One of the activities we were eager to do is explore as much of the island as we could. Naxos is the largest island in the Cyclades (~170 square miles) so we knew that we definitely wouldn’t be able to cover all of it.
We decided to go to a car rental agency to check out our transportation options around the island. They had mopeds, Vespas, ATVs you name it.
We rented an ATV so that we could get to more remote places that you couldn’t get to in a car. I specifically wanted to go to Cape Gaitani (Gaitani is my maiden name so I thought it would be cool to go there.) On our way there from Chora (which is the main town in Naxos) we decided to stop off at a remote beach for a swim. One of my favorite things about Greece is there is no such thing as a private beach. You are allowed to go anywhere you want.
We actually wound up staying there for several hours snorkeling and enjoying ourselves and didn’t realize how much time had passed. We were starting to get a bit tired from being in the hot sun so we decided to head back to town to drop off the ATV and go back to the hotel. We packed everything up in our backpack and my husband asked me if I had the key to the ATV, I didn’t. We checked if we left the key in the bike, we emptied the backpack, we retraced our steps, no key. By this point the sun was getting lower too so we only had a couple of hours or so of daylight left.
I was getting nervous. We were in the middle of nowhere on a Greek Island and neither of us knew the language. We decided to start walking to try to find a phone. Luckily, we stumbled on a taverna with an elderly lady sweeping the front entrance of the restaurant. Of course, she didn’t speak English (nor should she) so luckily I had picked up a brochure of the rental place which had the number. I pointed at the number and she understood that we needed a phone. She offered us her phone and we were able to get in touch with the car rental place.
The owner drove out to meet us with a spare key just in the nick of time for us to have enough sunlight to get back to town. I was definitely in a hurry to get back at that point. When we got back to the car rental office the guy was really nice about the whole incident and said he would only charge us the cost of the lost key (50 Euro). We were relieved. Quentin said to him “I bet this thing happens all the time huh” the owner said ” Actually no this is the very first time”. We left feeling very stupid.
Okay so I digressed a little bit, sorry. Here are some pictures of what we saw when we rented an ATV. This will allow you to hike less and get to remote beaches easier than in a car.
These photos were taken when we rented a car and drove towards the east side of the island from Chora (Naxos town) we had lunch at a taverna in Moutsouna.