August 15, 2023

Naxos travel guide + recommendations

Thinking of visiting Naxos? A big Cycladic island with loads to do, perfect for families, with great food and beautiful beaches… Read on to find out more!

About Naxos

Naxos, the biggest island in the Cyclades, it’s famous for it’ cheese, meat, archeological sites and long stretches of sandy beaches. You can also find Kitron a local liqueur made from a fruit in the citrus family (buy this from Probonas store in town). 

There are many things to discover if you like walking, hiking and there are SO many water sports you can try, from kite surfing, wind surfing, SUP, canoeing. Also there’s a wide variety of archaeological sites to visit as the island was the most important centre of civilisation in 4000-1000 BC. 

The food is generally great, however, we quickly discovered that service when it comes to food isn’t the best.. to put it lightly! Some must-try food are the local yellow cheese and potatoes are a must!

Naxos is also the place where Theseus, after killing the Minotaur of Crete, took Ariadne, the daughter of the Cretan King, Minos, who helped him find his way in the labyrinth where the Minotaur was kept and stopped in Naxos on his way back to Athens. There, he left Ariadne (or Ariadne left him, depending on the version of the legend) for whom Dionysus fell madly in love with. The God took the young girl to Mount Drios and, from there union, Oinopion (Wine Drinker), Staphylos (Grape) and Evanthi (Lovely Flower) were born. 

Things to see in Naxos

Walk around the main town and up on the Castle (Kastro) in Naxos town. Climb up and enjoy the views!! In the castle area you can also go to the Archaeological Museum. The whole old town is considered the castle, so walking around to discover it all is a must. 

Portara in town is a great sunset spot but go early as it gets super crowded. It’s also God’s Apollo. 
There are a few picturesque villages. We really liked Apeiranthos which is the most famous and must-see village. Many cute cafes and tavernas and beautiful views. On the way there you pass through Filoti village, it’s nice but no need to stop. This can be combined with Halki village. 

Proposed day trip: start at Halki, then pass by Filoti and Apeiranthos, then go to Panermos for a swim and go to Moutsouna for a swim and food. We did that and it was a nice extra trip, though not a must-do if you don’t have enough days.

Moutsouna is a small fishing village with a few tavernas. It’s quite picturesque. 

Koronos is very cute village on the mountain. Great place if you want to walk around and explore the little alleys. Blue and white all around. 

Best Beaches in Naxos

Agios Prokopios: For sunbeds and endless blue. Sandy beach and the waters are amazing. There are many places for coffee and food along the beach. Probably my fave beach on the island.

Agios Prokopios

Mikri Vigla: is a good place to go to if it’s very windy. There’s a small natural pool on the right end of the beach and you can sit there and enjoy. 

Plaka: is a very long beach with turquoise waters and sand! There are many hotels on the beach front and it’s more of a quiet beach due to how big it is. Worth a visit. Many spots are crowded but others are quiet and serene. This is actually where we stayed for the majority of our trip and it was perfect.

Panormos: which is at the south end of the island. It’s very picturesque and has palm trees. Clear waters and they do day trips starting from here.

Hawaii beach: has become quite popular in the last few years and it’s very crowded. There’s nothing on the beach so come prepared with shade etc. There is a cantina at the parking area called FBI where you can buy food, and drinks. 

Best Food in Naxos

Axiotissa is a must and you have to book well in advance – at least a week. Try to sit in the outdoor area! Produce is fresh and the menu changes often. We enjoyed the aubergine with cheese and almonds, freshly boiled greens.

For seafood we liked Ammos in the town of Naxos. Especially the grilled squid. It’s by the port and lovely at sunset.


To Elliniko in Naxos town was a great proper Greek taverna with a cute yard. Apparently, it’s even prettier at night but we went in the evening and loved it. Everything we tried was great – beetroot salad, fries, stuffed vine leaves and spinach pie. Mum Katerina cooks daily, recipes using local products. One of the faves we tried. 

At the little port of Moutsouna there’s a tavern that’s well worth a visit. It’s called Apanemi but also known as “Maria’s”. We liked the entrées and it’s by the seafront but otherwise not that special and quite expensive (it was €30 pp for two entrées, one salad and two small seafood things).

Nomad is on the beach of Plaka and was lovely for a chilled lunch with a very nice environment. Depending on what you get it might be around €30pp but we got wine too. My friend said Tortuga on the beach of Plaka was great.

Antamoma is a “fancier” restaurant with a nice courtyard and interesting food. We got a mix of entrees and liked most of them. Some were a little too salty. Overall the service was good. 

Taverna tis Matinas in Koronos village. A little green terrace with homemade food and ingredients from the village. They make their own feta cheese and the bread is from the local bakery. 

Some other places we didn’t go to but were recommended to us: Doukato (taverna), Cozi (souvlaki for takeaway), Manolis (Greek), Barbounis for fish on Agios Prokopis beach, L’Osteria (Italian), Faros tou Alykou, Kalantos, Kalliopi (near Moni village), Petrino, Faros stou Chiou for fish (Agia Anna beach).

Breakfast spots in Naxos

In the main town, Pantelis has great crepes and omelettes and other breakfast things.  
Avaton is so nice for breakfast (they also do lunch and dinner) and you get amazing views!! 

Where to have Desserts in Naxos

Waffle House is amazing. We have one in Athens (specifically in Vouliagmeni) but Naxos was the first, original spot.

At Halki village go to To Spitiko Galaktoboureko. It’s a custard cream dessert, so delicious!

Drinks in Naxos

Found a Jazz bar randomly. Really cute. 

520 cocktail bar which is also great for sunset views. 

Hôtel Grotta for drinks and sunset views.

Some other places we were recommended: Cedar, Nomad, Mojo, Swing, Karma, Veggera 

Shopping in Naxos

My friend owns a store in Naxos called Tereza’s and they have an amazing selection of Greek-made designs from clothing to jewellery. They also make their own towels! I bought one with evil eyes and love it. 

Are you planning to visit Naxos?

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