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Mar 16th, 2012, 12:12 PM
  #1
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Naxos

We have decided to spend at least 4 (maybe 5) nights on Naxos. Although the St George Beach area seems like the perfect area to stay (close to town ,but a little out), I am thinking about staying off the beaten track for this island. We are on the beaten path while staying on the other 2 islands we are visiting ( Santorini and Mykonos). Our requirements for Naxos are to stay at a clean, family run hotel or self catering spot with beautiful water views. We also want to be near a few good tavernas for nightly dinners. Nearby any walking trails would be a bonus as well. We will rent a car for a couple of days for island excursions. Do you have any suggestions for a less populated beach on the island that would meet our requirements? Thanks!
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Mar 17th, 2012, 01:03 AM
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We stayed on Naxos years ago at a place that meets some of your requirements but not all. The Hotel Grotta (no. 1 on TripAdvisor for Naxos, I just had a quick look out of interest) was a clean, family run hotel with great seaviews from the breakfast room and some rooms had this view, but not all. The owners were very welcoming and it's built up on a headland so a slight uphill walk to reach it from Naxos town. I think it took us about 15 mins, or slightly more, to reach the town which is full of places to eat. So it's not on a beach, it's on a headland, but it's a nice place.

Kay
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Mar 17th, 2012, 01:22 AM
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I don't have any specific hotel recommendations for you, but if you don't wish to stay in St George (Agios Georgios) suggest you look for something in either Agios Prokopios or Agia Anna. These settlements are adjacent to each other, and about 15 min by bus from Naxos Town. Agia Anna has the advantage of a several hotels and tavernas, and is just over a small headland from Plaka, considered by many to be the best beach on Naxos. There are also a few hotels on Plaka itself, but I fear it will be very quiet there in May. My favourite beach is the one at Agios Prokopios.
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Mar 17th, 2012, 07:17 AM
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Heimdall pretty much has it spot on. To get 1) off the beaten track 2) tavernas nearby 3) beachfront location you should probably choose the village at Agios Prokopios for a choice of tavernas and the great beach there but Ocean views might be a bit harder to get.

The Plaka beach area will certainly give you the ocean views, great beach off the beaten path and there are 4 or 5 tavernas spread out over a 2 kilometer spread of beach.
This certainly would be my choice for your wish list.

Another area to consider would be Stalada area. It is in early development and is located high up on a mountianside with beautiful ocean views and most of the properties up there are quite luxurious. They claim it is only a 5 minute walk to Prokopios however that is all down hill coming back from the beach is a whole other story. You will definately need a car at Stalada.
Here are some images of Plaka Brach
http://travel.webshots.com/album/577941251SkgZfC
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Mar 17th, 2012, 11:07 AM
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Hi stanbr,

I don't normally recommend hotels I've never stayed in, but suggested Agia Anna because some of the hotels there are closer to the beach than those in Agios Prokopios. Do you know anything about Iria Beach Art Hotel? It looks like something Roadster may be interested in, is near the beach, and has good reviews in Trip Advisor, although some say it is overpriced.

Roadster, If you have Google Earth, Fly to:

37 04' 02.92" N, 25 21' 21.09" E (copy & paste this into the Fly To box)

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Mar 17th, 2012, 09:58 PM
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Hi Heimdall. I looked at the web site for Iria. I must admit I do not know this property but it looks pretty nice. It appears to be right at the beach.
Having said that I find Aggia Anna beach to be very narrow and it often seemed to be crowded. There are very nice beaches about a 10 minute walk away hidden by that pine forest so that is where we would hang out. We have never been attracted to Aggia Anna and its beach so have never even bothered to visit any hotels in the area. Agai Anna to me does not seem to be off the beaten track and like you we just keep on going and head out to Plaka beach.
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Mar 18th, 2012, 01:54 AM
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I agree about the beach at Agia Anna, but it's only a few minute's walk over the small headland to Plaka Beach. Friends from Antiparos always stay at Agia Anna (not sure which hotel) and swim at Plaka when they are on Naxos. I've often passed through Agia Anna on my walks between Plaka and Agios Prokopios beaches, and noticed how close the hotels there are to the water.

