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The first island I visited on my trip to Greece was Naxos. It is the largest island in the Cyclades and welcomes its visitors with plenty of history, ancient ruins, stunning landscapes, hospitable locals, and tasty Greek food.

From untouched medieval villages to endless stretches of beautiful sandy beaches, there are so many things to do in Naxos! You just may want to stay forever!

White buildings and water in Naxos, Greece.

Top Things to Do in Naxos

Let’s dive into the best things to do in Naxos, Greece to make planning your dream-worthy trip seamless!

1. Take a Culinary Tour

Girl in red dress eating food in Naxos.

One of the focuses of this trip to Naxos was FOOD! No complaints from me on this because I love to eat and cook.

Although you’ll likely find delicious food at every meal during your vacation, I highly recommend participating in a guided culinary tour. This way, you can enjoy the traditional food of this Greek island from a local perspective. I especially loved their delicious cheeses, meat, and potatoes!

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 (it is 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.

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! Their Greek salad was the best we had on the island.

2. Hike to the top of Mount Zas

If you are up for the challenge, a hike to the top of Mount Zas is a must! It’s a challenging 5.7-mile hike in which you will climb 625 meters to the summit. After feeling the burn, you’ll be rewarded with amazing views of the island and sea!

3. Visit the Medieval Villages

Girl in red dress exploring the villages of Naxos Greece.

If you decide to explore the island’s inland (which I 1,000 percent recommend), 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. 

4. Sea Kayak to Rina Cave

You know I can’t pass up a kayaking trip! While visiting Naxos, a sea kayak tour to Rina Cave is a definite bucket list item. You’ll get to spend a few hours paddling through Naxos’ blue-green waters with a stop at the cave for swimming and snorkeling.

5. Have a Beach Day

Girl in swimsuit on beach in Naxos.

The island’s beaches are famous as some of the best places to swim in all of 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.

Top Beaches in Naxos

  • Agios Prokopios Beach: Famous for its golden sands and clear waters, this beach is well-organized with amenities and water sports, making it great for families and sports lovers.
  • Plaka Beach: Known for its long stretch of white sand and turquoise waters, Plaka offers a tranquil atmosphere, with parts of the beach remaining unspoiled and quiet. This may not be the best for families as you will likely still find some individuals without swimsuits (it used to be a nudist beach).
  • Agia Anna Beach: Next to Agios Prokopios, it features fine sand and clear waters, well-equipped with amenities and a variety of dining options along the beachfront. This is the most popular beach on the island, so be prepared to share the sand!
  • Mikri Vigla Beach: Ideal for kitesurfing and windsurfing, it has distinct areas for water sports and serene beach relaxation.
  • Orkos Beach: Features a series of small coves, offering privacy and a less developed environment, perfect for those seeking peace. It was my favorite beach stop during my trip!
  • Alyko Beach: Set against the backdrop of a cedar forest, it provides a unique, natural environment with an unorganized, pristine beach.

6. Visit the Temple of Apollo

Temple of Apollo.

One of the most popular things to do in Naxos is a visit to 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.

7. Go Sailing

Sunset sail in Naxos Greece.

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. 

There are many different tours to choose from ranging from BBQ sails, sailing trips with swim stops, and of course the quintessential sunset sails.

Where we Stayed in Naxos

Girl by hotel pool.

We stayed in a villa at the Naxian Collection during our stay in 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 (Naxian on the Beach) that is located on the beach if you would rather be close to the water.

Visiting Naxos FAQ’s

View of Naxos Greece from the water.
How do I get to Naxos?

The best way to reach Naxos, Greece, will depend on where you’re starting from. If you’re traveling internationally, the most common route is to fly into Athens International Airport and then take a domestic flight to Naxos Airport, which is about a 45-minute flight.

Alternatively, you can catch a ferry from Piraeus, the major port near Athens, which offers a scenic journey through the Aegean Sea and takes approximately 4 to 6 hours depending on the service

When is the best time to visit Naxos?

