3 Days in Naxos: Itinerary with Top Things to Do

What to do in Naxos?

To visit Naxos, in Greece, is to discover the largest of the Cyclades islands. It is also the one with the most impressive relief!

Just like the island of Paros, its neighbor, it is very easy to access and allows you to enjoy pretty beaches and typical villages.

To help you prepare for your stay on the island, I have prepared a complete guide to Naxos, with all the places of interest not to be missed.

I also give you my itinerary advice for visiting Naxos in 1, 2 or 3 days and my selection of the best hotels to stay.

So, what to do and see in Naxos, in the Cyclades?

Discover now our Top 10 things to do in Naxos and visit Chora, Halki, Filoki or Apiranthos.

Visit Naxos: the must-sees

1. Remedy

The town of Chora (also called Hora or simply Naxos, like the island) is one of the must-see tourist sites of Naxos. And yes, this is where you will dock when arriving with the ferry from Athens, or from another island in the Cyclades.

The main town of the island, it has a very long seafront lined with restaurants, cafes and shops with a view of the port.

You can start your walk in Chora by going to admire the must-see place in Naxos, the famous Portara. It is located at the very end of the seafront on the islet of Palatia.

La Portara or “The door” is in fact all that remains of the temple of Apollo built in the 6th century BC and never completed. Legend has it that it was here that Theseus abandoned Ariadne after killing the Minotaur and that Dionysus later kidnapped him.

Made entirely of marble, the Portara is today the most famous symbol and monument of Naxos. The site also offers a nice view of the town of Hora and the surrounding area.

You can then go to the Kastro district, the oldest part of the city, passing through the alleys of the Old Market. Typical of the Cyclades with their cobblestones and white and blue houses, the place is really charming.

In the district, you can also admire several Venetian residences and the remains of the castle. The interior can be visited for 2€. There is not much to see but from the terrace you will have a nice view of Naxos.

In Chora you will find 4 small museums to visit:

  • The Archaeological Museum and its collection of marble figurines
  • The Della Rocca-Barozzi Venetian Museum to discover furniture and clothes belonging to the noble Italian families who lived in the Kastro
  • The Mitropolis Museum where you can see the foundations of an ancient Mycenaean city
  • The folklore museum to learn more about the history and traditions of Naxos.

Tips for your Naxos itinerary:

The Portara site is the best place to admire the sunset in Naxos.

And if, like me, you like ice cream, I recommend that you try the ones at the Waffle House, in Chora. These are by far the best I ate during my stay in Greece!

Naxos itinerary 3 days
La Portara, in Naxos

2. The Beaches of the Island of Naxos

Where to go to the beach in Naxos?

If you like laying on the sand and sunbathing at the beach, Naxos is one of the best islands in the Cyclades for this.

Here is my selection of beaches where to swim in Naxos:

  • Agios Georgios beach, the closest to Naxos. Ideal if you don’t have a car but certainly not the most beautiful.
  • Agiassos: a large, fairly wild beach with few people and ample parking.
  • Between Agiassos and Pyrgaki: 3 very pretty and quiet little sandy coves. Great for swimming!
  • Pyrgaki: a huge sandy beach with a tavern and 2 hotels around it. No one the day we were there.
  • Kastraki: wild beach with dunes and view of the island of Paros
  • Mikri Vigla Beach (South): very nice sandy but quite windy beach with a view of Paros
  • Mikri Vigla Beach (North): ideal beach for kite surfing
  • Plaka beach: a large sandy beach
  • Agia Anna: thin strip of sand and a private part with deckchair rental. Lots of people.
  • Agios Prokopios: sandy beach and shallow water. Half of the beach is private. Everyone comes to pile up there.
  • Between Galini and Agia you will also find several small coves accessible by car such as Amitis Bay, Hillia Vrisi Bay, Abram Bay or Agios Theodoros Bay. They are all quite pretty and quiet.
  • Apollonas beach, not exceptional
  • The beaches of Psili Ammos, Panormos and Kalados have in common to have remained very wild because they are the furthest from Hora.

Tips for your Naxos itinerary:

To change a little from relaxation and swimming, you can also take the opportunity to try out some water activities (click on the links to book):

Naxos itinerary 3 days
Relaxing at the beach in Naxos

3. Through

Halki is one of the must-see places in Naxos. The village is located in the center of the island, in the mountainous region of Tragéa, 20 minutes from Hora.

Located on the heights, Halki is an opportunity to take a charming stroll through the cobbled streets and discover the shops selling typical products. Its central square is also very pleasant with the huge plane tree enthroned in its center.

You can also taste good traditional cuisine at one of the tables of the Giannis Taverna and see the meat roasting on a spit.

Also be sure to visit the Vallindras distillery, the only place on the island where Kitron is produced, the local liqueur that you won’t find anywhere else in Greece.

Produced from citron (a very large lemon), the liqueur is of different colors depending on its degree of alcohol: green for the lightest, white for the medium and yellow for the strongest in alcohol. The distillery is open from May to October.

Finally, to end your visit to Halki, take the path that leaves the village and leads to the church of Agios Giorgios Diasorites. After a 10-minute walk between the olive trees, you will discover a very picturesque little church from the 11th century. 

