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The Perfect 2 Days in Naxos Itinerary You’ll Want to Steal

Last Updated on 16th April 2023 by Sophie Nadeau

The beautiful island of Naxos, in the heart of the Mediterranean, is a gorgeous summer destination in Greece for a relaxing vacation. Even if you only have 48 hours on the Greek island, this Naxos itinerary will guide you through your trip to make the most of this dreamy getaway.

Naxos at night/ saiko3p/ Shutterstock

On the island, it is possible to enjoy the classic landscapes typical of the Greek islands, made of whitewashed villages with picturesque winding alleys and small cobblestoned squares with plenty of flowers and just steps from the sea.

On Naxos, quite a big island, if compared with popular Mykonos and Santorini, there are also interesting cultural experiences, amazing museums and old churches to discover, as well as enchanting mountain villages with very lively traditions, and some incredible beaches. If you’re planning a honeymoon in Greece, then Naxos is a great place to consider.

If you’re planning to spend two days in Naxos, then this thorough itinerary has all the details you need to know and the right set of activities to make the. Most of your stay.

Naxos/ leoks/ Shutterstock

How to Get to Naxos

This is one of the few Cycladic islands with an airport, it receives daily flights from Athens during the summer, with a flight time of less than half an hour.

However, the most traditional way to get to Naxos is by ferry, ferry tickets have quite convenient prices and you won’t get a lot of luggage restrictions (nor need to pay for extra luggage). This is a winning aspect over low-cost airlines. 

The ferry journey from the port of Piraeus, in Athens, is between 4-6 hours, depending on the weather conditions and the type of vessel. Let’s now discover what are the best things you can do in Naxos in two days!

Apollo Temple
Apollo Temple/ rawf8/ Shutterstock

What Area to Stay in Naxos

If you’re staying in Naxos for such a short time, the best thing you can do is pick accommodation in the Chora, the historic center. This way, you will be close to the best restaurants and the port, and get easy access to public transport to visit the beaches on the coastline of Naxos.

If you’re staying in Naxos for such a short time, the best thing you can do is pick accommodation in the Chora, the historic center. This way, you will be close to the best restaurants and the port, and get easy access to public transport to visit the beaches on the coastline of Naxos.

However, if you prefer a more relaxed atmosphere, it is a good idea to stay near Agia Anna Beach which is only 15 minutes from the center of town, but in a more relaxed corner of the island and offers easy access to the beach. Another good area is Agios Giorgos, also a short walk from Chora.

Chora Naxos
Chora Naxos/ Nicole Kwiatkowski/ Shutterstock

Moving Around in Naxos

Keep in mind that public transport can be limited, so if you also plan to explore some mountain villages and remote locations, then renting a car is a must as some of those areas are not served by buses. Check car rental comparison prices here.

Alternatively, there is a good taxi service although it can throw you a bit off budget. Let’s now discover what are the best things you can do in Naxos in two days!

Naxos/ saiko3p/ Shutterstock

Day One in Naxos: Old Town and City Gems, Nearby Beaches, and the Portara

You will start the Naxos adventure by arriving at the ferry port of the island, ideally in the morning. Almost everyone reaches Naxos by ferry, but if you arrive by plane, consider that taking a taxi will be necessary.

After checking in at your hotel, get some comfy walking shoes on and head to the Chora, the traditional historic center of Naxos. The Chora stands high overlooking the port at the magnificent Portara, the most famous landmark on the island (which we will visit at sunset to get the best views).

Exploring the Chora of Naxos can take quite a few hours as the endless winding alleys go up and down forming an enchanting maze where getting lost is not odd.

At the top of the Chora, the fascinating Venetian Castle is still visible, with some of its walls and a round tower still standing. From this part of town, the views of the port and the sea are simply breathtaking.

Venetian Castle
Venetian Castle/ alexandros petrakis/ Shutterstock

For a unique local experience, enjoy lunch in one of the many alleys of Chora. Look for a tranquil local taverna serving fixed menus at lunchtime. These kinds of simple venues are best for finding fresh and authentic food at affordable fees.

After lunch, head to the Archaeological Museum of Naxos, a historical monument located in a Venetian building that once functioned as a prestigious Jesuit school back in the 1700s.

In the early afternoon, head to the main bus stop and take the bus to Plaka. This is one of the most beautiful beaches in Naxos and early in the afternoon is the best time to visit.

Plaka beach
Plaka beach/ vivooo/ Shutterstock

Opposite the beach, there are all kinds of shops, including convenience stores and supermarkets, as well as some fantastic beach bars where to sit for a refreshing drink after a swim at the beach.

Plaka is a long white sand beach with incredibly ample spaces so that it never looks crowded, there are some sections where naturism is allowed while other areas offer organized facilities.

This beach features a calm shore with pristine turquoise waters and white dunes as a magical backdrop. Natural shade is not abundant, so renting an umbrella is always a winning idea.

Late in the afternoon, head back to the seaside promenade below Chora, spend some time exploring the marina of Naxos and, when the time for sunset gets closer, slowly head to the Portara to find the right spot for incredible pictures of the sun plunging into the Aegean.

The Portara is an immense structure located on a small islet connected to the mainland of Naxos via a narrow path.

Naxos Portara
Naxos Portara/ saiko3p/ Shutterstock

According to different experts, it might have been the access gate (portara in Greek stands for big door) to a temple to honor God Apollo as it directly faces the place where the sun sets.

It is a magic experience to witness the sun going down on the sea through the immense hole of the gate. 

