The first island I visited on my recent trip to Greece was Naxos. It is the largest island in the Cyclades welcomes its visitors with plenty of history, ancient ruins, stunning landscapes, hospitable locals, and tasty Greek food. From untouched medieval villages and abandoned monasteries to an endless stretches of beautiful sandy beaches in the Aegean, Naxos has everything to make your holiday unforgettable.
One of the focuses of this trip was FOOD! No complaints from me on this because I love to eat and cook. Here are some of the highlights from my stay on Naxos.
On our first morning in Naxos, our host took us to an unforgettable culinary tour. The traditional Greek cuisine simply awakens all your senses. You’ll love it even if you are not a foodie, believe me! We had a unique opportunity to enjoy the traditional food of this Greek island, especially their delicious cheeses, meat and potatoes – the highlights of their cuisine. We ate tons of yummy food.
Meiry and I really enjoyed the garlic puree…which I dipped our potatoes in. I had flying fish which was so yummy! It was an amazing opportunity to learn about food and culture in Greece.
It is safe to say that I LOVED all the food in Greece. I literally would go back again just for the food. If you are ever in Naxos and have a chance, stop by the Tortuga Beach Bar, a great restaurant where you can indulge in these gems of Cycadean cuisine its right next to the Naxian on the Beach. Also, check out the MezeMeze restaurant and enjoy great local wines and food. This is where you can find the most delicious garlic puree that I experienced on the island (seen in photo above).
Another awesome place to eat we discovered is the Scirocco cafe and restaurant. This family-owned restaurant is somewhat of an institution here and well worth visiting. It is certainly an authentic Greek experience! There Greek salad was the best we had on the island.
If you decide to explore the island’s inland, you will come across many isolated medieval villages, untouched by time. The beauty of secluded tiny towns like Tripodes, Filoti, Apeiranthos, and Halki will leave you breathless. Explore the abandoned monasteries and gorgeous ancient churches sheltered by green valleys. Don’t miss visiting Bayeos Tower built in the 17th century. This tower was a monastery for decades but today it hosts a range of cultural activities, such as Naxos Festival.
I think this was Meiry’s favorite part of the trip. She really enjoyed all the history. I enjoyed the views. You have the view of the whole island from many of the villages. If you are in Naxos, I would recommend that you see the whole island…it doesn’t take long at all! There are so many things to do in Naxos, Greece!
The island’s beaches are famous as some of the best places to swim in Greece. The long strips of white sand with crystal turquoise waters will keep you perfectly happy during your stay in Naxos. Whether you are looking for the buzzing beach life or tiny secluded coves, you’ll find it all. There is a great variety of water activities you can try, from snorkeling to windsurfing.
We choose to hang out on the beach and enjoy the sunshine. We were there in early October and it was so warm. The best part was the fact that this island has a small breeze, so it keeps you comfortable while you are enjoying on the beach.
Temple of Apollo
A must see if you visit is the Temple of Apollo. The view is unforgettable and it has so much history behind it. From here there is also a great view in the other direction, too. I recommend going around sunrise as there should be no one there and the lighting is perfect.
A special thank you to Meiry for joining me on this trip and taking photos.
Sailing in Naxos
My favorite part of the trip was going on a sailing tour at sunset. It was so magical to see the island from the sea and I felt like I was in a movie. It was definitely a trip bucket list activity for me.
Where we Stayed in Naxos
We stayed in a villa at the Naxian Collection during our stay on Naxos. It was the most stunning place with a beautiful view and private pool. Meiry and I really enjoyed our stay and we loved the home feel that the villa gives you during your stay. They have breakfast in the morning if you don’t want to go out, too. They also have a sister hotel that is located on the beach if you would rather be close to the water and it is the Naxian on the Beach.
I have more posts coming up from my trip to Greece. Thanks for all your support!
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Bella Bucchiotti is a storyteller, food lover, dog mom and adventure seeker living on the Pacific coast. She shares her passion for food, dogs, fitness, adventures, travel and philanthropy, in hopes of encouraging followers to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places and stand for a cause. Bella lives with Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease.