Naxos City (Chora)
For many years Naxos City was a little "behind" comparing to rivals like Fira on Santorini or even Parikia on Paros at least when it came to tourism. The locals weren't so happy about that and worked hard to catch up. The good news for them: they almost made it. Most of the fans of the island are not so happy about it. Naxos was always special because it wasn't as busy and touristy as other places but unfortunately this is how things seem to go in Greece. It is getting more and more difficult to find a quiet spot that still has a touch of the traditional Greece without being in the middle of nowhere.
Naxos City basically consists of a port with a long water front, directly behind is the old town with the Venetian castle and the countless tiny little roads that only seem to have one purpose: confusing innocent tourists. It truly is a labyrinth but no worries; it is relatively small and easy to escape. North of the port is a little peninsula with the Naxos Gate. It is the town's landmark and part of a temple for Apollo. The Naxos Gate is the islands most popular spot for sunset. South of the port is "modern Naxos" Agios Georgios. There you find most of the hotels and the best beach of Naxos town.
is where you find the "new Naxos" with its expensive Cafes
and restaurants for tourists and newly rich locals. 4 Euro
for a coffee is pretty normal in these places. The view of
course is nice.
Old town and Castro
old town is just behind the water front. You will easily
recognise it by the tiny roads and no cars. It is beautiful
and the main reason why Naxos City is considered on of the
most beautiful cities on all the Greek islands. It is easy to
get lost and in a way that is the best thing you can do.
Stroll around and discover beautiful little stores, tiny
bakeries and restaurants (tavernas). Some of these lanes are
temple was built in the 6th century BC but never finished. It
is situated on a peninsula just next to the harbour. The most
prominent part of the temple is the so called Naxos Gate. It
is six meters high and still in good shape. It gives you an
impression of what was originally planned here. It was
commissioned by the tyrant Lygdamis in honour of – and there
is some confusion on it – either the god or Apollo or
Dionysus. It seems to be more common to associate the temple
with Apollo. I guess it doesn't really make a difference.
"modern" part of the city is situated south of the water
front. Most tourists stay in this part of the city with its
small and often enough reasonably priced guest houses and
pensions. From here it is less than 10 minutes walk to the
city centre and the beach in Agios Georgios is one of the
finest on Naxos. You can walk up to 500 meters in to the
water and it never gets deeper than about 1 meter. This makes
it perfect for kids. With its fine white sand it is an almost
perfect beach. You can rent sun chairs and there are a few
tavernas just next to it. The further you walk out of town
the quieter it gets.
There are countless restaurants and tavernas in Naxos. As a rule; restaurants along the waterfront are generally overpriced. The further you are away from the waterfront the better (and cheaper) it gets. Very popular with foreigners living in Naxos is Taverna Kavouri on the city beach in Agios Georgios. Keep south from the port. If you ant to stay near the harbour I can recommend "O Nikos".
Accomodation in Naxos City
travel on budget or simply don't want to spend much money on
accommodation I recommend my personal favourite: Hotel Soula
in Agios Georgios. It is some sort of guest house and youth
hostel combined. There currently is no other youth hostel on
Naxos. In May 2008 a bed in one of the dorms cost 9 Euro, a
single 18 Euro and a double room 25 Euro. There is a communal
kitchen free internet (you can use their computer or use
their WIFI) All rooms have bathroom, balcony and TV. The
owner is nice and the whole place leaves us with a very good
impression. To get more information check here.
Busses from Naxos City
bus to Apollonas goes 2-4 times a day depending on the
season. It also stops in most of the bigger villages of the
are 3 camping sites on Naxos. The most famous and popular is
Maragas. It is right next to the final stop of the bus from
Naxos City. It used to be a legend among travellers and of
the favourite meeting places. It has lost a bit of its magic
since they started to build bungalows on the camp site. Quite
a few of the old regulars stayed away as a result (including
me). It still is a great camping site though and literally
next to a fantastic beach.