How to Get from Athens to Naxos: Your Insider’s Guide for 2024

How to get from Athens to Naxos? You have a couple of options available to you depending on your personal preference and travel style. 

This guide will explore the various options regarding how to get from Athens to Naxos. Then, it will discuss the pros, cons, and respective prices for each option. 

How to Get from Athens to Naxos Greece 

There are two main ways to get from Athens to Naxos. Namely, you can travel by ferry or by plane. 

If you choose to fly, the journey to Naxos takes just 45 minutes. Alternatively, if you choose to travel by ferry, the journey takes between 3 and 7 hours depending on the specific ferry service you board. 

What is the Best Way to Get from Athens to Naxos Greece? 

There are so many variables involved when deciding what is the best way to get from Athens to Naxos. If you get seasick and hate travelling by ferry, you may prefer to fly. 

Flying is obviously the quickest option, particularly if you are flying into Athens, Greece and heading straight onto Naxos. That way, you can simply transfer flights. 

Naxos airport only serves domestic routes. So, if you are flying into Athens with the intention of getting to Naxos, it is much better to get a connecting flight than to trek out towards Piraeus port. 

Do consider waiting times at airports though, and the time spent transferring to/from the respective Greek airports. If you are visiting Naxos as part of a wider Greece itinerary and perhaps visiting after the island after spending two or three days in Athens, ferries or flights may be preferable. 

If you are staying in the Piraeus area, it may be easier to head to the port to board a ferry. Essentially the best way to get from Athens to Naxos all comes down to what you personally prefer. 

Visiting Naxos, Greece 

Charming Naxos sits at the heart of the Greek Cyclades archipelago. It is the largest and greenest island in this group. 

Despite being somewhat overshadowed by neighbouring Santorini and Mykonos, Naxos is increasing in popularity. 

More and more people are discovering the beauty of Naxos year on year. Owing to the popularity and appeal of the island, it is very easy to travel here, particularly during the summer months

Naxos is a hiker’s paradise and is a perfect Greek island getaway for those that enjoy hiking and the great outdoors. Countless trails weave through the island’s scenery. 

Best of all, Naxos is home to Mount Zea – the tallest mountain in the Cyclades. Walking aside, Naxos is steeped in natural beauty.  

There is an abundance of gorgeous beaches here – both secluded and serviced. The beaches of Plaka and Agios Prokopios are well worth adding to your radar. 

If you are a licensed diver, you will be delighted to know that many interesting sights linger beneath the surface of Naxos’ crystal clear turquoise waters. Here you can see everything from old sunken torpedo bombers to gorgeous reefs and rare marine life. 

If you like to discover a destination’s history and culture as well as relax on its beaches, you won’t be short of ruins to explore in Naxos. Check out the giant Portara doorway in Naxos town, the temple of Demeter Sangri, and the Temple of Dionysus.

Recommended Naxos Tours 

Naxos tours can be a nice way to explore the island with a local that knows all the best places to visit and hang out. If you are considering doing a Naxos tour or organised excursion, consider doing so early in your Naxos trip. 

That way, you really get your bearings for where things are on the island. Your guide can provide you with some insider’s recommendations that will serve you well throughout your trip. 

A selection of reputable Naxos tours is detailed below. 

Athens to Naxos Ferry

The Athens to Naxos ferry is many people’s preferred way to get from Athens to Naxos. Ferries depart for the Cycladic island all year round. However, services are more frequent during the summer months. 

Greek ferry schedules and routes change from season to season. They are often subject to change with little warning and so, it is prudent to check the latest times, rates and schedule on Ferryscanner prior to travelling to Greece. 

Ferries from Athens to Naxos run daily. In the summer months, there can be as many as ten services a day! 

Buying Athens to Naxos Ferry Tickets 

It is advisable to book your Athens to Naxos ferry tickets online in advance, particularly if you are travelling in July and August. It is not unheard of for popular ferry times to sell out. 

Generally speaking, prices start to increase the closer you get to your departure date, which is why it is recommended to buy tickets in advance if you can. 

If you don’t have set Greek island hopping travel plans and want some flexibility, you can at least book the ticket for the first leg of your journey. Then, purchase subsequent tickets a day or two before travel.   

How to Get to Piraeus Port 

It is relatively easy to get to Piraeus port from both Athens city centre and Athens airport. Public transport in Greece is excellent and is a reliable way to get around. 

However, Greek taxis can also be an affordable and more convenient option, particularly if you are travelling as a group. The X96 bus is arguably the easiest way to get from Athens airport to Piraeus. 

