If you are planning for a holiday in Europe, look to no other destination than Chora, Naxos islands.
This Mediterranean island sits mid-way between the African and European continents. It also stands apart from the rest of continental Europe in that is has fewer fluctuations in weather and climate patterns.
This means that it is cooler in the summer yet warmer in the winter than much of Europe. Further to this, the island also contains numerous attractions, eateries, beaches, and other amenities which may be of interest to any serious tourist.
You can never have an excuse not to spend some of your time on this island. To facilitate your visit here, we have seen it necessary to compile a list of some of the top and fruitful things you can do while in or around the island’s capital, Chora.
We have stayed here long enough to know those issues which can make your time here rewarding and worth re-visiting if need be. Read on to find out more…
What to do in Chora Naxos (Hora), Greece
#1: Sightseeing and Photography
The entire island of Naxos has no shortage of attractions and amenities for your consideration. Indeed, every length and breadth of the island contains some ruins, statutes, physical features, and peculiar scenes. It, therefore, makes some sense for you to come here to sightsee and capture some memorable photos for your future references. Consider these two ruins for a start:
As the name suggests, this is a ruin of a temple that was once dedicated to Apollo, the Greek god of healing, truth, and prophecy. These ruins overlook the adjacent Aegean Sea. Given its strategic location at the peak of the island, it gives you some unconstrained views of the city below and the sea beyond.
TEMPLE OF DEMETER
Originally dedicated to the worship of the Greek goddess of the harvest, this temple was later on converted into a church. At the moment, this former glorious temple is in ruins. It is similarly located atop a hill and as such, accords some breathtaking views of the entire island and the adjacent sea.
Situated right at the harbor entrance, it is the possibly, the most photographed place in Chora, Naxos. Some say it reminds them an other-worldly gate. Nevertheless, it is still a great “picture-frame” for great photos.
#2: Leisure Travels
As has been stated, this island is not short of attractions. The area in and around Chora is also packed with numerous places of interest. To be able to visit as many of these attractions as possible, you will have to travel a lot.
This island contains many subsistence farmers. They mainly use donkeys to move their produce, farm implements, and whole families around. They are warm and will gladly take you through some distance with their donkeys. As a matter of courtesy, it is necessary that you tip them handsomely.
Alternatively, you may also hire a bike from some of the bike sharing companies that operate here. Ride the bikes on your own in the various destinations which are bike-friendly here. To avoid getting lost, we suggest that you carry along with a GPS-enable mobile device and have some navigational apps like Waze and Google Earth installed.
#3: Dining and Wining
Definitely, you will have to eat some food and take some drinks while here. Barozzi Naxos is waiting for you!
If you are a lover of nightlife, Chora of Naxos has you well-taken care of! A good range of bars, concert halls, movie shows, and night clubs exist here for your advantage. They do host parties and concerts which are all great for your enjoyment. This city is safe for your peace of mind at night.
Quite a number of clubs do adorn the entire length and breadth of this city. They stage live performances from time to time and also play music from some great musicians from days gone by. Most of them are geared to the international audience and hence appeal to those who may not understand Greek.
Concerts In the peak tourists months of summer and winter, most clubs will usually stage some live performances and concerts. At such times, music-enthusiasts from all walks of life do stream this tiny island to behold most of the world-renowned artists. You may want to time your visit here strategically to coincide with these shows.
Apart from the leisure travels explained above, this island also contains many trails which are suited for matters walking and sauntering. While at your stay here, you may want to make use of these trails to take some breathers or simply kill some time. To avoid getting lost, you will yet again have to carry some GPS-enabled mobile devices and limit your saunters to daylight only.
HIKING IN AND AROUND CHORA
The streets of the city are not as congested as those of your typical European “city”. For this reason, it is great for hiking and strolling. Consider the 3.53 km trail that straddles right through the heart of the city. At its highest point, the trail is only 15.93 m above sea level. You will come across several shops and outlets not to mention breathing fresh air.
The shores of the island of Naxos, particularly those close to Chora are adorned with numerous sandy beaches. When not congested, particularly in the evening hours, they too offer great opportunities for sauntering. Do take some walks and expose your body to bombardments by the sea breeze. This is a sure way of relieving stress and rewinding after some heavy mental work.
While in your visit to the island, you definitely want to acquire some merchandises which you may use to memorialize your stint here. Chora of Naxos is not a leading shopping destination like Paris, London. New York, and the likes. However, it too does stock a couple of items which are hardly found elsewhere.
