Deserted beaches and romantic atmosphere in Agia Anna…
To reach the beautiful island of Naxos, the largest island in the Cyclades, we decide to land on Mykonos (or possibly Santorini) from Milan (Italy).
We land in about 2 and a half hours (from Milan) and head to the port of Mykonos (15 minutes by bus or taxi).
Bus or taxi? My advice is to do the calculations well; consider a 15 min journey from the airport to the port if you use taxis (they cost around € 15 each way, fixed price between the airport and the port) or 30 minutes if you use the bus. This is not because it takes longer but because you have to count the waiting time. If you are not in a hurry you can therefore wait for the first bus that, passing in front of the airport exit, will have the wording of the port on the sheets with the destination written on it (they first pass through the city center and after a pause of a couple of minutes continue towards the port.) Make sure you arrive at the port at the time of your ferry but not long before; Ferries tend to be very often late and you may have to wait even an hour before your ship shows up.
FROM MYKONOS TO NAXOS
My advice is to buy tickets at least one month in advance. In this way you will be able to find the ticket price at about 1/3 of the price purchased the same day.
The cost of the Mykonos – Naxos route is in fact around 12 euros up to a maximum of 35 depending on the company you are going to buy. Purchased a week before you spend no less than 28 euros while the same day the price is around 32-38 euros.
Arrived at the last minute there were no more seats available in the second class and the first class cost the beauty of 45 euros.
When you buy (because you understand that you have to buy the ticket online now) the ticket you have to check the duration of the crossing. Some take 45 minutes, another 1 hour and 45 minutes. On this site you can buy your ticket and have it delivered directly to your home or decide to have it printed at the boarding kiosk in the port of Mykonos.
Buy and compare routes: paleologos.gr
Buy directly from the company: Golden Star Ferries: goldenstarferries.gr
Map of points to visit in Naxos. On https://mynaxos.gr/ you can still find lots of useful information to find the right place for you.
Get to Naxos!
Naxos is the largest island in the Cyclades but the areas in which lidos and activities are concentrated are almost all in the west of the island. The western part is also the windiest but if it is not your first time in Greece you will know for sure what I mean. The wind is pleasant because it takes away all the sultriness that would otherwise form on the island and is not excessive enough to prevent you from doing your daily life, as well as being an excellent ally to keep mosquitoes away.
What is the weather like in August? How much does a cot and umbrella cost?
The heat certainly makes you feel and that is why if you decide to spend your holidays here you will surely find shelter under umbrellas and sunbeds. The cost of a day under the umbrella is 10 euros in total in most of the island but this cost is almost always zeroed if you decide to have lunch in the same establishment. (Some ask for a sum of around 20 euros in total for lunch so ask if you have any doubts). This obviously not in the whole island; I had the chance to try the beach of the city (paid beds), of a plant near Hawaii Beach (even more expensive, although there was none), and then finally in Agia Anna (free if you decide to have lunch there).
Where to choose accommodation on the island?
Where to stay and based on what to make a certain choice? The western part is the most populated and I am going to advise you. The Chora or the city so called by the inhabitants you can take refuge in the typical Greek taverns and at the same time have a few minutes away very beautiful beaches.
If, on the other hand, you are sea-types then Agia Anna will be the best coiche for you; restaurants that alternate one after the other and a succession of studios. Lower down in the Plaka area you will find wilder and much wider beaches, with the possibility of finding campsites and a nudist beach (all marked on the map at the top of this article).
Villages or Studios? Breakfast included or not? If you ended up like me in the loop of what is better or more convenient, choose here some tips:
If you choose a studio adjacent to the sea then it will not have the pool or very often not even breakfast. If instead you decide that the sea is not your priority then you can find very nice studios with swimming pool and breakfast included. Don’t expect an Italian breakfast as the savory is preferred over the dessert. I struggled to find studios with a sweet breakfast as I like it. In the end my choice fell on a splendid suite adjacent to the sea.
It’s called Sea Nymphs Suites, but in addition to the suites it also has beautiful double rooms.
To reach this area from the city you will need to take the number 10 bus which will take you to the beach, adjacent to your accommodation. In this place there is really everything you could need, thanks to the adjacent village. The area is very quiet, unlike the city where aircraft and chaos can be heard.
The two suites have a private veranda area for you in which you can relax and a room composed of a large window that lets in lots of light.
