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Navigating to Naxos: A Quick & Easy Travel Guide

Naxos stands out as the largest and most diverse island in the Cyclades, a mesmerizing group of Greek islands nestled in the Aegean Sea. If you’re in pursuit of ancient history, authentic culture, delectable cuisine, or breathtaking nature, Naxos promises an all-encompassing experience. Curious about how to reach this extraordinary destination? This concise guide is your ticket to discovering the most efficient travel routes to Naxos from Athens and surrounding islands. Additionally, we’ll equip you with practical advice to enhance your visit, covering ideal accommodations, must-see attractions, and tips for navigating the island via public transport or embarking on an island-hopping journey. By the time you reach the end of this guide, you’ll be all set to pack your bags and kickstart your unforgettable adventure in Naxos.

Choosing Your Route: Ferry vs. Flight

When planning your trip to Naxos, you’re faced with two primary travel options: taking a ferry or flying. Your choice will largely depend on your budget, available time, and personal preferences. To help you decide, let’s delve into the pros and cons of each transportation method.

Ferry from Athens and Other Islands

Traveling to Naxos by ferry is a favored and picturesque option. Ferries depart from Athens as well as numerous neighboring islands including Santorini, Mykonos, Paros, and others. Ferries vary from the conventional to the high-speed kind, and they embark from different ports including Piraeus, Rafina, and Lavrio. For comparing prices and schedules, websites like Ferryhopper are quite handy.

Advantages of the ferry include the ability to soak in the breathtaking views of the Aegean Sea, unwind during the journey, and transport your car or bike. It offers a unique island-hopping experience, allowing you to explore multiple islands along the way. Disadvantages encompass the longer travel duration, ranging from 4 to 9 hours based on the ferry type and route. Additionally, ferries can be subject to weather-related delays or cancellations, especially during strong winds.

Flight Options to Naxos

The quickest and most straightforward way to reach Naxos is by flying. Direct flights from Athens International Airport to Naxos take approximately 40 minutes, with daily services provided by Aegean Airlines-Olympic Air and Sky Express. Booking is accessible online on their websites or through

Benefits of flying include time savings and avoiding the inconvenience of port transfers. Moreover, early bookings or off-season travel can yield economical deals. However, drawbacks are the limited number of flights during peak season and potentially stricter luggage restrictions compared to ferries. Also, flying means missing out on the scenic island views that come with ferry travel.

Embarking from Athens: A Closer Look

When you’re planning your trip from Athens to Naxos, you come across two main travel options: either taking a ferry or flying. Each option offers its unique advantages and disadvantages, prompting a thoughtful consideration before making your booking. Let’s delve into the specifics of each mode of transportation.

From Athens to Naxos by Ferry

Daily ferry services to Naxos are provided by several companies, including Blue Star Ferries, Hellenic Seaways, and SeaJets. The duration of the journey is approximately 5-6 hours, which varies based on the ferry type you opt for. Ferries set sail from two different ports in Athens: Piraeus and Rafina.

Piraeus, being the larger port, offers a broader selection of ferry departures. However, Rafina might be more convenient for those closer to the Athens Airport or if it better aligns with your schedule. For ferry services to Naxos, the departure gate at Piraeus Port is usually E7 (as per Google Maps), though it’s wise to verify this detail on your ticket. Price comparisons and schedules can be easily accessed on platforms like Ferryhopper.

Direct Flight from Athens to Naxos

The quickest and most straightforward route to Naxos is undoubtedly by air. Direct flights from Athens International Airport take you to Naxos in about 40 minutes, with daily services provided by Aegean Airlines-Olympic Air and Sky Express. Tickets can be purchased directly from the airline websites or through

Flying offers the clear benefits of saving time and eliminating the need to navigate to the port. Additionally, early bookings or choosing to fly during the off-season can lead to significant savings. However, it’s worth noting the potential limitations, such as reduced flight availability during the bustling peak season, and a more restrictive luggage policy compared to ferry travel.

