Where to stay in Naxos, Greece: Best Areas and Hotels
If you’re wondering where to stay in Naxos, or where is the best area to stay in Naxos, you’re in the right place. In this article, I will give an insight into the best places to stay in Naxos for first time visitors, couples, families, backpackers, all budget travelers; read on as I show you the best of Naxos.
Despite being one of the largest Greek islands, Naxos remains largely undiscovered by the general tourist population. Whilst much of the island remains untouched by the travel industry and unmarred by towering hotel blocks, there is plenty to see across the breadth of Naxos.
Once the seat of power for the surrounding Cyclades archipelago, the island is covered in historical structures and ancient ruins waiting to be explored. Alternatively, head to one of Naxos’ many beautiful beaches for a relaxing summer break. If you want to experience traditional Greek island life without the contrived tourist atmosphere, you should take the opportunity to vacation in Naxos before the rest of the world catches on.
Where to Stay in Naxos: Tips & Info
The attractions of Naxos are well dispersed across the island, with ancient temples and ruined castles seemingly around every hill. With so much to see during your time here, it may seem difficult to decide where to stay to best access what you most want to see and do. That’s why I have some tips for the best areas to stay based on some common needs and preferences amongst travellers.
For shorter trips you would be best staying in the capital Naxos Town, where you will find plenty of amenities on your doorstep. There is a good mix of historical sites and contemporary points of interest in the city, to give you a good feel for the island in just a few days.
If you are looking for more of a beach vacation, the nearby town of Agios Prokopios offers the best of seaside comfort, within easy access of the main town via a direct main road. Additionally, you will have the convenience of staying very near to the airport, so you will waste less time travelling to and from your accommodation.
Quieter but still well serviced beaches can be found further south in Mikri Vigla. This small village is ideal if you want all the comforts of a beach resort without the crowds of more family-oriented tourist towns.
To experience a slice of traditional small-town life, the mountain towns of Sangri and Filoti offer all the basic amenities you need. Some of Naxos’ best sights are nearby, including the ancient Temple of Demeter.
Where to stay in Naxos – The 10 Best Areas to Stay in Naxos
If you are still undecided as to where you should stay on the island, I have provided some more comprehensive summaries of what I feel are the ten best areas to stay in Naxos.
Where to Stay in Naxos Greece Map
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1. Naxos Town – Where to Stay in Naxos for First Time Visitors
The eponymous Naxos Town is the main urban centre on the island. One of the two most popular locations for visitors to stay, there is plenty to keep the whole family entertained here. The city is a busy port town, with most visitors arriving at the island by ferry from the mainland.
As you would expect from a city, there is a comprehensive selection of hospitality venues available here. The variety of restaurants serving a range of cuisines will ensure that even the fussiest eaters in your group will be able to find something to keep them happy. There are also bakeries, ice-cream parlours, and cafes serving local sweet treats as you explore the city.
In the evening visitors can visit the various tavernas and waterfront bars that provide views over the busy port. Older visitors can enjoy the various wine bars and sample the products of the island’s vineyards.
There are several beaches around the town, with the largest and most popular being Agios Georgios. The beach is at the southern end of the town, separated from the busy port by a small peninsula. There are a number of beach bars, cafes, and mini marts along back of the beach, as well as sunbeds to rent for a comfortable day on the sand. Water sports are available for those who want to enjoy playing in the waves.
The best-known attraction in the city is the Temple of Apollo, situated on a small island just beyond the port. The ancient ruins are a magnificent site that date back thousands of years, whilst the more recently added café provides refreshments for visitors who need a break from the Mediterranean heat.
Additionally, there are several interesting museums in the city, such as the Archaeological Museum of Naxos and Site Museum of Naxos Metropolis, which provide fascinating insights into the island’s history and cultural development.
Naxos Town is ideal for anyone who doesn’t intend to hire a car for their stay. Not only is the town full of sights and amenities that can be easily accessed by foot or public transport, but there are also a plethora of bus routes leading out of the city to allow you to explore the rest of the island. Make sure to check timetables though, as routes to more remote locations can be infrequent.
With so much to do and see in and around the city itself, as well as being directly next to the island’s primary entrance, Naxos Town is ideal for visitors staying for only a short period.