The bus runs every 20 minutes in the summer season. You can purchase your tickets directly from the driver for €6, though concessions are available. 

At Athens airport, the bus departs right outside Arrivals. From central Athens, you can board it at Syntagma Square. The journey takes 60 minutes from central Athens and 90 minutes from the airport respectively, depending on the traffic. 

An alternative way to reach Piraeus port is to take the Athens metro. The green line runs all the way from Monastiraki to Piraeus. 

Taking the Athens to Naxos Ferry 

Several ferry companies operate in Greece. Both Blue Star and Golden Star ferries service the Athens to Naxos route. 

There are actually three different ports located within Athens and the Athens to Naxos ferry route is served by both Piraeus and Rafina ports. That being said, Piraeus port offers more services and is markedly easier to get to. 

There are at least six ferries a day running between Athens’ Piraeus port and Naxos during the summer months. Three to four services usually run between Rafina and Naxos. 

Piraeus port is the easier of the two to get to. It is tricky to reach Rafina port if you don’t have your own form of transport. 

You should aim to arrive at the port at least an hour before your departure time as Athens ports (particularly Piraeus) get very crowded in the summer. Gates E6 and E7 typically service ferries to Naxos. 

If you have luggage that you don’t want to carry with you to the islands, there are lockers available at the port. Similarly, many Piraeus hotels allow you to leave luggage there for a few days after you have checked out. 

If you want to leave your luggage at the port for a couple of hours while you explore Piraeus, you can typically leave it with the ticket office staff. Shakespeare in Love (Agiou Spiridonos 3) is a cute, quirky place to while away the time as you sip Greek coffee. 

It is housed inside a gorgeous renovated 18th-century building and decorated with eccentric art pieces from artists across Greece. If you have more time to spare, check out the Piraeus flea market, or the quaint neighbourhood of Kastella. 

Arriving at Naxos Port 

Naxos Port is conveniently located on the outskirts of Naxos town. Some coastal hotels are within walking distance of the port. 

There are always taxis waiting outside the port ready for when people disembark from the ferry. There can be a lot of people waiting in the summer months so you may prefer to organise a private transfer in advance. 

Athens to Naxos Flight 

The second way to get from Athens to Naxos is to do so by flight. Naxos is one of the few Greek islands that has its own airport. 

The flight from Athens to Naxos takes just 45 minutes and the route is serviced by both Olympic Airlines and Sky Express. You should try and secure your flight tickets ahead of your intended travel dates in order to ensure you get the best prices and to guarantee a seat on the flight you want. 

Athens to Naxos flights start from €40 each way depending on the season and excluding baggage. You are generally recommended to arrive at Athens Eleftherios Venizelos two hours before your departure time. 

Be advised that the airport is often heaving with crowds from July through late September. This may be the best way to get from Athens to Naxos if you get seasick or you are travelling onwards after spending a few days on the mainland as part of a wider Greece itinerary. 

Getting to Athens Airport from the City 

It is easy to get from Athens airport to the centre of Athens and vice versa. Assuming you are basing yourself close to Syntagma Square, Monastiraki, or elsewhere in central Athens, you can take the metro all the way to the airport. 

A one way Athens city and airport ticket costs €10 and is valid for 90 minutes. Board the blue line metro at Monastiraki or Megaro Mousakkis and ride it all the way to the airport. 

You should note that some blue line metro services terminate at Doukissis Plakentias. So, check the timetables prior to boarding as you may have to wait here a while for a connection. 

You can also take the bus from central Athens to the airport. A one-way ticket on the X95 bus from Syntagma or Evangelissmos metro costs just €6. 

Arriving at Naxos Airport 

Naxos Airport (JNX), is located 3.5 km away from Naxos town. There is no direct public transport that runs from the airport to the town or other parts of the island. 

However, you can walk 500m to Naxos camp station and take the bus from there to either Naxos town in one direction, or Agia Anna Plaka in the other. The journey to the town takes 20 minutes and a one-way ticket is just €1.50. 

Alternatively, perhaps the more convenient option is to take a taxi or organise a private transfer. Naxos airport taxi rates operate on a meter and start at €4. The trip from Naxos airport to the city centre takes around 10 minutes and costs between €10-€15.


Alice Cooper is a British Travel Writer and Blogger based in Athens, Greece. She writes for numerous high profile travel publications across the globe - including Forbes Travel Guide, Matador Network, The Times of Israel and The Huffington Post.

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