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Unforgettable Naxos: Top Picks & Hidden Gems

Naxos stands as the largest and most verdant island within the Cyclades, nestled in the heart of the Aegean Sea. This exceptional destination offers the perfect mix of pristine beaches and rich historical heritage. Whether you’re in search of a tranquil retreat or an action-packed vacation, Naxos caters to all tastes. Drawing from a decade of expertise as an SEO writer and a Naxos aficionado, I’m thrilled to guide you through both the celebrated attractions and the hidden treasures of this island. Discover the iconic Portara, the majestic Kastro, and the sacred Temple of Demeter, alongside lesser-known wonders like Mount Zas, the quaint Small Cyclades, and the captivating Saint Anna Winery. Naxos promises a culinary journey with its exquisite local olive oil and cheese, complemented by interactive cooking classes and indulgent wine tastings. By the end of this guide, you’ll be well-equipped to embark on an unforgettable adventure to Naxos, truly one of Greece’s finest gems.

The Must-Visit Sites of Naxos

Naxos is far more than a beach paradise; it’s a repository of history and culture waiting to be explored. The island offers an array of unforgettable sites, from ancient temples to medieval castles. Below, you’ll find a curated list of must-visit destinations in Naxos that promise to enrich your travel experience.

Swim at the Azure Beaches

Boasting some of the finest beaches in the Cyclades, Naxos offers visitors pristine sandy shores and crystal-clear waters. Whether you’re in the mood for a bustling beach atmosphere equipped with sunbeds, water sports, and restaurants—like the ones at Plaka Beach or Agios Prokopios Beach—or a tranquil escape amidst nature at Aliko Beach, surrounded by a cedar forest and striking rock formations, Naxos has something for everyone. Adrenaline seekers can head to Mikri Vigla Beach, a renowned spot for windsurfing and kitesurfing. Whichever beach you choose, the azure waters and radiant Naxian sun are guaranteed to impress.

Gaze at the Sunset from Portara

The Portara, a towering marble gateway on the islet of Palatia near the port, remains one of Naxos’s most iconic sights. This colossal doorframe, part of an unfinished temple dedicated to Apollo dating back to the 6th century BC, symbolizes Naxos’s rich historical tapestry. Visiting the Portara at sunset, when the sky and sea are painted with shades of orange and pink, is an absolutley enchanting experience. As you stroll the causeway linking the islet to the mainland, the Portara’s silhouette against the breathtaking backdrop of the setting sun offers a romantic and magical moment that’s sure to stay with you forever.

Explore the Majestic Naxos Chora

The main town of Naxos, Naxos Chora, weaves together Venetian and Cycladic architectural marvels into a vibrant and picturesque setting. As the largest and most populous town on the island, it’s a bustling hub of activity, offering everything from quaint shops and cozy cafes to lively bars and gourmet restaurants. Meander through its narrow lanes to uncover hidden treasures like the Kastro, a 13th-century Venetian fortress. Within its walls, you’ll find the Archaeological Museum, the Venetian Museum, and cathedrals belonging to both Catholic and Orthodox traditions. Don’t miss the Old Market either, a perfect spot to snag local delicacies and souvenirs. Naxos Chora, with its rich history, vibrant culture, and atmospheric charm, is sure to enchant you.

Discover Hidden Gems of Naxos

Naxos, renowned not just for its well-known attractions but for its hidden gems as well, beckons the adventurous travelers to uncover its lesser-known yet equally stunning places. This section is dedicated to introducing you to places like Mikri Vigla, Aliko, and Apiranthos. Venturing into these spots will give you a fresh perspective on the island’s beauty and charm.

Kitesurfing in Mikri Vigla

For those in search of adrenaline and adventure, Mikri Vigla offers a premier kitesurfing experience, ranked among Greece’s finest. Situated on the southwest coast, Mikri Vigla boasts a lengthy sandy beach with steady, robust winds, creating perfect kitesurfing conditions. As you navigate the turquoise waters, relish the breathtaking views of nearby islands that envelop you. Numerous kitesurfing centers provide courses, rentals, and storage catering to all skill levels. Additionally, you’ll find convenient accommodation, eateries, and bars in proximity. A visit to Mikri Vigla promises a memorable and exhilarating kitesurfing escapade you wouldn’t want to pass up.

The Cedar Forest at Aliko

For those seeking a serene and natural retreat, the cedar forest of Aliko welcomes you. Nestled on Naxos’s southern tip, this protected area encompasses a vast sandy peninsula adorned with dunes and distinctive rock formations, presenting a stunning juxtaposition to the blue sea backdrop. A mix of junipers, cedars, mastic trees, and wild plants not only beautify the landscape but also serve as a sanctuary for local wildlife like rabbits and birds. Wander through this verdant oasis, bask in the shade and cooling breezes, and soak up the magnificent views. Encircling the forest are secluded, untouched beaches including Aliko Beach, perfect for a refreshing swim. A visit to the cedar forest of Aliko is a journey into a realm of peace and natural beauty.

