Naxos Pictures Guide, Greece

A marble quarry moonset, Naxos, Greece Islands

A marble quarry in the Naxos mountains above Filoti.

Why visit Naxos?

This is one of the most attractive islands in the Cyclades group, the largest and the most popular, offering travellers not only some fine beaches, a substantial main town with the usual labyrinthine old quarter, but also enough mountainous hiking territory to keep an army of North Europeans occupied while you strip bare-ass naked and grab their sandy space by the shining sea. In short, this island is spacious, lively, varied and it’s got a few ancient nick-nacks too.

Filoti village, Naxos, Greece Islands

Filoti village, at the foot of 1, 000m high Mount Zeus, Naxos, Greece.

Not quite as cute as Mykonos, but a lot cheaper and offering better beaches. Not as historically interesting or bizarre as Santorini, but a lot cheaper, way better beaches and good hiking. Spoil yourself, visit all three!

Naxos Attractions

Portara doors to temple of Apollo, Naxos, Greece Islands

Portara, the 6m high marble Great Door to an unfinished temple of Apollo begun in 530 BC. It’s in front of Naxos chora and one of the first sights of Naxos seen by tourists arriving by ferry. Sadly the Portara leads nowhere!

Naxos was under the control of the city-state of Venice for centuries so there is substantial Venetian influence in the town.

– the old castle fortress quarter called Kastro with its medieval walls and towers built by Venetians, including the famous Tower of Glezos.

– The Naxos Venetian Museum in a glorious 800 year-old Venetian mansion in Kastro replete with original fixtures and fittings and endless rooms. Visits are guided tours and terminate with wine-tasting in the house cellars. Traditional music concerts as well as jazz and classical take place in the gardens in the summer.

– Archeological Museum, also located in Kastro in an ancient Venetian Mansion, displays many interesting artifacts found in the Cyclades since 3, 000 BC and beyond, including marble statues, funeral gifts, gold jewellery, decorated clay pots, terracotta figures from the Bronze Age and much more.

– Churches and Cathedrals are of course elaborately decorated and crowned with fine art. Naxos actually embraces two cathedrals, one Greek Orthodox and one Catholic, as well as a lovely little church called Panagia Mirtidiotissa on a tiny island beside the port and an impressive 17thC Monastery of Agios Ioannis Chryssostomos about 3 kms outside town on a hilltop.

Naxos port, Greece Islands

Naxos port and town.

Naxos landscape

Naxos interior landscape mountains and chapels, Greece Islands

The island’s interior is more scenic than most of Greece’s Cyclades. This is the view from the road running from Filoti to Apiranthos.

Naxos island Apollon road high in the mountains, Greece

Take the high road across the island on Apollon Road at 1, 000m past the highest mountain in the Cyclades, Mount Zas.

Naxos Beaches

Maragas to Plaka beaches

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Plaka beach. Photo by Atle1963a.

One very long stretch of undeveloped soft sand between Margas beach and Plaka beach, backed by dunes and a dirt road make up the best stretch of beach. The sand and water are perfect and crowds are somewhere else, walking in the mountains probably since many tourists are German hiking fanatics.
Some pleasant tavernas lurk on the other side of the track, as well as a few small, discreet domatia (holiday apartments) and camping sites.

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Maragas beach.

Agios Georgios beach

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Naxos’ town beach of Agios Georgios is acceptable, with clear water and fine though dull, muddy sand, but the further south you go. . . .

Agios Prokopios beach

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. . . the better the beaches get. This is Agios Prokopios in late September, with slighty coarse sand but plenty of space.

Plaka beach naturism

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Far from the madding crowds, the south end of Plaka beach and you’re in naturist territory.