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Athens to Naxos 2024 Travel Tips

Naxos, a jewel among the Greek islands, boasts an array of stunning beaches, quaint villages, historic monuments, and delectable cuisine. As the largest and most fertile island in the Cyclades, it offers an extensive selection of natural and cultural sights. Whether your heart desires a serene beach getaway, an exhilarating adventure, or a deep dive into culture, Naxos caters to all.

Wondering how to journey from Athens to Naxos, or seeking the finest advice for plotting your 2024 escape? This post is your go-to resource, packed with all you need to know about transitioning from Athens to Naxos. Discover the prime transportation options, optimal travel periods, top accommodation choices, and must-visit locales on the island. Plus, I’ll spill some secret tips and hints to elevate your trip from good to unforgettable.

Ready to explore the marvels of Naxos? Continue reading and arm yourself with this guide to optimize your island adventure.

Choosing Your Mode of Transportation

Deciding how to travel from Athens to Naxos is a crucial aspect of your trip planning. Your choices boil down to either taking a ferry or flying. Each option brings its unique set of advantages and disadvantages, influenced by factors like budget, time, and personal preferences. Let’s delve into these options more thoroughly.

Ferry vs. Plane: Pros and Cons

Taking the ferry stands out as the most favored and economical route between Athens and Naxos, with journey times ranging from 3 to 5 hours depending on your ferry and port selection. The ferry ride is notably scenic and tranquil, offering splendid views of the Aegean Sea, neighboring islands, and the Naxos port. You have the freedom to roam, grab a bite, or even opt for a cabin for enhanced comfort. The ferry service is more flexible, with multiple departures daily from Athens to Naxos, particularly in the summer. Yet, it’s subject to potential weather-related delays or cancellations. Remember to consider the additional time and expense of traveling to and from the ports, a notable inconvenience if you’re laden with luggage or based far from the city center.

Conversely, flying is the quickest and most straightforward method to reach Naxos, sparing you the complexity of port transfers. With a brief duration of only 40 minutes, air travel also tends to be more punctual, minimizing weather-induced cancellations or delays. However, this convenience comes at a cost, with airfares ranging between 150 to 250 euros linked to seasonality and availability. It’s essential to factor in the check-in proceedings, baggage fees, and transfers from the airport to your stay. Note that flights are less frequent, with only two daily flights operated by Sky Express and Olympic Air.

Ferry Schedules and Booking Tips

If the ferry is your chosen mode, be aware that Athens houses two ports servicing Naxos: Piraeus and Rafina. Piraeus, the larger and more centrally located port, boasts a broader selection of ferries and connections. Rafina is nearer to Athens Airport, potentially offering quicker or more cost-effective ferry options that align with your itinerary. For schedules and pricing, Ferryhopper is the premier and safest online resource in Greece for ferry ticket bookings. It allows comparisons across different ferry operators, such as Seajets, Blue Star Ferries, Hellenic Seaways, and Minoan Lines. Advanced online ticket purchases are advised, particularly in peak season, to avoid sell-outs or price hikes. Ensure you arrive at the port at least one hour ahead of departure to navigate the expected crowds and confusion smoothly.

Flights to Naxos: What You Need to Know

For air travelers, Athens Airport (El. Venizelos) is your gateway to Naxos with the Naxos Airport (JNX), a modest facility, situated 3 km from the main town (Chora). Flight schedules and rates can be explored on Expedia, which lists all flight options from Athens to Naxos across all airlines (Aegean, Olympic, Sky Express). As with ferry travel, booking your flight tickets online in advance is recommended to avoid full bookings or price increases. Aim to arrive at the airport at least two hours before your flight to account for the check-in process. Transportation to Athens Airport is available via metro, bus, taxi, or personal car, while options from Naxos Airport to your lodging include taxis, buses, or car rentals.

Packing and Preparation

Embarking on your journey to Naxos requires not just excitement but also careful packing and preparation. Given Naxos’s rich array of activities and experiences stemming from its diverse landscape, packing thoughtfully is crucial. Here are some insights to ensure you’re well-prepared for your Naxos adventure.

