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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 27 August 2016
16 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 27 AUGUST 2016 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Naxos Mikri Vigla. Another Greek travel paradise Petrinos Beach. ALEX PAPASIMAKOPOULOU t's difficult to be objective when talking about Naxos, as it's such a huge favourite of ours. It's the perfect destination for a whole host of different travellers: great for families with kids of different ages, perfect for beach and kite surfing lovers and above all, foodies. Naxos has been on the island-hopping trail for years but it's not as famous as some of its Cycladic neighbours, despite it having an airport and plenty of ferry links from Athens all year round. The season goes through until the end of October, and it's the perfect place I to start your exploration of the less-developed Small Cyclades, which include hip Koufonissia but also places like Schinousa and Iraklia. In high season you have a choice for every budget, from daily ferry connections or a whole host of sailing trips from Naxos harbour. If we had to name the two main reasons we fell in love with this island, the beaches would have to be reason number one. There are endless, beautiful, long sandy streches or small coves, all with clear blue waters. And when we say endless, we mean endless. The majority of them are only a short drive or bus ride from the main town (Chora). This is pure bliss whether you like your swimming costume on or off! Plaka is the longest beach, with plenty of restaurants and cafés nearby but without feeling like they take anything away from the sand dunes or the sound of the waves. Mikri Vigla, on the other hand, is the go-to destination for kite surfers. During the summer months the number of people taking advantage of the Cycladic winds is a sight to be enjoyed by all, even those who don't feel like being super sporty. The size of this island provides a feeling of space, even in high season. You will find the space to place your towel even in August, and if you're willing to hire a car, you can escape the crowds altogether. Whether it's a smaller beach you're after or a bit of a wild and wonderful hike with goats as your guides, it's worth leaving the more popular strip. The quaint mountain villages like Apiranthos, the hidden-away gem of Demeter's temple, Bellonia's castle, the ‘sleeping’ Kouros in Apollonas; there is a lot to see, and if you're willing to drive a little further away from the 'main strip', there are a number of accommodation options to choose from depending on the budget and type of holiday you're after. From villas to exclusive hideaways, basic rooms for the surfing crowd, family-friendly accommodation and everything in between, Naxos will provide an experience tailored to your needs.
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