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. Long stretches of
golden 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 complete. When you book
your hotel be sure to ask which beach it is closest to and whether
there is public transportation nearby. Most of the beaches are on
the bus route and in the case of Agios Prokopis, buses are frequent
and taxis are available and cheap.
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 are the Hotel
Porto Naxos and the Hotel
Galaxy. On the other side of town is Grotta
Beach. However when the
north wind blows the waves are big and you should not swim here
unless you are a good swimmer.
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.
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.
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 may be the nicest on the island.
On 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
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.
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.
down the coast is the beach of
Kastraki, rated the cleanest in
the Aegean and over six kilometers
long. Beyond that are Pyrgaki a long
sandy beach and
Agiassos. The town of Apollonos (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. There are several beaches on the east coast,
some of which should be visited by 4-wheel drive vehicles.
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 get a lot of wind and often 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
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