JEWELRY AND SOUVENIR SHOPS
Throughout the tiny and congested streets of the city are numerous curio shops. These stock and sell artifacts which are made by local sculptors. Some also stock expensive jewelry which are great additions for your homes as they enhance the interior décor. Even though some items are cheap, some will require that you dig too deep into your pocket.
Given that tourism is the economic mainstay of the island, it is no wonder that the city of Chora is also dotted with numerous tourist shops. As their name suggests, these shops are geared almost exclusively to the visitors. They accept cards, major currencies and have their stocks sourced from around the world.
#7: Discover History
Greece, in whose domain the island of Naxos falls, has a rich and long history indeed. From Archimedes to Plato, to Aristotle and Alexander the Great, there are countless persons who shaped the destiny of this once truly great civilization. It would thus be a disservice to visit here without discovering some ancient past of the civilization.
ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM OF NAXOS
Located in a Venetian building, this museum collects and showcases numerous pre-historic artifacts. These range from pottery to figurines and excavated artwork all sourced from the pre-historic times. A walk in this facility will compress some 1,000-year happenings into just one display. What’s more? You will also receive some guides to clarify any misunderstandings.
Even though this was originally designed to be a church, it is now filled with art and serves as a museum. It comes in the form of an ancient stone church and is adorned with numerous resources. Among these are the cemetery nearby, a bell tower, some painting, and historic carvings. Do visit here to relive the past of Greece’s role in shaping Christianity.
#8: Swimming and Beach Life
Given its proximity to the adjacent Aegean Sea, the island of Naxos is indeed a hotbed of all manner of ocean sports. You hence cannot come here, spend some time and then go back without sparing a bit of your time to partake of these excellent opportunities. Take advantage of the numerous beaches for this purpose.
The waters that surround Chora and its harbor are deep and sheltered from sharks and other ferocious marine animals. They are consequently safer for the purpose of swimming. By far the best time to swim is when the waters are calm and the sun is hot. These conditions are available mostly in the evening hours.
The beaches host numerous water sports that fullfill all tastes.
SECLUDED BEACH SPOTS
Some beaches that straddle along the adjacent beaches are secluded. This is simply to mean that they are sheltered from the easy access of the rest of the public. They are hence very secure, more private, and less likely to predispose you to certain dangers. If you are stressed, simply retreat to any of them in the evening hours. You come back much relieved.
#9: Sea Riding
Also existing to enrich your experience here is the fact that you can ride in the sea to and from Chora. That is because Chora is itself a harbor that handles moderate traffic from southern Europe, North Africa, and other Mediterranean islands. You may book any of them and enjoy your sea rides.
A permanent and dedicated ferry does ply the Athens-Chora route to connect the island of Naxos to mainland Greece. Numerous seafaring companies ply this route. For this reason, you can never miss a vessel or two at any given time. The charges are modest and a trip will give you some excellent sightseeing opportunities.
Other than the ferries, quite a number of boat companies also exist in and around Chora. Unlike the ferries, these won’t take you too far. Instead, they are only limited to a safe distance from the shoreline. In most cases, they are only available for fun and lets you detach from the congested lifestyles of the island.
From the beginning, we made it clear that the island of Naxos, being the Mediterranean, experiences limited fluctuations in temperature, weather, and climatic patterns. The island is hence a great place to retreat to during the harsh cold winter times in continental Europe. It does offer excellent sunbathing opportunities year round and is hence a ‘must visit’ in winter.
Read our complete post for the beaches of Naxos. The summarized list of beaches is this:
- RO Beach
- Mikri Vigla
- Psili Ammos
- Agios Prokopios
- Agia Anna
You can also visit:
Niborio Beach is located only 300m north of Chora. It is a lonely spot which is exposed to the sun yet sheltered from the public view. For this reason, this place is good for a sunbathing retreat. Quite a number of tents are available for your lease. They are cheap and add to the comfort the beach already provides.
ASTIR OF NAXOS BEACH
Located just 3 minutes from downtown Chora, this beach comes in the form of a golden and sandy ambiance. Being clean and sheltered from the main town, it is a nice place to just visit and lie there in the open sand. The sweet breezes that originate from the sea have a characteristic calming effect on your mind and soul.
Well, with so many things you can likely do in and around Chora, Naxos Island, why would you even hesitate to contemplate a visit here?
You clearly have no excuse as this place is able to take care of just about any of your interest while away from home.
The best time to visit here is in the winter given its relatively warmer temperatures compared to much of Europe. The best way to visit is in the company of a spouse or entire family.
The benefits of so doing are too many to be enjoyed alone. You also would not want to be considered mean, would you?
We look forward to hosting you soonest possible!