The best time to visit Naxos, Greece, is during the late spring to early fall, specifically from May to October when the weather is warm and sunny, ideal for beach activities and exploring the island.

June through September offers the warmest temperatures and the least amount of rain, making it perfect for swimming and water sports.

However, if you prefer a quieter visit with fewer tourists and mild weather, consider the shoulder months of May and October. We visited in October and it was perfect!

Should I rent a car in Naxos?

Renting a car in Naxos is highly recommended if you wish to explore the island’s diverse landscapes, from remote beaches to charming villages, at your own pace.

The island’s attractions are spread out, and public transportation options are limited, making a car a more convenient and flexible choice.

Additionally, having your own vehicle allows for easy access to less touristy areas, offering a more authentic experience of Naxos.

What other Greek islands should I visit?

I personally believe you should visit as many Greek islands as possible as they each offer so many unique experiences. Here’s a quick recap of each island to help in your decision-making process.

Santorini – Known for its stunning sunsets, whitewashed buildings, and dramatic views of the caldera, Santorini is perfect for romance and photography. However, with great beauty comes great crowds. Be prepared to share the view with hundreds of your closest tourist friends 🙂
Mykonos – Famous for its vibrant nightlife, beautiful beaches, and luxury accommodations, Mykonos is a hotspot for party-goers and jet-setters.
Crete – The largest Greek island, Crete offers a mix of beautiful beaches, ancient archaeological sites, and mountainous landscapes, making it great for both relaxation and adventure.
Rhodes – Known for its rich history, Rhodes features well-preserved medieval architecture, especially in the Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Corfu – With its lush scenery, British and Venetian-influenced architecture, and stunning coastal views, Corfu appeals to nature lovers and history buffs alike.
Paros – Known for traditional villages, vibrant nightlife, and windsurfing spots, Paros is a versatile destination that caters to many interests.
Zakynthos – Famous for its iconic Shipwreck Beach and pristine waters, Zakynthos is a favorite for beach lovers and those seeking stunning natural beauty.
Milos – Known for its lunar landscapes and numerous beaches, Milos is great for those looking to explore unique natural sights and less crowded spots.

Is Naxos Worth Visiting?

Girl in red dress on a hill in Naxos with white buildings behind her.

Yes yes yes! Naxos is undoubtedly worth visiting for anyone looking to experience a quintessential Greek island with a blend of beautiful beaches, rich historical sites, and charming villages.

Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a beach lover, or simply in search of a tranquil escape, Naxos offers a compelling mix that can cater to a wide range of interests, making it a standout destination in the Cyclades

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This post has been sponsored by Discover Greece. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support me.

Bella Bucchiotti

Bella Bucchiotti is a Canadian-based syndicated food, travel, and lifestyle writer, photographer, and creator at xoxoBella. She founded xoxoBella in 2015, where she shares her love for food, dogs, sustainability, fitness, crafts, outdoor adventures, travel, and philanthropy to encourage others to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places, and stand for a cause. Bella creates stress-free and family-friendly recipes for weeknight dinners and festive feasts.


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  1. I have always wanted to visit Greece. It looks like you had a wonderful time. I would love to visit one day!

  2. Greece is a country that everyone should visit it at least once in a lifetime! Every corner is full of history, beauty and culture. And all that delicious food!

  3. I haven’t been to Greece yet but I hope to visit it soon. Looks like you had an amazing time there! The photos are gorgeous! By the way, I really love the orange/red dress!

  4. Greece has always been at the top of my list. I can’t wait to go one day. It’s so beautiful in photos.

  5. It looks like you had a lovely time! I went to Greece when I was about 9 years old. It was a wonderful place to visit, and I drank from a fountain that was supposed to guarantee a return trip. I sure hope it works!

  6. What an incredible experience. I would love to see Greece one day! looks like a lovely trip with so much to see! If I ever get to go I’ll be sure to check out that restaurant as well! yum!