Style: Freeride, Freestyle, Slalom
Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Good, Specialist
A favorite of the hippies in the 1960’s and 1970’s, Plaka beach remains one of the most attractive and popular on Naxos island. An endless stretch of golden sand, with crystal-clear waters, it is a continuation of Agia Anna beach, with sand dunes adorned with sea lilies after August as a characteristic feature.
Medium Months: May, October
Wind Type: Thermal Winds
Best Direction: N, NW, S
Main Direction: N
Wind Factor: 11-16 knots (4 bft), 17-21 knots (5 bft), 22-27 knots (6 bft)
Main Wind Direction: Side Shore, Offshore
Blowing at: Midday, Afternoon
Wave Tack: Starboard (from the right)
The Meltemi occurs mainly during the summer season (June to September with 70%), but also in May and October one may frequently experience this dry wind. One should anticipate its maximum during July and August. Usually the wind starts in the early afternoon reaching 4-5 bft and dies out at sun set. However, not uncommonly it reaches 6-7 bft during the day, perseveres during the night and blows 6-7 bft again the next day; a pattern which can easily be repeated over many days, sometimes even up to ten days.
Distance from shore - Conditions:
0m - 200m: The wind comes side shore. Flat water with lighter wind, perfect for beginners. A bit gusty.
200m – 500m: The wind comes side shore. Choppier water with stronger wind. Perfect for freeride, slalom and freestyle.
500m+: The wind comes offshore. Strong wind with an overlap area from bigger chop to swell waves. For experienced windsurfers and jumpers, especially with North Western winds.
Quality: Crystal Clear
Depth: Average (deepens gently and incrementally)
Seabed: Sand, Pebbles, Rocks
Owing to a natural structure of the seabed, the initial stretch of the beach has flat and calm waters even when strong winds prevail, making it a perfect site for beginners, who can even dare to venture out on their own. Beyond this point, however, there is a steady wind and this is more suited for freestyle and slalom. Further offshore, the wind is strong allowing for some swell.
The Sea ground is mostly sandy, with some small rocky islands. No reefs and no annoying sea urchins.
Bathers Period: June, July, August
Kid Friendly: Yes
Plaka beach is one of the most beautiful beaches on Naxos and is also the largest one as stretches 5km along the western coast of Naxos. Fine white sand, with large sand dunes on the back of the beach, which after August with blooming lilies seem even more exotic. It provides a relaxing environment with plenty of space for everyone. There are quiet spots (south section of the beach) and busy, organized spots. Plaka beach has natural shade from cedar trees that grow near the sea. The beautiful view on Paros Island makes it a perfect spot to view the amazing sunset of Naxos.
Access to Plaka:
Plaka is in west Naxos, in the center of the Island. Just after Agia Anna, 7 km from Naxos Town and easily accessible by bus, car, motorbike or bicycle. Drive south to Glinado, and then follow signs. In summer there is public transport that connects daily Plaka beach with Chora. There are bus connections from Chora throughout the summer months.
Access to Naxos:
Arrival by Airplane: By far the most popular for tourists is the charter flight from their country directly to Naxos, usually by smaller propeller driven aircraft or, a jet flight to Greece’s national airport and takes a connecting prop type aircraft to Naxos. From “Eleftherios Venizelos” Athens International Airport you can reach Naxos by air and land at Naxos National Airport “Apollon” within 45’ minutes. It is a good idea to have your local connection flight booked early in advance since things can get very busy during the peak season and seats can be very difficult to book on the connecting flights. There is also the possibility fly to Mykonos or Santorini direct and then take a connecting boat to Naxos that makes approximately ½ to 2 ½ hours depending on the type of ship.
Naxos Airport is located 1 km from Naxos town (Chora), a distance that can be covered in 5 minutes. Due to the lack of public transportation, the only way to reach Chora is by taxi. Taxis are usually waiting outside the airport but it is advisable to have a radio taxi number with you.
The closest passenger airport to Naxos Island is Mykonos Airport (JMK), 31 km (19 miles) away (directly). The second nearest airport is Santorini Airport (JTR), 86 km (53 miles) away. Third is Leros Airport (LRS), 117 km (73 miles) away. Then Samos Airport (SMI) is 139 km (86 miles) away, Chios Airport (JKH), 142 km (88 miles) away.
Arrival by Ferry/Boat: The island of Naxos has one port, which is located next to the town of Naxos. The main port to take you to Naxos from Athens is Piraeus, but there are also ferry departures, especially high-speed ferries, from the port of Rafina, which is closest to the Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport.
There are two main types: The normal ferries that move with a speed of approximately 20-25 knots and in most cases carry from 1.500-2.500 passengers and a large number of vehicles. They take approximately 5,5-6,5 hours to get to Naxos, depending on weather, the season and the ports of call on the way. The faster ferries (including High-speed and smaller Catamarans) that may reach up to 40 knots and usually carry up to 1000 passengers. Not all of them can carry vehicles. They take approximately 3,5-4 hours to get to Naxos, again depending on weather, the season and the ports of call on the way.
You can also travel to/from Naxos by ferry from/to other Cycladic Islands. As Naxos being centrally located in Cyclades, provides easy access to most of the other islands.
Local Transportation: When you arrive in Naxos, you can either use the public transportation (local bus) or taxis or, even better, rent a car (or a motorbike in the summer). If you land to Naxos airport, you can take a taxi or ask the rental agency that your car will wait for you at the airport. If you come by ferry, you can rent a car at the car rental agencies that surround the port.
Arrival by Car: The best way for you to visit the majority of the attractions on the island is to use a car or motorbike. Most of the rental agencies are situated at Naxos Chora but you can find various more at Agios Prokopios.
Arrival by Bus: The local buses depart from Naxos town (Chora) with destination several of the island’s villages & beaches. Before starting out, be sure you are informed about the timetables in order not to face unexpected difficulties.
Arrival by Taxi: You can also get around Naxos by taxis; you will find the main taxi stand at Chora. You are advised to ask for the fare before getting into the taxi in order to avoid unpleasant surprises. They can be hailed on the street or after booking an appointment.