Naxos, the largest of the Cycladic islands, is a treasure trove of scenic beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture. One of the best ways to truly experience the island’s charm is by exploring it on foot. Walking around Naxos allows you to immerse yourself in its landscapes, discover hidden gems, and connect with its local traditions. Here’s a guide to walking around Naxos and making the most of your pedestrian adventure.

The Charm of Walking in Naxos

Walking in Naxos offers a unique perspective that you can’t get from behind the wheel of a car or from a tour bus. The island’s varied terrain includes picturesque villages, ancient ruins, lush valleys, and stunning coastlines, all connected by a network of trails and pathways. Whether you’re a casual walker or an avid hiker, Naxos has something to offer for everyone.

Walking Routes and Trails

Naxos Town (Chora)

Start your walking adventure in Naxos Town, also known as Chora. This vibrant town is a maze of narrow streets, whitewashed buildings, and charming squares. Key highlights include:

  • The Portara: The iconic marble gate of the unfinished Temple of Apollo, offering breathtaking sunset views.
  • Venetian Castle (Kastro): Wander through the medieval alleys and explore the ancient fortifications and mansions.
  • Old Market (Palia Agora): A bustling area filled with shops, cafes, and traditional tavernas.

The Villages

Naxos is home to several picturesque villages, each with its own unique character. Some of the most walkable and charming include:

  • Halki: Located in the Tragea Valley, this village is known for its neoclassical architecture and the Byzantine Church of Panagia Protothronos.
  • Apeiranthos: Nestled on the slopes of Mount Fanari, Apeiranthos boasts marble-paved streets, traditional stone houses, and several small museums.
  • Filoti: Situated at the foot of Mount Zas, Filoti is an excellent starting point for a hike up the highest peak in the Cyclades.

Nature Trails

For nature enthusiasts, Naxos offers a variety of trails that showcase its natural beauty:

  • Mount Zas: This is the highest point in the Cyclades, offering panoramic views of the island. The trail begins at the Cave of Zas and ascends to the summit, rewarding hikers with breathtaking vistas.
  • The Valley of the Butterflies: A tranquil walk through a lush valley filled with vibrant flora and the occasional sighting of butterflies, especially in spring and early summer.
  • The Demeter Temple Trail: This trail takes you through the countryside to the ancient Temple of Demeter, passing through olive groves and farmland.

Practical Tips for Walking Around Naxos

Footwear and Gear

  • Comfortable Shoes: Wear sturdy, comfortable walking shoes or hiking boots, especially if you plan to tackle the more rugged trails.
  • Sun Protection: The Greek sun can be intense, so bring a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen.
  • Water and Snacks: Carry enough water to stay hydrated, and pack some snacks, especially for longer hikes.


  • Maps and Guides: Use a detailed map or a hiking guide to plan your routes. Many trails are well-marked, but it’s always good to have a backup.
  • Local Advice: Don’t hesitate to ask locals for advice on the best routes and hidden gems. They often have invaluable insights.


  • Weather Awareness: Check the weather forecast before heading out, especially if you’re planning a longer hike.
  • Travel Companions: If possible, walk with a companion, especially on more remote trails.
  • Emergency Contacts: Have the contact information for local authorities or emergency services handy.

Embracing the Journey

Walking around Naxos is not just about the destination but also about the journey. Take your time to enjoy the scenery, interact with locals, and savor the island’s flavors. Whether you’re strolling through a quaint village, hiking up a mountain, or wandering along the coast, every step reveals a new facet of Naxos’s charm.

Naxos is a walker’s paradise, offering a diverse range of landscapes and experiences. Walking around the island allows you to slow down and truly appreciate its beauty and culture. From historic towns and charming villages to nature trails and ancient sites, Naxos invites you to explore its wonders on foot. So lace up your walking shoes, grab a map, and embark on an unforgettable adventure on this enchanting Greek island.

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