We woke up on the Sunday and decided to nope out of any manner of immediate movement. Fuck it, it’s the Lord’s day and she’d want us to be happy and anyway, we’re on holiday. The campsite is slap bang opposite the beach so we lounged in bed (or on the inflatable mattresses that pass as our bed at the moment) until the tent got too hot despite the shade we’d pitched under then headed down to frolic in the Aegean. It’s a cracking beach despite, y’know, all the fucking sand.
Maragas Beach has pretty much everything you’ll ever need if you can manage not to cry as you hand over €1.80 for a packet of noodles at the outstandingly expensive mini market. The bar is reasonably priced though (but bear in mind that I live in one of the most expensive cities in England, my idea of reasonable may have slightly warped over the years) and the wine measures are terrifyingly generous. We spent the whole day sprawling on the beach, then in our hammocks, then adopted a less sprawly pose in the bar for dinner, before becoming increasingly more sprawly again the more wine we consumed.
On the Monday we did a spot more sightseeing. There are pros and cons to renting a scooter. On one hand there’s the freedom. Buses will get you everywhere you need to go on Naxos but you’re beholden to timetables. We’d just missed a bus to the village of Aperathos which meant we had an hour to kill until the next one and we filled that hour with caffeine consumption. Which organ is responsible for processing caffeine? Because mine’s been working overtime since we got to Greece.
One of the pros of bus travel though is the fact I can actually enjoy what’s going on around me as I press my greasy little face against the window. Naxos is an absolute stunner and it’s great being able to put it all in my eyeholes without having to worry about getting a two-wheeler around a hairpin bend and it still being upright by the end of it. But then there’s that fucking timetable again. Once we were deposited on the side of the road at Aperathos along with a shit tonne of other tourists we either had 45 minutes until the next bus back, or over two fucking hours.
I love these little villages, I really do, but I don’t love them enough to offer them over two hours of my life so we shuffled around at a vaguely rapid pace. I say vaguely, one of the attractions of Aperathos are the marble streets. They are as treacherous as they are beautiful. Why would you take the smoothest surface known to man and make your bloody pavements out of it? We explored the alleyways, harassed the cats, then had a cheeky beer with a view in a café before taking the bus back to Naxos town.
As you sail into Naxos you can’t help but notice the fuck off great big marble arch on a little hill. That’s the Portara, an unfinished temple to Apollo. It’s the done thing to watch the sunset from it but it gets insanely busy. When we got back from Delos the sun was starting to set and the hill was packed full of humans. We weren’t going to hang around until sunset today, we’d have fucking melted. We had a little walk up to it, walked around it, made all the appropriate noises one makes when observing thousands of years of history, then buggered off back to Maragas Beach.
Naxos has been so wonderful but not so much for the ol’ sleep patterns. We’ve got the tent and the hammocks set up, the tent is too warm and the hammocks are too, well, bitey. Seriously, you could bathe in DEET but the mozzies will still have a pop at you. We ended up starting in the hammocks until the wee hours when being an all you can eat banquet got too much then shifted to the tent when it had cooled down enough to sleep.
The evenings are starting to get cooler as autumn settles in for the duration. The daytimes are still a fucking furnace but hopefully we’ll soon be in that sweet spot when the days are just the right amount of hot and the nights require an actual duvet and you don’t take liquid form if your mrs breathes slightly too near you.
Naxos, South Aegean, Greece / Νάξος, Νότιο Αιγαίο, Ελλάδα
Stayed at: Maragas Beach Naxos, Naxos
Useful shit to know…
- You can’t buy bus tickets on the bus, you have to get them from the ticket office at the terminal, supermarkets or kiosks etc. At Maragas Beach you can buy them from reception.
- Buses are brilliant and confusing all at the same time. They go all over the island from the port but the bus line numbers don’t correspond to the numbers on the front of the bus so you just have to ask the driver where he’s going.
- Timetables can be found online or on a piece of paper taped to the window in the office at the port.
- Naxos town is also called Chora. You’ll see it written on road signs.