Chora Naxos, also known as Naxos Old Town is the centre of history and culture on the island of Naxos Greece and is the main port town for travellers arriving in this adventurous yet relaxing paradise.
Upon the first view of Naxos town, you will be greeted by white-washed Cycladic architecture spilling down from the top of the historic Castro (castle) toward the Aegean Sea and a wide promenade along the coastline. Off to the left, the famous Temple of Apollo stands prominently overlooking Naxos, a must-see attraction in Chora Naxos Greece.
Along with old town Naxos Chora, you can find the convenient Agios Georgios Beach Naxos just over the peninsula to the south (within walking distance from the port). For all intents and purposes, you can consider St Georges Beach the main stretch of sand on offer in Naxos town for avid beach and sun-seekers.
Chora is your Naxos base in this epic 10 days Greece itinerary
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Depending on your priorities when visiting Naxos Greece, you can find a great apartment or hotel in the hills of old Naxos Chora or along the edge of Saint George Beach Naxos. Either way, they are only a 15-minute walk from each other.
Chora Naxos, along with Agios Georgios is where I’d recommend staying if you plan to rent a car and explore everything Naxos Greece has to offer, including its beautiful beaches like Plaka Beach, Agios Prokopios and Agia Anna. I stayed smack dab in the centre between Chora Castro and Agios Georgios Beach for my week-long trip to Naxos and highly recommend it.
This Naxos guide on Chora Naxos Greece and St George Beach Naxos will give you all the details on how to get there, how to get around, where to stay in Naxos Chora, things to do, where to eat and more.
More Naxos Greece Travel Guides
Ultimate Guide to Plaka Beach Naxos
Agios Prokopios Beach: Everything You Need to Know
Agia Anna Beach: A Detailed Guide
Naxos Guide Quick Guide
Planning a last-minute trip to Naxos Island? Here are the best resources for Naxos Greece, plus top Naxos tours and the best places to stay in Naxos.
Where is Chora Naxos Old Town + Agios Georgios?
Chora (meaning Old Town) is the main port and centre on the island of Naxos and is where you will arrive if you visit Naxos by ferry. The Greek Island of Naxos Chora and its connected main beach of Agios Georgios are located in the middle of the west coast shoreline of Naxos, Greece.
Staying in Naxos old town is the ultimate base for adventures all over the island of Naxos Greece and is only a 15-minute drive to the plethora of Naxos beaches along the southwest coast, like Agios Prokopios and Plaka Beach.
The island as a whole is a part of the Cycladic island group of Greece and is well connected via ferry to neighbouring hot spots like Mykonos and Santorini and the newly popular, Paros island.
Click on the Chora Naxos map below to be taken to an interactive Google Maps to plan where to go!
Chora Naxos or Agios Georgios Beach Naxos: Where Should I Stay?
Agios Georgios Beach
Agios Georgios Beach is the main beach of Naxos Old Town and resides just over the small foothill to the south of Naxos Chora from the port. Given that, you can walk from the beach’s promenade to the historic centre of Naxos in about 15 minutes you really can’t go wrong with any Naxos accommodation located between the two.
Ag Georgios Beach is considered among the best beach in Naxos and given its proximity to the closeby amenities of Naxos Chora, is a great spot to stay on your trip to Naxos island. Ultimately, if you’d like to catch rays and relaxation, this is your spot.
Naxos Old Town + Port
Historic Naxos Old Town is great if your interests include museums, castles and historic sites. Plus, Old Town Naxos centre has the best proximity to the port for easy access to your ferry coming in and off the island and to the main bus stop. Great if you are only planning to stay 2-3 days along your Greece itinerary and need to get to places quickly.
Naxos Chora only has a population of just over 7,000 residents lending to a very walkable township.
Of course, if you want a bit of both, like me, you can stay halfway between. I enjoyed a week in Chora on the Naxos Greek Island in a cute little apartment just up the street from Melimilon Bistro (which I highly recommend for breakfast!).
Best Time to Visit Naxos Chora + St Georges Beach Naxos
The best time to visit Naxos Chora for historic sites and adventures are the shoulder seasons of May/Early June and September/October. If you are looking for a beach break you will find the most pleasant and consistent sunshine on Naxos islands between the months of June-September.
