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DNN’S TRAVEL GUIDES • GREECE • NAXOS

Naxos is one of our favorite places in the world for digital nomads, but we didn’t know it before going there!

If you are looking for a relaxing and quiet place in Europe, with long golden sandy beaches 🏖️, turquoise water, with nothing else around besides nature 🍃 this is your place! The largest island of the Cyclades is also quite windy 🌬️ so it is perfect if you like to kite surf as well.

*We didn’t use a car 🙅🏻‍♀️ (as always), so we are sharing with you a complete guide to living on this astonishing island without the need for it.

BEST TIME TO GO

The secret to enjoying this amazing land is to go during the warm months of the low season ☀️ (April, May, June, or September) as it is cheaper and completely empty. Although, even if prices rise (double and triple sometimes) and tourists start coming and filling the whole island, even during the high-season months of the year (July and August) it is probably still incredible to be here. Apparently, Naxos doesn’t get too hot during that time. We came here during the low season and spent a breathtaking month (May) with the beautiful beaches just for ourselves.

WAYS TO GO

We reached Naxos taking a 5-hour boat from Piraeus (Athens) with Hellenic Seaways (check Greece’s guide for a general overview of all the ferries) for €35. But you also have the option of catching a plane to the Pollon Airport, it always layover in Athens, and from there you are just 45 minutes flight.

COST OF LIVING

The prices in Naxos vary depending on the season you go there. For example, during the low season, our home was around €900/month but during the high season, the same house was €2.500, quite a difference right? That said, if you travel during the low season, life isn’t that expensive. In fact, buses are cheap, as well as restaurants (there are some of the tastiest restaurants we tried in Greece here), supermarkets prices are more or less like Athens

We ended up spending less than in any other place in Europe while in Naxos. Mainly because there weren’t cafés around to go to work (that cappuccino at €3.50 really makes a difference) and no gym near our house. Therefore, even if we were spending money on water activities such as scuba diving, our main activities were free. Such as exercising on the terrace, doing yoga, working from home, and walking on the beach and at the surrounding natural spots.

Counting the rent, we would say that in 2022 with 800€/1000€ per person you will be more than okay, able to enjoy restaurants, some dives, groceries, buses, etc. At the moment Numbeo has no information about the cost of living in Naxos, so hopefully, this guide will be even more helpful.

Useful tip: bring a good amount of cash with you as you might need it sometimes, and the local ATMs charge crazy amounts for withdrawal (€4). There are no ATMs in Kastraki, but you will find one in Mikri Vigla.

WHERE TO STAY

We didn’t have the time to explore the whole island, but we spent a month living in the South-West, so this guide will be about that part of the island.

We decided to don’t stay in the main city center, known by locals as Chora, and we did well. The city center is nice but nothing compared to living in front of a sandy golden beach. You can use the bus anytime to visit the historical center (one visit or two will be more than enough).

We found a beautiful apartment in the tiny town of Kastraki, and let me tell you, we fell in love with it. Other more crowded choices in this area and in front of the beach are Mikri Vigla, Plaka, and Agios Anna.

We rented a delightful apartment called “Naxos Is The Way” (a complete house divided into 3 apartments per floor): here you find its website. Konstantinos is an amazing landlord, super friendly, and always available. We arranged with him, and he picked us up from the Port of Naxos as we didn’t have a car! (this is the only situation when you will need to move with the car, you can also decide to take a taxi, but it will be quite costly around €40).

TRANSPORTATION

To move around the island, besides renting a car, you have different options:

🚶WALKING

The island is so esthetical that it will be no bargain to walk for kilometers, we moved all over the island on foot, walking over 30 kilometers some days and had some of the best talks ever enjoying astonishing views. Most of the time you will be walking barefoot on a beach or surrounded by natural spots.

🚴 MOUNTAIN BIKE

We didn’t rent a bike, but we had the feeling that it will be a very nice option to move around the island. Although it was a bit expensive to rent bikes for a whole month (around €200, I could buy a very good new one for that price).

🚌 BUS LINE

There are daily buses departing from Chora that allows you to reach almost any place on the island! If you go to the public bus terminal, you will find all their offers.

Here is the phone number to call to get all the timings +30 22850 22291 and their website with their timetables (but is always best to call to confirm, especially during low season).

 Just behind Konstantinos apartment in Kastraki there is a bus stop 5 minutes walking, next to the Apolafsi Restaurant.
Keep in mind that during high season (June, July, and August) there are many buses going to Chora at different hours, but during low season you only have one option which is the school bus at 07:00 AM (it comes back around 14:30). You have another option if you want to go to the city center, you can walk to Plaka (around a 1-hour walk by the beach) to this bus stop and take it from there.

 The only issue will be the bus ticket as there won’t be spots to buy them, you should buy a few the first day you reach the island at the public bus terminal in front of the port. Or (if, like us, you didn’t know that beforehand) just explain it to the bus driver, he will likely let you go on the bus for the extraordinary situation and buy the ticket after.

🚖 TAXIS

Taxis are expensive, to give you an idea Kastraki-Chora (15kms) costs €40 – and it was low season. Still, it can be an option in certain situations.

Keep in mind that many places in Naxos don’t have an actual address, so you will need to choose a reference point so that they can send your car to pick you up. (Churches are not the right spot, as there are hundreds of them with similar names).
Here is the taxi station’s phone number +30 22850 22444.

INTERNET CONNECTION

You will find places with a stable internet connection, the only downside is that internet speed is not so high, around 10 Mbps. This is a little ouch when it comes to most Greek Islands (the North has great Wi-Fi speed), but if I have to be honest, we didn’t have any problem. It was enough for us to work smoothly. I was teaching yoga on Zoom without any lagging; working on WordPress’s back-end; uploading material to Social Media platforms; and Martín could easily do his meetings and get his work done. So if you do not have specific needs regarding internet speed, you will be fine!

