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THE BEACHES AND NATURIST BEACHES OF THE ISLAND OF NAXOS IN GREECE

The whole western coastline of Naxos is one big beach. We have seen it from the ferry a couple of times, and we have seen it from our car when we drove past. You can find a place in the sand all for yourself without sharing it with the lot if you like that, and the beaches belong to the best of the Cyclades, or actually the are counted amongst the best in the whole wide world (they are in the top 10). But also in the east, in the south and in the north of the island there are plenty of nice beaches.

Naxos is the biggest of the cycladic islands, so it is worth renting a car for a couple of days and take a good look around the island. I think we should return back soon to see some more of it. The stretch with beaches on the west coast of the island has no equal in the Cyclades. The beaches are miles long, have soft sand and are also broad. Sometimes they have dunes behind it. The nearest beach to Chora is called Agios Georgios, and this is a busy family beach. South of Agios Georgios is the airport of Naxos and to the west the popular beach Stelida with his taverna. To the south of these beaches begin the larger sandy beaches as (successively) Agios Prokopias, Agia Anna, Golden beach (a large naturist beach), Plaka, Mikri Vegle, Kastraki and Pyrgaki. Further in the south are more the difficult to reach beaches Kalando and Rena (we of course went there - over a long and bumpy dirt track - drove carefully and then after that a long distance to walk).

THE BEACHES AND NATURIST BEACHES AROUND THE CAPITAL OF THE ISLAND OF NAXOS (NAXOS TOWN)
Plaka beach Plaka beach Plaka beach Plaka beach Laguna beach
Agios Prokopios beach Grotta beach Agios Prokopios beach Agia Anna beach Naxos.

Naxos Beaches To the north of Naxos Town is Grotta Beach, where you'll find a considerable amount of accommodation. You look out on the island with the Portara (the large antique gate). The beach of Grotta is not very inviting. The sea can be wild and the beach itself is not very attractive. It consists of sand with pebbles and rocks and in the sea off the beach are also rocks. The combination of wind and rocks makes it a bit dangerous to swim here. There are also quite a few sea urchins in the water in this part of the island.

The nearest good sandy beach for Naxos Town is called Agios Georgios Beach. It is a popular beach and probably the busiest of the island, but because it is a few kilometers long, you can always find an empty space. The distance to the port of Naxos Town is about 300 meters. Agios Georgios Beach is a long, wide sandy beach with a large section where umbrellas and beach beds are for rent. From the beach you look out over the opposite island of Paros. The sea at Agios Georgios Beach is shallow and so it is safe for small children. The waves may be on the high side. The further you go away from the capital, the higher the waves. Around the beach there are many accommodations, restaurants and shops.

The first beach south of Agios Georgios beach is called Laguna Beach and this is largely a naturist beach. It is next to Lake Aliki and the airport of Naxos. The water is very shallow, and it doesn't go deeper than 1 meter for a long distance. Because there can be some wind at the beach you regularly see windsurfers here. Naxos has no international airport, so there are not that many flights to the island. At the beach is the campsite of Naxos. From Naxos Town you can walk to this beach in about 15 minutes. Under Laguna Beach you find Agios Prokopios Beach. The Distance to the capital is five kilometers. The beach is about one and a half kilometer long and it is sandy. On a section of the beach are beach beds and umbrellas for rent. Here you will find the accommodations and restaurants. The northern part of Agios Prokopios Beach has no facilities and is also used by naturists. The beach has a regular bus service to the capital.

7 kilometers south of Naxos Town is Agia Anna Beach. It is a long sandy beach that is diveded into tw by a fishing port with a pier. On a large portion of the beach are beach beds and umbrellas for hire. Also in Agia Anna Beach there are all kinds of facilities and there are accommodations and tavernas. It is easy to reach by bus from Naxos Town. Previously Agia Anna Beach was a nudist beach, but that time is over now. Naturist need to walk a little bit further south, to the beaches just below Agia Anna. Below the village of Agia Anna is the sandy beach called Maragas Beach, where you can also find a campsite. Maragas Beach is part of the big Plaka Beach, which is many kilometers long. Maragas Beach is the name they have given at the beginning of that beach.

At the beginning of Plaka Beach can you rent beach beds and umbrellas, but most of the beach is pristine and without facilities. In some places you can still find a tavern or a hotel behind the sand dunes, but they are few. Plaka Beach is a mixed textile / nudist beach where no one seems to mind about each other. Everyone is doing doing what they want, so some wear a bathing outfit while others wear nothing at all. After Plaka you find Orkos Beach, a collection of small coves with quiet beaches with red cliffs in the background.