What to Pack for Your Naxos Adventure

Naxos enjoys a Mediterranean climate, characterized by hot and dry summers and mild, rainy winters. Summer temperatures average around 28°C (82°F), dipping to about 12°C (54°F) in winter. Notably, the island experiences the meltemi wind in summer, heralding a need for careful clothing selection. Essentials for your Naxos adventure should include:

  • Light, breathable clothing: Opt for cotton or linen shirts, shorts, skirts, and dresses. Synthetic fabrics are best avoided as they may lead to discomfort.
  • A jacket or sweater for cooler evenings, when temperatures can fall, accentuated by the chill of the wind.
  • Beach essentials: Don’t forget a swimsuit, beach towel, sarong, hat, and sunglasses for optimal sun protection.
  • Durable, comfortable footwear like sandals, sneakers, or hiking boots to suit various activities, whether it’s hiking, exploring archaeological sites, or wandering through villages.
  • A backpack or daypack to carry water, snacks, sunscreen, a camera, and your phone. Consider bringing a reusable water bottle and bag to minimize plastic waste.
  • Essential electronics: Ensure you have a travel adapter and power bank to keep your devices charged. Greece’s power sockets are type C and F, and the standard voltage is 230 V.
  • Copies of your passport, travel insurance, and tickets. Carrying some cash is advisable, as not all areas may support card transactions or have ATMs.

Navigating Athens: Getting to the Port or Airport

If your journey to Naxos starts in Athens, you have options: board a ferry from Piraeus Port or catch a flight from Athens Airport. Regardless of your choice, knowing your way from Athens Airport to these points is essential. Here’s how:

  • By metro: The most efficient method, the metro connects Athens Airport to Piraeus Port and the city center. Follow “to Trains” signs to find the metro station. To reach Piraeus Port, take the blue line 3 to its terminus, a 58-minute trip. For Athens Airport, disembark at Doukissis Plakentias and switch to the suburban railway. Services run from 6:10 am to 11:34 pm, with tickets priced at 9€/10$ for adults and 4.5€/5.22$ for concessions.
  • By bus: The X96 bus offers a direct, albeit slower, connection between the airport and Piraeus Port, operating around the clock. The journey averages 90 minutes but can extend during peak traffic. Fares are 5.5€/6.38$ for adults, with concessional rates available.
  • By taxi: Taxis present a comfortable, albeit pricier, alternative. Taxis can be hailed from exit 3 of the arrivals level. The journey to either destination lasts about 70-80 minutes, traffic dependent, with flat-rate fares of 56€/60$ by day and 72€/76$ by night.

Exploring Naxos

Naxos is a captivating island filled with natural beauty and cultural marvels, offering an array of activities and experiences suitable for every taste and age. Whether you’re eager to soak up the sun on pristine beaches, trek through majestic mountains, delve into ancient history, or savor local delicacies, Naxos promises unforgettable moments. In this guide, I’ll share essential tips for navigating from the port or airport to your lodging, highlight the must-see attractions in Naxos for 2024, and recommend the best places to stay.

Arrival in Naxos: From Port/Airport to Your Stay

Upon arriving in Naxos by ferry, you’ll enter through the port of Naxos Town (Chora), the island’s capital and central hub. Air travelers will land at Naxos Airport (JNX), located just 3 km from Naxos Town. Various transportation options are available to reach your accommodation from both the port and the airport.

For ease and comfort, consider a taxi, readily available at both locations. A ride to Naxos Town or nearby beaches like Agios Georgios, Agios Prokopios, Agia Anna, Plaka generally takes 10 to 15 minutes, costing around 10 to 15 euros. For more distant stays, advance booking might be necessary due to higher fares.

A bus journey, operated by KTEL Naxos, presents the cheapest and most eco-friendly option. With the bus station at the port, tickets are purchasable at the kiosk or directly from the driver. Buses frequently run to Naxos Town and primary beaches, alongside other island destinations. Expect a 15 to 20-minute ride to Naxos Town or nearby beaches for 1.50 to 2 euros. Longer distances might require bus transfers.

The most flexible method of exploration is to rent a vehicle, be it a car, scooter, or quad, available at the port, airport, or through online booking. Various rental companies offer a selection of models and pricing. This option allows you to discover the island at your leisure and access remote spots not served by bus. Nonetheless, consider driving conditions, parking, and fuel costs.

