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Naxos Beaches

Sahara Beach Naxos
Sahara Beach

Naxos is big. You may want to rent a car, motorbike or bicycle if you plan on exploring the island. But if you are staying at a hotel on, or within walking distance of one of Naxos' extraordinary beaches you may not care if you see any more of the island. Naxos is truly blessed with some of the most beautiful beaches in all of Greece, particularly on the southeast coast. Long stretches of fine sand and the most amazing color of blue sea you will ever see, many of them are not what you would call 'undiscovered'. But this does not detract from them, and in fact adds the enjoyment of 'people watching' to the list of water activities available. Some of these beaches are so long that you can find a degree of solitude, and if you have a car and an adventurous nature you can find something more remote with some degree of privacy. When you book your hotel be sure to ask which beach it is closest to and whether there is public transportation nearby. Many of the beaches are on the bus route and in the case of Agios Prokopis, buses are frequent and taxis are available and relatively cheap.

Saint George or Agios Giorgos Beach, Naxos
Agios Giorgos (Saint George) Beach and Naxos Town

The beach of Agios Georgios or what the tourists call Saint George, is the main tourist area of the island and despite the number of hotels, restaurants, bars and tourist shops it is a very enjoyable place to be, if you like windsurfing, water-sports, people watching and if you have children because the sea is very shallow. For wind-surfers the far end of Saint George Bay is a center for the sport with several rental shops. Because of the northeastern and northern winds Naxos is known as one of the best places in Greece for windsurfing. The beach is a five minute walk to the center of Naxos town so if you want the best of both worlds stay in one of the hotels located here. Recommended hotels in Agios Georgios include the Hotel Porto Naxos, Nissaki Beach Hotel, Kalergis Studios, Georgia Mare and the Galini Hotel.

Grotta Beach
Grotta Beach without wind

Grotta Beach Meltemi
Grotta Beach with North Wind

On the other side of town is Grotta Beach. When the north wind blows the waves are big and you should not swim here unless you are a very good swimmer. But on windless days it is fine. This part of Naxos town is usually cooler because it faces the north and even when it is not super windy it still gets a breeze most of the time. The best hotel in the area is the Hotel Grotta which overlooks the beach. But just about any hotel in Naxos town is easy walking distance to both Grotta and Agios Giorgos Beaches. Search Hotels in Naxos.

Agios Prokopios Beach, Naxos
Agios Prokopios Beach

The beaches of Agios Prokopis and Agia Anna are a little quieter but also very popular and there are rows of umbrellas and beach chairs that you can rent. Many hotels provide them for free so ask if you are staying nearby. These beaches though crowded in places are long enough so you can always find somewhere semi-private. These two beaches are considered by many to be the most beautiful in Greece with clear turquoise water that makes every picture you take look like a postcard or an advertisement for a Caribbean holiday.

Agia Anna Beach
Agia Anna Beach with Agios Prokopios in the distance

There are plenty of seafood tavernas, cafes, bars, pizza and fast-food restaurants and a couple nightclubs on the beach so people staying in this area can have their share of nightlife without going to Naxos town. However should they want to, Naxos and the port are a five minute drive and there are frequent buses and taxis. There are a number of hotels available here including the Hotel Prokopis and the new Naxos Island Hotel which are two of the best family run hotels on Naxos. Other recommended hotels include Lianos Village, Katerina Hotel, and the Dimitra Hotel in Agios Prokopios and the Villa Christine, Stella Naxos Island Apartments, and Castello Studios in Agia Anna.

Plaka Beach Naxos
Plaka Beach

Further on, the beach at Plaka is considered by others to be the best beach on the island with about five kilometers of golden sand. Plaka is an unofficial nudist beach which means bathing suits are optional. However nudity is not required. In case you are wondering what is or is not accepted, generally women can go topless even at the most family beach. If you are in doubt, just look around and see how your neighbors are behaving. Hotels in Plaka include the Escape Suites, Valena Mare Suites and Apartments, and the Cosmos Hotel.

Kastraki Beach, Naxos

Further down the coast are the beaches of Mikri Vigla, Kastraki, and Sahara considered some of the cleanest in the Aegean and over six kilometers long. You will find turquoise water, a few inexpensive tavernas and accommodations including the recommended Iridia Vacation Suites, Scala Apartments, and the Sahara Apartments.

Alyko Beach
Alyko Beach

Driving further to the south east are smaller beaches like Hawaii Beach, Mikralimano, Alyko, on the Alyko Peninsula around a deserted hotel. Further on is Pyrgaki and the long sandy beach of Agiassos. These beaches are harder to get to and some require a short hike from where you park your car. There are a handful of restaurants in the area, some part of hotels that are too far to drive into the closest town for dinner. The 4-star Finikas Hotel is in Alyko as are the Sunny Studios Naxos. The Agiassos Naxos Apartments is a holiday home is a short walk from the beach.

Apollonas Beach, Naxos

The town of Apollonas (photo), on the far northern tip of the island has a large sandy cove and some restaurants and hotels and the feel of being on another island altogether. The highly recommended Adonis Hotel is a nice, inexpensive family run hotel in town a few minutes walk from the long sandy beach and the restaurants and shops. If you want to feel like you are on a quiet, remote, less touristy island then stay here.

Alyko Beach Naxos

There are lots more beaches on Naxos, some of which should be visited by 4-wheel drive vehicles but most you can get to easily. If you come down the northeast coast from Apollonos there are beaches at the end of many of the dirt roads that lead off the main road. Look for signs. Keep in mind that beaches facing north sometimes get a lot of wind and have waves.

Many of Naxos beaches have been given the Blue Flag award by the EU.

You can buy inexpensive masks, snorkels and flippers at many of the mini-marts on the beaches. The snorkeling is best around the rocks and particularly away from popular sandy beaches.

See my Naxos Beach Photos

Diving and other Activities

Blue Fin Divers, NaxosOn Naxos you will find some of the most interesting places to snorkel and scuba dive in all of Greece. Just off of Agios Prokopios, is The Lost Beaufighter, a British bomber aircraft which sank during World Word II. It is in pristine condition -  to a divers delight it landed perfectly on its belly. It sunk to about 30m. Blue Fin Divers does a great tour of the boat - which takes only about 1.5 hours from getting to the shop to leaving. They also offer a lot of other great (from what I am told) dives around the island to sunken ships, undersea canyons and more. They also offer scuba diving courses for all ages as well as PADI certification courses and rescue courses. You can e-mail them for more information.

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