Naxos, Greece is perfect for anyone who wants to take tours on their own time. It’s the biggest island of the Cyclades, which are the hundreds of islands that form a circle southeast of mainland Greece.
If you’re looking for what to do in Naxos, I highly recommend relaxing, eating, and exploring on your own! And definitely bring a few friends along for the ride.
American Living in Germany: Know Before You Go
First and foremost, you will need to bring your tourist passport when you visit Naxos. Your SOFA passport allows you to reside in Germany, but that’s it.
When planning your trip, you can easily spend a long weekend relaxing on the beaches. For a longer vacation, it can be just one of many stops on your Greek itinerary!
Naxos is a very small island, but it’s not very easy (or comfortable) to walk everywhere. I recommend exploring Naxos on a four wheeler!
You can easily fit 2 to 3 people per vehicle and explore everything the island has to offer. There also aren’t a lot of cabs around, so it’s one of the few options.
The best part is that you can park these scooters anywhere and explore the island on your own time. Fuel is also cheap, so there’s really no downside to driving around Naxos on your own!
What to Do in Naxos
As I said before, the island is small. The best things to do are eat in Old Town Naxos, see the Apollo Temple, and chill on out the beaches!
The Temple of Apollo isn’t much of a temple because it was never completed. But if it had been completed, it would have had an amazing view!
All that stands is the ginormous door frame, also known as the Portara. It’s definitely worth visiting, since it’s one of the only tourist attractions on the island. The Temple is also a great place to watch the sunset (and won’t be nearly as crowded as Santorini).
Plaka Beach doesn’t have many activities, which makes it perfect for a relaxing day! You can pick a spot to lay your towel, or find a beach bar for an umbrella and food service.
And when you’re thirsty, walk over to Tortuga Beach Bar and Restaurant for cocktails and snacks! But if you want something more substantial, there are plenty of restaurants within walking distance.
Technically, this is the name of the restaurant on Plaka Beach, but it’s a great place to set yourself up for the day!
Like most other beaches you will find in Greece, you will need to pay for access. But instead of umbrellas and recliners, this beach has simple (read: minimal) cabanas, made of what looks like driftwood, and cushioned recliners. They also have old row boats refurbished for ultimate relaxation.
Before enjoying a long day in the sun, grab breakfast at Cedar Cafe! Whether you prefer sweet or savory, they have all kinds of options to satisfy your hunger. As a fan of pancakes, I enjoyed their pancakes with strawberries and chocolate sauce.
And if you need some relief from the heat, go to Mitatos for a scoop of gelato. They also have small bites for breakfast and cocktails.
After spending the day on the beach, I recommend going to Irini’s Restaurant in Old Town Naxos. They have incredibly fresh seafood, along with all your favorite Greek classics like souvlaki and stuffed eggplant.
Frequently Asked Questions about Visiting Naxos
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Plaka Beach is the main Naxos beach with all kinds of restaurants and bars. North of it is Agios Prokopios, which is also beautiful, but there’s not as much nearby.
You’ll want to stay on the west side of the island since that’s where most things to do in Naxos will be. We stayed at an AirBnb with a nice pool front view near Plaka Beach. The south and east sides of the island are more private, but also further from everything.
Hotel Grotta and Pension Sofi are top choices near Old Town (and great for budget travel). If you don’t need to be walking distance to restaurants and nightlife, Villa Marandi Luxury Suites offers an amazingly comfortable stay!
Things to Do in Naxos: Anything You Want!
Like most Greek islands, Naxos is a carefree place to be. Just enjoy it!