As a great alternative to hotspots like Mykonos and Santorini, Naxos offers pristine beaches, great food and affordable accommodation, so you will start to see crowds flock to the banks of Naxos Chora during the steamy hot, high season.
I visited Naxos Chora, Agios Georgios Beach and the entire island of Naxos in September, the town centre was buzzing but not busy, and the beaches were half empty. Ultimately, Mid-September would be my pick for the best of all worlds.
How Long to Spend in Chora Naxos + Saint George Beach Naxos
Oh my, what a difficult question. You can have plenty to do for a week or longer on Naxos, but if you are attempting to make the most of a week or two vacation in the Cycladic islands and want to experience other spots, then spending 3-4 days on Naxos island Greece is best.
Spending 3-4 days in Naxos will allow you to enjoy a day in the historic Castro of Naxos Chora, and then grab a car or scooter rental and spend a day perusing the charming streets of Halki and Filoti, the picturesque hill villages to the centre of Naxos.
Spend your last day or two on the many pristine beaches of Naxos (make sure to experience Hawaii Beach! Which I consider to be a true hidden gem).
How to Get to Naxos Old Town + St George Beach Naxos
Naxos Chora and St George Beach enjoy the convenience of being located right at the ferry port of Naxos. The undulating hills of Naxos Chora with their beautiful white Cycladic architecture adorning the landscape can be viewed when you arrive at the port.
By Ferry to Naxos Chora
The fast ferry is one of the most common ways to get from island to island in the Cyclades. Many companies like SeaJets will get you from island to island the fastest, while Blue Star Ferries will offer a larger range of prices and durations.
The Naxos port is centrally located in the town of Naxos Chora and is walkable from all neighbourhoods making arriving at your accommodation a breeze.
You can check prices and schedules via Ferry Hopper, I used this website to book all of my Greek island ferries (including Naxos Old Town) while on my 6-week trip.
By Plane to Naxos Old Town
You can catch a flight to Naxos from Athens several times a day, especially in high season, and it takes a brief 45 minutes, direct. You can check out Skyscanner to get an idea of the best route and price, then book direct with the airline. You will likely be flying with Aegean Airlines, Olympic Air or Sky Express.
I use Skyscanner for short-haul flights around the world.
From neighbouring Cycladic islands such as Santorini, Mykonos and Paros, it’s much more efficient to take the ferry, as most routes will have you transferring through Athens.
The Greek island Naxos airport is located a 10-minute drive south of Naxos Chora. You can catch a taxi or opt to have a Naxos Car Rental waiting for you (the best way to see the island!) upon your arrival.
How to Get Around Naxos Island from Naxos Town
If you are arriving at the Port of Naxos for a day to explore old town Chora, you can easily enjoy the town on foot. Walking is the best way to see historic Chora and walk the promenade over to Agios Georgios Beach.
But, if exploring the hill region and the pristine beaches of Naxos is the goal, a car or scooter rental is the way to go.
Car Rental in Naxos
Naxos car rental is pretty easy to find around the port of Naxos in Chora, but if you are planning your trip to Naxos Greece, I recommend booking in advance with Discover Cars.
What’s great about Discover Cars is they compare local, national and international rental companies to give you the best price, plus they give you full insurance coverage for only $7USD a day (30% lower than booking directly with a local company).
You can expect to pay approximately $280USD base for a one-week economy car rental via Discover Cars. Since exploring Naxos by car is the best way to see the island, make sure to book your rental car in advance!
TIP | Remember to check if you need an international driver’s permit before booking a rent a car Naxos Greece.
All in all, Naxos is the largest island in the Cyclades and most definitely requires a car to get around, so make sure to book your car rental Naxos early.
Naxos ATV Rental
If driving a car in a foreign country is not your jam, or if you like the maneuverability of a smaller transport, then I’d recommend hiring an ATV through Motonaxos Rental located in Naxos Chora. You can find this Naxos quad rental company at the Plateia Protodikeiou Square within a 10-minute walk from the Naxos port. They are open every day from 9AM-9PM.
Make sure you have a properly classified driving license specifically for ATV or quad rentals. You will be denied a rental if you don’t have this.
