How To Get Around Naxos In Greece – Buses, Rentals And Tours

How to get around Naxos Greece by bus, car, tours, cruises, taxi, or on foot. A guide with transport information for your Naxos holiday.

Getting around Naxos island in Greece

This guide on how to get around Naxos Greece will help you choose the best way to experience the beautiful Greek island. You will find information on buses, rental cars, taxis, and also tours and boat trips around Naxos.

Naxos is the largest of the Cyclades islands in Greece, covering an area of 430 sq kms / 170 sq miles. It has lots of beautiful beaches and traditional mountain villages, and its hiking paths are among the best in the Cyclades. 

How to get around Naxos Greece - Map of Naxos 

Deciding what you want to see is very important before choosing how to get around Naxos. While many of the island’s sights and popular sandy beaches are easily accessible by bus, you will need some other form of transportation to see the more remote areas.   

So, here’s how to explore Naxos!

How to see Naxos Greece

Here are the main ways to see the island:

  • Explore Naxos Town, and all the villages, on foot 
  • Use the large network of buses to get around Naxos
  • Rent a car, scooter or ATV for more flexibility and to visit the more remote areas
  • Take an organized bus tour through Viator or Get Your Guide to see some of the popular landmarks
  • Choose one of the numerous sailing tours on Viator or Get Your Guide and explore the lovely beaches, or the nearby islands
  • Use a local taxi service
  • Hike around Naxos

Let’s look further into all the ways to get around in Naxos Greece.

1. Explore Naxos Town, and all the villages, on foot

Naxos Town is a fascinating place to explore on foot. With its long history, diverse architecture, and an array of narrow alleyways, there is so much to see here. In fact, you will see the first landmark, the Portara Gate, as you are approaching by ferry.

The Town of Naxos was founded thousands of years ago, and has seen a succession of rulers throughout the millennia. In 1207, the Venetian Marco Sanudo conquered Naxos island, proclaiming himself as the Duke of the Duchy of the Archipelago, or today’s Cycladic islands, soon after.

Sanudo decided to build a large castle in Naxos Town. The Naxos castle has survived until today, though with later alterations and modifications.

The only way to explore the Castle of Naxos and the rest of the town is on foot. You will come across a fascinating maze of alleys and pathways, plus dozens of stairs. Some of those alleyways lead to houses, others will take you to tavernas, cafes, hotels and souvenir shops.  

You can only get to the Portara Gate in Naxos on foot

Highlights of the town include the small Archaeological Museum, the 13th-century Catholic Cathedral, and the Cultural Center (former Ursuline School). You can also go for a coffee / meal / dinner at Avaton 1739 all-day-cafe-bar and enjoy the views.  

Note: In order to explore Naxos Town, it’s best to wear trainers or anti-slip walking sandals with some cushioning – I like Teva Verra personally. The cobbled streets can make your feet hurt otherwise. In summer, make sure you also bring a hat, sunglasses, and sunblock.

Apart from Naxos Town, most of the mountain villages in Naxos can also only be explored on foot. Three of our favourite villages were Chalki, Apeiranthos, and the more remote Koronos, which must literally have thousands of stairs. So, be prepared to walk!  

2. Use the Naxos buses

The buses, known in Greece as KTEL buses, are a straightforward and inexpensive way to get around Naxos. You can easily visit most of the main attractions in Naxos on the bus.

The main bus station is right at the Port of Naxos, a short walk from the area where the ferries drop you off. You can see it here on Google Maps. If you are based in Naxos Town, there are a few more bus stops . 

You can get around Naxos by bus

Buses in Naxos may vary in size. During the shoulder season, when there are fewer passengers, the routes might be served by minibuses. In summer, the buses are the standard 50-seater ones.

Colours may vary as well – we’ve seen white, beige, green and silver buses in Naxos. The minibuses are often black. 

Naxos bus routes and how to get your Naxos bus tickets

One of the most popular bus routes in Naxos leaves from the port and passes by the popular resort towns of Agios Georgios, Agios Prokopios, Agia Anna and Plaka. Some summer services continue on to Mikri Vigla, but check the end destination before you board. 

