A greek island with a van, it’s possible!

Categories Balkans, Europe, Greece
Découvrir l'île grecque en van de Naxos, ses plages idylliques, eau turquoise, cuicine locale, rando...

Discover a greek island with a van, find all info in our travel blog!

Greek islands, it’s a dream… but in a van, it sounds complicated. Which island of Greece you shoud visit? How to get there with a camper van? How much does it cost? Is it easy to find spots where to park your camper van without problem?

To chose which Greek island we where going to visit with our van, these are the question we had too.
So we decide to write an article about it in our travel blog:

  • 1/ Our 1 week itinerary in Greek islands.
  • 2/ Info you need to know to visit a Greek island with a van.

1 week on a Greek island with a van

Season: mid-august

« Wonderful beaches, welcoming people, nice hikes, calm spots, single alcohol… »

During our road trip in Greece (nex article in mid-June 2019), we decide to visit a Greek island with our camper van.

The time of the year was important. As we didn’t want to be with the crowd, we forgot islands like : Creete, Mykonos, Santorini… always full! And as we didn’t want to spend to much time in the ferry (it needs almost 1 day to get to some islands, so 2 days round trip…), we also forgot islands to far. These are things you have to wonder about.

So, our choice was: Naxos!!! Neither to far or to busy, but still with many things we like! calm, nice beaches, hikes, good cooking…).

1 week itinerary on Naxos with a van

1/ Stages of our road trip in Naxos, Greece

On the map above, you will find our different stops: sleeping spots for the camper van, activities, restaurants, water…

1.D1 – Arrival on our 1st Greek island

After almost 6 h de of ferry from Piraeus, we arrive at Naxos, by night.

1er Slepping Spot – Greek island with a van:

As we arrive by night, and we don’t know roads here, we decide not to go too far. So we go 15km north, close to Akrotiri, where you found a great spot close to the sea.

Great spot for our 1st night on the greek island Naxos with our camper van.

1.D2 – Peace and calm on our small beach

Just arrived and we already don’t want to leave. It is that good that we stay at the beach and meet a family who lives not far away. A dream! During the day, we go back on 5/6 km to return to the Olive Oil museum and small shop. And to see the beautiful blue roofed church (our first on the island) in Engares city.

1st blue roofed church during our road trip in Greece on Naxos island.

2cd Sleeping Spot – Greek island with a camper van:

Same.

View from our van during our travel on a greek island with a camper van.

1.D3 – Appolonas, beach and surf

Before we left, the family we met the day before came back to the beach and gave us grapes from their garden. We’re so Happy!

Then, we go to the North of the island and stop to the Agia Tower… but nothing crazy. But however, the road to get here is wonderful, and no worry for the van.

We arrive to Appolonas, seafront and beach and we find a little and discret spot to park the van. Just after the wawterfront we you continue to the left. We had a break to a bar with colorful chairs, there are mainly just locals.

Small seafront of Apollonas town, on the north of Naxos island, in Greece.

Then we go to the beach on the far right, it’s a spot known for surfing. There are a few waves, not incredible, but Romain takes the opportunity to get out his board and fins! The seafront is very pretty with its small bars and restaurants, as well as its blue and white church of course!

Apollonas' church, nice seafront for chill and surf during our road trip in a greek island with a van.

3rd Sleeping Spot – Greek island with a van:

We spend the night here, being discreet of course. Once night falls, the last car leaves, we are alone. At 50m, on the seafront, there is enough to refill water and beach’s showers. There is also a small shop… a bit expensive but it’s ok!

Sleeping spot with our caper van in Greece on Naxos island.

1.D4 – Apollon statue and Apiranthos

After a small morning swim, we go back to the center of the island. But we first stop on the side of the road leaving Apollonas. 5 minutes walk leads to a large statue representing the god Apollo (Kouros of Apollonas). It’is still in good shape, even if children walk on it while their parents are watching!

Kouros d'Apollonas, the Apollon statue, on Naxos, a greek island with a camper van.