Tips for your Naxos itinerary:

Park your car in one of the car parks at the entrance or exit of the village as the streets in the center are pedestrian only.

Just above Halki, near the village of Moni, stop at the Panagia Drosiani, one of the oldest churches in Greece. Accessible by car (but not really a place to park) or by a path from the village of Moni.

Naxos itinerary 3 days

4. Filoti

Another village not to be missed in Naxos, that of Filoti.

It is the largest village in the region of Tragéa. Here too, the main activity consists of wandering a little at random in the alleys to admire the architecture. In particular, you can go and see the church which is located in the center of the village and which is entirely built in white marble.

Along the main road you will also find many tavernas and restaurants, perfect for tasting Greek cuisine.

Tips for your Naxos itinerary:

Speaking of traditional Greek cuisine, I suggest you discover all its secrets during a cooking class.

The course takes place in a small family tavern in the village of Potomia. You will first pick up all the vegetables and aromatic herbs needed for the recipes in the family garden before cooking delicious local specialties.

You will taste everything accompanied by a good local wine in a very friendly atmosphere!

Naxos itinerary 3 days

5. Mount Zeus

Filoti is best known for being the starting point for one of the most famous hikes to do in Naxos: that of Mount Zeus or Mount Zas. The Mount, with an altitude of 1,004 meters is the highest peak of the Cyclades  and would therefore be the birthplace of the god Zeus.

From Filoti, you have to walk about 40 minutes to reach the sources of Aria, the first stage of the hike. If you want to shorten the walking time a bit, you can also go by car very well because there is a parking lot just before the fountain. Signs indicate the direction at the exit of Filoti.

From there climb to the Cave of Zeus (about 20 minutes) and then to the top of Mount Zeus a 1 hour walk. Arrived at the top, you will enjoy a beautiful panorama of the whole island of Naxos.

Tips for your Naxos itinerary:
The trail is steep and rocky, although it is short, we are talking about a real hike here, so avoid flip flops and take out your walking shoes!

Naxos itinerary 3 days
Naxos, view of Mount Zeus

6. Apiranthos

And to finish our tour of the villages to visit in Naxos, I now suggest you discover Apiranthos.

On the slopes of Mount Fanari, a 45-minute drive from Chora, Apiranthos also offers the possibility of strolling through its narrow streets paved with marble . There you will find cafes and restaurants.

The village also has a few small museums on archaeology, folklore, art and natural history. To do if you have the time but not essential.

The road between the villages of Halki, Filoti and Apiranthos offers a lot of views of the mountains and the sea and there are also plenty of small churches. Even if the visit of Apiranthos is quickly done, it is worth going there just for this route.

Naxos itinerary 3 days

7. See the Kouros

The Kouros are among the originalities to see in Naxos.

They are large marble statues that have not been finished and still rest in the old quarries. Literally meaning “young man” in Greek, it is above all their immense size that impresses.

There are 2 sites where to see Kouros in Naxos:

  • In Apollonas, the quarry is located along the road, before arriving in the village. The Kouros of Apollonas, from the VII th BC, is the most imposing with its 11 meters long and 80 tons. You really felt very small next to it.
  • In Flerio where you can admire 2 Kouros but they are much smaller (about 5 meters) and less well preserved than that of Apollonas.

For both sites, access is free so do not hesitate to stop there during your trip to Naxos.

Naxos itinerary 3 days
Le Kouros d’Apollonas

8. Moutsouna

I wanted to devote a special little paragraph to one of the places that I really liked in Naxos: the part of the road that starts in Skado, goes through Koronos, Stavros and then joins Apiranthos and Moutsouna.

The road offers splendid views, it is for me the most beautiful part of the coast.

Do not hesitate to go down to MoutsounaYou will find Azalas beach there (path on the left before arriving at the village), a rather wild pebble beach where the water is deep.

In Moutsouna, there is also a small port with restaurants by the sea and a small sandy beach with shallow water. Grilled fresh fish are delicious!

If you continue on your way after the port, you will come across 3 wilder beaches, including the best, that of Panormos, which is the last at the end of the road. On the other hand, no possibility of making a loop, you will then have to turn around to go back through Moutsouna to go to the rest of the island.

Naxos itinerary 3 days
Azalas Beach, in Moutsouna

9. Vivlos

Vivlos is located south of Naxos, about 10 km from Hora.

It is one of the largest and most picturesque villages on the island. You will find there the traditional white houses and the narrow streets with a little extra touch: the 3 mills which are on the hill.

Also worth seeing in Vivlos are the church of Panagia Tripodiotissa, the tower of Plaka and the folklore museum.

Naxos itinerary 3 days
Vivlos and the mills

10. Take a Boat Trip from Naxos

A boat trip from Naxos is a good idea of ​​activities to do for a relaxing day. This will also give you the opportunity to see some of the other Greek islands of the Cyclades in a short time.