YOU SHOULD STAY IN NAXOS TOWN IF:
- You are staying for a short time
- You are not intending to hire a car
- You are on a budget and want to save on travel
- You are travelling to or from the island by ferry
- Visiting the Temple of Apollo is a priority
2. Agios Prokopios – Where to Stay Naxos for Family
Agios Prokopios is the most popular beach resort on Naxos. Located just to the south of Naxos Town, it provides all the comforts of a dedicated beach vacation town, with the convenience of being just a short distance from a major city.
Whilst the area is largely geared towards foreign visitors and tourists, there are still plenty of tavernas and traditional Greek restaurants for those looking for a slice of authentic island culture.
Agios Prokopios Beach is a long, wide stretch of soft golden sand. The east end of the beach is where it meets with Agios Prokopios town, and thus where you will find the majority of beach bars, cafes, and companies offering water sports facilities.
If the beach doesn’t offer enough aquatic fun for your liking, there is the Aqua Fun Waterpark further inland. The park is full of waterslides and pools of various sizes, as well as comforts such as poolside bars and cafes, to provide the whole family with a relaxing day in the water.
Directly north, you can find the Limnothalassa Aliki Naxou National Park, great for a day out exploring the natural landscape. The Naxos Camping Grounds are nearby if you are interested in alternative accommodations.
A good variety of mid-range hotels press up against the sand, with affordable options just metres from the beach. Directly north, on the same peninsula, is the region of Stelida, where you can find even more options for accommodation.
The town is very near to the Naxos Apollon Airport, so is ideal if you’re travelling to or from the island by plane. Although this does mean that you may have to deal with some degree of noise from the air traffic.
YOU SHOULD STAY IN AGIOS PROKOPIOS IF:
- You are looking for a typical beach vacation
- You want to stay near the main town but with more a resort feel
- You want to stay near the airport
- You are travelling with family
3. Maragkas and Plaka – Best Area to Stay for Beaches
A little further south down the coast is the smaller beach resort town of Maragkas. The beach is a long, uninterrupted stretch of sand that reaches all the way down to the neighbouring town of Plaka.
There is a good selection of mid-range and affordable accommodation on offer here, particularly further back, away from the water. The central stretch of beach between the two towns is especially ripe with hotels and apartment blocks, with some higher end options offering stunning views over the water and the opportunity to stay just a few metres from the beach.
Alternatively, you can stay right by the beach in one of several campsites along the area.
Beach bars and cafes are plentiful along the entire length of the beach, so no matter how far you stray, you will never be too far from refreshments. There are also a number of water sports companies operating throughout the beach, offering a variety of fun entertainment options for when you grow bored of relaxing on the sand.
As far as interesting sights, there isn’t much to see in the area. The ruins of Plaka Castle, a small fort tower, can be found along the main road towards Vivlos, and if you are heading that way you may want to stop in Vivlos town to visit the old windmill.
Aside from that, there are a number of pretty churches, both modern and older, in the area. If you are hiring a car it would make a pretty road trip. If you are travelling around by bus, there are better sites further out that are more worth the journey.
YOU SHOULD STAY IN MARAGKAS AND PLAKA IF:
- You want a comfortable beach town but somewhat quieter than the family resort of Agios Prokopios
- You enjoy long walks on the beach and kilometres of uninterrupted sand is ideal
- Plenty of beach amenities, such as bars, water sports, and beach furniture is a must
- Visiting historical sights is not a priority for you
4. Mikri Vigla – Best Area for Quieter beach Vacation
A little further south of Plaka is the small beach town of Mikri Vigla. Further removed from the main towns than the more northern beach resorts, Mikri Vigla is ideal for anyone looking for a quieter beach vacation. With its small-town vibe and traditional tavernas, you can really get a feel for authentic Greek life here.
Whilst the town is less geared towards visitors than other locations on the island, there are still plenty of beachside cafes, restaurants, and supermarkets to keep you supplied with everything you need for a comfortable stay.
If you prefer a more active time at the beach, the area is particularly popular with windsurfers and kite surfers. There are several schools in the area offering lessons for beginners, whilst dedicated shops sell and rent the necessary equipment.
Although a small town, there are still plenty of options when it comes to accommodation. The main town has a selection of mid-range options, ideal for surfers who intend to spend most of their time on the waves. Around the edges of the town, you can find more boutique and higher-end options.