TIP | Negotiate the price! There’s always a little wiggle room when it comes to prices on the Greek islands, especially if you offer to pay in cash.
Naxos Scooter Rental
A great alternative to an ATV, Naxos bike rental options are also available. My friend and I rented a scooter for exploring the beaches on the southwest coastline of Naxos for a day (after spending so much time in Bali on a scooter, this is one of our favourite ways to explore a new destination).
Make sure to take caution around sandy beach areas as the scooters may be prone to slippage.
TIP | If you are renting a scooter, don’t pay more than €20 a day in cash if you can manage.
Because most roads in Naxos are well maintained, I recommend renting a car in Naxos for the duration of your trip. If that’s not an option for you, you can always hop on the local bus. KTEL runs the Naxos bus system and offers routes all over the island.
In the height of summer, you will see the most routes being serviced, especially to some of the best beaches in Naxos like Plaka Beach, Agios Prokopios, Agia Anna and Mikri Vigla Beach, but they do keep routes running to places like Halki and Filoti all year long. Busses in Naxos come with spacious seats and air conditioning for your comfort.
You can purchase bus tickets from the KTEL Public Bus Terminal across from the Naxos port in Chora. They take both cash (in euros) or credit card and typical bus tickets range from €1.80-5.20 depending on the route.
Do note, that you can’t purchase tickets on the bus, only at the terminal. And as the bus terminal is located in Naxos Chora, this is also the starting point to all routes on the island making for an easy way to explore.
You can check the KTEL website for timetables and serviced routes of your choosing.
Where to Stay in Chora Naxos
The highest concentration and best hotels in Naxos island can be found in the old town Naxos Chora centre. Accommodation is Naxos Old Town and Agios Georgios hotels range from apartments to B&Bs, to luxury suites and hotels. Pick your poison!
Being that the whitewashed Cycladic interior style is popular, you will find that most villas and best places to stay Naxos will be adorned in this manner.
If you are looking for a week sprawled out at the shores of a Naxos resort beach hotel, perhaps along Agios Georgios Beach, do note that the majority of beach resorts are not all-inclusive. Breakfast and pool-use are usually included, with some hotels offering paid activities.
Read the complete guide on the best places to stay in Naxos
Camping Naxos Island? Yes, there are a few camping grounds located around Naxos Chora, and down towards Maragas and Plaka beaches.
Ultimately, the Chora (old town) is the best place to stay Naxos for first-timers and explorers. Do note, that prices drop (sometimes by half!) on September 1st of each year.
While the best hotel in Naxos is always up for debate given your priorities, here are the best hotels Naxos Chora that I can recommend:
Galini Hotel | $$
Top Pick! – Galini Hotel is situated on the small peninsula between Chora old town and Agios Georgios Beach. The perfect location for exploring historic alleyways or catching rays in the beautiful Greek sun. This accommodation Naxos has suite types available for anyone from one person to seven! If you can, book the rooftop suite with a view for a romantic getaway (make sure to book early).
Hora Seaside Suites | $$
Located on the north end of Chora Naxos, right next to the Portara Gate, Naxos port and bus stop. An extremely convenient location. Choose from either a spacious balcony suite or a sea view room. Suites come with kitchenette and apartment-style amenities.
Argo Boutique Hotel | $$$
A 2-minute walk to the relaxing Agios Georgios Beach allows you to pick between the lazy lapping waves or poolside at the hotel for your day in the sun. If you book early enough, you may even secure yourself a suite with a private hot tub and sea view. Now that’s the ultimate Greek summer vacation!
This little gem has a great location, walkable to all attractions in Chora Naxos and 5 minutes to the beach. Depis Luxury Suites is where I stayed during my week in Naxos and I can definitely recommend it. It offers simple amenities, so don’t expect too much luxury, as the name totes, but you will have everything you need.
Things to Do in Naxos Chora
While the Cycladic Islands, and especially Naxos Greece, are mainly known for some of the best beaches in the country, the largest landmass in the island group (yes, that’s Naxos!) has plenty to offer when you want to switch things up.
From grand marble landmarks, winding alleyways, charming hilltop villages, and epic day trips, what to do in Naxos is plentiful!
