Fred Van Eijk

First, he relaxed in Santorini, then he explored Amorgos, now Travel Counsellors’ Fred van Eijk continues his five-part Greece adventure by searching for the BEST Greek food in Naxos.

Crete and Naxos are the only two Greek islands that can survive off only their own resources. Everything seems to grow, swim or graze here. As the largest and most fertile island of the Cyclades, Naxos is brimming with culinary treats like numerous local cheeses, herbs, fresh vegetables and fish that seem to jump right from the ocean onto your plate. I discover these delights and much more on my third stop on this island-hopping journey through Greece.

Fishermen returning to Naxos' port with fresh fish.

Fishermen returning to Naxos’ port with fresh fish.

I spend two nights in the centre of Naxos-city, which also goes by the name Chora. The place is walking distance to the old town and to the beach of St. George bay, named by the Guardian as the ‘most child-friendly beach’ in 2016. This comes as no surprise, seeing as the beach fills up with young families. If you do have young children this is certainly the ideal place to go. If you’re looking for a little more peace and quiet; keep walking to the next beach until you’ve reached the last three beach clubs. Not quite enough? Head over to the Southwest coast of the island to the seaside gems Plaka, Agios Prokopios and Agia Anna.

Between meals check out the remains of the old Venetian Castle.

Between meals check out the remains of the old Venetian Castle.

Besides finding your favourite beach, it’s worth retreating inland. Enchanting routes along the fertile grounds are easily done when renting a car, scooter or quad bike in one of the traditional mountain villages. Whether you’re a souvenir hunter, cocktail enthusiast, exploring chef, food lover, history buff or cultural aficionado; anyone can easily wander around here for hours. It’s worth strolling through the narrow streets to appreciate the age-old churches, the remains of the old Venetian castle and the archeological museum.

After you have soaked up all these stunning spots you can treat yourself to a cocktail on the rooftop terrace of 520 Bar. While the sun is setting you can sip on the island’s most scrumptious drinks while gazing at the amazing views. If you’re getting hungry around dinner time; try and reserve a table at the restaurant Lithos.

Scirocco Restaurant is must-try when in Naxos.

Scirocco Restaurant is must-try when in Naxos.

The popular restaurant Scirocco is a great place to dine if you’re in the new part of the city. Again, don’t forget to reserve a table in advance. Leave it up to Nostimon Hellas to reinvent local dishes with creative ways of using the island’s famously fresh produce. And it’s not a bad option for breakfast either. Kind people run this quaint restaurant with a charming garden in which even the Bloody Mary is made with local tomatoes. I enjoyed the steamed mussels and of course the local Naxos wine. I’m not a wine-snob but I do usually skip the Greek house wine, however, this isn’t the case on Naxos. Here, the local wine is delightful and will cost you just 5 euros for a litre. Neither am I a fan of potatoes, but I might just crave the ones I ate in Naxos. If there’s ever a place in the Cyclades to surprise my taste buds it would be here.

Part 4 of my island hopping trip will be online soon.

 

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Have you tasted Greek food in Naxos?