YOU SHOULD STAY IN MIKRI VIGLA IF:
- You want a quiet break in a small local beach town
- You enjoy windsurfing or would be interested in trying it
5. Alyko and Pyrgaki – Best Area for Exploring Abandoned Hotels
Several kilometres south of Mikri Vigla is the little beach town of Pyrgaki. The town itself consists of just a few residential roads, several hotels, a supermarket, and a few tavernas and restaurants. There is enough to keep you comfortable for the duration of your stay, but not the comprehensive conveniences of the larger resort towns.
Pyrgaki beach is a beautiful stretch of sand, ideal for relaxing on without the pressing crowds that flock to other beaches. However, the real draw to the town is the Alyko Cedar forest in the west.
The forest covers the nearby peninsula and makes for a lovely walking spot, with several more, secluded, quiet beaches to check out. The most interesting thing in the forest though, is the sprawling abandoned hotel that now lays in ruins.
Covering half of the peninsula, the ruins are a playground for anyone who enjoys exploring ruined buildings. Lovers of street art will appreciate the many impressive murals that now adorn the walls.
Despite the small size of the town, there is a good range of accommodation available, from affordable to more luxurious options. However, if none of these options suit your taste, there is a larger selection along the stretch of coast connecting Pyrgaki to Mikri Vigla.
YOU SHOULD STAY IN ALYKO AND PYRGAKI IF:
- You want a really quiet beach town
- Exploring an abandoned, ruined hotel sounds like fun
- You appreciate street art and murals
6. Melanes – Best Area for Exploring Authentic Local Life
A few kilometres inland of Naxos Town, the small village of Melanes sits amongst the mountains and groves. A residential town, with far fewer hotels than the beach resorts, Melanes is perfect for anyone wanting to experience authentic, local life. Meanwhile, the relatively close proximity to the main town means you won’t be far from city conveniences should you need them.
Set amongst beautiful farmlands, the village is ideal for anyone who enjoys spending their time exploring or walking around the natural landscape. To the east, through the trees, you can explore a small cluster of old ruined buildings, left to crumble amongst the trees.
A pleasant walk away to the south, you can discover the Marmaroti waterfalls and the ruins of the old watermill. The short trek through the pretty forests is well worth the reward of exploring this old stone structure. A café is available nearby if you need a break before heading back to town.
The town itself has a few restaurants to serve the local residents. There are only a few options for accommodation in the area, so if you find something you like make sure to book well in advance.
YOU SHOULD STAY IN MELANES IF:
- You enjoy walking in nature
- Discovering old, ruined buildings is fun
- You want a small mountain town, not too far from the convenience of the main city
- Beaches are not a priority
7. Glynado – Best Area for Exploring Historic Buidlings
Glynado is an inland, mountain town, a few kilometres south of Naxos Town. The town itself is small, with a few restaurants, tavernas, and independent shops. However, a large road connects it straight to the main town of Naxos, so it is convenient if you want to shop and dine in the larger city and then return to the more picturesque town to relax.
There are several interesting historical sites to visit in the local area. The Tower of Belonia can be found in the east of the town itself and the St John Monastery is to the west. The ruins of the grand Temple of Dionysus are just a kilometre or so northwest and well worth a visit by anyone visiting the island.
If you want a break from taking in the culture and history of the island, Karts Heart Rock go-kart track is located at the north of the town. Ideal for an afternoon of racing around a track with the wind in your hair.
Unlike many of the other inland towns on the island, accommodation here is plentiful so you are sure to be able to find somewhere that suits you.
YOU SHOULD STAY IN GLYNADO IF:
- You want a small inland town with plenty of options for accommodation
- You enjoy exploring historic buildings
- Beaches are not a priority
8. Apollonas – Where to Stay in Naxos with A Car
Far from the busy beach resorts and tourist hotspots of the south and west, Apollonas, at the very northernmost tip of Naxos, is ideal for anyone looking to escape their fellow travellers. Apollonas Beach is a good-sized stretch of soft sand, where you can relax, unbothered by rowdy tourists.
The town is small and primarily residential, but there are several affordable options for accommodation along the waterfront. For such a little town, there is a pleasant number of restaurants and tavernas to choose from, overlooking the small port.
At the western edge of Apollonas you can find the Kouros Monument. Also known as the Colossus of Dionysus, the eleven-metre tall, marble statue lays where it was carved so many centuries ago, never having been completed and erected.