Temple of Apollo (The Portara)
Located on a small rocky mount at the end of a thin spit lies the Temple of Apollo, Portara Gate, the Great Door. Whatever name you know this epic landmark by, it’s an absolute must see when it comes to things to do on Naxos Greece.
One of the top attractions on the island (other than the beaches), the Temple of Apollo is the ruins of a half-finished temple from the 600s and 700s, never completed due to war.
While the large marble gate is all that remains today, it still makes for an epic stop along your Naxos vacation. While most will encourage you to visit the Portara Gate at sunset (albeit it is beautiful!), I recommend going early morning to explore the ruins without the busyness of fellow tourists.
Make sure to stop and appreciate the view over Naxos Chora and its promenade. One of the best views in all of the Cyclades (other than maybe Santorini).
You can reach the Portara by following the main Chora promenade to the north of the Naxos port. Since it’s one of the first things you will notice when arriving by ferry, I’m sure you’ll have no problem finding it.
WHERE | Temple of Apollo, Naxos
Explore the Alleyways of Naxos Old Town
A few paces from the bustling and rather touristic promenade of Chora are the quiet, authentic alleyways of Naxos Castro. These snake-like white-washed alleyways frame small moments of local Naxian life, life that most tourists miss out on (and boy, do they miss out!). Making it feel like an authentic Greek experience that only you get to enjoy.
While yes, you will have to make an uphill climb to explore the oldest part of the city, it is, in my opinion, the top thing to do on Naxos island. The further up the mounted city centre you stroll, the further back in time it feels.
With traditional Greek fare being served up al fresco on small wood tables with casual white table clothes, archways of varying sizes greet you at every turn as you get close to the historic Venetian Castle, lazing cats following you with one eye as you stroll through bougainvillea strewn courtyards, this adventure is one worth having.
If a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack and beverage is in order, stop at AVATON 1739 Coffee & Wine Roof for sweeping views over Naxos Old Town.
Attractions in Naxos Old Town Centre:
- Venetian Castle of Naxos
- Chapel of the Duke of Naxos
- Panagia Theoskepasti Orthodox Church
- Archaeological Museum of Naxos
- Della Rocca-Barozzi Venetian Museum
A great way to see all of the important sites and experience Naxos Chora through the eyes of a local is to take the Sunset Castle Walking Tour where you will explore the Venetian Castle and its quaint alleyways, the Old Market and finish for sunset at the Temple of Apollo. A great way to hit a few of the top things to do in Greece Naxos.
Spend the Day at Agios Georgios Beach
The beaches on some of the main port towns of the Cycladic Islands can leave one wanting. Luckily, Naxos Chora is not one of them. Conveniently located just south of the main city centre, you can spend the day on Agios Georgios Beach’s sandy shores.
The sand is a beautiful gold colour with a nice consistency, perfect for throwing a towel down or strolling along the shore. What makes St Georges Beach really special, is it’s very shallow! You can walk into the water at least 50 metres without your head going under. Perfect for floating and enjoying the gentle lapping waves.
Loungers with sun umbrellas along Agios Georgios Beach can be found for around 10 euros a day with some offering service, others, self-service.
After spending the day in the sun, I recommend heading to the unassuming Vammos Beach Bar and tucking into one of their comfortable couches for a local beer. Watching the sunset from here is great, too.
If you are looking for something a bit fancier, head down to Naxaki Beach Lounge. And for something a bit more adventurous, try paddleboarding and windsurfing at Flisvos Sportclub Naxos. One of the best beachy Naxos Greece things to do, especially if you don’t plan to leave Chora.
WHERE | Agios Georgios Beach, Naxos
Watch Sunset from Naxos Promenade
The main promenade of Naxos old town follows the coastline starting at the Portara Gate and ending at the northern tip of Agios Georgios Beach.
One side of the promenade will give you amazing unobstructed views of the harbour, and the other will give you an explosion of tourist shops and restaurants with the backdrop of the historic Castro. Once you stroll past the Bossa Cafe to the south (which has a great breakfast!), the promenade becomes a bit quieter.
While some of the restaurants here are really just tourist traps, you can always order a cocktail at The Rum Bar and enjoy the sunset from their patio. It’s also great for picking up souvenirs for family and friends back home.
