Seasonal Planning for Naxos Travel
Naxos differs from the other islands in the Cyclades and is the largest one among them. What stands out with the island is the nature and surroundings. You will find mountains and patches of trees, which makes Naxos unique and beautiful. It is the main reason why hiking is so excellent here, particularly during spring and fall.
The best time to visit Naxos is between April-October if you are looking for warm weather. The spring and fall are ideal for hiking activities, walking, and exploring the island's nature. It is also warm enough to enjoy the beaches, although the ocean is still a bit too cold to swim in. Summertime is the busiest time, especially July and August when many travelers visit. If you want to enjoy the summer weather but avoid the biggest crowds, then June is a good time to go.
The summer temperatures are still pretty mild and pleasant, compared to many Greek islands with temperatures around 80 °F. Winter is quiet on the island, but you can still enjoy the beautiful scenery. January is the rainiest month, so it is better to visit in December or February. During this season, you can enjoy getting away from a busy life and explore archeological sites and museums with practically no crowds. It is a lot cheaper to visit, as well.
You can find out more about Naxos' travel in this article.
Spring / March-May
The spring in Naxos is pleasant, and the island shows off its green colors. With temperatures around 70 °F, it is the perfect time for exploration and experiencing the countryside. At the beginning of the season, you won't see a lot of tourists and are free to visit all the major sights without big crowds.
Easter is a favorite holiday for the Naxos' locals. Expect a lot of food, joy, and seeing how the Greeks celebrate with their joyful spirit. The international crowd is still pretty small until Easter and picks up more toward May. The island comes to life in spring, and it is an excellent time to explore the island by bike, go trekking, or go horseback riding. The pace is much slower in spring, but it is also an excellent time for those who enjoy being active.
Rent a car for a day or two and go on an island exploration trip. Visit the charming towns of Filoti and Halki, where you can walk around and enjoy a nice lunch or dinner. In Melanos, you will find more of the green landscapes that feel so different from the beach areas. Bring food with you and have a picknick while taking in all the surroundings. Continue driving to Moutsouna and get some of the island's most spectacular views along the way. The road will take you through mountain villages, following a loop, taking you higher and higher up, until you reach the scenic top.
One of the most beautiful and charming places in Naxos is Koronos village. The village is a 40-minute drive from Naxos town and perfect for enjoying traditional food in a picturesque square. There is a taverna—Taverna Matina, that serves all the specialties of the islands, such as sefoukloti (a traditional Greek pie). You can spend a couple of hours here and then go for a walk and enjoy the natural surroundings.
Kourounochori is a must-visit in spring. With a view over the Melanes Valley, it is perfect for an afternoon hike. Make sure to visit the Venetian tower and visit the taverna Pighi. Hike on one of the best trails is in Keromati village. You can drive or ride up to the town and then follow the footpath, built by the locals. You will eventually reach the Rutsuna Waterfall, where you can spend time just enjoying a quiet moment and then walk back through the Apeiranthos village.
Finally, explore the Old Town of Naxos (Chora) and its beaches in spring. In Old Town, there are several museums, shops, and restaurants. You will find everything from handicrafts to jewelry and clothing and can visit places such as the Archeological Museum of Naxos and the Kastro Castle. You can climb the castle or take the elevator, and it is better to visit in spring when it's not too hot.
Summer / June-August
Naxos is stunning during summertime, and the island is the most vibrant. Visitors from all over the world visit Naxos to go on cruise ships, enjoy watersports, relax on the beach, and party. The beaches get crowded in summer, so you should get up early to claim your spot. Watersports are fantastic, and surfing is popular when high winds arrive on the island, particularly in July and August. Expect temperatures around 82 °F with the water getting warmer as the season progresses.
Throughout this season, there are several festivals and cultural events taking place. You will also find many open-air performances and art exhibitions to enjoy. July and August are filled with activities when you will find a lot of beach parties and village festivals. There is everything from traditional dancing to crazy beach parties. At the Bazeos Tower, there are events every summer, from July to September. The tower is from the 1600th century, and you can take part in workshops, enjoy musical concerts, and many cultural events.
