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Naxos

Naxos-3I went to Naxos by accident …… and this island clearly knew it …..  and showed me all its disappointment …………

Some info about Naxos – ελλ. Ναξος

Naxos is the biggest and largest of the  Cyclades Islands.  Naxos is located in front of Paros and near Mykonos.
In Naxos there is an airport – with connections to Athens. If you are coming from abroad you will probably land in Mykonos, and then you need to take the ferry.
Naxos is a very mountain island that has also the highest mountain group of Cyclades – Mount Zas. It has numerous green plants, fertile and huge green valleys.
For this reason it is quite difficult to visit the huge island hiring a scooter,  I would therefore strongly suggest to rent a car.

But the main reason for all tourism in Naxos is the long and sandy beautiful coast – about 90 km –   …. with extremely white and sandy beaches with crystal-clear turquoise waters.

It is the nuptial isle of the god Dionysus – and you can see it once landed thanks to the huge Portara that dominates the Chora, showing glorious past of Naxos to all tourists

The island has been ruled by Venetians for many centuries and we still can see the this past thanks to the Castle in the Chora and the old towns itself.

Let’s go to my trip
As I put in my introduction I was not supposed to go to Naxos and the island was very disappointed about it …..
Our stay to Naxos was a last minute trip, actually needed since I was in Folegrandros, needed to go to Koufonisia but didn’t want to take the flying delphin again … therefore we had to stop for a couple of days in Naxos ………

We arrived in Naxos the 15th of August at early afternoon … without having booked anything !! at the port there was a tourist information desk that kindly informed us that the island was fully booked …. as you can imagine there was panic in my eyes !! Thanks God I had with me my dear Lonely Planet, I looked for Naxos and found another office that told me to go there ….
When I arrived in this office I was ready for anything, any solution, any costs ….  I didn’t want to spend the night sleeping on the beach …. having as repeair my Samsonite luggages …..

This man called another person, that lead us to the center of the new part of the Chora …. we crossed several small street and finally arrived in our apartment  ….. I think that this house belonged to someone that had missed recently … anyway that was not my best choice but we had no solution ! Therefore I didn’t complained and left everything ready to discover another Greek Island !! We rented a scooter (the last one available … ) and went straight to the beach :)
Naxos-5
We had a very nice day, we went to the closest beach to the town, all organized with umbrellas …. we didn’t know what was coming next ……

Actually …. when we had enough and were ready to go to our studios …. we suddenly realized that we had no clue about where our studios was …… and that was a very huge town ….. PANIC ! PANIC PANIC ! We had a look at the key of the studios .. no name .. no telephone number …. I was having and hysteric crisis ………

After hours ! wandering all around the city trying to remember anything !! (it was 10pm) with my wet bikini and hair … and it was quite chilly too … God helped us  … and we met in one street the owner of the office that gave us the apartment …… You can imagine how happy I was !

But that was not the only “accident” we had in Naxos … unfortunately ………

The day after – since we only had 1 other day to visit the island before going to Koufonisia – we wanted to visit all the coast with our amazing scooter !!!!! Since it made a lot of noise I suggested to replace it .. but my friend didn’t agree …… and wanted to continue to drive it ….. you know sometimes how man can be stubborn about motors !!!!

Imagine 60 km of costs …… with sandy soft paths ….. driving with a salincer that was not working very well … I can tell you that people heard about us even 2 kms before our arrival …… I was so scared to get burned and that path all along the coast was so difficult to drive ……. but my friend didn’t want to hear any reasons and wanted to go on .. continue … untill we arrived to the last beach ……and we were ready to our way back …..

The only think I obtained was to take the main road instead of the coast path ….. in order to avoid noise and be able to get to the town the sooner as possible ….

Once arrived to the first road we met .. after a while … we LOST OUR SILENCER …. we were both wordless …..
We were in the middle of nowhere .. without map … and no mobile ……… fuck ! PANIC again ……….. and it was early afternoon …. in August …… I wanted to cry !!!!
Again God helped us – two old people were coming on our way …. the woman dressed in black and the man with the classical Greek hut … I stopped them and …
myself without speaking a word of Greek and them without speaking any word of Italian…. we understood each other … and the man fixed our silencer while the lady called the rental of the scooter … saying where we were located ….
We wanted to give them 10 euros at least for the call but they didn’t want anything ! this is Greece ! people here are so friendly !!!

Well … after a while the rental came, gave us a new scooter and we continued our journey all around Naxos . We crossed all the valleys and it was a nice afternoon.

Naxos-2

Chora Naxos or Naxos Town : is the capital and main harbor of the island of Naxos.. It’s a lovely village with a wonderful Venetian castle overlooking it. The old part is very characteristic but we can say the same thing also to the new part of the city … really looking like a “medina” with thousands of small and tight streets ……. leading you to the beaches or to the port. Actually the Chora is quite a big town, with about 20.000 inhabitants.

Close to the Chora and to the port,  you find the Portara or the “Great Door” , a massive marble doorway, facing the sea and actually leading to nowhere.It has been build in honor of Dionysus, the God of wine and patron God of Naxos. The gate is around 6 m high and 3.5 m wide built with four separate columns. Each column weighs about 20 tons

Beaches – Honestly I do not remember the name of the beaches I visited, but I saw all of them ! All along the 60km of coast you will find a beach after an other !
Plaka Naxos: Plaka is like a continuation of the beach of Agia Anna and is one of the most beautiful beaches of the island. It is a calm and endless sandy beach with, in some parts, big flat stones and amazing crystal-clear waters.