Alternatively, you can enjoy the sunset at the Sphinx of Naxia statue. Bring a beverage and sit along the coastline promenade and walk the golden glow of the Greek sun dip below the horizon of the Aegean Sea.
If you can, venture inland a bit for a great greek meal or higher-quality offerings, a true must on the list of things to do Naxos.
Half-Day Cooking Class at Basiliko Family Tavern
Located a 20-minute drive out of Chora, the Basiliko Family Tavern is nestled into a traditional village and verdant valley scape. This 4-hour cooking class includes hands-on experience like making cheese with local villagers and picking vegetables straight from the family garden.
You will leave Naxos with a great understanding of Naxian cuisine and the skills to make your own at home. Don’t worry, it’s more than just Greek salad!
At the end of your cooking class, you will enjoy a large family-style dinner with your newfound friends and fellow travellers. You cannot go wrong with this #1 rated activity on Naxos island.
Boat Trip to Rhina Cave + Islands
Take to the water! An iconic Greek island experience. Cruise the coastline of Naxos making stops to explore caves, snorkel and enjoy traditional Greek snacks and drinks with your family and friends. The crystal clear turquoise waters will excite and refresh you under the heat of the Greek sun. Choose between a sailboat or catamaran.
Naxos Day Trips: Beaches
Take a self-drive trip with your Naxos rental car down the coastline to some of the best beaches in the Greek Cycladic Islands. Start your morning at the expansive Agios Prokopios. Walk along the beach from north to south.
If you have more time, venture further south and check out Mikri Vigla to watch the windsurfers, and watch the sunset from Hawaii Beach (one of my favourites!) before heading back to Naxos Chora.
Naxos Day Trips: Mountain Villages
Cuddled into the interior mountains of Naxos you can find the charming villages of Filoti and Halki. A great self-drive day trip from Naxos Chora. You can reach the towns via a well-maintained road in about 30 minutes, so it’s an easy-breezy adventure.
Enjoy a stroll to the Church of Saint George Diasoritis, built in the 11th century and tuck into traditional Greek fare in the town centre. Spend the afternoon perusing the alleyways and taking in the local life of Naxos.
Other Guided Naxos Tour Options
Guided tours are great, especially if you want everything to be taken care of without needing to fuss about what to see in Naxos and how to see it.
There are a couple of great options for full-day tours with several pick-up points anywhere along the coast from Naxos Old Town to Plaka Beach. Board a comfortable air-conditioned bus, and explore Naxos island with the help of a local guide!
Demeter’s Temple, Halki Village, the marble village and a stop for swimming are common activities.
Day Trips from Naxos
If you are staying in Naxos longer than 3-4 days, you can consider taking one or two day trips from the Naxos shores. Take advantage of these Naxos day trips to other Cycladic islands such as Mykonos, Koufonissia and even Santorini!
Mykonos + Delos Islands
Neighbouring islands like Mykonos and Delos are easy to access via a guided tour from Naxos Chora. So, instead of paying an arm and a leg to stay in a hotel in Mykonos, grab yourself an affordable villa or apartment in Naxos and make the most out of a day tour to Mykonos Island.
On the way, stop at the island of Delos, where you can explore the ancient sanctuary and birthplace of Apollo. You will get 3 hours of free time to enjoy Mykonos old town, which is more than enough to see all the highlights. Sit at a cafe in Little Venice and enjoy a cocktail.
If Delos doesn’t interest you and you want to maximize your time in Mykonos, this Full-Day Mykonos Only Tour is for you.
A lot of visitors to Naxos Greece miss out on the small adjacent island of Koufonissia, and oh boy, is that a mistake! This small ferry will take you to the island from Agia Anna port, just hop on the bus or grab a taxi and make the 10-minute drive from Naxos Old Town.
Spend the day exploring Koufonissia, full of hidden beaches and crystal clear waters. Feel free to rent a bike at the port of Koufonissia if that’s your speed!
Now, I’ll pre-empt this recommendation with the warning that you will spend most of your day travelling to and from Santorini via boat, rather than exploring Santorini Greece itself. But, if you really want to see the bucket list destination and only have accommodation booked in Naxos, you can take advantage of this full-day boat trip to Santorini.
