Find your next adventure!
SkiResortGuru.com will help you find the best mountain destination for you.
SkiResortGuru.com will help you find the best mountain destination for you.
„Naxos is the largest island of Cyclades archipelagos. It is not as famous as San Torini or Mikonos but it is just as beautiful. Meltemi wind can blow for days without pause. Best months for kitesurfing are July and August. There are several spots around the island. Greek mythology says that the supreme god Zeus was raised on the island. Naxos has a long and interesting history. It has stunning scenery, great beaches and plenty of things you can do when there is no wind or you don’t feel like kiting. The food is delicious. Naxos is much more peaceful, and cheaper, than its famous neighbours San Torini or Mikonos. Read this Naxos Kitesurfing Review and find out everything you need to know.”
Pros: reliable wind in July and August, nice scenery, lots of things you could do besides kitesurfing, cheaper than San Torini and Mikonos.
Cons: kite spots can get crowded, gusty wind, bad roads.
Naxos has two main spots where you can kite. Both of them are situated on the eastern coast of the island. The first one is located in a village called Mikri Vigla. It will take you 25 minutes to get there from the City of Naxos. Mikri Vigla is only 11.6 km away from the island’s main city but the road is very bad. Half of the way there you will drive on a dirt path.
If you continue south from Mikri Vigla you will get to the second spot. It is situated by an imposingly long beach called Glyfada around Kastraki village. Kastraki is half an hour (15.6 km) away from City of Naxos.
Meltemi (local wind) is strongest in July and August, although it blows from mid-May until September. In high season you should have 6 out of 7 windy days, but in June and September it is not that regular. In September we had only 3 windy days and we stayed there for a week. Meltemi is not a thermal wind, therefore it can blow for days without stopping. Mikri Vigla has side on shore wind. It blows from right to left. The Venturi effect in the channel between Naxos and Paros Island increases the strength of the wind by funneling it into the channel. It can get very strong, up to 30 knts, with even stronger gusts.
Kastraki has side shore wind. It is a bit stronger than in Mikri Vigla. Meltemi there can also get gusty.
Mikri Vigla has a 1 km long sandy beach. The left side is reserved for swimming but you can kite away from the shore. There is no shade but you can get a refreshment in bars situated in hotels and apartments several meters from the beach. Thalasea kite center has a beach bar. There is even one mini market. In July, August and beginning of September the water is warm and you won’t need a shorty or wetsuit. There are no dangerous obstacles on the beach or in the water. Sea is choppy. It has a beautiful green-blue colour. The spot can get really crowded during July and August. Two more kite schools operate in Mikri Vigla: Flisvos Kite Centre and Naxos Kitelife.
Kastiraki has been blessed with Glyfada beach. It is several kilometres long. The sea is crystal-clear and choppy. Wind is side shore but there is a small bay downwind making it ideal for kitesurfing. There is no dangerous marine life (corals, sharp shelves, sea urchins…) in the water. You should be aware of big, underwater rocks in some places (not hard to spot due to clear water). You will find sand dunes behind the beach, but there are just a few places where you can hide from the sun except bars and local taverns. Two kite centers operate in the area: Ride with the Goods and Naxos Kitesurf Club.The spot is much bigger and less crowded from the one in Mikri Vigla. Swimmers have their separate zones.
Naxos has a public transportation system. Buses depart approximately every hour and a half. Tickets are sold in shops around bus stops. Bus ticket price depends on the length of the ride.
If you rent a scooter dusty road between City of Naxos and Mikri Vigla might be a problem. I thought that Ulcinj had bad roads until I saw Naxos. It is so bad that we had to close our car windows every time. I cannot imagine the look of a biker after the ride.
The best way to explore the whole island is to rent a car. There is a large number of agencies around Naxos port. Prices in the beginning of September started at 30 EUR for smallest cars (Citroen C1, Chevrolet Spark etc.). Check for prices in different agencies, don’t go for the first one you run into. Don’t be shy, and bargain. The longer you rent a car for, the less per day it will be. We only needed: a driving licence, a passport and we had to give them our credit card number. Tip: always check for dents and scratches before you drive away from the rental agency.
Naxos has a national airport for small planes. It is situated only 3 km (6 min by car) away from the main city. The airport has direct flights from Athens. It is also used for charter flights.
We took a plane to Athens and then a ferry. You will need a considerable amount of time to get from the airport to Pireus port. A taxi ride is going to cost you around 50 EUR. Anyhow, the best way to get from Athens Airport to Pireus and save money in the process is to catch the direct X96 bus line. The ride costs several EUR. Length of the ride depends on the time of a day. It took us around 45 minutes (the bus was really fast, but keep in mind that it was Sunday early morning). Usually a taxi ride lasts about 45 minutes and bus twice that much.
A boat trip is going to take you from 3 up to 5.5 hours. It depends on the type of ferry you choose. The faster a boat is, the more money you are going to pay. We took the “Blue Star” ferry. The cost of a return ticket was around 65 EUR. Boats are huge and you shouldn’t have any problems with seasickness. TIP: AC is always on, thus bring warm clothes with you.
Mikri Vigla is a great place where you can stay. It is a small village and you will be able to get from every point to the spot in under 5 minutes. It has a decent choice of apartments and hotels. Mikri Vigla is well connected to Naxos City, and there are regular bus departures. You can also use a taxi (30 EUR one way). There are 2 mini markets and several restaurants and bars.
We chose Victoria Apartments, right on the beach/spot, and great value for your money. They also have a small beach bar where you can have a drink or grab something to eat (breakfast, burgers and pizza).
Naxos Kitesurfing Review wouldn’t be complete without activities you can do when you are not kitesurfing. Discover interesting narrow streets of Naxos old city. They are really interesting, full of small shops, bars and restaurants. It is hard to get back if you find something remarkable since the streets are like a big maze. Buildings are white with blue details (similar to Mikonos and San Torini). Try the local cuisine at Doukato restaurant. Take great photos at Apollo Temple just by Naxos port.
Visit the beautiful Glyfada beach even if there is no wind. Pyrgaki is not as crowded as other, more famous, beaches. There is a great tavern at the end of the road. On the left side of the beach you can find a popular spot for cliff diving.
Plaka is full of people. Sunbeds and umbrellas are all over the place. During a windless day we stopped by Plaka Water Sports for a wakeboarding session. Plaka is more interesting in the night due to a significant number of bars and restaurants.
If you like hiking, Mount Zas (Zeus) is a great place for you. It is the highest point of Cyclades. On the way up you will run into a cave where, according to some sources, the god Zeus was raised. It will take you around an hour and a half to reach the summit. The view is breath-taking and well worth the climb. TIP: Visit the mountain early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid heat. The trail is not easy, so wear proper shoes.