Then, direction Apiranthos city. There is a nice little restaurant to eat very typical (even if the city is very touristic). You have to go down stairs to find yourself on a small terrace in the shade of the vine … Local beer, stuffed grape leaves and other Greek specialties.

Small streets in Apiranthos, in the center of Naxos, a greek island we visited with our van.

We then go around the city. Very pretty, with its beautiful white walls, its flowery streets and some old windmills … After that, we take the road (about 7km) to get to the starting point of the Mount Zeus (Zas) hike… for tomorrow.

4th Sleeping Spot – Greek island with a van:

We arrive at the hike parking for the sunset. There are some people who finish it and leave. We are alone again, facing a beautiful landscape and ready to start the hike early the next morning (it is much too hot from 11h to 16h to hike).

Beautiful sunset when we slept at the Mount Zeus start of the hike in Naxos a greek island

1.D5 – Mount Zeus hike ande Halki village

Mount Zeus hike signs on Naxos, during our roadtrip on a greek island with a van.

We start early, less than 5 mins from the parking (4/5 spaces)there is a water source where you can refill. Afret 20 minsthere is the Zeus Cave on the left (try to have a lamp). Then you continue for 1.5 km to join the Mount Zeus Sumit, the highest top of Naxos island with its 1001 meters.

It’s a short hike, only 4 km return trip but with some height difference (500 m for 2 km). The panorama once on the top is really great! It’s also possible to make a bigger circle (try to get info with a tourism office).

View from the Mount Zeus, the Naxos highest point after a small hike on a greek island.

Then we go to Halki via Filoti. Halki is another small tourist village in the center of the island. We wlak in its small streets, visit the distillery “Kitron Vallindras Distillery”. The Kitron is a lemon alcohol endemic of Naxos island, personally, we love it a lot (ok, we are lemon ADDICTS).

Kitron distillery in Halki village in the center of Naxos island in Greece.

We eat local at the Gannis Tavern, again in the shade of beautiful grappes vines. Food was good but only bad thing, at the end of the meal they tell us they do not take credit card. After having tried the only two ATM of the city without success (which of one wasn’t working) they finally said they can (so you have to ask before).

Try Greek specialities, during a road trip in a Greek island with a camper van.

Then, 3km norhtest, we visited the Panagia Drosiani, the oldest christian church of Naxos.

Panagia Drosiani church, close to Halki village in Naxos, a greek island we visited with our van.

Hopefully, on Naxos, all roads are small. So we decide to sleep close to the sea. 16 km from Halki, to the south of the island, in Agiassos. We arrive there at the end of the day, for the sunset. The beach is really nice and we find a Great spot to park for the night.

5th Sleeping Spot – Greek island with a van:

Great spot on the Agiassos beach. As usual here, we are alone during the night. We face the sea. There is a bitof wind but not too much (a lot of Greek islands are known to have a lot of wind, like the west coast of Naxos). A the start of the beach, there is water if you want to refill.

Our Van spot, on Agiassos beach, in the south of Naxos Greece.

1.D6 – West coast: Aliko, Mikri Vivla & Plaka

We fill the water and continue to the West. We first stop at Aliko / Alyko. Several small beaches with more or less people. And close, a urban project in a hotel ruin, with great graffiti.

Graffiti urban project on the greek island Naxos close to Alyko.

Beaches are quite protected from the wind, and we find a quiet little one where we can stay quietly with Huaca, our dog, without disturbing. We picnic here and then we drive to Mikri Vivla.

Our sweet beach, close to Alyko on Naxos, a greek island we visit during our road trip in Greece.

There is a small beach very pretty, but quite upwind! Apparently, it’s famous for kitesurfing, it makes you want to try. We admire but do not stay long.

Look at people or try kitesurf on the west coas of Naxos, looks so nice!

