Burrises Go Greek - Naxos
Naxos. The part of our trip I was most looking forward to – and it did not disappoint! I did a lot of research on kid friendly islands, but we also wanted to go somewhere off the beaten path and not so touristy! If you’re looking for the same, Naxos is the winner.
Naxos is the largest of the Cyclades islands, but in retrospect it’s still tiny! Ferry’s drop off at the port in the main town/village, Naxos Town (you’ll also see it listed as Chora on some maps). Most hotels in Chora are only a 15 minute or so walk from the port, but if you have lots of luggage and/or a baby like us...we opted for a 10 euro cab ride!
Our hotel was amazing. I would stay there 100 times over! It was cheap (under 200 euro for our three nights) but clean, high end and a perfect location. >> Spiros Hotel <<
After settling into the hotel we went off to explore the town. Our first stop, of course, was for gyros at Gyro Gyro right on the square. My favorite gyros of the whole trip. If you have time, just take half the day and get lost in the little alleyways and roads. Such a cool area!
After wandering in and out of the hidden gems we found our way back to the port and Temple of Apollo. We did some shopping then walked up the (short and easy) way to the Temple. Amazing views of the Aegean Sea!!
We found delicious macrons along the boardwalk, then settled on Lucullus Taverna for dinner. Half of the seating was out in the little roads – loved it! Note – at some point on your trip, try the fried feta!!
Day 2, we decided the day before we were going to rent a car for our last two days. A couple things…
Anywhere we looked in Naxos Town was 35/day for an automatic.
It’s cheaper to rent a manual by about 10 euro a day. I can drive a stick, but we opted for the automatic so Josh could drive.
We didn’t get the international drivers license, it wasn’t a problem at the place we rented but you might have an issue depending on the rental place.
In hindsight, we wished we had rented the car the night before so we didn’t have to deal with it that morning, and gotten right on the road instead!
It’s definitely not necessary to rent a car in Naxos, but so much fun if you do! The beaches within walking distance are nice, but the farther south you drive down the coast the more gorgeous and secluded they get.
Our first stop was Plaka Beach. We found parking at a little restaurant in the middle of nowhere and found that if you order even just a drink, you get free access to their lounge chairs, umbrellas, and even their pool on the other side of the road. No brainer for us! Be prepared to see naked bodies, lol. Not scattered everywhere but we saw two old gals with their tops off, chatting away and having the time of their life, plus a couple others down the beach a bit. We ended up staying for about 3 hours, but before we left Plaka I flagged down the Asian couple that had just finished massages for another couple on the beach. They showed me their price list, told me it was 65 euro for 45 minutes but they’d do 40 just for us. I got them down to 30 euro as long as I promised “not to tell the other couple!” haha. It was so relaxing and Josh just ran around the beach with Eloise while I had it done. My only regret was not rinsing off the oil she used afterwards! I was a lobster for the rest of the trip!!
We packed up and headed down to Kastraki next. It was even more secluded and the water was even bluer. I still dream about these beaches!! There were only 2 other couples/families on the entire stretch of the beach and everyone was at least 200ft away! Eloise was napping in our makeshift towel tent so we decided to do as the Europeans do for a little sunbathing ;)
Once we got back into town (keep in mind we were never farther than 25min away from the hotel which is super convenient!) we cleaned up and went to dinner. Josh did some trip advisor searching and found us my FAVORITE restaurant of the entire trip, Doukato. I ordered the spicy meatballs and could literally eat it every.single.day. Josh ordered the feta stuffed burger and it was pretty amazing, too! We started with the greek salad and were hooked…we make it pretty often at home now!
Before we headed back to the hotel for bed we walked along the port area again and watched the sunset near Temple of Apollo. Easily one of my favorite sunsets of the whole trip…and not crowded at all!
Day 3, we hopped back in our rental to check out some of the inner villages our hotel owner had recommended! I had done some research on it before we came so his reccs sealed the deal that we had to go! Our first stop was Halki/Chalkeio…depending on what map you’re looking at they’re called different things! The views on the way up were out of this world. I’m pretty sure we recorded every minute of the drive. We had brunch at the Halki Café then wandered around a bit. There are walking trails available to go from village to village but the shortest would have been 6ish miles total and we weren’t prepped for it. Plus we had the car!
The other village we stopped at was Damalas. It was REALLY small, and not a ton to see but worth the stop. So amazing to see how other people in different parts of the world live! Eloise made friends with yet another little old Greek lady on our way out ;)
Back in Naxos Town we stopped for lunch at, you guessed it, Gyro Gyro. The same woman served us the day before and loved Eloise, she picked her up and walked around chatting to her friends, then showed her the fountain in the square. She was within 50ft of us the whole time but my mama nerves were still at 100%. Greeks loooove babies as they don’t see them often (average children per family in Greece are 0-1 we were told) and it’s literally like living in a different world compared to the states.
We stopped at the walkable beach, Agios St. George. It was nice but we were definitely glad to have gone to other beaches down the coast the day before!
I love dinner at Doukato so much that we ate there again…and I ordered the exact same thing as the night before. Josh got the gyro platter and it was soooo good too!! Seriously if you go to Naxos and don’t eat here you are missing out.
Day 4, heading home!
The airport is only 5 minutes from the area we stayed in, but along a road that’s not easily walkable, so definitely take a cab! (15eu). We were told to get there about an hour ahead of time. So, a funny little story that my husband isn’t aware of…I somehow read our tickets wrong and thought our flight was at 9:25am. Assumed we needed to be there at 8. We get there and literally NO ONE is at this tiny little airport, not even workers. 30 minutes later the check-in agent/gate agent/flight attendant and one baggage person arrived and we finally got checked in and handed our bags off. A police officer showed up and we finally went through security. By the time we boarded this TINY plane it was 10:15. Josh made the comment that our flight was delayed an hour….I looked at our tickets and turns out our flight was at 10:25, we could have slept in an extra hour!!! Anyways, I’m calling myself out here for pure curiosity…we’ll see if he reads it ;)
Back at the Athens airport we had time to kill and did a little alcohol shopping in duty free. We connected in Frankfurt, nearly missed our flight because we had 45min to deplane and go through customs, but thankfully we made it. Eloise did amazing once again on both flights and the 3 hour drive home.
All in all, it was another trip of a lifetime and we had the best time. And Eloise did SO good on her first international trip! If you have any questions at all about traveling to Greece…I am an open book!