Naxos was the last stop on our three week adventure in Greece, with our kids.
And we were so ready for it.
We had planned to spend a big chunk of time in Naxos.
We wanted a place where we could slow down, and relax, and just enjoy the sun, and the beach, and the food, and…just being in Greece.
We purposely split our time between a condo near the waterfront in Naxos town, and a more secluded villa in the countryside.
It was bliss.
We took a ferry from Santorini to Naxos, which was easy and painless.
We had booked a room in a small hotel near the beach.
It was easy to navigate and walk there from the ferry.
We essentially checked in, and headed for the water.
St. Georgios Beach, right in Naxos town is great.
Tons of chairs and umbrellas for rent (like 7 Euros for two, all day), lots of little restaurants that will deliver to the beach, perfect fine sand for sandcastles, and water shallow enough for my kids to stand in for like 500m offshore.
We stayed all day.
At around 3pm, we finally tore ourselves away from the water and headed back to our place to shower all the sand off, and relax a bit (more) before dinner.
Essentially, the next four days in Naxos had the same routine:
Breakfast and coffee on the balcony of our place.
Head to the waterfront to get lost in the streets of Naxos.
Browse around at all the little shops.
Attempt to get to Naxos castle (I don’t think we ever made it to the actual castle).
Find some candy or ice cream.
Eat a quick lunch (usually fruit salad and fries for the kids and a greek salad for us).
Grab our beach bag and head to the water.
Swim, play frisbee, build in the sand, read, relax, repeat.
Walk the short half block back to our place.
Shower and chill (some more).
Fishy dinner at a restaurant along the waterfront.
Slow ramble back to our place.
That may sound so boring to you.
I get it.
But for us, it was great.
We loved Naxos, and loved getting to know it more intimately.
This town is so just my style, you have no idea…
On one of those days we ventured out and took the bus to the famous Plaka beach.
It was way more secluded than St. Georgios for sure.
And gorgeous (but really, all beaches on Naxos are).
Also lined with loungers and umbrellas and cafes.
We loved playing in the waves at Plaka (it was a super windy day).
But, for us, with our kids, St. Georgios and the shallow waters stretching way, way out to sea, suited us better.
(Not to mention that it was essentially right outside our front door).
After seeing a sign along the waterfront, we also caught a movie at the outdoor cinema one night after dinner.
The movies are current, change often, and in English.
We had never been to an outdoor cinema before.
(But bring bug spray…we did not and suffered for it later).
On day 6, we rented a car, and moved to the country.
We had booked a little villa in the country as a treat to ourselves (I know, and yes, the entire vacation was a treat) and it was just as amazing as we had been hoping.
It was a sweet little spot, about 15 minutes from Naxos town.
Complete with a private swimming pool, fruit trees with ripe fruit, roosters crowing, cows mooing, and just the right amount of peace and quiet.
After breakfast, we piled in the little rental car, and headed for the hills (as they say).
We took the road past the marble quarries to Moni and then on to Halki for lunch.
Cute town, delicious lunch.
No tourist attraction for sure; But a good way to get a deeper feeling for life in Greece.
Even the time spent driving and letting your mind wander and think about ancient Greece, and current Greece and all the history in between was fun for us.
(but we’re kind of weird that way).
We headed back to our villa for an afternoon in the pool.
For dinner, we drove to the closest town, and had a delicious dinner at one of the local restaurants.
Again, we took off in our little car right after breakfast.
We essentially travelled the same route but this time stopped at the Kouros of Flerio near Mili.
These are big marble statues (5.5m) that were destined for great things in the 7th century B.C but that were broken during transport.
The real gem here for us, was not seeing the actual Kouros, but the walk around the countryside to the Kouros.
We also headed to Panagia Drosiani.
A little church near Halki.
Built in the 7th century, the nuns used to secretly teach Greek language and religion during the Turkish occupation.
There are so many churches all over the countryside on Naxos (mostly on hills).
This is the one we chose to go into.
It gave us a quick, but good feel for this scene.
But visiting multiple churches doesn’t really hold our kids’ (or ours to be honest) interest.
So we left it at that.
We drove down to Filoti for lunch, and back to our place, and the pool, on a hot, hot day.
So, this day should have been more eventful.
Or at least richer as it was our last day on Naxos.
Both my kids had heat stroke and one of them was super homesick.
They were both just completely done, and refused to leave the villa.
In a way, I suppose this was a good thing.
It invited me and my hot husband to just stop touristing completely.
A full day in and out of the pool, drinking lemonade, and making meals with delicious fresh ingredients.
Almost unlimited time lounging in bed, with a book and a cool breeze coming through the gauzy curtains hung on a window with a turquoise frame.
I was really okay with this.
No doubt about it, we love Naxos.
Even being there for 10 days.
There were are a couple things that made Naxos specifically great for us and our kids.
One, is the absence of cruise ships and correspondingly, cruise ship hoards.
There is not 1000 tourists heading ashore at one time, for a day trip.
And two, we went during the right season.
I’m not sure I could handle either the crowds, or the heat, in the high season (June – Sept).
It was really hot already in early May.
We didn’t see many ‘attractions’ and we definitely took a very, very leisurely pace, with lots of downtime.
I suppose we could have used this time to see more history of Greece, or different islands, or, really, a number of things.
10 days is a lot of time.
But honestly, I wouldn’t change our itinerary.
It may not be for everyone, and we definitely only scratched the surface of one island out of hundreds, but we loved getting deeper in Naxos.
Have you been?
What did you get up to on Naxos with your kids?