Island Hopping to Naxos: The Ultimate Greek Adventure

Renowned not only as a splendid destination by itself, Naxos stands out as an ideal launchpad for embarking on an island-hopping adventure across the Cyclades. With the convenience of regular ferry services, a multitude of nearby islands are within your easy reach, offering a tapestry of unique charms and attractions. Whether your heart is set on exploring the iconic landscapes of Santorini and Mykonos or you wish to uncover the hidden gems of the Small Cyclades, there exists a myriad of options catering to every preference and budget. Here’s a glimpse into the best island expeditions to consider from Naxos.

From Nearby Islands

In pursuit of blending the Naxos experience with a visit to some of the Cyclades’ most sought-after and cosmopolitan islands, you have the option of hopping onto a ferry to Santorini, Mykonos, Paros, or Ios. These islands are celebrated for their breathtaking views, dynamic nightlife, rich cultural tapestries, and pristine beaches. Frequent and swift ferries connect Naxos to these destinations, particularly during the summer months, with journey times ranging from a brisk 30 minutes to a mere 2 hours, depending on your chosen island and ferry type. For the best deals on prices and schedules, consider comparing options on Ferryhopper.

Exploring the Small Cyclades

For those yearning for a more tranquil and authentic island-hopping experience, venturing into the heart of the Small Cyclades presents an alluring proposition. This cluster of diminutive, secluded islands near Naxos—comprising Koufonisia, Schinoussa, Iraklia, and Donoussa—stands as a bastion of unblemished nature, translucent waters, sandy shores, and quaint villages. It’s the perfect backdrop for a serene holiday, far removed from the hustle and bustle. Daily ferries provide passages from Naxos to the Small Cyclades, with travel times varying from 40 minutes to 2 hours, dictated by the specific island and route. Additionally, booking a day cruise or a private boat tour opens the possibility of discovering multiple islands in a single day.


Naxos is a wonderful island that caters to a wide variety of interests. Whether your passion lies in delving into its rich history and culture, savoring its exquisite cuisine, or wandering through its breathtaking nature, Naxos is sure to leave you fulfilled. When planning your journey to Naxos, you have the option to either take a ferry or a flight from Athens or adjacent islands. Each mode of transport comes with its own set of advantages and drawbacks, making it important to weigh your options carefully before finalizing your travel plans. For those looking to enrich their experience further, consider island hopping to other mesmerizing islands in the Cyclades like Santorini, Mykonos, or the enchanting Small Cyclades. Whatever path you choose, an unforgettable experience awaits you in Naxos. So, what’s holding you back? Begin organizing your adventure in Naxos today!


How long is the ferry ride from Athens to Naxos?

The journey by ferry from Athens to Naxos typically ranges from 3.5 to 6 hours, contingent upon the ferry type and its operator. On average, travelers can expect the trip to last about 5 hours.

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

Choosing between flying and taking the ferry from Athens to Naxos largely depends on personal preferences, budget considerations, and time constraints. Opting to fly is quicker and more dependable, albeit at a higher cost and with less opportunity to enjoy the scenery. Conversely, traveling by ferry is more economical and engaging, though it’s generally slower and subject to potential cancellations.

How long is the ferry between Santorini and Naxos?

The voyage from Santorini to Naxos by ferry usually lasts about 1 hour and 35 minutes, with most services adhering to this timeline. However, the duration can fluctuate between 1 hour and 10 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the ferry service chosen.

What islands can you ferry to Naxos from?

Travelers can embark on a ferry to Naxos from an array of islands within the Cyclades, including Paros, Mykonos, Santorini, Ios, Amorgos, Milos, Tinos, Syros, Koufonisia, Astypalaia, Anafi, Donoussa, Schinoussa, Iraklia, among others. Additionally, ferries to Naxos are available from Athens, departing from the ports of Piraeus, Rafina, and Lavrion.

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