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Naxos, your travel companion

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Technology entrepreneur and investor

07/8/2019
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Every summer, I get a lot of questions from friends who decide to visit my all-time favorite island in the Cyclades, Naxos. Being the largest island of Cyclades, Naxos offers different options and experiences based on your taste, budget and preferences.

What would you do if you have just 4 days on the island?

 

Kindly note, spending my last 14 summers in Naxos, I consider myself a local.

 

I decided to create a guide based on a simple question. What would you do if you have just 4 days on the island? I take the 4days-3nights rule for two reasons. Firstly, many Greek prefer to go to the islands during long weekends, typically Friday to Monday, during the summer. Secondly, my foreign friends tend to do island hopping, which means that they spend a limited amount of time on every island. The challenge is, Naxos is the largest island of the Cyclades complex and offers too many to count opportunities for great food, accommodation, things to do and experience.

 

 

Day 1

Beach & Bite

 

Plaka Beach
A long, sandy paradise that located on the west side of the island, Plaka is 15′ away from Naxos Town and 10′ from the Airport. One of the longest and busiest beaches of the island (second only after Agios Prokopis), Plaka offers many options for your first swim.

Plaka Beach @ Tortuga / Source: DKG

Plaka Beach @ Tortuga / Source: DKG

 

Below my recommendations:

Yazoo Summer Bliss
Great coffee, smoothies, food and an easy-to-park facility, make Yazoo a no-brainer for many groups.

 

Mexican @ Picasso / Source: DKG

Mexican @ Picasso / Source: DKG

Picasso Mexican
A few years back I wrote on Foursquare: “A must for any Fajitas aficionado on the island. (Try fajitas chicken, margarita strawberry and the mixed platter to start)”, my feedback still stands. Picasso is also ideal for families, as they provide a small yet cute kids playground.

 

Tortuga ( Inside Naxian on the Beach Hotel)
Perhaps the most high-end option for food and beach life not only in Plaka but the whole island. For the beach part, Tortuga offers premium sunbeds and a menu that includes a good variety of snacks, salads and drinks. The service, especially on the beach, needs improvement. Tip: Choose Tortuga if you want to stay more than 3–4 hours on the beach.

 

Dinner / Night Shift

 

Axiotissa Tavern
One of the best spot on the island for food. Make sure you make a reservation to avoid disappointment, as the place is super busy from June to September. Don’t forget to try the extensive cheese menu (tip: Touloumotiri, made solely from goat and sheep’s milk).

 

and (later)

Swing Bar (Chora)
Amazing views of Naxos Chora & Port combined with all-time-classic cocktails (+ modern options) is a must for your first night on the island. Arrive no later than 11pm if you want to get one of the good spots.

 

Day 2

Breakfast + water

 

Melimilon (Chora)
Consider this an insider’s tip and just go there. I managed to discover this amazing breakfast spot after 5 years. The best breakfast you can have is here. Locally-sources ingredients, homemade jams you try (and buy) and super friendly service. +++

 

and one more beach:

Prokopis Beach
A sandy beach with crystal-clear waters, perhaps the most well known in Naxos. Go north for a less-crowded experience.

 

Early evening exploration

 

Halki Village
It is highly recommended that you leave the beach early (say 6ish), so you can have your first mainland evening exploration. Halki Village is approx. 20–25′ by car from Chora, and it’s the home of Distillery M. G. Vallindras, the traditional producer of a very unique spirit brewed from citron plant leaves, Kitron Naxou. Make a stop for a greek coffee and pie in one of the kafenedes (coffee shops) of the village.

 

Dinner / Night Shift

 

StouVasilarakiou / Butcher Shop & Tavern (Kinidaros Village)
Aged beef, strip loin Naxos, T-bone steaks and anything in between, in this top-notch location for meat lovers. Owner Vasileios Klouvatos Laris ( @baskoularis on Instagram) is a third-generation butcher and grill master. All meat is locally sourced. You won’t be able to find a better place to taste premium cuts on the island.

 

Meat Feast @ Stou Vasilarakiou / Source: DKG

Meat Feast @ Stou Vasilarakiou / Source: DKG

 

it’s dessert time:

 

Waffle House (Chora and/or Plaka Beach)
Homemade ice cream, warm Naxian waffles (slimmer compared to its belgian cousins) and milkshakes. Don’t try these at home, try them there ;-)

 

Day 3

Breakfast + water

 

Flisvos Beach Cafe (near Chora)
Friendly staff, big plates *anything from eggs to sandwiches and yogurt* and good variety of coffee to kick off the day with style. Great location, especially if you want to have your breakfast while watching pro windsurfers seizing the day (and the waves).

 

Hawaii Beach (Alyko Beach)
17,5km away from Chora, Alyko and Hawaii Beach are two of the most unique places to be and swim on the island. Crystal waters, easy-going attitude and chill is the perfect mix. Kindly note, there are no umbrellas or sunbeds available for rent.

 

FBI Kantina *Canteen* (Alyko / Hawaii Beach)
The beach isn’t the only reason to go to Alyko/Hawaii. There is also FBI (Food, Beverage, Ice Cream) Kantina, a gourmet Canteen that offers burgers, sandwiches, smoothies and stir-fried ice cream. A food-lovers must!

 

Early evening exploration

 

Filoti & Apeiranthos Villages
Filoti is a semi-mountainous village, 5′ from Halki and 30′ from Chora, while Apeiranthos can be the second stop of the evening, as it is just 15′ away from Filoti. Both villages have traditional kafeneia for greek coffee, local traditional desserts and pies.

 

Rotonda (between Filoti and Apeiranthos)
On your way to Apeiranthos, you will find and make a stop at Rotonda. This is the go-to place to experience the Naxian sunset, with amazing views of the island and Paros. Decent coffee and cocktails place.

 

Dinner / Night Shift

 

Meze Meze (Chora)
Your last night should be dedicated to good-quality fish and Greek meze, and Meze Meze will do exactly that. Try salatouri (warm *grilled* fish fillet, with onions and olive oil), potato salad, grilled prawns and rissoto — you can’t go wrong with these!

 

and drinks!

Like Home Bar (Chora)
Next to Meze Meze, another great option for cocktails and views.

 

Day 4

Naxian-style lunch, on the beach, before you go

 

For your last day probably you are getting the boat midday so you will have time for a quick lunch, so a two-in-one recommendation, a traditional Greek tavern with a twist, that offers food also on the beach (Plaka).

 

Petrino (Plaka Beach)
Traditional Greek and Naxian cuisine with a twist. Good quality sunbeds and service on the beach (in which you can enjoy pretty much the whole menu). Disclaimer: A few ppl believe Petrino is overpriced.

 

Last but not least:

Aktaion Pastry Boutique (Chora)
On your way to the port, make a stop there. Aktaion Pastry Boutique. As they claim “subtle and unique flavors, French refinement, contemporary packaging and pastry unlike anything else you have ever tasted”. They have a large variety of macarons, fresh pastries and local pies every single day.

 

My full Foursquare list: https://foursquare.com/kalavros/list/naxos

 

I wish you a wonderful stay in Naxos. :)

DKG.

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