Naxos: Greek Island Hopping (Part 4)
Naxos is the largest island in the Cyclades and is home to Mount Zas (Zeus) which, according to Greek mythology, is where the Greek God Zeus was born and raised. Just like many other islands in Greece, Naxos is nowadays known to be a popular tourist location because of its many beaches and ruins.
When you arrive by ferry you will be greeted by the ‘Portara’, a huge ruin on top of a hill. This would have been the entrance of a giant temple that was never finished in 530 B.C. but now is the famous landmark of the island. A path over the water will bring you to the ruin and from there you can enjoy a beautiful view of the historic town of Naxos.
We were invited to stay at the beautiful hotel ‘Naxian On The Beach‘. The hotel is perfectly located on Plaka beach on the west side of the island just 20 minutes away by car from the port and only 10 minutes from the airport. The hotel is one of the few properties on this stretch of beach, making it ideal for a relaxing beach holiday.
Plaka Beach is one of the main beaches on the island and because of its location on the south side, it is not really affected by the island’s strong winds. If you like to do something more active there are many other beaches nearby where you can rent windsurfing or kitesurfing gear. The wind on this side of the island makes it a perfect place to enjoy these sports.
If you like to explore the rest of this large island then renting a car or ATV is a good idea since the island has very rocky and rough landscape. First and foremost you should go to the capital; Naxos town. As mentioned earlier you can walk towards the famous landmark ‘Portara’ from the harbor and enjoy a beautiful view. Wandering around in the narrow streets of the old town right next to the harbor will be worth your time as well.
Another cute location is the town of Chalkio. Since the town is a bit secluded you will barely see any tourists so you will be walking among the locals. It is a bit of drive from the south side of the island but touring around on an ATV or scooter will give you a great sense of the beautiful mountainous landscape of this island.
Travel Tip: If you are looking to get some expansive views of the sea or come across one of the islands many villages, Naxos has some amazing hiking trails. Though we did not have a chance to hike this time around, this website offers a variety of trails to explore.