While I definitely have my preferred Greek islands (Crete is my all-time favorite, with Kefalonia a close second), we try to explore a new island each summer. This year, it was Naxos. Naxos is a fairly large island, with a gorgeous landscape and fascinating medieval history. It’s not traveled to as much as some of the more “known” Greek islands, which is part of the appeal. It is quintessentially Greek, in culture, food and drink, and hospitality.

The best way to explore the island is by car. We stayed in Chora near the famed portara, which was the perfect base. The main town of Chora contains a castle complex, as well as a charming old town. 

We started our island tour in Halki, a lovely town that makes you feel as if time has stood still. After trying some local liquor and roasted chicken, we headed to the village of Apostolis. Apostolis is filled with shady spots, which was a welcome surprise on an extremely hot day.

Some of the most stunning sights were on the drive around the island, in tiny if not unnamed villages and towns. The architecture, even the ruins, are truly beautiful. Perhaps because there weren’t as many tourists, it feels very natural and untouched. Like seemingly all of the Greek islands, the sunsets in Naxos are legendary.

The beaches did not disappoint. Agios Georgios was the perfect beach for family sun and surf. 

Although Naxos didn’t snag a spot on my favorites list, I’d return in a heartbeat. After all, it is Greece…