We fell in love with Naxos from the first moment that we set foot on the island. It maintains the right balance of being lively without being overrun, even at the height of the summer holiday season. It is big enough and varied enough to offer a multitude of diversions. It effortlessly feels like a place where you might spend a week and not get tired of it even for a second.
We stayed a short walk away from the historic hilltop Kastro district of the Chora of Naxos, and spent a good portion of our stay on the island exploring it. Whereas settlements on Crete were only somewhat picturesque, and the villages on Santorini shed some of their allure on account of being too crowded and commercialized at times, on Naxos Kastro gave us pretty much exactly what we expected from a quintessential Greek town: pretty, full of eye-catching nooks and corners, crisscrossed by narrow alleyways and steep stairways.
And uncrowded. While the marina promenade at the foot of the hill attracted large numbers of people through the day and was veritably bouncing at night, a few dozen meters away on the paths of the old town you could find serenity even during the peak hours. To say nothing about the time of the siesta.
This is one of my favorite pictures taken mid-day somewhere in Kastro.
For me, it blends rather well the recognizable location (white walls, red flowers, blue door – even if you have never been to Naxos you may still correctly guess that this is Greece) with a sense of peace and quiet away from the crowds. I certainly zeroed in on the uncommon feature of a tree growing across the path, but I somehow feel that it only emphasizes the tranquility of the inner town.
Which is how I remember Naxos, my favorite place in Greece.