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The largest of the Cyclades islands, Naxos has dreamy beaches to laze on, traditional hilltop villages to explore and mouth-watering local produce to devour. Naxos holidays may centre around relaxation in gorgeous surrounds, but there’s plenty on offer besides sun, sea and sand, whether watersports, mountain hikes or ancient myths get your heart racing.
Its lush, green landscape gives Naxos a decidedly different feel to many other Greek islands. It also allows the island to produce its own food, making it a great destination for those who love eating local while away. Feast on meals containing local cheeses, potatoes, olives, lemons and meat, and toast to an excellent holiday with a glass of kitron, a sweet liqueur distilled from the leaves and fruit of citrus trees.
There are no direct flights from the UK to Naxos, although you can reach it by boat from either neighbouring Mykonos or Santorini, or Athens (where you can fly from too). It’s only a positive though; Naxos remains a laid-back secret. You’ll arrive into the harbour of its charming capital Chora (also known as Naxos Town and Hora) which is overlooked by a Venetian castle and has a labyrinth of alleys to get lost in.
If you’re a fan of Greek mythology, read up on all of the legends of the island before your visit. Zeus is said to have been brought up on Naxos and the island’s tallest mountain, Zas (or Zeus), is named after him. Dionysus, the god of wine, was also born here and is said to have blessed the island with its fertile land and vineyards.
Then, of course, there’s the beaches. Naxos’ southwest coast is a heaven for those who love sand between their toes and salt in their hair, with pristine stretches such as Ágios Prokópios often topping lists as one of the best beaches in the Greek islands and even Europe.
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