Published On: Mon, Apr 1st, 2024
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The beautiful Greek island really close to Santorini and Mykonos but far less busy | Travel News | Travel

This beautiful island is the perfect getaway for those looking to escape the crowds this summer thanks to its somewhat low-profile reputation.

Naxos – a more budget friendly alternative to the likes of Santorini and Mykonos – is home to golden sand, plenty of bars and restaurants to explore. Though other tourist destinations are more popular, Naxos still holds the famous Greek charm that thousands of tourists flock to see every summer.

Its slower pace of life and reduced tourist density make it a great spot to explore the island’s natural, untouched beauty that has managed to avoid large crowds. Thanks to its status, it’s a much more affordable option for those hoping to visit Greece, with accommodation costing as little as £30 a night.

It sits in the centre of the Cyclades islands group, in the heart of the Aegean sea known for its clear, crystal waters. The architecture in Naxos is something to be admired, with typical Greek blue and white homes scattered over the island.

Some of these are even up for grabs on sites like Airbnb for those wanting to have a taste of life on the island. The island is home to around 19,000 residents, with goats outnumbering them four to one.

Chora – the ‘capital’ city – is known locally as Naxos Town and is often dubbed the best place to stay for those visiting. Combining modern architecture with ancient Greek features, it has its own charm that other islands lack.

The “Portara” is the gateway to the Temple of Apollo, and it’s the first thing you’ll see when arriving by ferry.

To get to Naxos, you will need to board a plane to Athens and then opt for either a ferry or domestic direct flight to the island. Some favour arriving by ferry to see the famous view of the temple as you arrive.

Amongst the whitewashed houses stands a Venetian castle, perfect for exploring the medieval charm of the island. Some of the most popular hotels on the island are Ayiopetra, 18 Grapes, Naxian Collection and Ploes.

Plaka is one popular beach that stands out on the island, lined with sand and home to turquoise water. There are fish taverns and bars nearby, making it the perfect spot for a beach day.

Aliko beach is also worth exploring, though much more remote than Plaka. Aliko is home to many hidden beaches and coves waiting to be discovered, and thanks to its position, a lot of the beaches are protected from strong winds.

For those wanting to learn more about the local area, head to Apiranthos – a mountainous village. Located on the northern side, it is surrounded by neverending greenery and has endless hiking routes to explore.

As well as the Temple of Apollo, the ancient Temple of Demeter is also located on the island, just a short walk from Ano Sangri. It dates all the way back to the 6th century and was dedicated to the goddess of grain.

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