Naxos Harbour, Naxos, Greece
Not to be used for navigation
DESCRIPTIONThe harbour is used by ferries, fishing boats and private yachts. It is well protected with an outer breakwater, several anchorage areas and an inner harbour with some laid lines. We sat out several Meltemis here and became experts on the good and bad spots. There is not much room to set your anchor between the piers when tieing up stern or bows to, so it is best to try and find a spot that will allow you to anchor downwind (S) of the pier you are tied to. The south side of the south finger pier is the preferred location. You can drop the anchor a decent distance off and there are some clean stainless bars for your lines that will not cause chafing. The outer wall of the inner harbour is also used, mainly by large yachts (100'+). We saw a 47' catamaran holed here during a meltemi when a swell threw it into the concrete pier. We also saw a 125' motor yacht sustain stern damage. If you are seeking protection from a meltemi and the inner harbour is full I would strongly recommend anchoring out in the relatively calm north anchorage behind the outer breakwater in preference to tieing up to the outer wall of the inner harbour. You will find it difficult to get ashore in the dinghy from this anchorage in bad weather, but the boat will be safe and the anchorage is not subject to the swell that plagues the outer wall of the inner harbour.
MOORINGA few laid lines, but for most berths you will anchor out and moor stern or bows-to. The laid lines for the middle pier are reportedly secured to a large chain on the bottom which can foul your anchor if you are mooring on the North side of the South pier so bear this in mind when deciding where to drop the anchor.
FACILITIES ASHOREWIFI: We were unable to pick up an unsecured wifi signal in the harbour. There are a number of internet cafes and regular restaurants offering free internet for customers. We patronized The Coffee Shop.
UTILITIES: The harbour offers 220v electricity and plentiful water included in the approx €25 nightly docking fee. Unlike some island harbours there is no shortage of water and you are allowed to wash the boat here. There are a limited number of electrical outlets on the dock and some do not work so if you are planning a long stay it is worth figuring out where you can get a working electrical connection before settling in.
GROCERY STORES: There are a number of small stores, some very good for fresh vegetables, in the streets surrounding the harbour. There are a couple of shops selling fresh fish in the early mornings only and also a few butchers and bakers open all morning. Just south of the harbour next to the large car park is a morning fresh market. On the road leading east up the hill at the south end of the harbour is the most amazing old-fashioned general store where an old man who speaks not one word of english enjoys a fine business selling everything from spices and herbs to the best pistachios, local cheeses, bootleg raki and open wine etc. The largest grocery store in town is adequate and better than the Mykonos store, but is not comparable to mainland stores. It is a long way from the harbour and is a definate taxi ride. It does not have much in the way of fresh meat and no fish.
TAXI: Taxis are the best way to get around. They are plentiful and reasonably priced. The taxi rank is near the ferry dock.
LAUNDRY: The only self-service laundry in town is Clean Express. Its new location is south of the harbour and just south of the new town hall on Saint George st. Angela runs the full-service operation and does the laundry for all the hotels, but she will let you use the machines to do your own laundry. Tell her Moonstruck says hello!
CHANDLERY: Naxos Marine supply is located near the new town hall south of the harbour and has a particularly good selection of stainless-steel fittings. We have found stainless steel to be MUCH cheaper here in Greece than anywhere else in Europe and even cheaper than in the USA. The quality so far appears to be good. This is a good place to get the heavy duty stainless-steel surge springs for your mooring lines that you will see on all the local boats. By the time you get here you will realize why these are essential! The owner also does custom welding as needed.
MOVIES: Naxos has one of the few cinemas in the islands. It is a delightful open air theatre and shows english-language films with Greek subtitles.
CAR/SCOOTER RENTAL: The town is full of rental agencies, but a word of caution. This is a large island and as we were driving around in our small car we saw a number of exhausted looking scooter/motorcycle/4-wheeler operators that had been overwhelmed by the twisty roads and distances. Take our advice and rent a car for your travels on Naxos. There is no problem parking cars anywhere on the island and the prices (which are negotiable) are comparable to a scooter.