Naxos has a national airport that receives domestic flights from the International Airport of Athens.
However, the most preferred way to go there is by taking the ferry - tickets are more affordable and travelers can enjoy the scenery throughout the crossing.
Note: A ferry is the only transportation option for reaching Naxos from other islands.
The island is well-connected with the ports of Athens (Piraeus & Rafina), as well as many other islands. Ferry connections include but are not limited to Santorini, Mykonos, Paros, Milos, Amorgos, Crete, Ios, Syros, Koufonisia, Amorgos and Donoussa.
The most popular routes are from:
• Athens to Naxos • Santorini to Naxos • Mykonos to Naxos
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Alternative ways to get to Naxos
The crossing from Athens to Naxos is not very long. Nonetheless, many travelers prefer to take a flight to another island and take a ferry from there in order to save time but not miss the experience of sailing on the Aegean. The islands of the Cyclades with international airports are Santorini and Mykonos, while Paros and Milos boast a national airport each.
Island hopping: Where to go next?
As Naxos lies in the center of the Aegean, it is an ideal starting point for going to numerous enchanting islands. When your Naxian experience is over, consider paying a visit to the charming Santorini or the lively Mykonos. Paros is another popular option since reaching it from Naxos takes no more than an hour. Amorgos, Milos, Koufonisia and Donoussa are more peaceful destinations for travelers who seek tranquility, at a close distance.
Lastly, the area of Heraklion in Crete is an additional excellent option for island-hopping. A standard ticket to Heraklion starts from '79' 'EUR' (79 Euro), with the trip lasting around 4 hours.
What types of ferries travel there?
Both high-speed and conventional ferries operate routes to Naxos. High-speed vessels reach higher velocities; therefore, the trip lasts less. For that reason, tickets for such ferries are usually more pricey.
On the other hand, conventional ferries are larger and can carry more individuals and vehicles; hence, they are slower.
Conventional ferries are mainly part of the Blue Star Ferries company’s fleet, but Fast Ferries also boasts one. Blue Star Ferries vessels depart from the port of Piraeus, while the Fast Ferries vessel departs from Rafina. Conventional ferries are ideal if your holiday itinerary is flexible.
Seajets company owns most high-speed vessels except for one, which belongs to the fleet of Hellenic Seaways/Blue Star Ferries. Taking such a ferry is recommended if you want to get to your destination as fast as possible.
But please note: High-speed ferries are smaller and can be affected by strong winds, so delays may occur.
How to book your ferry tickets
Booking your ferry tickets is one of the first and most important steps in organizing your holidays in Naxos.
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INFORMATION ABOUT NAXOS
Naxos is the largest of all the Cycladic islands and a prominent tourist destination. Being home to several traditional villages, historical sites and charming beaches among others, the island offers a wide range of sights and activities to its visitors. Due to the water abundance and fertile soil, it is also green at some of its parts, leading to the cultivation and production of numerous high-quality products. In particular, the island is renowned for its potatoes, dairy products, honey, wine and kitron (its trademark liqueur).
The history of the island is intertwined with mythology. Some believe that Zeus was raised there, while others state that the giant brothers Ephialtes and Otus (Aloadae) lived on the island. Another myth claims that Theseus abandoned princess Ariadne on Naxos after she helped him defeat the Minotaur, but she eventually married Dionysus, the god of wine.
The island has been inhabited since ancient times. Many ancient temples and statues have been discovered on the island, indicating its rich cultural past. However, Naxos reached its peak in the Venetian times, when trade and agriculture turned the island into an economic center. The Venetian Castle and elegant mansions dominate Chora and the countryside, evincing how much of an influence the Venetians were.
Being the most verdant island in the Cyclades, its landscape consists of high mountains, stunning valleys and blooming vegetation. Several picturesque remote villages are situated both on the slopes and within the greenery across the island.
The main tourist spots are Chora (Town), Agios Prokopios, Plaka, Mikri Vigla and Agia Anna, where you can find many hotels, gift shops, bars and restaurants. Visitors can also enjoy numerous water sports since windsurfing and kitesurfing are the most popular activities on the island due to the proper wind conditions.
Best time to visit
The best period to visit Naxos is between June and September when the days are long and sunny. Because of its many inhabitants, the island is lively for most of the year, so visiting during spring or autumn won’t disappoint you either!
Is the island for you?
The island can deliver every traveler’s needs thanks to its manifold nature. In other words, the island is for everyone.
The imposing Portara, the quaint Kastro and the ancient temple of Demeter are the most impressive sights you shouldn’t skip visiting during your stay!
Know what you don't know about Naxos!
- Naxos is the largest island in the Cyclades and the tenth-largest island in Greece.
- It has approximately 20.000 permanent residents, most of whom live in Chora.
- The island has always been famous for the large quantities of high-quality marble it exported.
- The infamous Portara is believed to comprise the entrance of a temple meant to be dedicated to Apollo as it faces Delos, the sacred island of the god. Others believe that the temple meant to be constructed could not belong to any other than the island’s beloved god, Dionysus.
- The local graviera cheese is a PDO product.
Discover our map of Naxos with some points of interest:
Photos of Naxos
ABOUT NAXOS PORT
Located in Chora (Naxos Town), the port of Naxos serves all passenger ferries and commercial ships. The engaging Portara sits in an islet right next to the port and is the first thing travelers see as they approach the island.
The port of Naxos is connected to Athens (Piraeus, Rafina and Lavrion), Crete (Heraklion) and several other islands of the Aegean.
A plethora of cafeterias and restaurants lies across the promenade, while a waiting area and a fish tavern are located within the port area. There’s also a free-of-charge car parking area and car rental offices right outside the port.
The port is not particularly large and can get really crowded during summer.
Guests are advised to have their tickets in hand before entering the port and getting to the waiting area at least an hour in advance due to congestion.
Address: Naxos 843 00
Tel.: +30 22850 22300
Connected ports to Naxos
Athens, Piraeus - Athens, Rafina - Athens, Lavrio - Amorgos, Aegiali - Amorgos, Katapola - Anafi - Andros - Astypalea - Crete, Heraklio - Donoussa - Folegandros - Ios - Iraklia - Kalymnos - Kastelorizo - Kea - Kimolos - Kos, Port - Koufonissi - Kythnos - Milos - Mykonos - Nisyros - Paros - Rhodes - Santorini (Thira) - Schinoussa - Serifos - Sifnos - Sikinos - Symi, Port - Syros - Thirassia - Tinos
The central bus station is located at the port’s exit. KTEL buses to several areas on the island depart from there. Especially in the high season, itineraries to touristy places are frequent.You can purchase your ticket from the station’s ticket booth for '1.80' 'EUR' (1.80 Euro) - '6.20' 'EUR' (6.20 Euro), depending on your destination.
Remember that, contrary to other Cycladic islands, you can’t buy a ticket directly from the driver.
A taxi rank is situated nearby the port if you are interested in taking a cab. Each taxi can carry 1-3 people plus their baggage and the only acceptable payment method is cash. Even though Naxos has an adequate number of taxis, if you plan on visiting during the high season, you may have a hard time catching one right after your arrival.
Private transfers are the most reliable and convenient way to travel from the port to any other place in Naxos.
Their main advantage is that you can book in advance and not waste your time waiting at the port. Vehicles suitable for larger groups are also available.
Alternatively, you can opt for a car rental and have your vehicle delivered to the port before your arrival.