Things to Do in Naxos: The 10 Best Places to Visit (All Highlights)
You’re planning to visit Naxos during your next trip to Greece? You’re looking for the best things to do, the best places to stay or the best beaches?
You’re at the right place!
In order to help you plan your stay, I have prepared for you this guide of the 10 best places to visit in Naxos, with all points of interest and must-see attractions.
In addition to this list of things to do and activities, I will also give you itineraries to visit Naxos in 1, 2 or 3 days as well as my selection of the best accommodations depending on your budget.
And as always, this travel guide contains all my best tips: planning your trip will be super easy!
So, what to do in Naxos? Where to stay?
Let’s find out!
- Things to Do in Naxos: The 10 Best Places to Visit (All Highlights)
- Visit Naxos: The 10 Must-See Attractions
- The other best Greek Islands to visit around Naxos
- How many days to visit Naxos?
- 1 day in Naxos
- 2 days in Naxos
- 3 days in Naxos
- Where to stay in Naxos
- How to get to Naxos?
- Renting a car in Naxos
- Naxos and Greece Tours
- Renting a boat in Naxos
- Tourist map of Naxos
- You’re traveling to Greece ? These articles will help you !
Visit Naxos: The 10 Must-See Attractions
The city of Chora (also named Hora, or Naxos like the island) is one of Naxos’ major tourist sites. If you take the ferry from Athens or from another Greek Island, you will arrive in Chora.
You will start your visit of the island’s main city on the waterfront. There, you will find many restaurants, cafés and shops and also enjoy a beautiful view of the port.
At the waterfront’s end, you will reach Naxos’ must-see attraction, the famous Portara, located on the islet of Palatia.
The Portara (literally “The door”) is the only remain of an unfinished Temple dedicated to Apollo, built in the 6th century B.C. Greek Mythology says that Theseus abandoned the Minoan princess Ariadne here, right after he killed the Minotaur. Then, she was forced to marry Dionysus.
The Portara was built entirely in marble. It’s Naxos’ most famous monument and landmark. On the site, you will also enjoy an amazing panoramic view of Chora town, the sea and the mountains.
Then, take a stroll in the Old Market streets to reach the Kastro district, the city’s oldest neighborhood. You will enjoy a typical and charming Cycladic architecture, with white and blue houses and paved alleys.
In the neighborhood, you can also admire many Venetian houses and the Kastro (castle). You can visit the inside for 2€. There isn’t much to see except the view of Naxos from the terrace.
There are also 4 small museums you can visit in Chora:
- The Archaeological Museum and its marble statues collection
- The Venetian Museum Della Rocca-Barozzi, if you want to discover clothes and furniture belonging to the noble Italian families who lived in the Kastro
- The Mitropolis Museum, where you can see the remains of an ancient Mycenaean city.
- The Folk Museum Collection, if you want to discover Naxos’ History and traditions
If you want to admire the sunset in Naxos, you should go to the Portara. It’s simply breathtaking!
If you’re an ice-cream lover, try the “Waffle House” ice cream shop in Chora. It was by far my best ice cream during my stay in Greece.
2. Naxos’ best beaches
What are the best beaches of Naxos?
Great news: Naxos is among the best Greek Islands if you want to relax at the beach!
Here are my favourite ones (and the ones to avoid):
- Agios Georgios Beach, the closest to Naxos. Not the prettiest beach, but ideal if you don’t have a car.
- Agiassos: a large and quite wild beach. Not very crowded, and with a large car park.
- Between Agiassos and Pyrgaki: 3 small and beautiful sand coves. A great place to take a dip!
- Pyrgaki: a very large sand beach, with a tavern and 2 hotels. There was no one when I went there.
- Kastraki: a wild beach with dunes offering a nice view of Paros‘ island.
- Mikri Vigla Beach (South): a beautiful but quite windy sand beach. There, you can enjoy a beautiful view of Paros too.
- Mikri Vigla Beach (North): ideal for Kitesurf
- Plaka Beach, a large sand beach
- Agia Anna: a small and crowded sand beach, with a private part. You can rent deckchairs and umbrellas here.
- Agios Prokopios: a sandy beach with shallow waters. Half of the beach is private. One of Naxos’ busiest beaches!
- Between Galini and Agia, you will find small coves accessible by car, as Amitis Bay, Hillia Vrisi Bay, Abram Bay or Agios Theodoros Bay. Nice and quiet.
