Naxos is one of Greece’s most under appreciated islands. Ted and I chose it because it is known to give visitors the opportunity to experience traditional island life. While Santorini is picture perfect, there are tons of tourists, and it doesn’t have an authentic vibe. It’s an island dedicated to tourists, not locals. Naxos is the exact opposite of this. The island has 46 small sleepy villages that gives visitors a chance to interact with locals.
Taking the ferry is the best way to get to Naxos from Santorini. The first site you’ll see when stepping onto the island is the iconic Temple of Apollo gate standing in front of Chora, the old town of Naxos. Chora is filled with winding streets and small shops selling the products of Greece: olive oil, seafood, and honey.
We stayed at Pension Sofi, a small family-owned bed and breakfast. It’s in a blue and white building just off the coast and we felt so at home here. Each morning, Ted and I would come down to the kitchen area and be served fresh orange juice and sweets while enjoying conversation with the owners, Theo and Rena.
The Best of Naxos
Other things that attracted us to Naxos were:
- Stunning beaches
- A Venetian castle
- Ancient temple ruins
- A mountainous interior
One of my favorite memories from Naxos is when Ted and I visited the Temple of Demeter. We ended up walking there in the hot Greek sun (notice my hat in all the pics) and I felt like I was an explorer discovering ancient ruins.
On the way back, we got lost and had to flag down a bus to take us back to Chora. The trouble was the island is small and busses don’t run that often. Each time we tried to flag one down, they would drive past us! When we finally managed to get on a bus, it was the wrong one and we found ourselves on the other side of the island is an extremely small village. Instead of freaking out, we made friends with a Belgian tourist on the bus and decided to tag along with her to visit an old Byzantine church that she wanted to explore.
We actually ended up hitchhiking our way to the church, since that day was very hot and sweaty. We put our good faith in a Greek driver and made our way there. It was a lot of fun and so spontaneous. That night, we had dinner with our new Belgian friend and I still email her with life updates today 🙂
If you want to see what real island life is like and have a unique Greek experience, go visit Naxos. You won’t be disappointed! See more of this beautiful island below!
Christina has always felt like an old soul and is a lover of tradition and all things vintage. A typical Libra, she loves beauty and is always trying to balance her love of cozy nights at home with her adventurous spirit (23 countries and counting). By day she works for an international accounting firm. By night she works on her blog, My Petite Joys. On her site, you’ll find her featuring topics on travel (near and far), baking adventures, crafting, and thoughts on life’s simple joys. She lives in Chicago with her husband and high school sweet heart Ted. In her spare time she enjoys bookmaking, watching documentaries, and yoga.