Vacation in Cyclades (Naxos)
Because of the great interest in vacation in Cyclades, that is not offered by the agencies, I am writing my experience to you. I arranged accommodation on my own, without agency.
You can travel there by plane from Athens or by boat also from Athens. Port Piraeus. I chose the other option. I bought the tickets for the ship via the Internet. You get the reservation and then you can pick up tickets at their office, at the port. We selected Blue Star Ferries company. Return card for two persons and for vehicle is 300eur. So, we had the Nis-Athens car ride, then stayed a hotel in the harbor for one night, because the ship department was at 7am next day, so we spent the day in the center of Athens, and visited the Acropolis Museum (not the Acropolis itself).
The boat trip takes 6 hours. The ship is huge, and can accommodate up to 2000 people and 700 vehicles. Ride is very comfortable. Naxos Island is the largest island of Cyclades. The position is excellent for excursions to Paros, Santorini, Mykonos, Ios, Kufonisi. Island is with very beautiful sandy beaches and crystal clear sea. Bad and cloudy weather do not exist as an option here. The wind that is called Meltemi blows constantly and cools you. This place is very famous and popular for Kitesurfing fans. The wind is a little bit annoying, but the one single day that was without it, we prayed to God to return it back because the heat was tropical. The capital is great and beautiful with numerous shops, tavernas, bars. In the island there are mainly French and Italian people, while in September are coming the Scandinavians. Each hotel has its own private parking, and public parking places are located in strategic locations so the parking system here is perfect. I have to notice that many hotels and apartments do not have kitchen in the rooms, but only a refrigerator. People mainly eat in restaurants here. For those who choose to go by plane, you have an incredible number of rental car agencies, with all types of vehicles. Naxos is not just about beaches, there are also little villages in the interior (Halki, Filoti, Aperinthos), with galleries, tavernas, beautiful sunsets. We had two excursions. To Santorini, 65eur per person and to Mykonos 45eur.
Santorini is incredibly beautiful and powerful, but for me to be there for 3 days is quite enough. To take some pictures, to find all the corners, to feel the spirit of luxury. The prices are very high on Caldera where the view is stunning. At least three cruisers are always anchored there. You can ride a donkey from the foothill (it is still not forbidden, but there were some words about that), and there is also a cable car to the top. To spend vacation here, this place is a little bit exhausting with not so good beaches. In any case, it is a must see.
Controversial Mykonos. Nice capital, with many crossed streets, countless galleries, shops of all worldwide brands. Two required points for taking pictures, windmills and "small Venice". Prices in the taverns are astronomical (regular spaghetti 22eur). Mykonos should be felt from the other side, which is why people go there after all. Beaches, parties, having fun, many young people. Visit places that are awake all day and night and where you can meet real superstars. (Lewis Hamilton was on the island at the same time when we did)
For the end something about prices on Naxos. Sunbeds cost from 7-12eur without drinks. Of course, you can put your own beach equipment. The beaches are so big that there is enough space for everyone. Giros 2.5 eur full with tzatziki, Frappe 2,5-3,5 eur, beer 5eur, meal in taverns from 8-12eur, ice cream one ball 2,3 eur-every next 1,7eur.
This is completely different Greece from the other one in the north. The beaches are perfect, the water is transparent as in the swimming pool, accommodations are superb, everything is subordinate to tourists. Oh yes, there are no Funfairs.
Text and photos: Andrija Ristic