To escape the crowds and enjoy quieter beach time, then Agiassos is perfect for that. There are a few tavernas here where you can enjoy traditional food, and the shallow waters are ideal if you are traveling with small children. One of the best spots for swimming is Abram beach, with one of the most fabulous summer sunsets. If you want to enjoy watersports, then head to the Agios Georgios, Agios Prokopios, Mikri Vigla, or the Plaka beach. Windsurfing is one of the top activities to enjoy in Naxos, which all of these have to offer.
Try to go on an exploration tour the morning or later in the evening to avoid the worst heat. Visit the Kalamitsia castle and walk among palms and olive trees. Take the car for a day and head to Kouroi of Ferio, an archeological site seven miles (11 km) from downtown. Continue with the car and visit the Moni village and then Halki. There is a citron distillery in Halki that is still in use today. You can buy small bottles to take home with you and then enjoy a nice lunch in the town.
Finally, get up early and catch a sunrise at the Portara (Apollo Temple), which is famous for both its sunrises and sunsets. The best thing about seeing a sunrise here is that you won't see a lot of people in the summer morning.
If you are looking for an exciting adventure, consider sailing through the Cyclades Islands on this tour.
Fall / September-November
The fall in Naxos is one of the best times to visit the island. If you are looking for summer weather and activities, September is particularly great for that. There is still a lot going on, and the water is pleasant to swim in and for enjoying watersports. Later in the season, hiking is a favorite activity and the fall landscapes.
In October, it is still warm enough to enjoy some beach time, but the water starts getting colder. However, you can go windsurfing until late October, and some places are open for kite surfing and water skiing as well. Toward November, it starts raining a bit more, and it begins to feel more like fall. The season is perfect for visiting different villages and indulging in food.
You can walk around in Naxos Old Town or head to mountain villages such as Apiranthos, Filoti, Koronos, and Halki. In the Halki village, try the typical kitro drink—freshly made from the local distilleries. Consider visiting the Distillery M. G. Vallindras and take a tour. If you want to go hiking or trekking, consider Mount Zas and visiting Aria Spring.
Mount Zas is the highest peak in the Cyclades, reaching 3,280 feet (1000 m). According to mythology, God Zeus spent his childhood here. Along the way, you will get the opportunity to explore the natural cave—Cave of Zas. You will need a flashlight to see the inside of the cave.
There are several events taking place in the fall in Naxos, including the Naxathlon and the Prokopios Arts Festival. The Naxathlon is a triathlon event, celebrating Greece's independence with parades filling the town streets. During the Prokopios Arts Festival, you can enjoy live jazz music, traditional bouzouki nights, open-air cinema, and art exhibitions. Both events are in October.
In September, there is the Dionysia Festival with a lot of fun events. There are concerts, art exhibitions, and theatrical performances, to mention a few. Another festival is the Raki Festival in September, celebrating the traditional raki drink with parties, tastings, and delicious food.
Winter / December-February
Winter in Naxos is romantic, quieter, and perfect for relaxation among beautiful winter scenery. The weather is still mild compared to many northern countries, with temperatures around 60°F. January is the rainiest month, but overall, there is no a lot of rain during the season.
The buses operating are limited in winter, so renting a car is a good idea if you want to explore the island. The best place during the season is Naxos Town, where there are more restaurants and bars open. However, many close down between Christmas and the beginning of January.
The beaches are still beautiful, and even with almost no visitors, they are perfect for afternoon walks and sunrises. In February, you will find Naxos' largest celebration—the Naxos Carnival. The carnival lasts for about a week with everyday events with costumes, town and beach parades, and musical performances. You will see events in various locations across the island.
Winter is a great time to visit the museums, especially on a rainy day. You can visit the Archeological Museum of Naxos, the Archaeological Museum of Apiranthos, and the Apiranthos Natural History Museum. In the Apiranthos Natural History Museum, you will find displays, showing off the island's flora and fauna with exhibitions of mammals, including dolphins and whales.
If you want to get more out of your visit, combine your trip to Naxos with beautiful Athens on this itinerary.