Naxos advice please?

Feb 14th, 2005, 08:31 AM
  #1  
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Naxos advice please?

We're going to Naxos for a week in May, and--since that's the only place we can fly to from Berlin--we're wondering what's the best way to get to Naxos from Athens? I see that the Flying Dolphin only covers the islands, so what do you reccommend?

Any hotel or other accommodations you might reccommend?

Finally, will it be warm enough (in the first week of May) to really enjoy the beaches?
jhides is offline  
Feb 14th, 2005, 09:02 AM
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Not sure what ``only coves the islands'' means ...

Ferries from Pireaus work fine, but there's also usually at least one flight per day on Olympic. The fare was about 75-85 euros, if I recall.
repete is offline  
Feb 14th, 2005, 09:34 AM
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There's at least one car ferry every day back to Athens/Piraeus from Naxos.

www.gtp.gr

You can take the Flying Dolphin from Naxos to Mykonos on Fridays and Sundays and make a connection to the Sea Jet, another fast boat, back to the mainland at Rafina, which is very close to Athens.

www.greekislands.gr/hfd

http://www.bluestarferries.com/ENGLISH/defaultmain.htm
brotherleelove2004 is offline  
Feb 14th, 2005, 11:02 AM
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I think it will still be a bit chilly for swimming, although I guess that depends on personal taste. My brief online research turned up an average high temp for May of 72F, and you're talking about the beginning of the month.
Marilyn is offline  
Feb 14th, 2005, 11:32 AM
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We've been on Naxos in May and the
water was just lovely for swimming
and it was hot enough to want shade
on the beach.
llamalady is offline  
Feb 14th, 2005, 11:40 AM
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llamalady, was it the beginning of May or the end?
Marilyn is offline  
Feb 15th, 2005, 04:38 AM
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Thanx for the input. I'd looked up the temperature in two different places, and I think I'd come up with 66-70 degrees, so I figured I'd ask people who'd actually been on the ground in May. We'll probably do more hiking than beaching, but I'd hate to waste a great island, so I'm hoping for the warmer end of the temp range.

I think I'd be more inclined to take the ferry than to fly--both to save money and to spend some time on the water.

Any reccommendations for good/cheap lodging?
jhides is offline  
Feb 15th, 2005, 07:20 PM
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I enjoyed Lianos Village. It's out of town and a car is almost mandatory (they are pretty cheap, tho, under 30 per day).

But even if you stay in town or in a busier area, a car is a big help at hitting the island's villages and hidden gems like the Temple of Demetra or the kouros.

Lianos is a quick 5-minute stroll down a quiet lane to one of the island's best beaches and a couple of tavernas. The rooms are very clean. There's a basic breakfast included in very modest rates.

A beach town is maybe a 15-minute stroll away with a market, laundry and a multitude of food: everything from gyro takeaway to quiet beachside dining.
repete is offline  
Feb 15th, 2005, 07:39 PM
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We were in Naxos in mid-end May and it was lovely... 70s sunny and we swam a good bit. Water was nice!

We took a ferry from Athens to Naxos just fine.
baemel is offline  
Feb 16th, 2005, 08:27 PM
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Naxos in early May can be a bit iffy for the beach, sometimes a bit windy, but generally it doesn't last long.
Water temp will be cool but you can swim and take in the sun.
Lots of things to do, exploring the town, dining, people warching, wandering the maze of narrow streets leading to the Kastro. See if you can find the bakery in the old market area. Best wood fire bread I've ever tasted.
Consider renting a car and explore the villages, mountains and beaches in the countryside.
For an inexpensive hotel there are several right on St George beach in the town. We stay at Glaros a small family run hotel with the best rooms running about 50 euro per night. There are other newer hotels nearby but I am not sure of the prices.
stanbr is offline  
Mar 8th, 2005, 01:40 AM
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All very good advice. Thanx a lot! We've now decided to go to Naxos during the last week of May, to try to get warmer weather. I'd be very grateful for advice on two more issues:

1) A few of you have said that a car is a must. Is it really necessary, or just recommended? And should we rent it in Athens and bring it onthe ferry, or can we get something in Naxos? Would anyone recommend a scooter instead? It sounds a lot more fun, but what are the roads and the drivers like? Rain, dangerous corners, reckless drivers, or any other such things? I haven't seen a website offereing scooter rentals--only cars. Anyone know of any? Of course, a car wold be fine, if necessary.

