When it comes to quintessential Greek island life, few islands do it better than Naxos. From sprawling beaches to picturesque mountain villages, the largest and most fertile of the Cyclades’ islands offers something for everyone.
The town’s trademark is Portara, a huge marble doorway that was left unfinished from an old Temple of Apollo. It’s a fantastic spot for sunset but it can get crowded in summer.
A beach with a full spectrum of activities, Mikri Vigla has something for everyone. On the southwestern side of Naxos, you’ll find a sandy beach and a church called Panagia Parthena. The church is located on top of a small rocky islet. In the summer, locals travel here to celebrate the Ascension of Mary.
The southern side of the beach has strong winds, making it a great place for kitesurfing and wind sports. The northern side of the beach is more calm and has a long stretch of sand. It’s the perfect beach for those who want to relax and swim.
In the center of Mikri Vigla is a restaurant and a hotel called Kontos Studios and Apartments. It offers studios and apartments with a full range of amenities, including bathrooms, kitchenettes, and free Wi-Fi. The complex also has a private parking area and rent-a-car services. Its location is within walking distance to the beach, so you can enjoy a day of sun and sea without having to worry about driving.
There are many ways to get to the beautiful beaches of Naxos, but the best way is by renting a car. This will allow you to explore the island at your own pace and create a vacation that is just right for you. With a rental car, you can take as much time as you like at each destination and not feel pressured to hurry up or miss out on other enjoyments.
If you are looking for an ideal beach in Naxos with beautiful sandy beach and crystal clear blue waters, look no further than Plaka. This spectacular beach is a natural continuation of both Agia Anna and Agios Prokopios beaches, offering an incomparable blend of beauty and tranquility. The sand is very fine and the water is perfect for long invigorating swims. There are also plenty of cafes and restaurants along the beach.
The only downside to this stunning beach is that it can get quite busy during July and August thanks to the Meltemia winds that create choppy waters and blowing sand. Still, if you visit during the shoulder season (late April – early June and September – October), you can find plenty of tranquil spots to enjoy this beautiful beach.
The northern end of the beach is more lively, featuring a couple of beach bars and sunbeds and parasol rentals. There is a good choice of quality restaurants in the area serving global and Naxian cuisine. The popular Earth beach bar is situated at the Medusa resort and offers a fabulous selection of gourmet cocktails, food that can be delivered to your loungers, and sunset views over the beach. It is also a great place to watch the Naxos fireworks show at the end of the day.
One of Naxos’ most natural beaches lies on a peninsula along the south-western coast. Backed by a forest of cedars, Aliko Beach is set back in a bay and is protected from northern winds. Its white sands gently ease you into azure waters with a few rocky patches that are easily avoided.
This beach is perfect for families looking to escape the crowded beaches in the south. Agios Georgios, Mikrolimano, and the nudism-friendly beach of Kedros are close by. Aliko is also a great choice for those who want to visit the Portara (large doorway to an ancient temple dedicated to Apollo) and explore Naxos town.
Located around 18 kilometres south of the island’s main town, the area surrounding Aliko is dotted with small turquoise coves with lovely beaches and tamarisk trees to lie under. You can walk to the beach from the paved coastal road or take a bus that departs the town 6 times a day. The beaches of Aliko are quiet and unorganized, so you won’t find beach bars or umbrellas for rent here.
Above Aliko Beach, you’ll find a unique cedar forest with marvelous sand dunes that have been declared a protected natural area. This is a spectacular sight, especially during sunset. Sun and Moon Villas & Suites is just next to the dunes of this stunning beach, offering comfortable rooms and suites.
Naxos is a diverse island that offers something for everyone. Its beaches are stunning, and its mountainous landscape features lush greenery and picturesque villages. Its ancient churches are nested among olive groves and goat farms, while its windsurfing lessons are perfect for anyone looking to have fun in the water.
Its centrally located town of Halki is a highlight of the island, with its narrow stone streets lined in renovated neoclassical buildings and traditional cafes. Its tavernas are great for tasting the local speciality of loukoumades, which are puff pastry treats served with cinnamon or chocolate sauce. You can also visit Vallindras Distillery, where Naxos’ famous citron liqueur is made.
With so many things to see and do on Naxos, it is important to plan your itinerary carefully to ensure you get the most out of your trip. If you have more than a few days, I recommend hiring a guide to help you navigate the island and visit the best places for your specific interests. They can also recommend places for you to stay, which is especially helpful if you’re traveling in a group. They can also recommend activities like hiking to Mount Zas and walking the village trail, and will be able to book your tickets for events and tours. You can read our complete Naxos travel guide for more tips and information on what to do on the island.