Where to Stay in Naxos
Once you’ve figured out when to go, you’ll want to decide which are to stay. Most visitors to Naxos stay in Naxos Town/Chora, or nearby in one of the beach resort areas, but there are also some lovely mountain villages that are far from the tourist crowds, ideal for experiencing a more authentic slice of life on the island. It all depends on what you’re looking for – those who plan to spend most of their time at the beach will obviously want to stay close to the sand.
When it comes to the type of accommodation, the island offers everything from luxury resorts to family-run hotels and self-catering apartments, so you’ll have no problem finding a place to stay for a wide range of budgets. The biggest question you’ll want to ask yourself is which beach area or which town will suit your travel style and requirements best.
Naxos Town or Chora is the main city on the island as well as its transport hub. Your ferry will pull into the port that sits just outside this area which is renowned for its winding cobbled streets and alleyways lined with local tavernas and other eateries, bars, galleries, and enticing shops. It’s the liveliest place to be and home to some impressive historic sites like the marble Portara that dates to the 6th-century BC.
You can easily reach it on foot from the waterfront near the ferry dock, best timed to enjoy a gorgeous sunset. Chora is overlooked by a 13th-century Venetian hilltop castle which includes a fascinating archaeological museum, and it’s fairly easy to reach the beach from here, with St. George’s within walking distance. If you want to stay in this area, you’ll have a myriad of options available, including budget-friendly apartments and boutique hotels.
For those who want to spend lots of time at the beach while still being close to Naxos Town, there are plenty of outstanding options in the Agios Georgios (Saint George) area. Family-friendly, the beach itself is one of the best on the island for kids as it sits in a small, protected bay with clear, calm, shallow waters for splashing around in.
At the south end you’ll find a watersports facility for taking advantage of activities like windsurfing, kitesurfing, and sailing. It provides the unique combination of the flat water in a shallow lagoon as well as a spot where the waves are great for bigger thrills. Enjoy the sun and the sand during the day, and then stroll into Chora for sunset cocktails or dinner.
If you want a taste of local life, consider one of the mountain villages like Filoti, the second largest town on the island. The area is renowned for its olive groves and Byzantine churches and you’ll find plenty along with typical whitewashed Cycladic structures. It sits amphitheatrically on a steep hill and has a lovely square and main street with a wide selection of tavernas, hotels, and other facilities. It’s managed to retain its authentic character providing a more unique experience away from all the tourists.
As buses don’t run frequently, it’s best to rent a vehicle, which can also get you to the beach – it’s at least 30 minutes from the sand, but closer to the lesser-visited east coast with plenty of empty stretches and small, enchanting seaside villages where you can sip Naxian wine while watching the locals go about their daily lives.
Agios Prokopios/Agia Anna
These two beaches lie adjacent to each other and are protected from the winds. They both boast soft golden sands and clear, calm cobalt waters along with beach clubs, restaurants, and a variety of accommodation options. For those who want a mix of beach and city delights without renting a car, they’re both well-connected to Chora via bus service.
Agios Prokopios is the busier and larger stretch, home to a dive center. Agia Anna is quieter and slightly smaller but it also hosts a little port at the south end as well as a beach club where you can dance late into the night. A stay in this area makes it easy to enjoy both as walking the entire length from the southern end of Agia Anna to Agios Prokopios’ northern tip takes just 30 minutes.
Chalki, also spelled Halki, is one of the best traditional settlements on the island, tucked into the mountains at the center. As with Filoti, it’s not the place to stay if you hope to go to the beach every single day of your trip, but you will find plenty of authenticity and tranquility.
Especially atmospheric, it feels like taking a step back in time with its historic, well-preserved mansions, Venetian towers, lovely old churches, including the Church of Panagia which dates to the 9th-century, along with many olive trees. You can also take a highly recommended tour of the Vallindra Kitron distillery which will reveal how Kitron liqueur is made and ends with a taste of both Kitron and ouzo. There are plenty of little shops in the village selling artisan made items that are fun to browse or buy as well.
A small fishing village on the island’s northern coast, about 22 miles from Naxos Town, Apollonas is known for the ruins of a marble male statue left abandoned centuries ago, Kouros of Apollonas, also called the Colossus of Dionysus, measuring 35 feet in height. There are only a few hotels, but you will find authentic, family-run options to enjoy a tranquil stay surrounded by the mountains, perfect for disconnecting from the ‘real world,’ far from the noise in the more touristy areas.
There are whitewashed homes, all the characteristic Greek colors, tavernas, cafes, and tourist shops. You’ll also find several tiny beaches that are ideal for peaceful contemplation and a breathtaking view. The village is ideal for a relaxing escape and as long as you have a vehicle you can easily use it as a base to explore other parts of the island.
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