Naxos: An Island of Hidden Treasures
Updated: Feb 27
Visiting Naxos was a happy travel accident.
We had such difficulty finding a suitable place in Mykonos that I had all but given up on the idea. The one thing stopping us from giving up altogether was our desire to visit Delos. Late one night, I began researching nearby islands, hoping one would have an excursion to Delos and offer us a second option. The first island that appeared in my research was Naxos, and the first attribute that peaked my interest were the number of ancient ruins located on the island. We immediately fell in love with Naxos and decided to squeeze a visit into our itinerary. We found the beautiful Rocabella Mykonos Hotel, but reduced our time on that island to 2 nights, so that we could spend 2 nights exploring Naxos. In hindsight, we are so grateful we did.
Once our time in Mykonos came to an end, we arranged for a driver from Rocabella Mykonos to drop us off at the port. We had purchased our ferry tickets through Greeka, quickly and easily but before standing with the huge groups of people waiting to board the ferry, we needed to pick up our physical tickets at the port office. It was very easy to navigate, but with so many people loitering in the port area, it was inevitable that confusion would set it for some. Many people arrived very close to the time when the boat should be have docked (most ferries in Greece are notoriously late) and were not only shocked by the amount of people but frustrated that they needed to wait in long lines to get their tickets.
We paid a few extra dollars and opted for the Club Class ticket, which provided us a private sitting area with a little more quiet and comfort. With that Club Class ticket, you also get a separate area to store your luggage closer to the dock and a separate staircase into the boat. When leaving however, it’s everyone departing from the same place. Though reminiscent of cattle prodders, the ferry operators are very efficient at moving everyone along and off the boat. Once we maneuvered our way away from the crowd, a pick-up from the hotel was waiting for us.
TIP: Not only are there different class seats and pricing on each ferry, but there are multiple ferry options for the same locations, some faster than others. If you are flexible with your departure time and date, you can research the available options and select the speed and class that works best for your needs and budget.
There are many beautiful accommodations available on Naxos, but I believe we found the best. Cyano Suites offers four luxurious rooms located directly on the beach. We booked the premium suite, which was essentially a grand apartment on the upper level, with an unobstructed view of the water and the temple of Apollo. Stylistically decorated in white stone with bamboo accents, the “room” included three separate balconies, two bathrooms, two showers, two separate sitting rooms and a huge indoor jacuzzi bath, plus a mini-fridge with beverages and coffee maker. Even with all the amenities, the booking included breakfast, served at the sister hotel Adriani, just a few minutes walk down the street. The breakfasts were simple but decadent, all lovingly homemade. As soon as it was ready, the quiche or tart or (god help us) tiropita would be walked across the street from, we assume, their family home and placed in the breakfast buffet. Cyano Suites offered us the perfect balance of luxury and small town hospitality, we would highly recommend them to anyone visiting Naxos.
Most tourists visiting Naxos with an interest in seeing more than the main city (Chora) seem to rent cars and drive t