The distance between the Greek islands of Crete and Naxos is 177 miles (285 km), and the best way to travel between them is by ferry. The fast ferry takes 3 hours and 30 minutes if departing from Heraklion and 4 hours 10 minutes if departing from Rethymno. There are a limited number of direct ferries between Crete and Naxos, so if you're looking for some more flexibility with your schedule, consider booking a ferry to Santorini and then one from there to Naxos.
You can also fly to Naxos—the shortest flight takes 3 hours and 15 minutes, and all flights require a stopover in Athens. Flights to Naxos depart daily from the hubs of Heraklion, Chania, and Sitia, although the number of flights decreases during the low season (mid-September through mid-June).
Check out this 7-day itinerary, which takes you on a culinary tour of Naxos and Crete. If you're looking for an outdoor adventure, this 15-day itinerary explores Tinos, Naxos, and Crete via hikes, horseback rides, and bike tours.
By Fast Ferry (With No Stops)
Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes - 4 hours 10 minutes
Seajets operates a high-speed hydrofoil once a day from Heraklion, which takes you straight to Naxos. You can also take the high-speed ferry from Rethymno to Naxos, but note that there are only two ferries a week that traverse that route. Ferry schedules are much more limited during the low season (mid-September through mid-June), so be sure to check that the ferry is running on your travel dates.
These ferries can accommodate vehicles such as cars and motorbikes, but note that bringing a vehicle will increase the price of your ticket. Economy and business seats are available for these ferries. If you're prone to seasickness, consider another travel option as these high-speed vessels can get very bumpy when it's windy.
By Fast Ferry (With Stops)
Duration: 3 hours+
If you want a little more flexibility with your travel schedule, you can take a high-speed ferry from Crete to Santorini and then hop on a ferry to Naxos. During the high season of the summer, there are multiple high-speed ferries a day that depart from Heraklion to Santorini as well as from Santorini to Naxos.
Economy and business tickets are available for these ferries. If you bring a car or motorbike, your ticket price will increase based on the size of the vehicle. The ride on these ferries can get a bit choppy in the wind, so consider flying if you get seasick.
Duration: 3 hours 15 minutes
Although the most expensive option, flights between Crete and Naxos offer more flexible schedules and departure points than ferries. You can jump on a flight to Naxos from the airports in Chania, Heraklion, or Sitia and take in an incredible bird's eye view of the Greek islands and the Aegean below. Generally speaking, there are no direct flights between any two Greek islands, so you will have a layover in Athens. Note that these short flights only have economy tickets available.