Mikri Vigla Naxos: The incredibly beautiful beach resort of Mikri Vigla is located 18 kilometers away from the capital and consists in two wonderful sandy beaches separated by an impressive hill.
The northern beach of Mikri Vigla is wonderful, with soft golden sand and crystalline turquoise waters and is blessed by the meltemi (north winds specific to the Cyclades) which make it an ideal place for windsurfing. For that reason Mikri Vigla is an the southern beach (on the other part of the hill) is an endless sandy beach called Sahara with amazing waters; because it is protected from the meltemi winds, it has become a calm family beach where a tavern propose excellent food of high quality.

Naxos is a very beautiful Island I strongly recommend to families, couples. I strongly recommend to rent a house along the coast, with amazing view to the sea

Ciao !

φιλακια !

9 comments to Naxos

  • Hi Ursula.

    I was sad to see your experience of Naxos – you should spend much more time there to get a true impression.

    I must correct you on the number of inhabitants in Naxos Town. Naxos as an island has 14.000 in total, and Naxos Town has 7.000 (numbers given to me by my local friends this Easter).

    I enjoy your blog – keep on !

  • ursula

    Geia sou Greek Traveller !
    thanks for reading and commenting my blog :)
    Next time that I will go to Naxos ……. I will rent one of the beautiful villas I saw by the beaches … facing the sea ….
    Filakia polla’
    ursula

  • Jose Manuel

    Este verano a primeros de Julio,hemos concretado viajar a las Cicladas, en hacer una noche en Atenas, barco hidrofoil hasta Naxos , cuatro noches alli, luego tres en Koufonisia y tres en Mikonos, de hay avion hasta Atenas con enlace a Madrid, ya me comentaras por si sabes restaurantes, playas o zonas que visitar, ciao muchas gracias, un abrazo desde España.

    • ursula

      Hola Jose Manuel,
      primero si tienes tiempo tienes que irte a comer en Atenas, en Plaka y Monastiraki, en el centro. ¡El Acropoli de noche es magnifica¡ hay muchísimos restaurantes donde se come muy bien.
      Mykonos es muy bonita como isla – pero un poco cara …. y tampoco comerás muy bien …es demasiado turísticas pero en Koufonisia te gustara todo muchísimo.
      Yo fue a comer en la taverna El Capitano – donde se come solo pescado pero tienes que reservar el días antes. Las playas en Koufonisia son 4 – la ultima se llama Pori (hecha un vistazo a mi blog en Koufonisia, encontraras muchas informaciones.
      Naxos yo me quede solo unos días – espectaculares todas la playas.
      Kalo taxidi (buen viaje )
      filakia (besos) de Atenas
      ursula

  • eleni

    Naxos is my all-time fave destination (without very young kids, at least). I think there is a carefree vibe to it – although I’ve had my share of adventures there, like the car getting stuck in the middle of a salty swamp or something (alyki) and having to get a tractor to pull it out… forget about it! Agios Prokopis is my fave beach, but towards the middle where it’s not so crowded, and also Plaka. Great food throughout the island, too! Best taverna is Axiotissa (so popular you actually have to book a couple of days in advance)!

  • matteo

    Ciao Ursula,
    complimenti per il tuo bellissimo blog.Dopo il mio splendido viaggio a Symi e Patmos dello scorso anno,sono pronto per un altra vacanza in Grecia. Purtroppo il periodo non è ideale perchè andrò in agosto (anche se dopo ferragosto per circa 3 settimane 20 agosto – 8 settembre). Pensavo di andare nelle Cicladi e visitare due isole (esclusa Santorini che ho già visto. Pensavo a Sifnos+Milos oppure a Naxos+Paros o Mykonos. Che ne dici?Troppo troppo affollate nel periodo che ho a disposizione? Qual è l’accoppiata migliore?

    • ursula

      Ciao Matteo
      scusami per risponderti dopo cosi tanto tempo .. ma sono diventata mamma …e la mia bimba mi sta occupando tutto il mio tempo libero :)

      Ottima scelta tutte le isole che indichi ! Direi che l’unica veramente super affollata penso sia Mykonos – le altre basta comunque prenotare perche’ le strutture non sono tante

      Milos e’ stupenda ! Sifnos – molto carina , personalmente non sono impazzita per le spiagge.
      Naxos molto da famiglia, Paros deliziosa !

      E …. Abbinare a Paros Koufounissi ? io te la butto li’

      Buona pianificazione di vacanza
      un abbraccio

      Ursula

  • Carmen

    Ciao Ursula intanto complimenti x la maternita’,da quel che vedo sei abbastanza esperta di isole Greche quindi volevo chiederti un consiglio.
    Siamo tre amiche che hanno siuperato i 30anni,vorremmo un posto che in primis avesse un bel mare con spiagge di sabbia ma anche vita notturna,sai darmi qualche dritta??
    purtroppo il periodo nn e’ dei migliori ma quello e’..ovvero le due centrali di Agosto!
    Se conosci anche il nome di qualche albergo nn troppo caro ti sarei davvero grata!!
    Grazie mille in anticipo :-)!
    Carmen

    • ursula

      Ciao Carmen ! ma lo sai che anche mia figlia si chiama cosi? bellissimo nome :)

      In merito alla tua domanda ci sono varie opzioni – prova poi a leggere i post nel mio blog per vedere cosa ne pensi
      Skiathos
      Sifnos
      Paros
      Patmos
      Mykonos

      Tutte e tre queste isole offrono spiagge stupende con mare cristallino e vita notturna.

      Personalmente adoro Milos ma non e’ molto “viva” la notte – in senso di discoteche o pub, se e’ questo quello che cercate.

      Per le strutture ti consiglio di dare un occhio a TripAdvisor oppure la’ dove mi sono trovata bene trovi i riferimenti nel mio racconto

      Grazie per i complimenti e …. buon viaggio !!!

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