All the furnishings inside it are taken care of, like the soft white carpet that will make you feel at home. Bathroom and shower are separated to give you not only all the privacy you want but also to be able to use both independently
The structure is fairly recent but is being updated as is the hall under construction and the shared kitchen project that the owner wants to implement. If you decide to have breakfast in the studios contact (and book) directly by contacting the manager by email; in this way you will be informed about the state of the works and the possibility of having breakfast in the room.
If you are an explorer, here are alternative places to have breakfast!
Where to have breakfast?
So let’s move on to the cost of breakfasts that include more options.
Basic breakfast (5 – 6.50 euros) a few slices of bread, butter and jam + long coffee and orange juice.
Breakfast Naxos (6.50 – 7.50) The precedent plus the cheese
English breakfast (7 -9 euros) with eggs, bacon etc ..
You can take instead a cup of yogurt, fruit and muslei for 8 euros or a menu including the avocado for 9 euros.
There are also pancakes and their cost was 6.50 euros but for a nice big plate.
In short, only for breakfast you could even spend 10 euros each. The B & Bs that offer this option usually offer it separately and cost from 6 to 7 euros with the “all you can eat” formula.
At the beach
The beach of Agia Anna is surely one of the most beautiful and with the most crystalline water, especially towards the little church of Saint Nicolas where the water becomes lower and it is possible to venture to discover hidden places of which I will give you a taste in the gallery of images. Continuing along that direction you will find both the nudist beach and a very large beach without facilities where you can take long walks.
The cost of the cot is often canceled if you decide to have lunch in the same place. In the evening the transformation takes place; around 6 pm the beds are taken away (quiet, you can stay and move forward in the first rows) to make space for tables and chairs on the beach. If you decide to dine around 8-9 you can also admire a beautiful sunset over the sea as a side dish to your octopus.
Where to dine and what to eat?
If you are looking for romance, the restaurants on the beach of Agia Anna are definitely for you. Despite the wonderful sea view the bill is not much more salty than all the other restaurants. The price of the fish is around 12-15 euros while the Greek salad can be found at 6 euros and an octopus appetizer (the one in the figure) at about 8 euros. First course dishes for 7 euros for moussaka. You can not give up the garlic sauce and yougurt tzatziki (4 euros) and try it in the restaurant where its flavor is at the highest levels (Akrogiali Restaurant) or a grilled fish at Palatia (about 45 euros) with 4 prawns, a squid , octopus, sardines. You can find it even less but with a reduction of the fish inside it
In addition to the fantastic restaurants on the beach (you can try a different one every night even if in the end the menu is always the same) you can also find an excellent offer in the village in the restaurant Giannulis Restaurant where you will always find queue at the entrance. We asked ourselves why and decided to try it. In addition to meat, which I believe is typical of this restaurant, the wonder is that the customer is pampered from beginning to end. You receive a glass of wine to make standing waiting more pleasant to enter and once you are seated at the table their appetizer is served. Continue with the rosé wine offered and at the end of the Ouzo meal and their dessert of the day. In short, what do you want more?
The cocktails are not much cheaper than that from us but in the city we can find very good served for 6 euro.
If you take a ride and decide to stop for dinner in the city of Naxos you will find a string of restaurants and the difficult choice to decide. The daily offers allow you to carry the fish of the day with a side dish and glass of wine for 10 euros.
What beaches to see?
There are so many beaches to visit but in my opinion if you decide to stay in Agia Anna you will not feel the need to move. According to us, Hawaii Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches on the island, a bit inaccessible to reach and not completely isolated as a destination for tourists but certainly worth a visit. Since there are no facilities or sunbeds nearby it is difficult to stop all day but you can find refreshment on the beach next to it (marked on the map).
What to see in Naxos?
Naxos not only sea! If you are an adventurer you can decide to explore the island a little and admire for example the Temple of Demeter and the Tower of Bazeos or the Gate of the temple of Naxos (in the city). The most picturesque cities are instead positioned inside it at about an hour’s distance and my advice is to take a car to reach them if you don’t want dangerous maneuvers between the sand of some roads and the sand in your face . Alternatively the buses they work very well on the island.
The city is certainly very characteristic and it is possible to admire it from above by entering one of the restaurants overlooking the harbor such as 1739.
Check out all the photos of Naxos here!