Being quite remote, Apollonas is best reserved for those who intend to hire a car for their vacation. This would also provide you the freedom to visit the Agias Monastery and the old Tower of Ayia a few kilometres away.
YOU SHOULD STAY IN APOLLONAS IF:
- You really want to escape the tourist crowds
- You want a small beach town with few other travellers
- You don’t mind being far from the main towns
- You intend to hire a car for your trip
9. Ano Sagkri And Sangri – Best Area To Explore The Temple Of Demeter
Up in the mountains of Naxos, near the Rachi Polichnitou Park, you can find the rural town of Ano Sagkri, in the region of Sangri. The town itself is beautiful but very small, with just a few tavernas and restaurants catered to the local population.
The main attraction in the area is the wonderfully well-preserved Temple of Demeter in the south. The 6th century structure is one of the best kept examples on the island and still features upright walls and fully erect columns. Whilst you are barred from entering the temple, for the safety of both yourself and the ancient building, getting close a structure that has stood for one and a half thousand years is an experience not to be missed.
For more information about the temple, and the history of the local area, you can head to the nearby Archaeological Museum of Gyroulas. Admission is free and you can view artefacts found in and around the temple, from pottery to stone inscriptions and ancient statues.
There are various other notable historical structures in the area, including Bazeos Tower and the otherworldly Monastery Kaloritsa to the east. A particularly high number of churches are scattered around the area from various historical periods.
Being so far removed from the popular tourist resorts along the west coast, options for accommodation here are more limited. What is available is on the more luxury end of the scale, so if you have a larger allowance for accommodation you can plan a lovely trip here. If you are working on a budget, you may be better off staying outside of the village and visiting for a day trip.
YOU SHOULD STAY IN ANO SAGKRI AND SANGRI IF:
- You want to explore the Temple of Demeter
- Beaches are not a priority for you
- You are interested in visiting the historical sites of the island
- You are not worried about budgeting
10. Filoti – Best Area to Stay in Naxoz to Experience Mediterranean life
Filoti is a small mountain town right at the centre of the island. If you’re looking for a quiet getaway, this local village, far removed from the tourist traps around the coast, is ideal. The town is primarily residential, with little designed to cater to tourists, so if you are looking to experience the authentic everyday lifestyle of the island, Filoti is perfect.
The town may be small, but it has everything you will need for a pleasant stay. There is a good selection of restaurants, tavernas, and cafés along the main road, and a bakery at the north of the village where you can sample freshly made local pastries.
The Tower of Barozzi is the main tourist attraction of the town. The old stone building is a 17th century venetian fort that once housed the ruling nobility of the region. It remains remarkably well preserved at the northern end of the village.
Being such a small, residential town, there are no big hotels or apartment blocks here. What accommodation is available consists of affordable local guesthouses and comfortable villas. Perfect for immersing yourself in the local atmosphere of the town.
YOU SHOULD STAY IN FILOTI IF:
- You want to experience small town Mediterranean life
- A quiet village away from the tourist resorts is ideal
- Beaches are not a priority
- You will be hiring a car during your stay
Where To Stay In Naxos With Family?
Families, particularly those with children, would most benefit from staying in the beach resort town of Agios Prokopios, just a short way south of Naxos Town. As the most popular beach resort on the island, there are plenty of amenities to keep the whole family entertained. Meanwhile, the main town is just a short journey away, down a direct road if you need anything that you can’t get nearby.
Hotel Francesca is a ‘fabulous’ option with its own large pool, situated just a short walk from the beach.
Alternatively, Naxos Palace Hotel is a ‘good’ choice for families with young children who would benefit from staying near to the Aqua Fun waterpark.
Where To Stay In Naxos Town?
Naxos Town has a huge selection of accommodation, with options suitable for all price ranges and preferences.
If your budget is more generous, you may want to consider Portara Seaside Luxury Suites, a ‘superb’ apartment complex by the sea, with terraces right up against the water and stunning views of the Temple of Apollo.
If you want to avoid noisy families with children, Alpha Studios is a ‘very good’, adults only, option near to the seafront, overlooking the port.
Meanwhile, the Saint George Hotel has is a ‘fabulous’ boutique hotel with a distinctive Mediterranean charm for a more authentic Greek vacation vibe.
Where To Stay In Naxos On A Budget?