- Apollonas Beach, not the best I’ve seen
- The beaches of Psili Ammos, Panormos and Kalados: 3 very wild beaches, as they are far from Hora.
If you want to do something else than relaxing and swimming, you can take the opportunity of your stay in Naxos to try water sports (simply click on the links to book):
- Kitesurfing course at Mikri Vigla – 2-hours private course to learn the basics
- Kitesurfing course or internship
- Windsurfing course
Halki is one of the best places to see in Naxos. The village is located 20 minutes away from Hora, in the mountainous Tragea Valley.
Located in the centre of Naxos, Halki is the perfect place if you want to enjoy a authentic Cycladic atmosphere. When taking a stroll in its charming paved alleys, you will discover many shops selling the best local products. The main square, with its huge plane tree, is also worth stopping by.
If you want to try the best local cuisine, have your lunch break at “Giannis Taverna”. The roasted meats are simply delicious!
You can also visit the Vallindras distillery. It’s the only place on the island producing the Kitron, a local liquor you won’t find anywhere else in Greece.
The Kitron liquor, made with citron (a very big lemon), is available in 3 versions, depending on the alcohol content: green (the lightest), white and yellow (the strongest). You can visit the distillery from May to October.
End your tour of Halki with a visit to the Church of Agios Giorgios Diasorites. From the village, walk for 10 minutes through the olive trees to discover this picturesque small church built in the 11th century.
You should park your car at the village’s entrance or exit, as there are only pedestrian streets in Halki.
You can also stop at Panagia Drossiani, one of Greece’s oldest churches. This church is located right above Halki, close to Moni village. It is accessible by car (even if it’s hard to find a parking space) or by a trail.
Filoti, the largest village in Tragea Valley, is another place you should really visit in Naxos.
Take a stroll in Filoti’s alleys to admire its typical Greek architecture. At the heart of the village, you will discover a beautiful church, entirely built in white marble.
You will also find many taverns and restaurants along the main road. It’s the perfect place if you want to taste typical Greek cuisine.
Speaking of traditional Greek cuisine, you should take a cooking class to discover some of its secrets!
The class takes place in a small family tavern in the village of Potomia. You will first collect all the vegetables and herbs needed for the recipes in the family’s garden before cooking delicious local specialties.
You will then taste everything accompanied by a good local wine in a very friendly atmosphere!
You need to book your cooking class in Naxos by clicking on the button below:
5. Mount Zeus
Filoti is mostly renowned for being the starting point of Naxos’ most famous hike. From there, a trail goes to the summit of the 1004-meter high Mount Zeus (or Mount Zas), the highest point of the Cyclades. It was considered as Zeus’ birthplace by ancient Greeks.
From Filoti, walk for around 40 minutes to reach “Aria Spring”, the hike’s first point of interest. If you don’t want to walk that much, you can drive to Aria Spring and park your car close to the fountain. You can’t miss it, on the road, you will find many signs indicating the direction.
From Aria Spring, hike to the Cave of Zeus (20 minutes away), then continue for 1 hour to reach the summit of Mount Zeus. There, you will enjoy a beautiful panorama of the island of Naxos.
Even if it’s a short hike, the trail is steep and rocky. You should wear hiking shoes!
In addition to Halki and Filoti, you should also visit the village of Apiranthos during your trip to Naxos.
Apiranthos is located on the slopes of Mount Fanari, a 45-minute drive from Chora. As in Filoti, you will enjoy beautiful alleys paved with marble as well as many cafés and restaurants.
If you have some time left and want to learn more about archaeology, folklore, art or natural history in the region, you can also visit the village’s small museums.
The road connecting the villages of Halki, Filoti and Apiranthos offers breathtaking views of the mountains and the sea. You will also admire many beautiful small churches in the mountains. Even if you don’t spend much time in Apiranthos, the road itself is worth passing by!
7. The Kouros
The Kouros are among the best things to see in Naxos.
These huge unfinished marble statues are still in the ancient quarries. You will be amazed by their size! Kouros means literally “young man” in Greek.
You can discover Naxos’ Kouros in 2 different locations:
- In Apollonas, the quarry is located along the road, before the village. The Kouros of Apollonas, carved in the 7th century B.C, is 11-meter long and weighs more than 80 tons! It is the largest Kouros in Naxos.
- You can also admire 2 Kouros in Flerio, but they are a lot smaller (around 5-meter long) and not as well-preserved as in Apollonas.
