Located on the island of Naxos, St. George Beach is a popular vacation destination due to the white sand, clean water and proximity to charming restaurants and shops. There are also many hotels right on or near the beach that are extremely affordable.
You’ll find St. George Beach in the northeast corner of Naxos, just south of the major port that serves as the primary landing point for inter-island traffic. The beach is long, crescent-shaped, about 1.5 kilometers in length and sits immediately adjacent to the town of Naxos, where the majority of the lodgings on the island are. Due to the shape of the beach, it is protected from the strong winds that are common to the area. The protected portion is used by those sunbathing and swimming, while windsurfers venture out to the exposed areas to the north to enjoy their hobby.
Getting To St. George Beach
Ferries regularly run between Naxos and Athens every day. There are two different types; the regular ferries take about six hours to make the trip while the high-speed catamarans do it in only four hours. You can also connect to Santorini by ferry from Naxos.
There is also a small airport on Naxos. It is serviced by Sky Express, which has daily flights to and from Athens.
If you arrive by ferry, you can simply walk to both lodging and the beach, or hire an inexpensive taxi service. The airport is a bit farther away from the beach to the south, but is also a fairly short ride by taxi.
The town of Naxos is just as enjoyable as the beach. It is a center of trade for the region, and remains lively even in the winter when tourism is at a low ebb.
The city has preserved much of its interesting architecture. The “Portrara” is the town’s unofficial symbol, an ancient temple doorway that was built in 522 BC. It is accessible to the public and local folklore holds that Apollo will grant wishes that are made while standing in the doorway. A castle that overlooks the town has been converted into a museum dedicated to ceramic and marble sculpture. There is also a geological museum that is a very popular tourist draw as it contains many fossils, meteorites and the dark marble called emery that can befound on the island.
Since Naxos is not exclusively a tourist destination, Greek cuisine dominates the local restaurant scene to serve the people that work and do business there all year long, but it is some of the best you’ll find anywhere. You can also find Italian, French and even Mexican restaurants in town, however. Shopping highlights include handmade Greek sandals, leather goods and local cooking ingredients.
Other interesting things to do on Naxos include visiting the Panagia Drosiani monastery to see paintings on the walls that are thousands of years old, the remote village of Filoti for local hand-crafted goods, and trekking to the rugged and isolated eastern beach called PsiliAmmos.
Lodging Near St. George Beach
Naxos has a wide range of family-owned hotels that tend to be very affordable, but well kept. Some of them will include ferry tickets to and from Athens as part of their rate, making them an even more attractive deal. Some options that are on the beach or within a short walk include Nissaki Beach Hotel, Hotel Galini, Korali Boutique Hotel, Sun Beach Hotel and Hotel Naxos Resort. The lattermost is the only full-fledged resort on the island. If you desire a full-service upscale resort, you will find a much wider selection on Athens, such as The WestinAthens and the Divani Apollon Palace.