Unfortunately there is always a compromise to be made, as a quiet beach won't have several tavernas. ;-)
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Mar 18th, 2012, 04:32 PM
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Our trip is in June, and we chose Medusa Resort on Naxos for 6 days, largely because of its isolation on Plaka Beach. We will have a car and if it means a 20 minute drive to Naxos Town, so be it - we don't like crowds or cruise ships, and there was a wonderful trip report about Medusa, which I will find if you want it. We will make a day trip to Delos and Mykonos from Naxos and then go on to 1 1/2 weeks in western Crete. Unlike 99% of the travelers, we have no interest in Santorini. I think Medusa may be somewhat more expensive than the ones on St. George's Beach - but it looks beautiful and the proprietor so far has been hugely helpful and welcoming. Have a wonderful time!
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Mar 18th, 2012, 05:04 PM
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Oliver harry
Keep in mind the OP wanted access to tavernas as well as beach access and out of the way location. Medusa give two of those wishes. Like all the suggestions provided so far a compromise will be required because other than Plaka area no other place ticks all the boxes on the wish list.
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Mar 18th, 2012, 07:55 PM
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We stayed at the Medusa this past September and while it is a lovely family owned property, is IS a bit out of the way. We had a car (mandatory for this location)- and ended up driving into Procopios or Anna for dinner most nights. The beach at the Medusa is VERY narrow, if you are looking for a beach location. We were disappointed by the beach there (we are beach fanatics having once lived in the Caribbean). Be sure and drive around the island and explore, as there are scenic little villages to see. We stayed on Naxos for about 5 days- while we enjoyed it, it was not our favorite place in Greece and we wouldn't return. We LOVED Crete where we stayed in Chania and explored Iraklion, Rethymnon, and the beautiful beach at Falasarna. We also loved Santorini (as my husband said, there is a reason why places like this are famous!) and enjoyed Athens more than we anticipated. It is very sad to see so many abandoned building projects (homes? hotels?) throughout Greece, especially on Naxos- a statement about their economy, and ultimately a drawback to the appeal and beauty of the island(s).
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Mar 18th, 2012, 09:45 PM
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El makes a very interesting point about abandoned homes in Greece. I have been fascinated by abandoned dwellings in Greece for the past 15 years, long befre the current economic situation. Finding abandoned dwellings on Naxos and throughout the Islands and the Mainland speaks of the mystery of what hapened to the people and what is their untold story. Here are some images of Naxos Mountain villages which tell you about what Naxos has to offer beyond a very inconvenient remote resort area and more what Greece used to be like.
http://travel.webshots.com/album/577950188puzxSj
And here are those abandoned dwellings taken in Naxos, Santorini and Milos last summer

http://travel.webshots.com/album/580792085kxtGTT
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Mar 19th, 2012, 01:21 AM
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I believe El is talking about new construction rather than the old abandoned dwellings. All around the islands you see partially completed projects (concrete skeletons), but most of these aren't actually abandoned. The practice in Greece seems to be 'do a little at a time as money becomes available', rather than to borrow money and do the project all at once. The property stays in the family, and no one gets saddled with a huge mortgage. Most will be completed in time, but may take several years.
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Mar 19th, 2012, 06:33 AM
  #13
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Thanks for all of the info. It gives me a lot to think about. So many times when planning trips, I have always come back to the first place where I had an interest. On Naxos, I keep coming back to a place called Faros Apartments on Alyko Beach. It is out of the way and you do need a car,
but the reviews are all great. There are supposedly a few tavernas near to choose from, but the taverna at the hotel gets great reviews for their food. From some of the past responses, I was told to at least stay 4 nights on Naxos because of the island's beauty and places to see. I am hoping that 4 nights will be enough and that if I choose this area, I will be happy. If this is my plan, it gives us 4 nights in Santorini, 4 nights on Naxos and 4 nights on Mykynos. One of these posts says I should stay 5 nights on Naxos. That would leave me 3 on Mykynos. I feel like I am over thinking this way too much! I am hoping that 4 nights on each island should give me time to see what needs to be seen as well as doing it at a relaxing pace. Thanks again for all input. If anyone has thoughts on the Alyko Beach location, let me know.
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Mar 20th, 2012, 06:06 AM
  #14
 