The Marble Village of Apiranthos

Culture and history aficionados will delight in Apiranthos, a charming marble village imbued with history and rich in scenic beauty. Perched on a hillside, it gazes out at the surrounding mountains and sea, capturing the essence of Naxos’s untouched landscape. Apiranthos is celebrated for its unique architecture—a blend of Venetian and Cycladic influences—evident in its stone houses, towers, churches, and marbled alleys. Traverse the village to discover its five museums, library, and an array of local crafts. Indulge in the exquisite local cuisine and traditional products like cheese, honey, and wine. Apiranthos will enchant you with its authenticity and heritage, leaving a lasting impression.

Enrich Your Palate: Gastronomic Adventures in Naxos

Naxos, a haven for culinary enthusiasts, beckons with its array of local specialties mirroring its rich cultural tapestry. From exquisite cheeses and flavorful potatoes to aromatic honey and unique Kitron, the island promises satisfaction for every palate. This section unveils the treasures of Naxian cuisine, guiding you to where these delights can be savored and offering insights into learning more about the island’s gastronomy through cooking workshops and visits to wineries.

Local Delicacies and Where to Find Them

Naxos prides itself on its dairy produce, particularly cheese, crafted from the milk of locally-grazed cows, goats, and sheep. Renowned for its graviera, a hard yellow cheese with a nutty essence, and arseniko, a fiery, salty cheese matured for at least six months, these cheeses are a must-try. Taverns and shops across the island stock these cheeses, but for a truly immersive experience, visit Koufopoulos cheese factory in Potamia. Here, witness the production process and indulge in freshly made cheeses. Don’t miss out on xynomyzithra, a tangy soft cheese ideal as a pie filling or spread, available at Naxian Experiences in Chora, along with other local goods like honey and olive oil.

Another hallmark of Naxian cuisine is its potatoes, cultivated in the island’s lush plains, known for their distinctive taste and texture. Discover them in traditional dishes like patatato, a hearty lamb and potato stew, or patates me skordalia, fried potatoes with a garlicky dip. Relish these specialties at Taverna Dalas in Chora or Platia Tavern in Agios Prokopios, where the menu also includes kokoras me makaronia, rooster with pasta, and melachrino, a walnut cake drizzled with Kitron syrup.

Kitron, a liqueur distilled from the citron tree’s leaves and fruit, exclusive to Naxos, offers a sweet and invigorating flavor, available in green, yellow, and clear varieties. Enjoy it as an aperitif, a digestif, or in your favorite dessert. Explore Kitron at local bars and cafes or take a tour of Promponas Distillery in Halki to witness its creation and sample various types. Oinohoros Wine Bar & Shop in Chora is your go-to for Kitron and other spirits like raki and ouzo, alongside a selection of Naxian and Greek wines.

From Cooking Workshops to Wineries

Eager to dive deep into Naxian cuisine? Engage in a cooking workshop, such as the acclaimed Cooking Classes in Naxos at Platia Restaurant in Agios Prokopios. Here, you’ll actively participate in preparing a classic Greek meal using the freshest local ingredients. Master the art of making dolmades, spanakopita, and galaktoboureko, and savor your creations paired with local wine and music.

To further explore Naxian gastronomy, visit the island’s wineries. While Naxos may not be widely known for its wine production, it harbors unique grape varieties like Fokiano and Mandilaria, cultivating distinctive wines. Saint Anna Winery in Potamia offers a glimpse into the vineyards and cellars, complete with wine tastings accompanied by cheese and olives. Alternatively, Moriatis Winery in Agios Arsenios provides insights into winemaking traditions and culture, along with tastings of their exclusive wines.


Naxos is an enchanting island offering a plethora of experiences suitable for every type of traveler. Whether your interests lie in soaking up the sun on stunning beaches, immersing yourself in ancient history, wandering through charming villages, or savoring the delicious cuisine of Naxos, this island has it all. Moreover, it’s a treasure trove of hidden gems and closely guarded secrets waiting to be uncovered. Naxos is the kind of place that will catch you off guard, envelop you in delight, and make you fall hopelessly in love. For those in quest of an unforgettable trip to Greece, Naxos stands out as one of the premier islands in the Cyclades. You can easily book your accommodation, tours, and activities in Naxos through the links provided below. Do not let this chance slip by to explore Naxos, the island of dreams.


What is Naxos known for?

Naxos, the largest island in the Cyclades archipelago of Greece, boasts long sandy beaches, a bounty of local agricultural products, fascinating ancient sites, and thrilling wind sports.

How many days do you need in Naxos?

Your ideal stay in Naxos can vary, contingent on what you wish to see and do. A general guideline, derived from various web searches, suggests that 3 to 5 days are ample to immerse yourself in the island’s diverse offerings, from its historic villages and remarkable landscapes to its pristine beaches.

Is it worth going to Naxos, Greece?

Indeed, visiting Naxos is highly recommended for those in search of a destination that combines exquisite beaches, charming villages, delectable cuisine, and a deep historical tapestry. Additionally, Naxos stands out as a budget-friendly choice when compared to other well-known Greek islands, making it an attractive option for travelers mindful of their expenses.

What is the most beautiful part of Naxos?

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, especially in Naxos where every corner offers something unique. Highlights include:
– The Portara, a majestic marble gateway that affords breathtaking sea views and a picturesque panorama of the town of Chora.
– The enchanting mountain villages of Filoti, Apeiranthos, and Chalki, each a canvas of traditional architecture, verdant landscapes, and rich local culture.

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