After Santorini, I decided to head over to Naxos. I took a ferry, which was delayed by two hours due to a ferry strike, but thankfully the ferry ride was not too long. I also took some dramamine and realized that I was heavily sedated, so my first day in Naxos consisted of me knocking out as soon as I reached my hotel. That was quite the experience.
When I finally got up the next morning, I decided to explore the marina and the town. I stayed in a hotel right near the town center and the beach. At first, I was skeptical about where I was staying, but it turned out well for me because I was close to everything.
During my week in Naxos, I explored the old town going up and down through these passages which brought me to beautiful buildings and architecture. It was astonishing to see the Portara, a temple to the Greek gods, and to walk all the way up to the Catholic Church and the castles. In between walking, I also stumbled upon some great places to grab food and fresh produce and I FINALLY began to enjoy Greek food. It only took me a few days, but I was pleasantly surprised at how good the food was. I also spent a few days sleeping in, going to the beach, and then heading out to go get some good food and wine.
If you are in Naxos, I definitely recommend trying two spots. The first is Antamoma Cuisine Deli Store. I had some pasta with shrimp while I was there and it was by far the best meal I had while in Greece. The restaurant is very cozy, yet modern. The food is definitely traditional but modern as well. It was delicious and while I was having my meal, I was able to see the sun set. I was also had some Naxian white wine while I was there and the recommendation from the staff did not disappoint either.
The second spot, which has GREAT sunset views and will require some maneuvering to find, is Cafe Compass. You’ll find a mix of Greek food here and more Americanized food, like burgers, but the quality and taste are great. I stumbled upon this place because I was starving and it turned out to be just what I needed. I actually returned for dinner on another night and got to see the sunset while having a burger and glass of wine.
I did venture outside of the main town taking a tour through Naxos tours. Even though Naxos also has a pretty efficient bus system, they are not as frequent as they were in Santorini, so getting to places that were not directly by the port, but more inland was tricky. So, I decided to spend a day taking a tour through Ancient Naxos. This tour was totally worth it. We got to visit a few of the towns that are more inland and to really get a sense for both the mountainous and beach like terrain within Naxos. I found it fascinating that at some point I felt like I was covered by greenery and the next I was in front of a beach. This made me really appreciate Naxos for its beauty which is subtle. Our tour guide was a teacher who knew Naxos history very well and I got to learn a bit more about Greek mythology and the people of Naxos. The smaller towns were also beautiful, even though it was gloomy and rainy day.
The rest of my trip just consisted of me being a beach bum. I was staying a five minute walk from the beach and this was nice especially during the days when I didn’t want to do much. I also ventured out into Plaka beach by taking the bus there and I was mesmerized by how beautiful these beaches were. They were definitely comparable to the ones in Martinique. Spending time walking around the beach and getting a sense for the people living in Naxos was very relaxing.
So, that was the second leg of my trip. I had such a great time in Naxos and I was very pleasantly surprised by how beautiful and subtle it was. After spending a week in a very busy Santorini, it was nice to go to Naxos where the tourist season had not yet completely kicked it. It gave me time to reflect, read, and to really be thankful for the journeys that I was taking, for the wonderful people I was meeting, and for allowing my brain to just shut off and enjoy being in the moment.