We are looking for an area to stay for about a week on the island of Naxos during the summer. We are a family of 3 adults. We've been to the Greek islands before but not Naxos. I don't think (but not sure) we want to be in the thick of all the tourist action (we didn't like the Plaka in Athens but loved it in Milos). Being up in the hills seems appealing, yet we would want to be able to walk to more authentic tavernas and markets. Any suggestions?
You cannot stay up in the hill towns... there are no rooms for visitors there. You would need to stay on or near one of the beach areas. Which one? It very much depends on what you mean by "the summer" ... that could be any time in 3.5 months. I would very much recommend either June, or 1st of September, both for temperatures and busy-ness. Tell us when, we'll suggest where.
Thanks for the help. It would be late June or July.
Your options are 1) St George Beach( Agios Georgios) which is a nice sand beach which is directly connected to Naxos town. You get a beach holiday plus all the activities of town just a 10 minute stroll away.
2) Naxos town is built on a hill. You could look for a hotel high up in the town there are a few up there. That would give you the closest comparison to the village of Plaka on Milos. It is much larger though.
3) Grotta area. It is built on a hill and has great views over the portera and the sea at sunset. There is not much that can be called a beach in this area. Going back to Grotta from Naxos town is only a 10 minute walk but you have to go up a dirt path up a hill in the dark. Not every ones cup of tea. There are a couple of really good hotels up there Ilada studios and hotel Grotta.
4) The west coast beaches about 7km from Naxos town. There are a series of beaches including Ag Prokopious along with its village. Agia Anna also with a village and Plaka which has no village just a string of hotels and tavernas along a 3 km dirt road. There is regular bus transportation to Naxos town.
Here is what it is like.
St George Beach Hotels Naxos http://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/sets/72157632162394787/
St George Beach Naxos http://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/sets/72157632113170279/
Plaka beach tavernas hotels https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/sets/72157655106193251
Aggia Anna and Ag Prokipos beach areas https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/albums/72157656297072028
Naxos Town http://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/sets/72157632094558042/
I stayed at Hotel Grotta in Naxos and thought it was a great location. It's within walking distance to the main part of town and yet far enough from town that the atmosphere was quieter. The views from the hotel are fantastic, especially at night.
Two years ago we stayed at the Galaxy Hotel in Naxos, right next to St. George Beach (see link below). It has a pool, great breakfast, updated rooms, and easy access to the town. I want to say it was about $125 a night. We really liked how it was far enough away from the town to be quiet, but close enough to walk. We took the bus to Plaka beach, about 15-20 minutes away. Plaka Beach is quiet and not real touristy. There are umbrellas for hire, tavernas, and an au natural area for those inclined. In fact, we're planning another trip for next summer and will most likely stay in the same place.