You can access all the Kouros for free. The one in Apollonas is clearly one of Naxos’ Must-See attraction.
I couldn’t do a Naxos’ definitive guide without mentioning one of the places I loved the most on the island: the road connecting Skado, Koronos, Stavros, Apiranthos and Moutsouna.
This road offers some of the most beautiful views on Naxos’ coast. There, you will enjoy a splendid scenery!
You should also drive down to Moutsouna. If you take the trail on the left, right before you arrive in the village, you will find Azalas beach, a nice and wild pebble beach with deep waters.
The small port of Moutsouna is really lovely, with its many restaurants on the seaside. The fresh grilled fishes were delicious! In Moutsouna, there is also a small sand beach with shallow waters.
If you continue on the road after Moutsouna, you will find 3 wild and remote beaches. The most beautiful is Panormos Beach, the farthest from the port. As the road ends here, you will have to turn around and go back to Moutsouna to continue your tour of Naxos.
Vivlos (also called Tripodes), is located South of Naxos, around 10 km from Hora.
Vivlos is one of Naxos’ largest and most picturesque villages. As everywhere else, you will find here the typical Cycladic white houses and narrows alleys. There are also 3 ancient windmills sitting on a hill.
The other points of interest in Vivlos are the Church of Panagia Tripodiotissa, Plaka Tower and the Folklore Museum.
10. Boat trips from Naxos
You want to discover other Greek Islands, and you only have one day? Then, you should do a boat trip from Naxos.
You will find here a list of 1-day boat trips available from Naxos:
- Cruise on a sailboat in the Lesser Cyclades with 3 snorkeling stops in isolated bays + lunch and drinks included. This is a small group tour (15 people on the boat maximum).
- Day trip from Naxos to Mykonos Island with 6-Hours Free Time: Take the boat from Naxos to reach Mykonos. You will have 6 hours of free time to discover the island, do some shopping and enjoy Mykonos’ unique atmosphere.
- From Naxos: Delos and Mykonos full-day boat trip: visit the archaeological site of Delos, then go to Mykonos for the rest of the day. Both boat transfers are included in the price.
- Day trip by boat to Amorgos island from Naxos: during 6 hours, you will visit Amorgos‘ villages, and see the Monastery of Panagia Hozoviotissa, built on the cliffside. The island is also an hiker’s paradise.
- Koufonissi Islands full-day boat trip from Naxos: spend a whole day in Koufonisia island, to enjoy beautiful beaches and discover the Kato Koufonissi sea caves.
- From Naxos: Full-day boat trip to Santorini: after a 3-hour boat ride, you will enjoy a guided bus tour in Santorini. You will visit Fira and Oia, Santorini’s most beautiful villages.
And, if you wish to stay closer to Naxos, and do a cruise around the island with several stops to go swimming, you should choose this tour.
You will swim and do snorkeling in Rina Cave and Kalados bay, and around the islands of Iraklia, Schinousa and Koufonisia in the Small Cyclades. You will also get a glance at Paros and Antiparos. It’s clearly the best cruise around Naxos!
The 80€ price also includes soft drinks and snorkeling equipment.
Finally, if you’re looking for a VIP experience, you should opt for this luxury catamaran cruise in a small group:
The other best Greek Islands to visit around Naxos
If you’ve seen most of Naxos, you can continue your Cyclades itinerary and visit the other Greek Islands located nearby:
- Paros, the closest island to Naxos. There, you will enjoy beautiful beaches and picturesque villages
- Mykonos, if you want to party all day and night long
- Ios, Mykonos’ “little sister”, also renowned for its nightlife
- Amorgos, the perfect island for hiking lovers
- Santorini: the most famous Greek Island, a great place for a romantic gateway!
- The Small Cyclades located between Amorgos and Naxos
If you want more details about the other islands around Naxos, you should read my detailed article: The 15 best Cyclades Islands.
You can also visit this website to check the ferries rates, schedules and book them.
How many days to visit Naxos?
To visit the island, you should spend at least 3 days in Naxos.
You will have time to relax at the beach, discover picturesque villages and even do a boat-trip around the island. Of course, you can spend 4, 5 days or more and enjoy relaxing holidays!
Here are my recommended itineraries to visit Naxos in 1, 2 or 3 days.
1 day in Naxos
If you want to visit Naxos in 1 day, start by discovering Hora, the capital.
Then, spend your afternoon at one of the West Coast beaches.
