The largest island in the Cyclades, Naxos is lush and mountainous. With a lively port town, terraced hills tinkling with herds of sheep and goats, and golden beaches that go on for miles, Naxos offers everything from hiking to kitesurfing. One of the best Greek islands for families, there’s enough variety to keep toddlers and teenagers entertained for days.
DID YOU KNOW?
Presiding over Naxos harbour is the island’s most iconic landmark, Portara (meaning ‘great door’). This giant marble gateway was originally the entrance to a temple of Apollo.
An ancient treasure hunt to track down the three giant kouros, marble statues of young men scattered about the Naxos countryside. We’ll give you some clues: two are lying among citrus groves and wildflower meadows near Melanes; the third is close to Apollonas, on the northern tip of Naxos.
Naxos is blessed with dozens of stunning beaches. The best (and busiest) line the west coast: Ayios Prokopios, Ayia Anna and Kastraki have rolling dunes, shallow turquoise water, and a laid-back beach bar scene. Mikri Vigla, Plaka and Agios Yorgos have the ideal conditions for windsurfers and kitesurfers. Scuba divers can explore reefs and wrecks.
EAT & DRINK
You’ll find farm-to-table restaurants and wonderful organic produce all over this fertile island. Tavernas, village stores, and roadside stalls sell local cheeses, meat, honey, herbs, olive oil, and amber-coloured wine. Stop in the village of Halki to try kitron, a distinctive lemon liqueur distilled there. Naxos potatoes are known as the best in Greece — and the French fries might just be the best in the world!
Many of the island’s Byzantine churches are covered in incredible frescoes. For more contemporary murals, check out the abandoned hotel at Alyko, covered in graffiti by renowned street artist WD