However, in that crucial hour, most people forget to look back and admire the white walls of the houses in Chora getting a warm orange tint and looking like they’re catching fire. Remember to look both sides for an unforgettable experience.

After the sun has gone down, it is almost dinner time, locals and visitors alike often walk back to the center next to the sea and find a place for dinner with views of the port. The area is magnificent and the place is perfect if you’re in the mood for seafood.

Later at night, go for a cocktail in Chora. It is a good idea to try the local spirit that made Naxos famous, so order a drink made with citron for a refreshing though strong experience.

Naxos at night
Naxos at night/ saiko3p/ Shutterstock

Day Two in Naxos: Mountain Villages and Authentic Traditions

On your second day on the island, you can choose to keep the relaxing pace of Naxos and spend the morning lounging lazily by the sea, or you can pick a more active alternative and join this tour of the most beautiful mountain villages on the island. Having a rental car is vital to following this itinerary.

Get on the road towards the center of Naxos and follow the signs that point in the direction of Halki, after a good 40-minute drive, you will reach the first of the three mountain villages that we will discover along the way.

Halki (also known as Chalki) is the first of them and it’s one of the most picturesque settlements on the island. Home to beautiful homes and tranquil squares, this dreamy little town is a must-visit.

Halki Village
Halki Village/ Nicole Kwiatkowski/ Shutterstock

On the main road of Halki, head to the famous Vallindras Distillery to learn everything about the kitron liquor and to taste the three different varieties of the traditional Naxian spirit that are produced, a transparent one, a mild yellow one, and a very sweet green one. You can purchase a bottle to bring home as a souvenir as well.

Not far from the distillery, you can visit several souvenir shops that sell traditional products, including handmade textiles, cosmetics, decorative objects, handmade ceramics, and super tasty jams and spoon sweets made with fruit produced in Naxos.

Chances are that you spend the whole morning discovering Halki, so don’t go anywhere at lunchtime, right on Halki’s main square two beautiful tavernas prepare simple but mouthwatering dishes, such as meatballs and fries, moussaka, Greek salad, and stunning galaktoboureko, a delicious custard pie that is typical of many Greek islands.

Pair it with a cup of strong Greek coffee and you will be more Thant ready to drive for another half an hour and reach the next traditional village.

Moussaka/ Nina Firsova/ Shutterstock

Continuing along the same road that brought you to Halki and climbing up the mountain, you will reach Filoti, known as the balcony of Naxos. 

Filoti is another serene village where locals meet for long games of tavli (the Greek version of backgammon) and a glass of ouzo overlooking Mount Zas, the highest peak in the Cyclades.

When in Filoti, you can walk the alleys of the village, enjoy the local architecture, admire the surrounding mountains and valleys, and stop for a refreshing lemonade at the village’s main square.

Keep climbing up on the same road to reach the last of the three villages we will visit today, Apeiranthos, the marble village of Naxos.

Apeiranthos/ DbDo/ Shutterstock

One more traditional mountain settlement with stunning architecture mostly made of white marble. Ancient homes and neoclassic buildings, but also beautiful marble alleys are a common sight in Apiranthos

The village proudly displays its folklore in two different museums but also hosts an archaeological museum and a geological museum which are interesting places to explore. In all, Apiranthos is a great place to learn about the crafts and habits of the people of the island. 

Over here, you can stop and try one of the many Naxos delicacies, local Greek yogurt topped with Naxian honey, almonds, and nuts… Believe me, you won’t wish to go away.

After an almost two-hour ride through impressive mountains and valleys, you will be back at the departure point in Chora. Not many hours remain until dinner, but you might even have enough time to squeeze in another interesting thing to do in Naxos.

Head to Naxos’ Agios Prokopios Beach, although it might be a bit late for a swim, it is never late for a cocktail by the sea, sitting on a comfortable couch, and enjoying the slow movement of the waves while the sun sets over the sea. This small settlement is quite relaxing and hosts some of the best fish taverns on the island.

Therefore, it is not a bad idea to end the day in Agios Prokopios, enjoying a delicious meal with your feet almost touching the sand.

Agios Prokopios
Agios Prokopios/ Constantinos Iliopoulos/ Shutterstock

Hotels for a Short Stay in Naxos

– Anatoli Hotel: Located in Naxos Chora, this is a modern Cycladic hotel with an outdoor pool, a gym, and a sauna just five minutes from the center of Naxos, close to Agios Giorgos Beach and the port. Check prices and availability here.

– Proteas Hotels and Suites: In Agios Prokopios, a short drive from Agia Anna Beach, this Naxos hotel surrounded by beautiful gardens and with an outdoor pool offers accommodation only steps from the beach and a short 10-minute drive from Chora. Check prices and availability here.

– Ilion Hotel: Near Agios Giorgos Beach, a few minutes from Chora, Ilion Hotel is in a great location to explore the island. Suites and rooms offer balconies with sea views while buffet breakfast is included in the rate. The hotel also provides free parking to its guests. Check prices and availability here.

A final note on planning a trip to Naxos

Although two days in Naxos might seem too short for such a vast island, the trips will be rewarding. Naxos is indeed one of the best destinations in Greece and these two days will certainly wake your curiosity and give you more than enough reason to return!

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Gabi Ancarola is a journalist and travel writer who has lived over 20 years in Italy, and has been living in Crete for the last five years. She hosts culinary tours, translates and writes for her Crete travel blog The Tiny Book. She’s written for Greek Reporter and published several travel guides about Greece.

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