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Digital Subscriptions > National Geographic Traveller (UK) > April 2018 > THE NATURAL NAXOS

THE NATURAL NAXOS

Naxos is the Cyclades’ natural play ground, with a diverse landscape capable of disarming even the most avid island – hopper

GREECE

I really don’t want to write about Naxos. It takes just 48 hours to come to that conclusion. After which, I want to stow this beautiful island away, zip my lips, keep it for myself. If Santorini and Mykonos shout, Naxos whispers. And now, it’s whispering to me. Its subtleties are not immediately obvious. Naxos is the biggest island in the Cyclades. It boasts the archipelago’s highest peak (Mount Zeus, at 3,294ft). It’s easily accessible by ferry. It’s not short on resorts or Airbnbs, and come July and August, its restaurants spill over like any holiday town on the Med.

So what sets it apart? I put the question to a waitress at a waterside restaurant. Before us, boats bob in the harbour. Behind, the Venetian Kastro rises like a hilltop labyrinth. “It’s not spoiled,” she says after some thought. “We’re simple here. Tourism is young. We have other resources.” Not like Mykonos, then?

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About National Geographic Traveller (UK)

From ancient villages to stories from the locals, we uncover some of the Aegean Sea’s most gleaming pearls as we island-hop across the paradise idylls of Greece’s Cyclades. Elsewhere, we discover authentic Maori culture in New Zealand; wind our way along the Volga in Russia; and spend a long weekend in Tunis. Our urban highlights this issue include Istanbul, Lisbon, Mumbai and Bordeaux while our photo story introduces the freedivers of Jeju Island in South Korea.