There is another option: if you want to make the most of your stay without having to rent a car, you should do a guided bus tour on the island. During this tour, you will discover the Kouros, Halki and its distillery, Panagia Drosiani church, Apiranthos and even more! It costs around 25€ per person.
You need to book your 1-day bus tour in advance by clicking here.
2 days in Naxos
If you spend 2 days in Naxos, in addition to the first day described above, you should go discover the island’s picturesque mountain villages. The most beautiful are Halki, Filoti and Apiranthos.
From Filoti, you can also hike to the top of Mount Zeus. It takes 2 hours to reach the summit.
End your day around Moutsouna, and enjoy the calm on one of the East Coast beaches.
3 days in Naxos
If you have 3 days in Naxos, you can do a boat trip on your last day, to discover Delos, Mykonos, Santorini or the Small Cyclades.
You can find the list of boat trips from Naxos here.
Where to stay in Naxos
If you’re going to visit Naxos, the best is to stay in Hora (the capital city) or its surroundings.
- Anatoli Hotel: Located a 10-minute walk from Naxos centre and the beach. The modern rooms with balcony and a view of the pool or the garden are starting from 45€ with breakfast included. Strong points: the pool, the sauna, the hot tub, and the free transfer from the port and the airport.
- The Saint Vlassis: Located only 700m from the city centre and 500m from the Agios Georgios beach. This hotel offers comfortable and large double rooms, with an outdoor hot tub for some of them! The prices are starting from 60€ per night including breakfast. Strong points: the warm welcome, the good breakfast, the free parking. It’s simply the best value for money in Naxos!
- Xenia Hotel: Located in the centre of Naxos. The modern and well equipped double rooms are starting from 70€ with an 8€ breakfast. Strong points: the location in the city centre (really convenient to take the ferry), the kind staff, the comfortable beds.
- Hotel Grotta: Located only 700m from the Portara and 15 minutes from the beach. Those nice and bright double rooms with balcony are starting from 90€ with breakfast included. A great place for a romantic gateway in Naxos!
- Nissaki Beach Hotel: Located on Agios Georgios beach, the closest to Naxos. The double rooms are very well decorated, and with a balcony. The prices are starting from 220€ per night, with breakfast included. What I loved: The pool, the location next to the beach, the amazing breakfast, the staff. It’s the best hotel for a luxury stay in Naxos!
How to get to Naxos?
There is a national airport in Naxos, with daily flights to and from Athens. It takes only 45 minutes to reach the island!
Naxos airport is located 3 km South of Hora.
You can also take the ferry to Naxos from the Port of Piraeus or the Port of Rafina.
These 2 ports are located close to Athens and Athens airport. It takes between 2h30 and 6h to reach Naxos, depending on the port of departure and the ship’s speed.
There are also regular ferry connections between Naxos and the Greek Islands of Paros, Amorgos, Ios, Mykonos and Santorini.
If you want to plan your ferry trips in the Cyclades, you should book your tickets in advance, especially during summer!
Renting a car in Naxos
As it’s the largest Cyclades Island, you should rent a car to visit Naxos.
It’s by far the best way to discover its most beautiful beaches and remote mountain villages!
Whenever I’m renting a car abroad, whether I’m in Greece or anywhere else, I always book my cars on Rentalcars.com. It’s my favorite website for the following reasons:
- You can compare prices between all the car rental companies in Naxos. You will also have access to the customer’s reviews.
- You can get a “Full Protection Insurance” to be fully refunded in case of theft or accident with your rental car (tested and approved, they refunded me more than 1200 euros to date!)
- You can modify, or even cancel your booking for free.
Rentalcars also offers the “Best Price Guarantee”. If you find the same car cheaper elsewhere, they will refund you the difference!
Naxos and Greece Tours
On Voyagetips.com, I give you all my best tips and itineraries to plan your trip to Santorini and Greece by yourself. (Click here to read all my articles about Greece).
However, if you prefer to book a Greece tour with a travel agency, I recommend you to check the 10 best Greece tours by clicking the button below:
Renting a boat in Naxos
If you want to rent a boat for a nice day at sea during your trip to the Greek islands, you should book it with Samboat.
Motorboats, sailboats, yachts, small boats without a license, with or without a skipper: they simply have the most complete offer for boat rental.
So, what are you waiting for to book your boat trip in Greece? 😊
Tourist map of Naxos
I have made a tourist map of Naxos for you, to help you picture what the island looks like and where the best places to visit are located. You can display the map legend by clicking on the top left button (the one with a little arrow).
