I dreamt of visiting Greece for years and 3 years ago I could finally fulfil my dream of visiting this lovely spoiled by the sun country and it didn’t disappoint. I usually don’t repeat but I kept coming back to Greece each year since my first visit. I mean, it’s hard not to fall in love with its natural beauty, fascinating history, delicious food, idyllic islands, whitewashed towns and warm weather.
No wonder Greece it’s amongst the the most visited countries in the world. On my latest travel to Greece I visited 6 islands, but in this blog post I will talk about Naxos.
Naxos is not very famous but that’s the magic of this island, the atmosphere here is peaceful, quiet and not invaded by too many tourists. Here you can actually get a good photograph of the classic Greek white houses, without it being ruined by crowds of tourists. Naxos is way greener than many of the Greek islands, keeping the beautiful typical greek towns but with lush mountainous backdrops. You’ll notice a big difference in prices, it is much more affordable than the famous Santorini.
CHORA OLD TOWN
The capital of Naxos is Chora. So we started with the old town of course, because we also had the hotel here. I have to admit that I have been pleasantly surprised by how beautiful it is. I was having the feeling like I’m in Mykonos, because the city centre was pretty similar with the main town of Mykonos, with the difference that here walking around is much more relaxed. We discovered many pretty streets full of cute friendly cats, with all the classic Greek tiled floors and blue doors, yet free from the crowds, so I actually could peacefully enjoyed the place.
Here you can find many cute local shops, cafes or restaurants with incredibly delicious food. It’s impossible to pass by and not to buy at least one souvenir or to stop at a cute cafeteria to enjoy a delicious coffee served with super tasty cake made by the owner.
Around the island are many lovely, photogenic mountain villages, that worth to be explored. A super cute village we visited, that is also became one my favourite is Halki.
It is situated in the northern part of the island and Halki is one of the prettiest and picturesque places in Naxos. It’s the typical traditional Greek village, with white houses, cats walking around, colourful flowers hanging on the walls and well preserved Venetian towers and Byzantine churches. We had a nice walk among the beautiful houses ending the visit at a charming traditional cafeteria in the centre having a delicious coffee.. The town is pretty small so in a few hours (and this after many stops for photos) you’ve see everything. And after this you have enough time to visit another place, which we did. We visited another cute village that day, called Chalki.
Another charming village in Naxos is Chalki, set perfectly into the side of a mountain. Our first stop here was to have lunch, a pretty tasty one. During the lunch we enjoying the beautiful surroundings given by the most beautiful mountain view and the cute decorated houses. After the lunch we went to explore the place, here you have to be ready for a little “hike” because the village is situated on a knoll. It’s not like you climb a mountain but it’s not strait roads neither. You can also find some cute souvenir shops at the entrance of the village and restaurants. If you came in a car, near the entrance to the village is a parking lot, free of charge.
In our stay in Naxos we visited only one beach because we preferred to visit villages. Plaka is a famous beach in Naxos and for all the right reasons. Plaka it’s officially one of the best beaches in Greece. It has golden soft sand with 4 km of uninterrupted coast, quiet, calm water, not too windy… I mean, what can you ask more from a beach. This was one of the most tranquil and peaceful beach I have ever been, only a few people around, here you hear only the sound of the waves, which is awesome of course. Only 10 minutes walk from the beach there is Plaka Beach’s restaurants and plenty of hotels.
We arrived to Naxos by ferry from Athens. Naxos does have an airport with direct flights from Athens and we did had a flight, but when we’ve been there the pilots made a strike and all flights from Athens were canceled.
We decided to move around Naxos by car, because renting a car in Naxos is definitely the most efficient way to see the island. So we rented a car right on our arrival from a nice lady in the port. I’ve that heard the public transportation system it doesn’t run to all locations and you might miss some great places.
Driving on the island is great, the roads are in good conditions, however, this is a mountainous island so you’ll have to drive on winding roads up and down the sides of mountains. Just drive cautiously, and you’ll be able to navigate this island with no issues.
After a great, amazing time on this gorgeous island we took a ferry to Milos. We opted for the company Seajets and after 3 hours and 35 minutes we arrived to Milos. But for Milos I will make a different post.