Naxos has been on the Cycladic island hopping trail for years. Loved by some but primarily used as a stop off for the Little Cyclades and beyond. We did more than stop off though. We stayed, we looked and ate and then ate some more.

What we fell in love with were the beaches. Endless options of beautifully sandy coves with clear blue waters. And when we say endless, we mean endless. A lot of them a short drive or bus ride from the main town (Chora). We couldn’t believe our eyes, pure bliss whether you like your swimming costume on or off! Hire a car. This is definitely an island which calls for it as there is much to explore.

The quaint mountain villages like Apiranthos, the hidden away gem of Demeter’s temple, Bellonia’s castle, the “sleeping” Kouros in Apollonas. All that research will make you hungry, it’s only natural. Call ahead and book your little corner at Axiotissa, the little restaurant with the biggest heart. Eat to your heart’s content, if your heart is a lover of all things meat, in Melanes. We could go on and on and on (and we will when we book your holiday, trust us).

Naxos provides hotels for all budgets and tastes. From options that allow you to escape the crowds, stare at the sea and be served with a five star attitude but not the price tag, to basic rooms and everything in between. Avoid the obvious beach front options, which become claustrophobic in the summer. Do give the Chora some of your time, don’t just ignore it on your way to and from the port. The sunset at the temple of Apollo is an Instagram dream and the old market alleyways are cuteness personified.

Oh and don’t leave without cheese. All kinds of it. Made with great care by local producers with milk from herds which graze the beautiful mountain top plains. When you’re at it buy some capers too, they’ll remind you of the wonderful Aperathitiki salad or Greek salad to us not lucky enough to hail from Naxos. Don’t buy too many though as you’ll definitely want to go back for more. Soon. Very soon.