“Simple, characterful studio rooms tucked inside the Venetian citadel of Naxos Town - a lovely base for a budget Greek island holiday”
Its main town, called Chora (or Naxos Town), makes a great base. It’s a classic tangle of white-washed houses and cobbled lanes, spilling down from the imposing 13thC Venetian citadel towards a seafront of lively tavernas, cafés and fishing boats. The most exclusive place to stay is in the castro (citadel) itself, perched inside the thick fortress walls, and looking out over the newer parts of town towards the temple-crowned peninsula of Palatia. There are no hotels inside the citadel, but we discovered these 2 simple but charming studio rooms, which we think are ideal for adventurous couples wanting to get under the skin of the island. It’s not in the guidebooks, and it’s rarely advertised online, so get in there while you can.
- You've got tavernas, bars, shops and beaches on your doorstep (but how wonderful to retreat to the cosy fastness of the citadel at night), and a mountainous interior a short drive away
- The views from the shared terrace and from the window of the top flat are magnificent, especially at sunset
- Both studios have a little kitchenette (with hob and fridge) which is handy for breakfast and snacks
- If they're full, the owners also run the cosy Chateau Zevgoli hotel just beneath the citadel
- It’s certainly a privilege to stay in the citadel, but you should be aware that it’s a 10-minute walk up pedestrian lanes (there’s an Albanian lad to help with your bags)
- There is little service besides a daily maid visit and twice weekly linen change - this is for self-sufficient types
- Interiors are simple and homely, more like a spare room than a hotel, and maintenance is not always 100%
- The downstairs studio is small, with lower ceilings
Best time to go
Another alternative is late September and early October, when the sea is much warmer, but the crowds have left and the light can be clear and cool.
Midsummer does get busy on Naxos, mostly on the beaches of the southeast coast.”
Our top tips
- Boutique Apartments
- 2 studios for 2
- Welcome (but no extra beds)
- Open all year
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Daily Maid Service
- Towels & Bedlinen
You enter the studios through a typically Greek little salon - a decorative sofa and chair guarded by 2 family portraits - and emerge onto a lovely terrace, with wooden table and deck chairs for all the guests. The views over the town and coast are suitably regal, though the prevailing north wind sometimes disturbs your siesta here.
Off the terrace is the downstairs studio, which consists of a long, thin double bedroom with a simple kitchen unit at the other end; and, through a deep archway, a windowless bathroom with curtained shower and earthy tiles. Curly brass lamps, old prints of steamships, marble-topped commodes and exposed squares of stone wall add character, though we found it a little cramped.
Up a steep flight of steps from the reception salon is the upstairs studio, a much lighter and more spacious option. There is a small hall with the same kitchen unit, a tall double bedroom with a netted brass bed, and a bathroom with shower. A small covered balcony offers fabulous views over town and coast: a lovely breakfast or reading spot. Motley figurines, bottles, lamps, mirrors and other ornaments sits on the bedroom niches, making it feel very homely.
Both studios have air-con, reliable hot water, a TV, daily cleaning and twice-weekly linen change. There is no central heating, but the air-con doubles up as convection heating in winter.
If all those are full, Castro Residence also owns the Chateau Zevgoli, a charming small hotel below the citadel walls, which we can recommend as a decent fallback - though some rooms are quite small.
- Air conditioning
- Internet access
The kitchen units contain a sink, 2 electric rings, a small fridge, kettle, coffee machine and basic cutlery / crockery - enough for breakfast or salad lunches, but not for hot dinners.
For that, you've a wealth of choice on your doorstep, from the beachside tavernas of Agios Georgios, where the sea practically laps at the table-legs; to the superb home-cooking of restaurants like Lucullus hidden amongst the alleys. For a pre-prandial snack à la Cyclade, stop at the most mouth-watering of the waterfront grills for some octopus legs washed down with an ouzo.
A short drive away are more recommended tavernas, including the Axiotissa in Kastraki, and the village taverna in Halki. For the full list, see our Naxos guide.
- Restaurants nearby
- Explore the picturesque alleys, churches and shops of Chora (Naxos) town
- Wander along to Agios Georgios beach (10 mins walk) for a swim or windsurf
- Or head further south, by car, bus or bicycle, to some of the Cyclades' loveliest sandy beaches at Agia Anna and Plaka beaches (3-5km)
- Head inland to visit ruined Byzantine castles, fortified monasteries and ancient kouros statues
- Or take a hike along paved mulepaths, through fruit groves, or up to the 1000m-peak of Mt Zas (Zeus), highest in the Cyclades
- 2 or 3 evenings a week (in summer), there are classical and Greek-dance concerts in the nearby Venetian museum
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Plantlife / flora