2) We're considering looking for an apartment to rent for the week, but we've never done this before. Anyone know of anything? Is it really cheaper than a hotel?
jhides is offline  
Mar 8th, 2005, 02:03 PM
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brotherleelove2005
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1) A car is not really necessary, Naxos has a quite comprehensive bus service covering the island this can useful to reach the start of a walk, and returning from another village. I did do this to go on a hike between Apiranthos and Halki, two mountain villages on Naxos.

2) You can rent an apartment fairly easily (a bit more than a room for rent or small hotel), almost all Naxos travel agencies will be able to find you something, they will also do car and scooter rentals.
 
Mar 8th, 2005, 06:57 PM
  #13  
 
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Last week in May will certainly provide you with good beaching weather.

There are many car and scooter rental agencies in Naxos, just explore the town on your first couple of days and when you feel like hitting the countryside you can have your choice of vehicles.
Last week of May is still shoulder season and many scooters and cars are at discounted prices.
There are lots of people on scooters all over the place.

Having said that you should be aware the roads are quite narrow and can be very hilly and steep but there are not many vehicles on the roads and it is quite safe.
With respect to accomodation, we are staying at Glaros Studios, in Naxos town about 100 meters from St George beach starting May 31. It is certainly economical, about 32 Euro a night I think. Our apartment has a small kitchenette with fridge and stove a small eating area and a sitting room with an upstairs loft bedroom. It's fairly small but it comes with 3 balconies. The apartment option provides an opportunity to have a leisurly and healthy breakfast and lunch at our own pace and saves money on food.
There are several small studio's in the area near St George Beach.
stanbr is offline  
Mar 10th, 2005, 08:57 AM
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Aaaarrgghh!! We'd just decided that Aggia Anna looked like a nice place to stay (the Iria Beach Apts.), and now I've found a website that says Aggi Anna has a bad mosquito problem in the summer. Does anyone know how bad this might be, and would it have started at the end of May?

Repete-- you recommended Lianos Village and make it sound really enjoyable. Would you recommend it over Aggia Anna? Also, my map has a town called "Lionas", on the opposite side of the island from Hora. Same place I guess? The "problem" is that we want to do it all. We love lounging on the beach, hiking in the bush, and restaurants and shopping all equally. So I'm not sure which area would suit us best. But I gather that the island is small enough that its all right at hand.
jhides is offline  
Mar 10th, 2005, 09:25 AM
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Hi jhides,
The town on the map is a different village -- I wish I'd visited. It's near Apollonas which is very nice.

Lianos Village is not far from Agios Anna. It's at the opposite end of Agios Prokopios, which is the next beach on the way to the Hora. My guess is that the Lianos Village area might have some bugs at some point during the summer because there is a salt marsh area below the bluff it sits upon. The spot on the bluff is dry and breezy enough so there'd probably be no problems at the hotel, but perhaps some bugs on the walk to the beach.

Lianos is wonderful, but has two attributes some might see as downsides: 1) If you want to be right on the beach, you're not. It's an easy lovely stroll down a quiet lane. 2) If you don't mind being a short drive from the main town. The were both plusses for us.

We had absolutely no problem there last Sept. -- which doesn't help you out.

Either Anna or Prokopis will require a car or scooter to get to the harborfront activities or out hiking. The good news is that you only need to rent them for the days you want to get out. The difference between doing daily rentals or whole trip isn't that much.

Stanbr makes a good case for St. George, because the idea of walking to the harbour front is intriguing, but I didn't spend enough time there to make a legit opinion on the building density and the quality of the beach, which are two big factors.

repete is offline  
Mar 10th, 2005, 03:49 PM
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I have stayed at Glaros Studios. In their studio, not their hotel. The owner is very nice and went out of her way to be friendly. Brought me a decorated egg for Easter. It was spacious and practical. Saying that I moved. I moved after a few days to Argo Studios (0285)25330-1 because they had the same facilities but more modern for the same price and I got one on the ground floor. The owner is Swedish and married to a Greek. She speaks English. Another time Argos was booked so I stayed at Panos Studios but they did not have cooking facilities. Another nice place is Summer Times which is very close to the beach in town over the supermarket at the start of the beach. Early May the beaches outside of town are pretty empty. But if the weather is good, and it often is, why not enjoy the sun. Weather is more predictable mid May to mid June but I would not hesitate to go in early May.
Hania is offline  
Mar 10th, 2005, 05:34 PM
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Lionas is indeed a very small village on the other side of the island. It has about 10 houses and two tavernas and a marble pebble beach that literally sings as the waves lap the shore. There is a lovely walk along a 50 foot cliff edge with giant slabs of marble to relax on as you view the water.
The drive is down a very steep and winding road but it is worth an afternoon to explore.
Beware of the public toilet. You need to bring your own paper and it is a stand up primitive affair.