Another popular bus route is the one terminating at Keramoti, which passes by the villages of Chalki, Filoti and Apeiranthos on the way.

If you are taking the bus from the port, you can buy your ticket at the kiosk and pay by debit / credit card if you prefer. Alternatively, you can get your ticket on the bus, with cash. Try to have small notes, or coins if possible.

Ticket prices vary depending on the route, starting at just under 2 euro for the popular Naxos Town – Plaka route. Here are the Naxos bus routes and timetables: KTEL Naxos.

Buses in Naxos can get crowded

The main downside with the Naxos buses is that popular routes, like the Naxos Town – Plaka route, can get busy. Also, getting to the villages that are further out, like Apeiranthos, can take you a long time, as the bus makes several stops on the way. 

Related to that: as Naxos has dozens of villages, it’s not always easy to visit a village on a day trip on the buses. For example, there is only one bus a day from Naxos Town to Koronos, and this service doesn’t allow you to return to Naxos Town on the same day.   

In cases like that, you might want to consider other means of transportation. Still, for many visitors, the bus is an easy and inexpensive way to see the highlights of Naxos. 

3. Hire a rental car, scooter or ATV in Naxos EDIT

If you are happy to drive, one of the best ways to explore Naxos is by rental car, ATV or scooter. While you’ll still need to walk around the towns and villages themselves, a car will give you freedom to travel around the island at your own pace.

Hire a car in Naxos Greece

While a car hire won’t be the cheapest option to get around Naxos, it will offer you more freedom than the buses. A car is ideal if you want to visit some of the more remote villages, like Koronos or Koronida, or the less crowded beaches where you can’t get to on the buses.

You could also consider renting an ATV / quad or scooter, but note that some of the distances in Naxos are pretty long. If you rent any of those, make sure to use plenty of sunblock on your arms and legs.

Where to rent a car, ATV or scooter in Naxos

If you want to hire a car before you get to Naxos, I recommend Discover Cars. It’s a great platform where you can compare several car models, and book your rental car at very competitive prices. 

If you prefer to hire a car when you are on the island, you’ll find plenty of car rental companies in Naxos Town and Agios Georgios. Selecting a vehicle on the spot can be time consuming though, especially if you want to compare prices and car models.      

You can hire an ATV to get around Naxos

The price of a car rental in Greece depends on the season, the type of vehicle, and the number of days you want it for. In general, July and especially August are more expensive, though you will typically get a discount if you book the vehicle for several days.

You can check rental vehicles here: Discover Cars.

Tips on driving in Naxos

While many of the roads in Naxos are paved, there are also dirt roads, some of which have potholes. Also, as the island is mountainous, many of the inland roads are narrow and winding. 

There are no traffic lights in Naxos. Make sure you respect the usual STOP sign, which is quite common on the island. 

Note that parking spaces are, almost always, outside the towns and villages. If you are planning to hire a car, make sure your accommodation has parking space nearby. Also, note that parking can sometimes be an issue, especially in peak season. 

Make sure your licence covers you to drive legally in Greece, and perhaps consider getting travel insurance in advance of your trip.

Here is some more information and tips about driving in Greece, and what you need to know about International Driving Permits.

How to get around Naxos - Rent a scooter

4. Take an organized Naxos bus tour 

A relaxed and hassle-free way to see some of the most popular landmarks in Naxos is to take this organized Naxos bus tour, which is very good value for money. The buses depart from Naxos Town, and they offer free pickups from other places as well.

Places you will visit on this tour include the following:

  • The temple of Demeter in Sangri, and the small archaeological museum
  • The small traditional village of Damalas, where you can visit a restored olive press museum and a pottery workshop
  • Chalki, a popular village with quaint architecture, where you can visit the local Vallindras distillery and taste their unique kitron liqueur
  • Apeiranthos, one of the prettiest mountain villages in Naxos
  • Apollonas, a coastal village where you can enjoy a swim, coffee or snack
  • The unfinished Kouros statue in Apollonas

You can book the tour here: Bus tour of Naxos. If you aren’t planning to hire a car, it’s a great way to see many of the highlights in one day.  