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Alyko features an absolutely gorgeous beach and great swimming but it is even more isolated than Plaka. I haven't been for a couple of years but I think you has only literally a couple of taverns on the vinicity. If that's alright with you, that's fine. Each to their own, but if my aim was to explore a bit of the island, I would be based somewhere more centraly so I could take day trips around without having to have an early start due to additional driving time. By the way, sorry if you mentioned this and I didn't notice, but I think Ididn't read when exactly are you visiting? If this is early or late in the season, I strongly suggest to rethink on location, you may find your self in a deserted beach and no taverns or shops availiable around...
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Mar 20th, 2012, 07:40 AM
  #15
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We will be there mid-May. We don't care if we are isolated with only a few choices of restaurants, but we don't want to be so isolated that we add too much to our driving time for visiting other parts of the island. That being said, we probably will only drive around on 2 of the days, so maybe it's not that big of a deal. It might be worth it to be on a gorgeous beach. Thanks for the tip.
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Mar 20th, 2012, 11:21 AM
  #16
 
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It is a personal call. I would definately check with Faros complex on what is going to be availiable around on May. I think it is their own taverna, and one called I think "Kamari" and not sure what else. By the way on Kastraki beach between Naxos Town and Alyko, there is maybe one of the most highly recommended taverns on the island called "Axiotissa", you may want to spend a visit. : )
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Mar 20th, 2012, 12:16 PM
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Roadster, one of my greatest pleasures when visiting Naxos is strolling around the beautiful chora (main town) in the evenings. It's absolutely wonderful to walk through the narrow passageways below the kastro (castle), browsing in shops, and sitting down for a drink or meal. Unless you really like solitude my guess is you will be drawn to chora as well.

Mid-May is just the start of the tourist season, and many tavernas are likely to still be closed. You may not even have " a few choices of restaurants" at Alyko, and it would be a shame to have to eat in the same place every night. I strongly suggest you listen to mariha, who was actually resident on the island a couple of seasons ago.
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Mar 21st, 2012, 08:54 PM
  #18
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Thanks again for the input. I am overwhelmed with all of the helpful information I am getting. I am beginning to question whether Naxos should be on my list to visit! I was choosing it because it was a convenient stop between Santorini and Mykonos. It also seems to have a much different vibe than those places. I was looking for a less touristy island that would give me a great Greek experience. It seems to have quite a few villages to visit, as well as beautiful beaches. I feel like I need to step back and just ask the question "If you were only visiting Naxos for a few nights, where would you like to stay and what would you do?" The next question would be "If you had one more island to visit that was convenient to the Santorini-Mykonos route, where would you go?" Whereever I go, I will report back on this forum. It is so helpful discussing this with a group!
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Mar 21st, 2012, 10:13 PM
  #19
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My other choice I considered was Folegandros. Would anyone opt for Folegandros over Naxos? I wish I had more time to do it all. I am taking the advice from this forum to give each place I visit at least 4 days....
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Mar 21st, 2012, 11:21 PM
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Folegandros is a beautiful island, that you could easily combine with Santorini.
While Naxos is the biggest Cyclades island, Folegandros is tiny...and it will be quite sleepy out of season.
Having to choose between the two, i would definitely vote for Naxos..
Another island that is very interesting is the island of Tinos, near Mykonos. There are plenty of beautiful villages, beaches, great food, and the island is not touristy at all, with the exception of the 15th. of August, when orthodox Greeks visit the famous church in the Chora of Tinos.
Tinos is the Greek Orthodox equivalent of Lourdes....

Something that makes the island more interesting is that the population is half catholic/half orthodox ( like the capital of the Cyclades Syros).

Tinos is also famous for it's traditional pigeon houses, that can be found everywhere on the island , and are really a piece of Art !!
If you are looking for a typical, non touristy, but beautiful island, i think Tinos is the one.
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