the winter months, you`ll feel like you have the whole island to yourself. You will be able to drive around, visit touristy locations, and go on hikes, while only running into a few other travelers. The beaches are quiet and you won`t have to make any dinner reservations, even at the most popular spots on the island.
Greek is the official language spoken in Naxos. However, the staff of most tourism-related venues (hotels, restaurants) speaks English fairly well, and plenty of attractions (museums, guided tours) feature a wide openness to the English speaking public. We suggest you get a good English-Greek guidebook and familiarize yourself with common phrases such as hello, goodbye, excuse me and numbers 1-10.What is the food like?
Due to its fertile valleys, the island is famous for its local produce and especially for its cheese and potatoes (Naxos is famous in Greece for its potatoes), which local producers export to the rest of Greece and the world. Traditional local dishes can be found in many of the restaurants, with Chora and Naxos bustling with charming restaurants and tavernas. Greek specialties like moussaka, souvlaki and a brilliantly mild feta are available in many of these restaurants. And while visiting the local restaurants and taverns, don`t forget to try the local liqueur or Kitro, one of the most delicious and original Greek spirits and perfect as an aperitif.
You`ll also find plenty of restaurants in Town serving international cuisine. The inland villages and southwest beaches specialize in local meat dishes. Good fresh fish and lobster will be found at the fish tavernas around Moutsouna.
There are also supermarkets on the outskirts of Hora which offer food and drink at everyday prices. As many rooms come complete with cooking facilities, this offers an excellent way to keep expenses down.
The shopping districts are located in downtown Chora, in the Old Town, and in some of the larger villages, namely Chalki, Filoti, Apiranthos, Damalas and around the popular beach areas of Agios Prokopis, Agios Georgios, Agia Anna and Apollonos.
Keep in mind that when visiting in the off-season, the shopping is mostly centered around town, the Old Town and the more populated villages, such as Chalki, Apiranthos and Filoti.
Downtown Naxos: The main shopping streets of downtown Naxos start along the port where many restaurants, cafes, bars, tourist shops are located and continue, southeast, to Socrates Papavasiliou, the main shopping street off the main port with rows of stores carrying casual wear, shoes, electronics, and accessories. Heading east, the street meets Aristidi Protopapadaki and the main square known as Plateia Protodikeiou aligned with restaurants. In between are little offshoot streets with restaurants, little shops and boutiques.
At the port: a visit to Promponas and Citron Café for products and beverages made with the local liqueurkitro. On Papavasiliou street: you`ll find shops offering a variety of traditional goods, wares, herbs and selection of cheeses.
Old Town, Naxos: Just behind the main port, in a labyrinth of streets that head up to the Kastro, is the Old Town and Palia (old) Agora. There are numerous little shops and markets with Greek products, T-shirts, scarves, jewelry, cafes, bars, bakeries, restaurants, museums and art shops. Musts here include: Fresh bread from the Velonis bakery, a visit to the Vintzileos market.
Village Shopping: A tour of the shops in the picturesque villages offer visitors another experience, from the traditional unique handmade woven to contemporary works of art.
Apiranthos: This village is buzzing in the summer with fantastic restaurants, cafes and tavernas. Shoppers can enjoy a variety of handmade traditional woven items direct from the women`s cooperative of Apiranthos and the small shop with a great selection of herbs and spices. Also in summer, check out the shops at the village`s museums.
Note: Value-added tax (VAT) rate is currently 23% in Greece for standard goods. There is a reduced rate of 13% that applies, in the main, to food, medicines. The V.A.T rate for hotel accommodation, books and newspapers is 6%. This information was accurate when it was published, April, 2020, but may have changed without notice.
In an Emergency dial 112
Hospital (Chora) +30 22850 23333
Hospital of Naxos +30 22853 60500