Here are the types of day boat trips that are offered around Naxos (click on the links in orange to book):

  • Cruise on a sailboat in the Small Cyclades with 3 snorkeling stops in totally isolated bays + lunch and drinks included. The outing is done in small groups (max 15 people on the boat and the crew speaks French!
  • Day Trip from Naxos to Mykonos Island: Benefit from a boat transfer from Naxos to reach Mykonos. On the island you will have 6 hours of free time to walk around, shop and enjoy the typical festive atmosphere of Mykonos.
  • Visit of Delos and Mykonos by boat: visit the archaeological site of Delos and then leave to discover Mykonos for the rest of the day. All boat transfers are included in the price.
  • Day trip by boat to Amorgos Island: enjoy 6 hours in Amorgos to visit the villages and go to see the monastery of Panagia Hozoviotissa built on the sides of cliffs. The island is also ideal for hiking.
  • Koufonissi Islands Day Trip: Spend a full day on the Koufinissi Islands to enjoy the beaches or discover the sea caves of Kato Koufonissi.
  • Santorini boat trip day: After a 3-hour boat trip, you can visit Santorini by bus with a guide. Stops are planned in Fira and Oia, the 2 most beautiful villages on the island so that you can walk around.

And if you want to stay closer to Naxos and rather go around the island by boat with swimming stops, I recommend you choose this cruise.

You can swim and snorkel in Rina cave, Kalados bay, or in the islands of Iraklia, Schinoussa or Koufonissi in the small Cyclades. A passage to Paros and Antiparos is also on the program. It really is the best thing to do there!

Diving equipment and soft drinks are included in the price of 80€ per person.

Finally, for a more upscale experience on a luxury, small-group catamaran, you can also choose this all-inclusive full-day sea trip.

Which Cycladic islands to visit around Naxos?

After touring the island of Naxos, you can continue your tour of the Cyclades by visiting the surrounding Greek islands:

  • Paros, the nearest island where you will also find beautiful beaches and charming villages
  • Mykonos to dance all day and go out at night
  • Ios, the little sister of Mykonos, renowned for its nightlife
  • Amorgos, the ideal island for hiking enthusiasts
  • Santorini, a great classic for a romantic stay in the Cyclades
  • The small Cyclades that lie between Amorgos and Naxos

How many days to visit Naxos?

3 days is the ideal duration to visit Naxos.

You will have time to land on the beach but also to see the typical villages and even take a boat trip. 

I explain how to visit Naxos in 1, 2 or 3 days just below.

Naxos itinerary 3 days

1 Day in Naxos

To visit Naxos in 1 day, start by discovering the capital of Hora Island. 

In the afternoon, enjoy one or more beaches on the West Coast.

The other option if you only have one day in Naxos and don’t want to rent a car is to take a bus tour of the island with a guide. On the way, you will discover the Kouros, Halki and the distillery, the Panagia Drosiani, Apiranthos and much more. Count 25€ per person. 

I recommend that you book this Naxos island day trip by bus in advance by clicking here.

2 Days in Naxos

On the program for your second day in Naxos, I suggest you go around the mountain villages. Do not miss Halki, Filoti and Apiranthos.

You can also hike Mount Zeus from Filoti.

Finish the day by descending to Moutsouna and find yourself a quiet spot on one of the beaches on the east coast.

3 Days in Naxos

If you have 3 days to visit Naxos, on the last day opt for a boat trip to discover Delos, Mykonos, Santorini or the small Cyclades.

Accommodation in Naxos

The most practical way to visit Naxos is to sleep in Hora or in the surrounding area.

  • Anatoli Hotel: Located 10 minutes walk from the center of Naxos and the beach. Modern double room with balcony and view of the garden or swimming pool from €45, breakfast included. Most: the swimming pool, the sauna, the jacuzzi, free transfer from or to the port and the airport.
  • The Saint Vlassis: Located 700 meters from the town center and 500 meters from the beach of Agios Georgios. Comfortable and spacious double room with for some an outdoor jacuzzi from 60€ per night, breakfast included. Most: the warm welcome, the good breakfast, the free parking. It is our favorite for its performance / price ratio in Naxos.
  • Xenia Hotel: Located in the center of Naxos. Modern and well-equipped double room from €70, breakfast at €8. Most: the location in the heart of the city, convenient for taking the ferry, the friendliness of the staff, the comfortable bed.
  • Hotel Grotta: Located just 700 meters from the Portara and 15 minutes from the beach. Pleasant and bright double room with balcony from €90, breakfast included. Most: the swimming pool, the view of the city, the comfort, the breakfast with local and homemade products, the Spa area. An excellent choice where to sleep in Naxos as a couple.
  • Nissaki Beach Hotel: Located on the edge of Agios Georgios beach, the closest to Naxos. Warm and tastefully decorated double room with balcony, from €220 per night, breakfast included. Most: the swimming pool, the geographical location next to the beach, the excellent breakfast, the professional person. This is our recommendation for a luxury stay in Naxos.
Naxos itinerary 3 days
Nissaki Beach Hotel

And you? What are you planning to do in Naxos?

Are you going to Greece? Read also

Discover all our articles on Greece: all articles on Greece are listed here.

Camille L.

Passionate about foreign languages, cooking and writing. I wish to share with you the places, the meetings and the gastronomic discoveries which gave relief to my travels.

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