General Information about Naxos Island, Cyclades
Naxos is the largest of all the Cycladic islands and a prominent tourist destination. Consisting of several traditional villages and amazing beaches, the island has a wide range of options available to visitors. Due to the fresh water and the fertile landscape, Naxos is also an extremely green island, making agriculture an important part of its economy, along with tourism.
The history of Naxos is deeply connected to mythology. While some believe that Zeus himself was raised there, others state that the giant brothers Ephialtes and Otus lived on the island. Another myth states that Theseus abandoned princess Ariadne on the island, after she helped him defeat the Minotaur, but she eventually married Dionysus, the god of wine, who also lived on Naxos.
Naxos was inhabited since the ancient times and had developed a strong civilization. Many ancient temples and statues have been found on the island, indicating a rich cultural past. However, Naxos reached its top in the Venetian times, when trade and agriculture was developed and made it an economical centre. The Venetian Castle and elegant mansions dominate in Chora and the coutryside.
The greenest island in Cyclades, the landscape of Naxos is dominated by high mountains, stunning valleys and blooming vegetation. The central tourist spots on the island are Agios Georgios, Plaka, Mikri Vigla and Agios Prokopios, where you will find many hotels, gift shops, bars and restaurants. Visitors can also enjoy a lot of water sports there, while wind surfing is the most popular activity on the island due to the proper wind conditions. Many beaches are well equipped and have been awarded the Blue Flag Award for their cleanness.
Greek ferries from/to Naxos
There are frequent daily ferries from Piraeus to Naxos and Naxos to Piraeus. In summer, there are also ferries from Rafina to Naxos and Naxos to Rafina. Rafina is the second largest port of Attica and the closest to the airport.
These routes connect Naxos to the most popular islands of Cyclades, particularly they connect Naxos to Paros, Naxos to Mykonos, Naxos to Thira Santorini, Naxos to Ios and Naxos to Milos. In the past, there was also a ferry from Naxos to Heraklion Crete, but now it has stopped operation.
In summer, there is the local ferry Express Skopelitis that connects Naxos to Amorgos and Small Cyclades (Donoussa, Schinoussa, Iraklia and Koufonisia).