Published On: Thu, Apr 11th, 2024

Greek island is cheaper and ‘less crowded’ than Mykonos and Santorini | Travel News | Travel


Quaint winding streets, whitewashed buildings and beautiful views are all part of the pull attracting from around the world to the gorgeous islands of Santorini and Mykonos in . Though both have their own unique vibe, one thing they share is their popularity with tourists, which has seen these islands become two of the most expensive islands to visit in Greece.

Santorini’s popularity has been growing year-on-year since 2010, with the exception of during the pandemic.

In 2022, Santorini saw a massive leap in tourism figures, attracting more than 300,000 arrivals than pre-pandemic levels, according to Statista. Similarly, in 2022, the island of Mykonos recorded the second-highest number of international tourists in the Cyclades.

However, if you are looking for an island offering a similar vibe, though away from the hustle and bustle of the busiest islands, cast your eye towards the largest of the Cyclades.

Naxos is recommended by tourists who have visited the region as a great option for those seeking much of the same elements on offer from Santorini and Mykonos but for a lower price.

In the Reddit forum ‘Naxos, Santorini or Mykonos’, previous visitors to the Cyclades recommended even skipping Santorini and Mykonos in favour of Naxos.

“There are many beaches on Naxos and they rival or beat the ones on Mykonos – and with more options for beaches they should be less crowded too,” said one commenter.

A second added: “I was in Naxos in June 2019 and Naxos will satisfy your beach craving better than any other prominent Cyclades islands including Mykonos and Santorini… It’s the most user-friendly of the Cyclades islands without the tourist crush vibe.”

According to travel blogger Natali, from the website She’s Abroad Again: “Naxos is often said to be one of the cheapest islands in Greece. While you can certainly find cheaper islands outside the Cyclades Islands group, it could easily be one of the best value for money.”

The island is still considered to be an off-the-beaten-path destination despite its size. Perhaps one of the main reasons it remains so quiet is that there are no direct flights to the island.

Though the island does have its own airport, the National Airport of Naxos, it does not receive international flights except for small pre-arranged charter flights. The airport does receive domestic flights from Athens, which takes around 40 minutes.

However, one of the most popular ways to get to the island is by ferry, offering some beautiful views. You can travel to Naxos by boat from many of the islands in the Aegean Sea.

Naxos offers beautiful sandy beaches, some incredible opportunities for hiking, and a smattering of picture-perfect Greek scenes, from olive groves and cedar forests to goat farms.

All of this, of course, is backed by the beautiful blue sea. Much like Santorini and Mykonos, you can expect the same whitewashed buildings, as well as some unique, remote mountain villages.

However, the experience can give more of an insight into local culture, which differs from the more touristy pockets of Naxos’ neighbouring islands. If you want to explore the whole island, renting a car or even an ATV is best.



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