THE BEACHES AND NATURIST BEACHES IN THE SOUTHWEST OF THE ISLAND OF NAXOS
Mikri Vigla beach Mikri Vigla beach Mikri Vigla beach Kastraki beach Kastraki beach
Pyrgaki beach Pyrgaki beach Agiasos beach Alyko beach Alyko beach

Mikri Vigla Beach is a beautiful sandy beach which is situated 16 kilometers from the capital of the island of Naxos. It consists of two beaches that are separated by a mountain. On the route from Plaka to Mikri Vigla you'll come along smaller bays with beaches where there is room for naturists. If it's not high season you can find naturists on both beaches of Mikri Vigla. During the high season you will find people without textiles on the southern beach which runs towards Kastraki (the southern beach of Mikri Vigla is also called Sahara Beach). The beach of Mikri Vigla, like most other beaches on Naxos, is quite large. The northern beach lies a little in the wind and is visited by lovers of windsurfing. The southern beach is more out of the wind. In the area of Mikri Vigla various restaurants and accommodations can be found.

Behind Sahara Beach is the quiet sandy beach of Kastraki. The distance to the capital is about 17 kilometers. In the vicinity of the beach are a small number of accommodations and some tavernas to be found. The beach is long and is mainly visited by people in swimwear, especially during peak season. On the piece towards the south you will find the naturists. Outside the high season it is obviously easier to lie on the beach without clothes. Nearby are also a few smaller bays with beaches with room for naturism, but it requires quite a bit of climbing to get there. In line after Kastraki Beach you find the following quiet, beautiful sandy beach, which is called Glyfada Beach. Here are also a few accommodations and there are a couple of tavernes in the area, but there are no beach beds and umbrellas for rent. The distance to Naxos town is about 19 kilometer.

The beach next in line is called Aliko Beach or Alyko Beach, and it is just below Glyfada Beach. The area of Aliko Beach consists of a number of small turquoise coves with beautiful white sand beaches. There are tamarisk trees to lie down in the shade. Here are no beach beds or umbrellas for rent. Above Aliko Beach are sand dunes and there is a beautiful cedar forest, which has been declared a nature reserve. Aliko Beach can be reached by car, but there is also 6 times a day a bus from the capital to the beach. The distance from Naxos Town in about 19 kilometers. Nearby are a few accommodations and a couple of tavernas. Aliko Beach is a good place for people who want peace and quiet and it is also a good place for naturists, even during the high season.

The beach behind Aliko Beach is called Pyrgaki Beach. It is about 1 km from Aliko Beach and 20 kilometers from Naxos Town. There is no bus service to the beach. The piece from Aliko Beach to Pyrgaki is over a dirt road. Pyrgaki Beach is a beautiful and quiet sandy beach with sand dunes behind it. There also grow cedar trees here under which you can find some shade. 50 meters from the beach is the Psili Ammos taverna where it's possible to rent an umbrella and sun beds. Behind the beach are a couple of accommodations where you can rent a room. The sea at Pyrgaki Beach is shallow. A little further behind the beach are a number of coves with small beaches which are sometimes used by naturists.

Behind Pyrgaki Beach you can find Agiassos Beach. The long sandy beach of Agiassos is more difficult to reach because the road to it is not very good. The distance from Pyrgaki Beach is 3 about kilometers (over a dusty road). The distance from Naxos Town is about 21, 5 kilometers. The beach is not organized and there are no beach beds and umbrellas. There is a hotel and there are a few fish tavernas on the beach. The sea is shallow, so it's easy to get into the water.

THE BEACHES AND NATURIST BEACHES IN THE EAST AND SOUTHEAST OF THE ISLAND OF NAXOS
Moutsana beach Moutsana beach Moutsana beach Naxos beach Naxos beach
Panermos beach Panermos beach Panermos beach Alyko beach Naxos beach

Moutsouna Beach is located on the east side of the island of Naxos. Moutsouna Beach is a textile beach that lies near the village of the same name. There are no sunbeds or umbrellas for rent and shade is scarce. Moutsouna is the port of the village Apiranthos which lies a little further inland, and it was active at the time the mines were exploited for their Naxos marble. Now it's the colored wooden boats that dominate the harbor. In recent years the village develops more and more into a tourist resort, and there are a few hotels and several tavernas. The road to Moutsouna Beach is paved, but the connection with the capital Naxos Town, which is about 40 km away, is not very good. You better go to this beach by car. Just north of Moutsouna Beach, in various bays and coves, are other beautiful beaches where naturists can give it a try. Definitely out off high season you should succeed here if you are looking for your own naturist beach. A disadvantage (or is it really an advantage?) is that the beaches can be a bit in the wind.

The four most important beaches in the southeast of the island of Naxos are Psili Ammos, Klidos, Panormos and Kalandos Beach. Of these four beaches Psili Ammos (meaning: thin sand) is the northernmost. It is a very quiet beach with thin white sand, where sometimes some place for naturists (allthough there is a sign saying "no nudity"). The beach is reached by a 12 km long asphalt road from Moutsouna. In the village Kanaki there is a sign for the exit to the beach. The last 150 meters to the beach the road gets too narrow for a car and you have to walk on foot. Hundred meters south of Psili Ammos Beach is another bay with a beautiful and secluded sandy beach and there are more small coves with beaches in the area where naturists can try their luck. At Psili Ammos Beach are no sunbeds and umbrellas for rent but there are tall cedar trees around the beach and so there is plenty of shade.

