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Naxos boasts some of the longest and best beaches in the Cyclades Islands . There are plenty to choose from and if you're prepared to travel further afield than the main beaches near Naxos Town you'll always be able to find a secluded spot even in high season.
Agios Georgios is the main holiday beach, just to the south of the town. It's a long stretch of sand flanked with bars, restaurants and hotels so tends to get crowded in the summer months. The water is extremely shallow and you can wade a long way out without getting out of your depth so it's an ideal beach for children. Here you'll find the Flisvos Watersports Centre where you can learn windsurfing or hire a catamaran.
Grotta Beach at the north of the town is a good spot for snorkeling but the best beaches are to be found further south. You can take a caique (small ferry boat) from the port of Naxos Town or hop on one of the regular buses which make the short journey south to busy Agios Prokopios and the smaller cove of Agia Anna.
Plaka beach, south of Agia Anna, is one of the best on the island - a peaceful five-kilometre stretch of sand served by a handful of tavernas but not over-run with tourists. The beach is a popular with nudists but not so good for small children as the sand shelves sharply into the water.
There's a good windsurfing centre at Mikri Vigla, 16 kilometres south of Naxos Town.
Travel a little further south and you'll find Kastraki Beach which boasts seven kilometres of sand and some of the cleanest waters in the Aegean Sea . Both beaches are relatively uncrowded even in peak season and are good for swimming and watersports.
Pyrgaki Beach, 21 kilometres south of the main town, is at the end of the coastal bus route and offers excellent swimming in a large, sheltered bay.
At the northern tip of the island you can enjoy a day at the beach away from the madding crowds at Abram Beach - a pretty and secluded spot about six kkilometres west of Apollonas.
It's worth hiring a car for the day to take a trip over the mountains to Moutsouna Bay where there are few tourists, uncrowded sandy beaches and lovely waterfront tavernas. Mixaloukos Taverna opened in 1823 and is the oldest restaurant on the island. The day's catch arrives by caique and you can choose your own fresh fish or octopus from a selection hanging on a line strung alongside the shady dining terrace.
Moutsouna is a favourite spot for experienced windsurfers because winds here can reach a dangerous seven on the Beaufort Wind Scale (definitely not the place for novices).