A bus tour of Naxos is a great way to see the island

5. Take a sailing trip or cruise around Naxos

Another way to explore the beautiful coastline of Naxos is by sea. While many of the popular sandy beaches can easily be reached by road, a sailing cruise will offer a different perspective of the island. 

Have a look at this catamaran sailing cruise of Naxos where you will stop at many places to swim and snorkel. The tour includes snacks, meals and drinks. All you have to do is bring your swimsuit, towel and sunblock, and enjoy a day out on the sea!

Boat trip around Naxos

Alternatively, you can walk around Naxos Port Town in the evening, and have a look at all the available boat trips for the next days. There are usually a few to choose from, either going around Naxos, or going to other nearby islands like Koufonissia or Iraklia.

Here is some more information about boat trips from Naxos and more activities.

6. Take a taxi in Naxos 

Another transportation option in Naxos is a taxi. Unfortunately, unlike on some other areas of Greece, taxis in Naxos do not operate at fixed prices. So, the only way to find out how much your route will cost is to ask a taxi driver.

In May 2024, we asked for quotes for two very short, but popular routes: (a) from the ferry port to Agios Georgios, and (b) from Naxos Town to the airport. The quote we were given for each of these was 20 euro, which is a huge amount for a distance of 2-3 km! 

With that said, the amount should be the same for 1-4 passengers, so it’s probably worth it if you are a family with luggage. If you are travelling solo, you could try to take a taxi with 1-2 other travelers going the same way, and split the cost.

Pre-booked transfers such as Welcome Pickups are even more expensive – this is a company I always recommend for Athens, but not so much for the islands.

Taxis in Naxos

In any case, the central taxi station in Naxos Town is located just next to the main bus station. You can ask for a taxi quote and, if it’s too high, just take the bus!

Tip: If you are arriving at Naxos airport, you don’t necessarily need to take a taxi into town – you can actually take a bus if you are happy to walk for 5 minutes. Here’s how to get from Naxos airport to Naxos Town.  

7. Hike around Naxos

Naxos is one of the best Cyclades islands to explore if you like hiking, as there are numerous trails with varying degrees of difficulty.

Two of the most popular hiking routes in Naxos include the hike to Zas Cave, and the Byzantine trail around Chalki. Experienced hikers will want to hike to the top of Mt Zas, at 1,002 m!

Wherever you go, you will enjoy walking among dozens of chapels and unspoiled nature. Note that June, July and August might be too hot for serious hikes – the shoulder season is best.

Hiking in Naxos

How to get to Naxos island Greece

Naxos doesn’t have an international airport. There is a ferry port, and a small national airport. You can get to Naxos on a plane from Athens, or a ferry from Piraeus or Rafina ports in Athens.

There are also ferries connecting Naxos with Mykonos or Santorini, so you could check if it’s easier to fly to either of those islands and then catch the ferry. You can check ferry routes and book your tickets on Ferryscanner

You can get to Naxos on a ferry from Piraeus

FAQs about getting around Naxos

Here are some of the questions people visiting Naxos often ask:

Is there public transportation in Naxos?

Naxos has a good bus network, which serves Naxos Town, the main villages and the most popular beaches. 

Do you need a car in Naxos?

The main towns, villages and beaches in Naxos are well connected on the buses. However, if you want to explore the island on your own schedule, a car rental is the best way. Check Discover Cars to book your vehicle.

Does Uber operate in Naxos?

No, Uber does not operate in Naxos, and taxis do not have set prices, so you’ll have to ask the taxi company or your hotel.

How do I get from Naxos airport to Naxos Town?

The easiest way to get from the airport to Naxos Town is a taxi, which is, however, unnecessarily expensive. There’s an option to take the bus, but you’ll have to exit the airport and walk for about 5 minutes to find the bus stop. 

More guides about Greece

I hope you’ve enjoyed this guide on getting around Naxos. Here are a few more articles that you might be interested in:

Vanessa from Real Greek ExperiencesHi! I’m Vanessa from Athens. I’m on a mission to visit all the Greek islands and help visitors plan their vacation independently. My partner and I spent a whole month in Naxos – it’s a great place for history, beaches, nature, activities, exploration and food. If you have any questions, ask them down below in the comments, and I’ll get back to you. Follow me on my social media: 


How to get around Naxos in Greece

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