Having married a Greek man, I was also lucky enough to sign-up to a lifetime of fabulous summers in some the most beautiful places on earth…sigh. What I love about Greece is it’s stunning culture of boutique coffee places; endless social gatherings, tirelessly active older generation and (not in order importance) home-cooked food!
On this trip we ventured to Naxos, an island in the Aegean sea, and my first trip off mainland Greece. Here are some of the stunning photo’s and things we got up to!
If you love seafood, you love Greece…end of sentence! They catch the fish 10ft away from where you eat it; what I love about that is there is always a salty fresh smell in the air, and tradition is very much the key behind all the flavours. What that means is that you have to move to and island, own a restaurant and wait for 5 generations to pass before you could ever replicate those flavours! You should eat at the port at least once if you visit an island; all of the food is fresh and delicious, but you get the full effect of the moon on the still water and motionless docked boats – it’s an experience!
Agios Prokopios beach below is stunning; it is the busy area and is situated between the port (in the North) and the water sporting district of Mikri Vigla. It has a lot of accommodation, car rentals and bars/restaurants as you are quite central; it can get busy but is very convenient and boasts one of the nicest beaches in Naxos.
We found some incredible rocks and a church (one of about a hundreds on the island) situated high up and away from tourist knowledge – there are tons of hidden gems just like this if you take a look around.
Speaking of wandering, when you start walking into the city of Naxos, just back from the port, you enter what I can only describe as a labyrinth. It goes forever; you occasionally pass another bewildered tourist also roaming the back streets and has hand-drawn signs by locals that seem to only get your deeper into the maze of beautiful handmade jewellery and clothes. I’d say a husbands nightmare and a wife’s dream…maybe a woman designed it?
We enjoyed sunsets in many places, but in Plaka they have tables on the sand…right on the beach…it’s something else! Wine is so cheap in Greece and its always good quality, so we sat back and soaked it all in…the sunset…not the wine! One of my favourite dishes in Greece is Soutzoukakia (which is a little bit like meatballs), if you visit Greece you should give it a try because it’s divine!
The temple of Apollo is something you can see from the port and it is a nice 5 minute walk to go up and sit for sunset, in fact, people gather there for sunset – which is pretty spectacular. It is at the tip of the island and looks out over a cliff which you can sit on and watch the sun set over the island of Paros. The great thing about Naxos is that the city and many of its attractions and best restaurants are all conveniently located around the port, and the bus service is excellent and cheap (leaving every 30 minutes) for getting to beaches a bit further down.
If you do visit Naxos I’d recommend hiring a car or quad bike to explore as it is a large island with much to see – over 25 towns. I would also recommend going in either the June or September period when tourist season isn’t in full swing and prices are more reasonable, however, you can find very good deals on airbnb any time of year! The weather is warm and also windy over the August period, but the seas are prefect for cooling off in between! We stayed at The Savvas Hotel, and couldn’t recommend it enough; friendly staff, good prices and a wonderful location made it a great choice for everything we wanted to see and do!