Athens to Naxos

This post is written by Katie, about her solo trip to Turkey and Greece. 

I set my alarm for 6:45am, but got up a bit earlier at 6:30am. I packed, checked out, and then asked reception about whether I needed to validate my round-trip airport metro ticket again. At this point, I learned that the metro was closed until 9am due to a strike! I was given walking directions to the bus (7 minute walk, 5 euro). I just had to forget about the lost money spent on the round-trip metro tickets and hope the traffic created by the strike was not too bad. The bus left Syntagma Square at 7:34am and arrived at the airport at 8:33am, so I had plenty of time to catch my 10:30am Aegean Airlines (operated by Olympic Air) flight to Naxos.

I picked up my large backpack from left luggage, put some items from my small backpack into my larger backpack, and lugged my large backpack to check in. After checking in, I went through security, bought a coffee and muffin, and went to my bus gate. Once at the gate I connected to wifi to find a concerned JT still up. He was worried that I had not checked in with him after dinner last night, and was happy to hear I had made it to the airport (despite the metro strike).

My flight from Athens to Naxos was short, and the plane was tiny (9 rows, 37 passengers). It was a bit cloudy, but I still got some good views. The runway at the Naxos airport much have been rather short – we landed early and then really stopped hard. The actual airport had no gates, and likely no security. The baggage claim was just a conveyor belt that shot out the luggage onto a roller where people could claim it.  It was all rather basic and cute – a sign that tourism has not completely hit Naxos yet.

My Dash 8 (SX-BIQ) from Athens to Naxos

The view from 1F on my Dash 8 (SX-BIQ)

My Dash 8 (SX-BIQ) from Athens to Naxos

 The Naxos Airport

The owner of Windmill Naxos was waiting for me at the airport as promised with his big red van. He took me to the hotel, showed me my room, and said he had to go do a pick-up at the port but that he would return very soon and give me a map.

Windmill Naxos red van

I unpacked and settled in. It’s nice to have a room and bathroom to myself! My room even has a patio with a table and chairs! I’m impressed so far!

After unpacking and settling in, I went downstairs to get the map. He showed my lots of things to do, and gave me a print out of the bus schedules. Then I went back to my room, organized myself, and then headed off to check out the bus station.

Or so I thought. The map had no street names, so when I saw the water nearby, I knew I had gone the wrong way. I was near Saint George’s beach, so I decided to go walk on it. It was a nice, but windy walk to the end of the beach. At the end, there was a great view of Naxos Town, and guys were windsurfing on the next beach. I turned back and stopped for a late lunch of Mythos beer, olives, and fries. I opted to sit outside – so I had a sandy, but scenic meal.

 View of Naxos Town from Saint George’s beach

After eating I went to scope out the bus stop of mountain buses, as well as the supermarket where you can buy bus tickets. Then I walked though the town center, explored the old town Kastro (where I saw lots of cats, including some adorable kittens), and then walked along the port’s water front. I sat and chilled in a few different places.

Narrow alleys in the Kastro

Catholic Church in the Kastro

Kittens in the Kastro

View leaving the Kastro out of the northern exit

View of Naxos Town and the Kastro from the port

A Blue Star Ferry coming into Naxos Port

Naxos Town

Then I went to the Temple of Apollo to watch the sunset. As I was getting ready to climb up to the temple, I realized that the wind was suddenly very strong and the sky very dark – it was going to storm very soon and potentially very bad. I gave up on the sunset and instead headed back to my hotel. As I was almost back, it started down pouring. I stopped under a balcony and put on my rain jacket. Then I stopped at the grocery store near my hotel and picked up bread, cheese, juice, and beer – this would be my dinner because I did not want to go back out in the rain.  The owners at the grocery store – 5′ Market – were really friendly and helpful.

I went to my room, cooked my grilled cheese dinner (in a pot, since there was no pan), chatted with JT, worked on my blog, and then called it an early night.

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