A road trip is much needed!
Naxos is a beautiful island welcoming more tourists every year. Before you hit the road, go through this list of which village you should visit. We highly recommend renting a car, and do a day of road trip throughout the island. Meanwhile, stay near Planka beach so you can lounge by the water then hit Naxos Town for a delightful dinner.
1. Chora or Hora or Naxos Town
Reputation: The capital.
The 411: This is where you’ll arrive in Naxos, if you’re coming in from a ferry. You won’t miss the Venetian Castle overlooking the harbor, this iconic signature of Naxos was Marco Sanudo’s order after he conquered the Cyclades in 1207. Sanudo was the nephew of Venetian doge Enrico Dandolo and the creator and first Duke of the Duchy of the Archipelago. He used the castle as his home and for administrations of the duchy. You’ll also find many shops, restaurants, banks, buses, luggage storage, and rental car services here.
Don’t miss: Archaeological Museum of Naxos next to the castle, which is also an old Jesuit Commercial school. Temple of Apollo, and the famous Portara (Big Door) – gate of the temple. Agios Georgios Beach also starts here. A little up the north is the Grotta with a few caves you can check out.
Reputation: Most charming.
The 411: Apiranthos means “plenty of flowers.” Located 32 km from Naxos Town, it’s considered one of the most beautiful villages on the island because of marble houses. Apiranthos sits on a hilltop so you’ll need to drive or bus all the way to the top to see sights, tavernas, and cafes. Almost completely constructed on white marble, Apiranthos is a beautiful sights in itself. PS. Prepare for lots of stair climbing.
Don’t miss: Church of Panagia Apeirathitissa. Surrounding museums including: Archaeological Museum of Apiranthos, a Museum of Folk Art and Geological Museum.
3. Halki or Chalki
Reputation: Olive groves.
The 411: A former capital of Naxos, Chalki embodies traditional architecture and buildings that signify Naxos’ past wealth and power. You can find several well-preserved Venetian Towers and Byzantine churches here. Chalki is famous for olive groves.
Don’t miss: 9th century Church of Panagia – one of the oldest churches in Naxos and has gorgeous post-Byzantine frescoes inside. Gratsia Pyrgos Tower House shows a classic design built by an aristocratic family. The tower house was used as a lookout to prevent pirates from entering. Don’t miss Vallindras Kitron Distillery, which is free.
Reputation: Chalki’s bro.
The 411: We say that because the two villages are so close together, you can do them at the same time since they’re both located somewhat 19 km from Naxos Town. Also famous for olive groves and little Byzantine churches, Filoti is snuggled in a steep hill, hence it’s famous for specks of white houses on a hill. PS. Prepare for lots of stair climbing.
Don’t miss: A little main square where you can sit and relax with many churches to visit.
Reputation: Valley of vineyards.
The 411: Situated 36 km from Naxos Town, Koronos is known for great quality of wine, and other agricultural products. Built on a crevasse, there are two sides of Koronos that face each other. On one side, there are vineyards divided by walls. The other side is the Church of Panagia Agrokiliotissa where a celebration after Easter occurs every year with wine, drinks, food, and music. PS. Prepare for lots of stair climbing.
Don’t miss: Church of Panagia Agrokiliotissa, and Pan Cave where Dionysus’ helper was worshipped and where his clay statue has been discovered.
6. Plaka Beach
Reputation: Where you should stay!
The 411: What used to be a nudists’ beach is now one of the most popular among travelers. Planka is known to be a long stretch of white sands against the turquoise water. You can stay at Medusa Resort and have direct access to the beach.
Don’t miss: Beach walking is the way to go during summertime, because you can reach other beaches this way.