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The Greek islands are a summer travel dream for many people, but the price tag associated with this dream trip can be staggeringly high.
With hotel rates on popular islands like Santorini and Mykonos easily running over $500 a night during the peak summer season, it can make a trip to the Greek islands seem out of reach.
Not to mention, the summer crowds on the popular Greek islands can be unbearable.
But the island of naxos It remains an underrated and more affordable destination for travelers looking to experience Greek island luxury on a tight budget.
Here’s why Naxos is perfect for a summer trip this year:
It is the largest Cycladic island
Naxos is the largest island in the Cyclades chain, which also consists of popular destinations like Santorini and Mykonos.
Being the largest island, Naxos is less touristy and has more space and fewer crowds than its more popular counterparts, yet retains the same beauty and charm. (Think whitewashed buildings and spectacular sunsets.)
There is something for everyone in Naxos, whether you are interested in beaches, history and culture, or outdoor adventure activities.
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great sandy beaches
Not all of the Greek islands are known for having good beaches, but Naxos has quite a few excellent sandy beaches. In fact, they are regularly named among the best beaches in all of Greece.
If your idea of a Greek island holiday includes relaxing on the beach and taking a dip in crystal clear waters, Naxos is a great place to go.
The best beaches are on the southwestern side of the island.
One of the biggest draws to Naxos is that it is more affordable than many neighboring Greek islands.
Naxos is one of the cheapest Greek islands, especially when compared to popular destinations in the Cyclades like Santorini, Mykonos, Milos, and Ios. Since it is a large island, there is more hotel room inventory, which means prices go down.
Not only will you save money on hotel costs, prices for everything from restaurants to activities to car rental are much cheaper as Naxos is a less touristy island.
If you are looking for a cheap holiday on a Greek island, Naxos is the place to go.
Various things to do
Naxos has much more to offer than just beautiful beaches.
The main city, Chora, is a great place to explore, and the ancient ruins of the Temple of Apollo is one of the best places on the island to watch the sunset.
Naxos is also a great island for hiking, with numerous trails along the coast and inland. Some of the best hiking trails will take you past more ruins, like the ancient Temple of Demeter and the Temple of Dionysus.
Although Naxos remains somewhat underrated and off the beaten path for most travelers, that doesn’t mean it’s far away or inaccessible.
Naxos is actually very easy to get to, making for a hassle free holiday.
From Athens, it’s just a 35-minute flight to reach the island. If you prefer to take the scenic route, you can also take a 3.5-hour ferry ride from Athens to reach Naxos.
Finally, Naxos is a great destination to enjoy delicious and authentic Greek food, at a much lower price than what you can find on the nearby Cycladic islands such as Santorini and Mykonos.
Naxos is known for being the most fertile island, perhaps for this reason there is a temple dedicated to Demeter, goddess of the harvest.
Some of the best foods to try on the island include local cheeses and potatoes.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com