Endless golden stretches of sand lapped by clear waters, stunning archaeological sites and hearty local food may be why Naxos has become so hugely popular.
Naxos town (or Chora) is the capital and main harbor of the island. Fine architecture, great beaches and quaint villages are some of the reasons why it has become a much-loved destination, particularly for many families. Upon arrival to the island, you will be greeted by the 6m-high Portara built on a small islet. The famed Portara is the entryway to an unfinished temple that was dedicated to Apollo and which directly faces the island of Delos, Apollo’s mythical birthplace. The undisputed icon of the island, the Portara is where any Naxos tourist worth their sunset selfie will take an “I am here!” picture. On the south side you will find the Saint George Beach Resort that is home to some of the very best tavernas, cafes and novelty shops. The fine sand and shallow warm waters make it ideal for children to take a pleasant dip.
A popular pastime in the main town is to walk up to the Kastro, a castle built by the Venetians in 1207. Here you can take in broad views of the town and the sea and visit the five-story Archaeological Museum and the Venetian Museum, located in the Della Rocca Barozzi Tower and which hosts many a cultural event throughout the year. Within the inner walls of the Kastro you can also admire a 13th Century Catholic Cathedral and beautiful Venetian residences before strolling through the picturesque streets of the old quarter. A few kilometers outside of the main town, children can also enjoy educational visits to the Eggares Olive Press Museum, where one can learn about the entire process of olive oil production and its local history.
Beyond the town, Naxos’s true appeal is its coastal bounty and beauty. Plaka beach on the southwestern coast is a favorite destination for families seeking carefree seaside recreation. There is a long, wide sandy strip where you can rent rooms and simply spend the day swimming and relaxing. Visitors are spoilt for choice with a generous selection of accommodation and restaurants serving international cuisine – so there’s something for every appetite.
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