With its endless natural beauty and easy accessibility from Athens and surrounding islands, it is easy to see why Naxos’ reputation is flourishing amongst holidaymakers. In fact, according to a recent study by Rightmove, searches for Naxos rose by a staggering 80% this year, with more and more foreigners searching for their dream holiday home here.
Though typically classed as a family-friendly destination, there is something to do for every type of visitor in this Cycladic paradise. Whilst you may have overlooked it in the past, now is the perfect time to jump on the Naxos bandwagon and explore all that the island has to offer.
Here are three reasons why Naxos has to feature on your travel bucket list:
It’s a familiar story across all of the Greek Islands, but Naxos’ historical and mythological significance should not be understated. Legend has it that Zeus, the king of the Gods, grew up in Naxos, and a visit to his purported birthplace at the Cave of Zas should certainly feature on your itinerary.
Another of the main attractions for culture lovers is the Portara, found on the islet of Palatia to the northwest of Naxos. The imposing marble doorway stands as the gateway to what should have been the Temple of Apollo, but the structure was never completed, and all that remains now is the Portara.
Besides the stunning archaeological hotspots, you can explore the island’s history with a walk through one of its many villages, which have retained their historic charm. The traditional Venetian architecture popular across many of the Greek Islands is still evident throughout the main villages in Naxos such as Filoti and Halki.
Naxos is the largest island in the Cyclades group and is home to a variety of different landscapes, from rolling valleys and sandy beaches, to the world-famous marble quarries. Be sure to get out and explore all that Naxos has to offer during your stay on the island.
Mount Zas is a hotspot amongst tourists looking to get off the beaten path and try the stunning hiking trails on offer. A trek to the summit of Mount Zas will take you to the highest point in the Cyclades, and present breathtaking views of the neighbouring islands. This particular hike is also popular amongst birdwatchers and botanical enthusiasts due to the high concentration of flora and fauna found here.
With some of the most fertile land found anywhere in the Cyclades, Naxos plays an important agricultural role within the Greek Islands. An extensive range of produce is grown here, from potatoes to olives to oranges, and exploring the local culinary scene is a must for any visitor. Head to one of the many tavernas, where the chefs will be all too happy to celebrate Naxos’ local ingredients with a range of tasty creations.
Naxos gruyère is one of the island’s hallmark products, and remains very popular amongst locals and visitors alike. Such is the quality of the gruyère, it has held PDI (protected designation of origin) status since 1996. Why not wash down a portion of the famous cheese with some citron? Made from the locally-grown citron fruit, it’s usually served as a post-meal shot and is very sweet-tasting.