To end to day, we go to Plaka. A nice spot too. A lot different to what we did. It’s a big beach with many bars and hotels… but hopefully, it’s the end of the day, so we find a cool spot to spend time with our dog and take beach shower.

6th Sleeping Spot – Greek island with a van:

For our last night in Naxos, we sleep on Plaka beach. It’s really calm by night, whereas it was full during the day. It’s nice, and we have the beach shower close.

1.D7 – Visit of Naxos town and departure

Afeter a swim, we go to Naxos.

La Portara, or Apollon temple, in Naxos town on the island of the same name.

We have a walk, first to the harbour and Portara, a big door, or stone frame (also the Apollon temple) that let you see the city. We stop a moment to the Kitron Cafe Bar to taste the famous local alcohol, pure (white, green or yellow) and in cocktails.

Taste the local alcohol from Naxos, the Kitron, made with lemon.

Our ferry is tonight. So we check the departure point and then, go for a walk around. A bit out of the city to eat local with better price (less touristic). We find a great small restaurant really cheap when you go north, close to a park. The time is on, let’s go for a 6h ferry trip after a GREAT week!

2/ Useful info: greek island with a van

Here are all the info to prepare your road trip in a Greek island with a camper van.

2.1/ How to go on Naxos with a van

Ferries to Naxos from Piraeus

There are many companies that go to Naxos in Greece from Piraeus (Bleu Star, Golden Star, Fast Ferries…) but during your reservation process, check that it take in charge vehicle, and not only passengers. Personally, we took a Blue Star ferry.

  • About 1 ferry/day per company.
  • Between 4 to 6h (be careful, the less it’s long, the more it’s expensive).
  • The seat is often not included (you have to pay pay more, or stay outside or on the floor).

If you decide to make your reserve via a comparator, this one is the easiest one we know (kind of vehicle, animals…). Or you can go directly to every company website.

Ferries’prices for Naxos greek island
  • Concernant les prix, contrairement au ferry de Croatie qui ont des tarifs fixes selon les périodes (voir notre road trip sur une île Croate), pour les îles Grecques, c’est comme la SNCF. La loi de l’offre et la demande construit le tarif. De notre côté, nous avons payé environ 340 € l’aller-retour pour 2 personnes, le véhicule et notre toutou.

2.2/ Roads in Naxos, a Greek island

The main roads are in good condition. Sometimes a little steep and winding but ok. For smaller roads, it really depends, there may be dirt roads or sandy beaches (pay attention before venturing). But it’s not made for camping-car (by the way we have not seen even once). The spots we have indicated before are not suitablbig enough e for a vehicle larger than the van.

The island is just 50 km sur 30 km, so distances are small. There is no tall and evreywhere we parked was free.

2.3/ Shower and water on Naxos

Personnally, we had no problem for water and hygiene. There were water almost everwhere where we stoped (see “water point” on our map above). And for shower, beach showers and our camping one were enough. But, as usual, for shower in nature, we use an environmental soap you can use everywhere (bought in Decathlon).

Take shower and find water on Naxos in Greece was pretty easy.

2.4/ Supermarkets on Naxos

Be careful, to have a bit of choice (and cheaper), it’s better to make your groceries before arriving on Naxos. Or try Naxos, Halki… Then we’ll find small shops.

2.5/ Find spots for a camper van

Find where to park with our van was quite easy. Even in mid August (high season), we were the only one there and we didn’t have the feeling of disturbing locals. Our places were more beautiful the one from the other, feet in the ocean. …!

2.6/ Money/budget on Naxos

They use Euro, like everywhere in Greece. And even if the prices are a bit more expensive, it’s still correct. No worries about that.

Here we are! We really hope that this article about “visiting a greek island with a van” is helpful for you and will help you to prepare your next holidays. Do not hesitate to write us a small message if you liked it or if we have a question.

>> Other articles that you could be interested in:

Croatia by van : « Road trip in Croatia with a van »  ; “Visit a croatian island with a van

Road trip in Balkans with a camper van: Here all our itineraries in Balkans..

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