As one of the less well-known tourist islands, prices for accommodation on Naxos are fairly reasonable across the island. The larger tourist towns have much more variety than smaller rural villages, so prices are more competitive, and you’ll be more likely to find something that suits both your preferences and your budget.
Korali Garden is a ‘very good’ affordable option in the heart of Naxos Town. With access to a swimming pool, as well as your own balcony with views over the city, you won’t be making any compromises for the value.
Meanwhile, Sunday Studios offer ‘superb’ apartments for those who want to stay near to Agios Prokopios Beach without breaking the bank. The rooms are basic but have a distinct Mediterranean aesthetic flare, and you can’t beat the sea views for the affordability.
Best Time to Visit Naxos?
With its Mediterranean climate, Naxos is ideal for a blissful summer vacation. Temperatures peak in July and August, making this the best time to visit if your priority is spending time at the beach.
If you want to avoid crowds, consider visiting in the late spring, before the summer rush. From around late April to early May, the temperature should be comfortable enough for swimsuits and sunbathing, although you may still need a light jacket in the evenings. June is ideal if you want to avoid the crowds but still take advantage of the rising summer heat.
Whilst the weather stays pleasantly warm into mid-autumn in October, if you want to enjoy Naxos in the peace and quiet after the peak season you had best try to visit in September. As a primarily residential island, many of the tourist amenities are only open in summer and start closing down for winter at the end of the summer season.
How to get Around Naxos?
If you are intending to explore the entire island during your stay on Naxos, I strongly recommend hiring a car if you can. While the island is large, most of its popular towns are concentrated in the east, whilst interesting sights and smaller local villages are scattered across the breadth of Naxos. Reaching the more remote areas is considerably more convenient and time effective by car.
Car rental companies operate in all the major towns and some of the smaller villages, although checking ahead is beneficial. Particularly conveniently, there are many rental companies specifically near the airport and Naxos Ferry Terminal, so you can hire transport as soon as you get to the island.
Being less populous than many islands with more established tourism infrastructure, the bus service here is less comprehensive than you may find convenient. Whilst it is true that almost every area on the island is accessible by bus, you will need to make sure you pay close attention to the timetables.
Some of the more remote villages are only visited by the bus a couple of times each day. Missing your bus may mean a long wait for the next one, or a more expensive taxi ride home.
If you do not intend to hire a car for you stay, or simply don’t want to, but still want to explore the entire island, you would be best staying in a large town such as Naxos. Here you will have access to the most bus routes, heading to various destinations around the island.
Best Things to Do in Naxos?
While many who visit Naxos do so primarily to take advantage of the island’s beautiful beaches and unspoiled local villages, there are also many curious sites worth visiting during your trip.
With a long history dating back beyond the ancient Greek civilisation, the island of Naxos is full of historic relics and ruins to be explored. Once operating as the seat of power over the surrounding Cyclades archipelago, the island is covered in the remains of old castle towers and fortifications. Whilst many are on private land, inaccessible to the public, plenty of others are free to wander.
The best-known attraction on the island is the Temple of Apollo, standing on a small island just off of Naxos Town. The grand archway stands proud against the backdrop of the ocean and provides stunning scenery for photos.
Midway between Naxos Town and Agios Prokopios you can find the ruins of the Temple of Dionysus. The floorplan of this once great temple is well preserved, and many of the great columns are still standing erect to some degree.
Further inland, near Sangri, is the Temple of Demeter. This temple, dating back to the 6th century, still has fully preserved columns and erect walls, one of the best kept specimens on the island. The nearby Archaeological Museum of Gyroulas is available to provide insights into the history of the site and the surrounding area.
If you want to learn more about the history and culture of the island, there are plenty of museums worth visiting. In Naxos Town you can find the Site Museum of Naxos Metropolis, near to the bridge leading to the Temple of Apollo. Meanwhile, closer to the port, the Archaeological Museum of Naxos has some stunning, well preserved, excavated mosaics on display.
Alternatively, if you are looking for something a little quirkier, the Olive Oil museum is located just a few kilometres north of Naxos Town.
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Naxos is an up-and-coming vacation destination, that remains as yet unspoiled by the crowds of tourists that flood to other Greek islands. If you are looking for an authentic Greek experience, or just a quieter beach getaway, Naxos is the place for you.
Anyone who loves history and ancient ruins should already know about Naxos and its plethora of fascinating old structures. Everyone else should take the opportunity to visit before the rest of the world finds out.