We have stayed at Aggia Prokipos in May and indeed there are mosquitos. As a matter of fact we spent an hour one night with a mop in a mad attempt to kill the little blighters in our room. The secret is to shut all the windows before you turn on the light. If you make the mistake of turning on the light with the windows open they will make you pay. During the day the sun is simply too hot for mosquitos and there is no problem.

We have stayed both at Aggia Prokopis and St George beach and there is no doubt that the beaches along the coast are superior to St George beach. In fact we often took the bus or rented a car and went out to these beaches.
Having said that we have decided to stay in town on St George beach for three reasons. First, St George beach is pretty good on it's own. Secondly it is sheltered from the strong winds that can blow. Thirdly with a hotel right on the beach we have the best of both worlds. We can take a morning stroll into town for our marketing, great bread freshly baked in a wood fired oven, fresh fruit and vegies and a wonderful old town to wander about. There are antiquities to seek out and lots of shopping.
In the afternoon we can hit the beach for a couple of hours and then head back into town for dining. There are many great tavernas. Our favourite is called "Taverna on the way to the Kastro". It is hard to find, as one has to navigate the maze of lanes but the reward of a dinner under the walls of the Kastro is worth it.
There are simply so many different things one can do in town and still have all the benefits of a beachfront hotel.

On the other hand if you are like Repete and like the seclusion of a country location and all beach then Lianas (the hotel)is certainly a very good option.
stanbr is offline  
Mar 10th, 2005, 06:20 PM
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Stanbr,
The irony is I only spend about an hour or two sunning on the beach (which is plenty for me), but the selection of Lianos proved a lucky break for us.

It's the only hotel at that end of the beach and we rented an ATV for an afternoon that proved great fun for my son and his newfound Greek friend on the deserted trails behind the beach.

But the most fortuitous break was meeting a vacationing Greek family from Athens who took us under their wing and showed us the island. Fantastic. Great fun.

One of the highlights on our travels was a two-hour meal that was fabulous. It on the left side of the road down near Mikri Vigla or Kastraki (can't recall). It was the kind of place that most wuld probably miss because it was not on a beach or in a town. It was run by a guy who'd lived briefly in Canada (Toronto area). Best meal in a month in Greece. Any idea?
repete is offline  
Mar 12th, 2005, 08:40 AM
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Hi repete
Don't have any idea where that restaurant might have been but wish we had found it! The Mikra Vigli area is beautiful. Quite a lot of villa type construction going on up there right now. It's an area I would love to stay in (if I didn't like St. George Beach and the town so much. Did I mention the bread out of the wood oven?)

We have a "former Canadian Greek restaurant owner" story. On Samos my wife and I were wondering around Pethagorian and noticed the Canadian flags on a restaurant sign. Stopping to read it we met the owner returning from market. He was a retired restranteur with five Greek restaurants in Montreal. Being fellow Canadians we were second only to blood relatives and were invited in for a drink. Along with the barrel wine he served us his pride and joy - octopus he had caught and prepared himself, cooked in olive oil. As you know this is a delicacy in Greece but truly something neither my wife nor I can stomach. (Apologies to everyone who loves it!) What a dilema - we couldn't possibly insult him by refusing it. I managed to eat a piece and then he was called away for quite a few minutes during which time we tried various ways to get rid of the octopus. The resident terrier turned and ran when we offered it to him. I eventually wrapped 2/3rds of it in napkins and stuffed it in my pocket. When our visit ended, I was able to exit the establishment before the oil had worked its way through my shorts.

stanbr is offline  
Mar 13th, 2005, 12:58 AM
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Ha! Is that an octopus in your pocket, or are you ?? ... nevermind.

We won't be going back next summer so I'm going to need Naxos/other island stories to keep me going until '06.
repete is offline  
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