TIP | Follow this 10 day Greece itinerary to spend a night in Santorini
Best Naxos Beaches Near Chora Naxos (within 20-minute drive)
Naxos has the best beaches in the Cycladic Islands of Greece. Yes, I know, a big statement being thrown down here.
What’s great about Naxos beaches is, that the majority of them are located in the southwest corner of the island, making beach hopping a top activity in Naxos Greece. Beaches in Naxos are also very swimmable, with most Naxos beaches being protected within a bay. No losing your trunks to powerful waves here.
Highlights like Plaka Beach, Agios Prokopios and Agia Anna are a given, but make sure to venture further afield to hidden gems like Hawaii Beach and Alyko Beach. I have been to all of the beaches on this coastline of Naxos and can recommend you to rent a car, abandon the schedule and just free-drive for the day, stopping wherever pleases you.
Agios Georgios Naxos (in town)
The most easily accessible beach from Naxos Old Town is Agios Georgios. From your Chora Naxos accommodation, you can have your feet in the water within 10 minutes walk.
Throw out a towel or grab one of the many sun loungers with umbrellas sprinkled along its long stretch. The sand here is nice and compact for walking and picnicking on the beach. Wade into the water and have a good float in the very shallow waters.
There are many amenities available at Agios Georgios since its proximity is so close to Chora, so finding bathrooms, drinks, and activities (you name it!), is easy.
WHERE | Agios Georgios Beach, Naxos
Agios Prokopios Naxos (10-minute drive)
Agios Prokopios is what I would consider the top beach in Naxos. A quick 10-minute drive from Naxos Chora, you will find this large expansive and relatively empty beach.
Agios Prokopios features medium grain sand that doesn’t get stuck in all your crevices, clear, clear, clear (did I mention clear?) water and the odd amenity like a local selling beer out of his cooler, and a few sun loungers and umbrella companies.
If you park your rental car at the far northwestern point of the beach, you will find a more serene beach experience. If you decide to explore Agios Prokopios town, park your car at the far southeastern tip and enjoy one of the many beach bars.
If you only go to one beach in Naxos, this would be my recommendation!
Agia Anna Naxos (15-minute drive)
A hop, skip and jump (or a car ride) away from Agios Prokopios, you will find the quaint town of Agia Anna. Tucked into a large bay of the same name, you can find the Agia Anna Beach’s powdery sand and turquoise waters in the town centre.
Walk along the beach’s driftwood boardwalk, grab a cocktail from one of the aesthetically pleasing cafes, and walk down to the water’s edge.
If you are of the suit-free persuasion. Head another 2-minute drive down the coastline to the best Naxos nude beach. You can find it just before the Saint Nicolas church hidden by the large rock outcrop. This beach was thriving in the Fall of 2021, but the last time I looked on Google Maps, this location was closed, so make sure to check online before visiting.
Plaka Beach Naxos (20-minute drive)
A bit further afield, you can find the relaxing, calm watered haven of Plaka Naxos. Deemed the best-kept secret of Naxos (not for long!), you can experience a day reading a book on a sunbed with the soft sound of gently lapping waves as background.
You can expect to find a spattering of holiday homes along the sandy stretch, with the highest concentration of amenities at its top, most northern edge (close to Maragas Beach).
Pack yourself a small cooler full of Naxian goods, a few beers and make the most of this Naxos island paradise!
Best Naxos Town Restaurants
The best restaurants Naxos town are a combination of global cuisine and local delicacies. From quick bites to leisurely meals, and everything in between.
MELIMILON BISTRO | A charming breakfast place with global and local classics
BOSSA CAFE | Quality International breakfast and lunch catered to tourists with harbour view
AYAKI SUSHI BAR | Great specialty rolls and sashimi in trendy digs
LITTLE MIX JUICE BAR | Green juices and protein smoothies, plus some dang good coffee
NAXOS BAKERY | Delicious local baked goods, I loved this place
Best Agios Georgios Restaurants
NAXAKI BEACH LOUNGE | A trendy global lounge right on the beach
VAMMOS BEACH BAR | Laidback beach bar with great drink selection
FLISVOS SPORTCLUB BEACH CAFE | Beach club with sports and great food