As a backup, we recommend you get a sim card with some gigabytes to use as a hotspot if any local electrical trouble happens. We didn’t have one, but just once the electricity went out for around 10 minutes for some external work in progress on the municipal road.

EATING OUT & GROCERIES

RESTAURANTS:
When it comes to eating out this is a special place, just behind Konstantinos house (5-10 minutes walking) there are two amazing restaurants: Apolafsi & Taverna Axiotissa.

This last one deserves a special mention. Axiotissa is one of the best restaurants we have ever eaten at. Slow food, traditional and delicious daily menus, both for vegetarians and meat lovers. We both spent our birthdays there, and every single time we went to eat there I was astonished by the flavors. High quality at an amazingly cheap price. We definitely recommend you go there, wherever you decide to stay on the island, you won’t regret it!

(You will find some other decent restaurants in the “beaches” section)

SUPERMARKETS:
At around 20 minutes walking distance there are two small supermarkets that have everything that you need:

Verykokkos: This was one of our top choices. It has friendly staff, fresh eggs from farmers, local cheeses, seasonal fruits and vegetables, and all kinds of cereals and legumes. We used to walk there early in the mornings to buy water and groceries. The opening hours on Google Maps are always updated.

Gratsias

A bit farther away from Kastraki, there are other supermarkets in Mikri Vigla such as Stratouris and Kolonas.

DELIVERY:
There is no app for food delivery in Naxos, but there might be some local places where you can order some food (you will need cash to pay). Near Kastraki, there was only one restaurant where we could order something to eat and that was Vigla’s Grill, nothing special, but it is okay if you are hungry and out of options.

BEACHES OF THE ISLAND

All beaches in Naxos are stunning, although some spots are more beautiful than others, and there are some hidden places that you MUST discover. Here are our favourite ones:

  • Varka Beach: small beach in front of the apartment, it was nice to spend some time here when there was too much wind, or on those days when I wasn’t feeling like walking or didn’t have much time.

  • Paralia Kastraki: a classic favorite. Beautiful long, white sandy beach. We have seen some of the most beautiful sunrises of our life here. Although during windy days depending on the direction of the wind it becomes quite exposed, at the end of it there is a small-hidden beach behind the rocks that you can shelter at (here after the Limanaki Bay).

  • Paralia Mikra Vigla: surrounded by kite surfers and kite schools, this beach has yellow sand and gets quite windy on certain days. In front of it, there is a nice familiar restaurant where I was even used to working from (good Wi-Fi) on some late mornings with a Frappuccino (around 11-12) or in the evening (watching the sunrise): Kontos Taverna.

  • Agia Anna Beach: a small beach that hosts an amazing diving center, Niko’s diving center – Nima Diving – is your place if you want to scuba dive! (1 hour and a half beach walk from home)

  • Hawaii Beach: hidden beach, you can reach walking through the forest and then going down an arenite gorge. Totally worth it!

THINGS TO DO

  • Visit the Temple of Demeter & the Archaeological Museum of Gyroulas at Sangri: one day during the weekend we went walking to visit this temple, such a beautiful track. Most of it is in the middle of the rural natural area, and some parts are on the road. But we would 100% recommend you to take a day off and go for it, it will take around 6 hours forth and back. Just remember to take some cash with you (entrance fee €4) because they do not accept cashless payments for the entrance.

  • Walk in the historical city center: get lost in the tiny, beautiful roads of Chora. In an hour or two you will be able to explore the whole area.

  • Check out the Temple of Apollo: this is probably one of the most photographed spots in Naxos, and rightfully so. Take your bus to the city center, Chora, and go for a visit! Free entrance.

  • Investigate the National Park of Limnothalassa Aliki: this is an incredible place for nature lovers and birdwatchers. This salty wetland is rich in bird species all year long, in fact, more than 166 species have been spotted here. Here you can find a list of many wild bird species on the island, done by the local non-profit association Naxos Wildlife Protection. Unfortunately, many people park their trails and caravans there, damaging the ecosystem. Please be respectful of this delicate environment!

  • Hike with Naxos Hiking or Naxos Trekking: enjoy nature and the insides of the island with an experienced local trekker that will help you to discover the island at its best! Tours are available in Greek, English, German, and Italian.

  • Explore the island underwater: if you haven’t tried to scuba dive yet, this is the right moment to get your certification with Nikos and his amazing team at Nima Diving Center! If you are already a diver, there are many sites for you to discover on this island. We went to visit the Marianna Wreck, and it was rad!

  • Go kayaking in the sea: we didn’t have the chance to go for a kayaking tour this time, but Oceanus Kayaking seems like a great place to do so (next time)!

  • Try the best local food: as you already know, the place to do that is to go to Axiotissa (if you go there during high season, book your table because apparently, it gets insanely full of people)!

  • Get a local tour by bus: this is an option as well, we leave you here a company we found while being on the island (we haven’t tried their tours, but it is useful information to have): Naxos Bus Transfer. As a plus, it isn’t a bus, but Naxos Sailing seems like a nice option as well to explore the surface of the sea!

  • Go to the cultural events organized by Cycladia, a cultural cooperative organization in Naxos. Here are the links to their website and Instagram to check their next events.

Naxos is an amazing place for any digital nomad that is looking for a relaxing location in front of beautiful beaches surrounded by nature. Hopefully, this guide will help you with everything you need, and if you have more questions, DM us!

Last update of this guide: August 2022