Naxos, Greece—the ideal island for wind and kite surfing

I lost count of how many times we’ve been to Greece. Once we got a taste of the beautiful islands and turquoise waters, we were hooked. We returned to Athens in September of 2022 to catch up with our friends, then explored a new island: Naxos, the largest island in the Cyclades.

Naxos is well known for its long sandy beaches (Agios Prokopios, Plaka), ideal wind conditions for windsurfing and kitesurfing (Mikri Vigla, Laguna), high-quality local agricultural products (potatoes and types of cheese like arseniko and anthotiro), the impressive Portara (trademark of the island which is the remaining door of the temple of Apollo), fertile valleys of the mainland, mountainous villages and rich history.—

For the sake of keeping posts short, I’ll break down the story into several posts, so come back and check things out!

Naxos, Greece map

Naxos Trip Itinerary

Day 1:

  • Ferry from Piraeus – Mikonos – Naxos; Hertz car rental
  • Orkos Blue Coast AirBnB
  • Dinner at To Kati Allo restaurant, Naxos
  • Walk around the port

Day 2:

Day 3:

Day 4:

  • South Beach and Mikri Vigla Beach
  • Downtown Naxos City/Chora – walking and shopping
  • Bossa Café and an amazing sunset in the port

Day 5:

  • Villa Paradise Boutique Hotel, Naxos – across from it, South Beach entrance with a view of Plaka Beach
  • Rocky cove and RVers
  • Mikri Vigla Beach – surfers and a border collie
  • Bakery-again
  • Sunset at Portara (Temple of Apollo)

Day 6:

  • Flight to Athens

Day 1

From mainland Greece, we took the ferry from Piraeus to Naxos. The “Thunder” boat was very nice and spacious, had several bar areas offering snacks and refreshments, which made our four-and-half-hour glide toward our vacation destination more pleasurable. The boat made a stop in Mikonos and we took a break as we watched waves of tourists unload and dissipate from the port into the meandering streets.

Tip: download the app Ferryhopper to book your ferry from mainland to the Greek islands.

Flock of birds flying alongside our ferry to Naxos

The giant gate lowered with metallic creaks and Naxos revealed itself in front of us: to our left, up on the hill stood Portera, an imposing marble doorway, the only part left standing from the ancient Temple of Apollo, now in ruins; to the right stretched welcoming shops and tavernas along the port bobbing with catamarans, sloops, and yachts.

Arriving on Naxos

We headed to the Hertz car rental office and picked up our car.

Tip: download directions before heading outside the port area and losing connection. The car rental place had some maps available, but we found a better map at a local grocery store (one that listed which roads were paved vs not).

We followed a dusty road to our AirBnB Orkos Blue Coast, near Mikri Vigla beach. We took the shortest route, which was not the best, and later found a paved main road going through the village of Vivlos.

We found the upstairs apartment just as pictured on the AirBnB website, complete with a beautiful view of the Mediterranean from our balcony. The only issue proved to be the next door neighbors’ cigarette smoke. I’m allergic to it, so we had to time our balcony sessions just right. We also didn’t find the WiFi password in the room, so we headed back toward Chora, the main port town to get in touch with the host via WhatsApp and then get some dinner.

We settled on the terrasse of a small family restaurant just one street away from the port. To Kati Allo proved to be a great choice. Vacation mode kicked in as we feasted on traditional fare: octopus, potatoes, melitzanosalata (eggplant dip), fresh vegetables, fish, and of course bread and olive oil. As the sun went down, we people-watched and dined, wind chimes providing a soothing background.

Wind chimes

To complete our evening and first day in Naxos, we took a leisurely stroll through downtown and along the water, while a full moon shone brightly above.

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