We got up early enough to watch the sunrise on Santorini before taking a cab to the port to head to Naxos. It was a beautiful sunrise and a short cab ride before we arrived back at the hectic port. Thankfully, we quickly boarded our Ferry which was another Hellenic Seaways called Nissos Samos. The ferry ride was 2.5 hours and it was super smooth. We were so shocked at how empty the ferries were throughout our travels. Literally HUNDREDS of empty seats. The ferry was very clean and beautiful with multi-levels. The only disadvantage of the high speed ferries is that you can only go while leaving and pulling back into port, as it is dangerous to be outside while traveling at full speed. All of the ferries had excellent Wi-fi and served food and drinks (some things were included in the VIP section but others were not.)
We decided to stay at an Airbnb in Naxos and chose a small Sea view apartment and couldn’t have been happier. It was very homey feeling but was very updated and was located literally STEPS from the the St. George Beach! It was such a beautiful spot; walking distance to the main town area and so many wonderful restaurants! A special thanks to our hosts Tony and Angelika for a great experience with Airbnb.
Naxos is quiet and very authentic feeling. While it doesn’t have the same highly photographed areas that you get in Mykonos and Santorini, you also don’t get the crowds or the higher prices. Naxos in general, was very affordable and significantly cheaper than the other two islands we visited. We enjoyed Nutella crepes every night after our supper for less than 2 euros as well as yummy cappuccinos. There were so many wonderful restaurants to choose from with our favourite being Su e Giu where the Italian food was delicious but the service was hit-and-miss. We also ate at Barozzi, Nissaki, and Mythodea. Barozzi had just opened a few nights before and it was a 3 minute walk from our AirBnb so we decided to try it out. The decor was very modern and the restaurant had two open air walls. The prices here were higher but it was so incredibly beautiful as well as delicious! The service was also impeccable. The next night we went to Nissaki which is a beautiful beachside restaurant. We watched the sunset from our table and enjoyed very tasty pastas. Our Last evening we went to Mythodea which has since permanently closed where the sunset was to die for however, the food was not fantastic.
Something that was unique to Naxos compared to the other islands is that the area where we stayed in Saint George was right at the Marina/Port area. We weren’t doing lots of stairs and instead were walking right beside the water and boats rather than looking down 600 stairs or so to see them.
We “made” breakfast in our room each day that we bought from the market just down the road. Greek coffee, Greek yogurt, honey, and fresh fruit. It wasn’t a lot but it was perfect and helped save a bit of money! We also bought water and snacks to bring to the beach. It was on the beach in Naxos at about 19 weeks pregnant that I felt Sullivan kick for the first time, it was so special!
Naxos is home to some beautiful ruins, we visited the Apollo Temple which is pictured below and is walking distance from Naxos town. It was so beautiful and not nearly as busy as the ruins we visited in Athens.
If you’re looking for excellent or high end shopping Naxos is not the place to go and unlike the other Greek islands we found most places closed for siesta. Naxos provided a very authentic Greek experience, while laying on the beach each morning we watched as an elderly Greek man who carried a small stool would go way out and sit on his stool in waist deep water and stare out towards the horizon while a group of Greek women would swim, dance and sing Greek music together, it truly felt like a European experience. There were also much less tourists here in fact I would say we saw few tourists. You would want to pick your time of year carefully while visiting Naxos though because we learned that most stores and restaurants close at the beginning of October because of the lack of tourism during October to May.
We loved our time in beautiful Naxos and feel like we barely scraped the surface, next time we will hopefully delve deeper into the history and explore more of this large island in Greece!