Top Things to Do in Naxos in 2024

Naxos is brimming with surprises, ready to captivate you with its breathtaking landscapes and rich history. Here are the top activities to indulge in during your visit in 2024, based on traveler feedback.

  • Visit the Portara, Naxos’s signature landmark, a grand marble doorway from an unfinished Temple of Apollo. Stroll to the Portara from the port to enjoy mesmerizing sea views, the town’s panorama, and stunning sunsets.
  • Explore the Naxos Town, a delightful blend of ancient and medieval architecture, narrow pathways, whitewashed homes, and bustling squares. Noteworthy visits include the Castle, Archaeological Museum, Cathedral, and the Old Market, plus a variety of shops, cafes, and restaurants.
  • Relish the time on pristine beaches, lauded as among the finest in the Cyclades, featuring soft white sand, crystal-clear waters, and natural shades. Options abound, with Agios Georgios, Agios Prokopios, Agia Anna, and others offering relaxing retreats and water sports like windsurfing and snorkeling.
  • Hike to Mount Zas, the Cyclades’ tallest peak, also revered as Zeus’s birthplace. The trail begins at Filoti village, leading past the Cave of Zeus, culminating in breathtaking views after a roughly 3-hour round trip.
  • Encounter ancient landmarks, which reflect Naxos’s rich historical tapestry, from prehistoric to Roman eras. Highlights include the Temple of Demeter, Kouros of Apollonas, and the Sanctuary of Dionysus.
  • Discover traditional villages, embodying Naxos’s authentic spirit with distinctive architecture and ambiance. Visit Halki, Apiranthos, and others to appreciate local craftsmanship and cuisine.

Accommodation Tips: Where to Stay

Naxos caters to diverse accommodation preferences, ranging from opulent hotels to economical guesthouses. Based on traveler insights, here are recommendations to suit various needs.

  • For those wanting to be at the heart of the action, near the port, town, and nightlife, Naxos Town (Chora) or Agios Georgios beach are ideal. A plethora of hotels, apartments, and rooms are available, including renowned ones like Nissaki Beach Hotel and Polis of Naxos Boutique Hotel.
  • If proximity to the beach is a priority, the southwest coast’s popular beaches offer accommodations right by the sea, perfect for enthusiasts of sun, sand, and water activities. Top hotels in these areas include Iria Beach Art Hotel and Saint George Hotel.
  • For a serene retreat in the countryside, staying in a village within the island’s interior offers a glimpse into tranquil, traditional Naxos. From guesthouses to farmhouses, options like Naxos Filoxenia Hotel and Argolis Hotel provide a welcoming environment amidst nature.


Naxos is a dream destination for those who harbor a love for Greece and its enchanting islands. It offers all the ingredients necessary for an unforgettable and joyful journey: breathtaking beaches, quaint villages, historical sites, delectable cuisine, and hospitable locals. Whether you opt for ferry or plane, accessing Naxos from Athens is a breeze, ensuring you find the ideal accommodation that matches both your budget and taste. The island invites you to explore at your leisure, unveiling a plethora of attractions and activities. Naxos is an island that promises to surprise you, delight you, and leave you yearning for more.

So, what’s holding you back? Book your tickets, pack your bags, and gear up for your Naxos adventure in 2024. You’re guaranteed to cherish the experience!


How long is the ferry ride from Athens to Naxos?

The journey by ferry from Athens to Naxos ranges from approximately 3.5 to 6 hours, influenced by the ferry type and the itinerary’s stops. On average, expect the trip to take around 5 hours.

Is it better to fly or ferry from Athens to Naxos?

Choosing between flying or taking a ferry from Athens to Naxos hinges on your preferences, budget, and time availability. Typically, ferries offer a more economical and scenic experience, while flights provide speed and convenience.

How far is Naxos from Athens by plane?

The aerial distance between Athens and Naxos is approximately 157 km, with the flight duration close to 40 minutes.

Which airport do you fly to for Naxos?

To get to Naxos by air, your destination is the Naxos Island National Airport (JNX). It’s a quaint facility predominantly catering to domestic flights from Athens.

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