South of Psili Ammos Beach is Klidos Beach or Kleidos Beach, a long sandy beach that is divided into smaller parts by rocks, so you have a little more privacy when it is busier. To my knowledge there are only a few trees on the beach, but it is surrounded by cliffs, so at some times of the day you can find some shade. There is a small taverna on the beach. From the beach there is a view over the island of Koufonissia which lays opposite Klidos Beach.

The under Klidos Beach located Panormos Beach is another quiet sandy beach. The distance from Naxos Town is 54 kilometers. Panormos Beach is not large, is situated in a protected bay and the sea water here is a little green. This beach too can be reached via the route Moutsouna - Kanaki. The distance to the village Kanaki is 9 kilometers and the road to Panormos Beach is asfalt Panormos Beach is a textile beach, but on a small area to the left of the beach there are sometimes naturists as well. There are some palm trees at the beach and there is a small beach cantina where you can buy drinks. There are also remains of an acropolis of First Cycladic period on the top of Amygdalion, near Panormos.

Kalandos or Kalantos Beach is probably the most remote beach on the island. It is a very large sandy beach that lies in the extreme south of Naxos and to reach it you need your own transportation. Up to the Chimaros Tower (a four-story, 15 meter high marble tower from the 4th century, which is situated between Filoti and Kalandos) the road is paved, then it stops and the rest of the road to Kalandas Beach is a dirt track. The route is doable with a normal car if you drive carefully and slowly. It seems that since we have been there some more stretches of road are paved. At the beach of Kalandos there are no facilities at all (hence no hotel or tavern). The beach is a nudist beach but there is currently (2014) a port being built on the left side of the bay and after the harbor after who know what else will follow.

THE BEACHES AND NATURIST BEACHES IN THE NORTH OF THE ISLAND OF NAXOS
Abrami beach Abrami beach Abrami beach Agia beach Apollonas beach
Apollonas beach Apollonas beach Lionas beach Lionas beach Lionas beach

Pachia Ammos or Pahia Ammos Beach is located on the west side of the island of Naxos, close to the Faneromeni monastery which dates from 1606. The distance to the capital Naxos Town is about 13 kilometers. I think the beach is also called Amity Beach, Amyti Beach and Amites Beach. It lies along the road on the route of the village of Galini to the village of Akrotiri. Pachia Ammos or Amity Beach is a long, quiet sandy beach and without facilities. The waves can be quite high. Northwest of Pachia Ammos in smaller bays several other beaches can be found. Pachia Ammos is a mixed beach. Since it is quiet and large there is room here for naturist to sunbathe and swim without swimsuits.

North of Pachia Ammos Beach lies Agios Mamas Beach. Agios Mamas is the patron saint of Naxos and the shepherds. It is a small and quiet beach where off-season there can be room for naturism. At the beach is a small taverna which also rents out rooms. Once that opens the beach changes to a beach for people with swimwear. Abrami, Ambrami or Abram Beach is located 25 kilometers north of Naxos Town. The quiet beach is easily accessible and there are a number of accommodations and a taverna. It is a sandy beach with some scattered small pebbles, surrounded by trees and bushes. There are no umbrellas and beach beds for rent.

Just north of Abrami Beach is the pebble beach of Limenari Kiras, which is not indicated by a road sign. The road to it is quite bad but the beach is very quiet (or deserted if you're lucky). You can get there from Abrami Beach. You walk to the north side of the beach, behind the villa you climb the steps up to the top of the cliff and follow the path to the next bay. With a car you can also get there from the regular road. You drive until you can just see Venetian castle around the corner and then you drive carefully down the path that leads down on your left hand side. If you are the first on the beach then you turn it into your own naturist beach as is often works on the Greek islands (the one that comes first determines what it is: a nude beach or a textile beach).

Apollonas Beach is located in the north of the island of Naxos, 38 kilometers from the capital (via the coastal road). It is a beautiful beach with white marble pebbles and white sand. There are several tavernas, accommodations and shops around it. It is a quiet beach and there is not much nightlife in the village, but there is a cafe for people who to have a drink in the evening. Just outside Apollonas, in front of the old mine, is the ten-meter tall statue of the Kouros (young man). The statue supposedly depicts Dionysos (the god of wine) and dates from the 6th century BC. It seems that this is the oldest mine in Greece. If you follow the coastal road from Naxos Town to Apollonas Beach there is both before and after the village of Agia (in the northwest) an exit to the coast and a beach.

Lionas Beach in northeastern Naxos is situated in front of the almost deserted village with the same name. It used to be a port from which marble was exported. Now it is a fishing village with a couple of tavernas. Lionas Beach is a pebble beach with white pebbles. There are no beach beds and umbrellas for hire. You can reach Lionas Beach via the route that goes through the village Koronas or from the north from the village of Apollonas. The road to Lionas Beach is paved, but it is not very wide and it has lots of curves. He goes through pretty nature and on the way you can also see some old mines. The distance from Naxos Town is about 40 kilometers.


Hans Huisman, http://www.angelfire.com/super2/greece/ 2015
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