Confession: I know I’ve neglected this blog for ages but finally I’m done with all tedious and boring bits of uni life, so I guess I’d better speed up my writing before I embark on my upcoming summer trip again!
If I were to say that Santorini has satisfied all my expectations about Greece, Naxos has completely blew my mind. Despite being only 4 hours away on a ferry, I would highly recommend spending several days relaxing on Naxos. I was lucky to have picked a hostel which is literally 3 minutes away from the beach on foot. So when I got in late afternoon, I instantly dumped my backpack in the room and rushed to the beach, just to catch some sunshine before the sky went dark.
I could literally see the beach at the end of the road from my room!
One of the most iconic historical sites on the island is the Portara (i.e. the huge door). Located on a separate island that is linked to Naxos by a causeway, this doorway is the entrance to an unfinished temple that faces towards Delos, Apollo’s birthplace. Hence, some scholars believed that this temple was dedicated to Apollo. The construction of the temple started 530 BC by the tyrant Lygdamis, who vowed that he would transform the buildings on Naxos into the biggest and most glorious ones in Greece. However, Lygdamis’ promise was never fulfilled and up till this moment, all that is left are some scattered remains of the foundation of this temple and this rectangular marble doorway. On a warm summer’s day, this spot becomes a popular place for sunset watching.
The marble doorway that leads to nowhere…
I heard that there are a couple of amazing beaches on Naxos but most of them involve a bit of driving to get there. Given that I had zero experience in driving and I couldn’t be bothered to look for another person to share a quad with me, I chose to stay and hang around the central part of the island. And to be honest, that was more than enough for me. What makes Naxos a perfect Greek island for me is that not only does it possess all my favorite elements (beach, sunshine, sea and blue-and-white-themed houses), it is also nearly tourists-free. This allows me to spend a fair amount of time exploring and wandering around the old town, walking into random stores and boutiques and taking breaks from time to time to enjoy traditional Greek yoghurt with fresh fruit toppings along the harbor.
Exploring around the old market of Naxos…
Once again, I’m deeply attracted by this kind of blue-and-white house!
Even kitties take their time to enjoy the warm sunshine outdoors
Yet, the highlight of my stay in Naxos (and probably of my entire trip to Greece) is my one-day sailing tour with Captain Panos. As I was taking a walk along the harbor one night, I suddenly came cross the sailboat of Captain Panos and thought a sailing tour sounded like a good idea. Although it was slightly out of my budget, it was money well-spent. With the tour, I visited a couple of secluded beaches, went swimming inside the Rina’s Cave, had an amazing lunch on Koufonisia, an island nearby and most importantly went cliff-jumping. TWICE!
Captain Panos and the crew were the friendliest and warmest people that I’ve ever met. A picture is worth a thousand words and so here are a few of them, proving what a fun time I had on that tour.
One of the many secluded private beaches visited that day
Swimming in Rina’s Cave
The picturesque island of Koufonisia
Underwater photo by the photographer on the tour 🙂
My all-time favorite photo!
P.S. To all first-time cliff-jumpers, speaking from experience here, unless you want bruises all over your abs for a week or so, always jump with your feet first into the water and hug your arms tight to your body!!! Never attempt the pose as shown in the photo above!