Now that you know everythign about the best things to do in Naxos, which places do you plan to visit during your trip? If you need help to plan your stay, don’t hesitate to ask me in the comments section.
🚗 Rent a car
🗽 Book entrance tickets and guided visits
🏄 Book your sports activities
🚤 Book your rental boat
🌍 Take a travel insurance
🙎 Book a tour
⛴️ Book your ferry tickets in Greece
🚅 Book your train tickets
✈️ Book your flight
Greece travel guides
- Buy the Lonely Planet Greece guide on Amazon.com or on Amazon.co.uk
- Buy the DK Eyewitness Greece guide on Amazon.com or on Amazon.co.uk
You’re traveling to Greece ? These articles will help you !
Discover all my articles about Greece: All my articles to help you plan your trip to Greece are listed there.
- The 20 Best Things to do in Greece – The Ultimate Bucket list!
- The 15 Best Things to do in Peloponnese – All the must-see attractions
- Itinerary: 4-5 days in Greece – The perfect itinerary for a short stay in Greece
- Itinerary: 1 week in Greece – The best Itinerary to visit Athens + Santorini!
- Itinerary: 6, 7 or 8 days in Greece – The definitive guide to visit Athens + Peloponnese in a week
- Itinerary: 10 days in Greece – The definitive guide to visit Central Greece in 9-10 days
- Itinerary: 2 weeks in Greece – The best Itinerary to visit Athens + Central Greece + Cyclades (Santorini)
- Itinerary: 3 weeks in Greece – The best Itinerary to visit Athens + Central Greece + even more Cyclades islands!
- Itinerary: 1 month in Greece – The definitive guide to visit Greece in a month!
- Road trip in Greece – The best itineraries for 5, 7, 10, 15, 21 and 30 days.
Cyclades (Greek islands)
- The 15 Best Cyclades Islands to visit – With all the must-see attractions
- Itinerary: 1 week in Greek islands – How to visit the Cyclades in 6, 7 or 8 days
- Itinerary: 10 days in Greek islands – The definitive guide to visit the Cyclades in 10 days!
- Itinerary: Greek Island Hopping routes – The best 2 weeks itinerary to visit the Cyclades
- Amorgos: The 8 best places to see
- Andros: The 7 must-see attractions and activities
- Paros: The 10 best places to visit
- Santorini: The definitive guide
- Tinos: The 10 best things to do
My wife and I just returned from our trip to Greece. We 3 days in Santorini, 5 days in Naxos, 1 day in Mykonos and 1 day in Athens before flying home. These suggestions for Naxos were excellent and helped make our stay memorable. A few additional comments for others who are planning to go to Naxos. TIP #1: If you are planning to stay for more then one day, you MUST rent a car or ATV/scooter to get around to see the sites around the island. TIP #2: When renting a car/atv, make sure you can access google maps or something similar to help you navigate as the signs are terrible! Also, be careful that google maps identifies routes on non-paved roads. I’m not sure how some of these routes even classify as a “road”. Some of these routs were definitely memorable for sure, but be warned as i think the local goats use these paths more then cars do! TIP #3: We decided to go to Greece in late September. The positives were that it wasn’t that busy with tourists because end of the season. That said, the weather changed quickly and became 20 degrees but very windy. Also, they stop offering as many ferry options so couldn’t do Paros for a day trip as originally planned. TIP #4: There are positives & negatives of going in September (see tip #3), but if you do plan to go in off-season, WAIT to book your hotel or Airbnb accommodations to the last minute. We booked those 3-months in advance and realized that when we arrived, the exactly same accommodations were being offered at sometimes a 50% discount.
I’m glad to hear that my article about the best things to do in Naxos helped you to enjoy your stay.
Thank you very much for your very detailed comment and the additional tips, it will be very useful for other travellers.
For the wind, it’s unfortunately very common in the Cyclades (all year round). Sometimes ferry trips even have to be cancelled.
And I totally agree with you about the roads.😅
See you soon for a new destination!
Great information. It helped me plan a Greek vacation last month that we are on now. Thank you so much!
Want to let you know that Mount Zas is 1004 meters high, not 1400 meters high. We checked this with several resources. We will climb it on Tuesday. .
Thanks a lot!
For Mount Zeus, you are right, I made a typo and reversed the numbers. I have corrected it.
Enjoy your hike and have a great stay in Naxos!