Views For Days: Why You Have To Visit Rotonda Restaurant (Naxos, Greece)
The Greek island of Naxos is perfect for roadtripping…cris-crossing the island, stopping in tiny villages, and popping in for a drink or snack wherever your whim takes you. But Rotonda is one of the spots you really MUST stop at, and it takes a little planning ahead since it’s a bit more “off the beaten path”.
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Rotonda Naxos sits on the road between the mountain villages of Filoti and Apeiranthos, which is a gorgeous drive with sweeping views over the mountain valleys and out toward the sea. Here are a few of the views I had to stop and photograph on this stretch of road…
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When I arrived at Rotonda, I squeezed my rental car into a spot along the road and was greeted by the staff in the big inside portion of the restaurant. But the big draw is the STUNNING views, from either the enclosed or the fully open patios (they offered me a seat on the enclosed patio).
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The restaurant is open for morning bites and coffee, lunch, and even late into the evening for Naxian snack delights and cocktails (often with live music). I didn’t get a chance to try them, but I’m told the traditional dishes on the menu are definitely worth ordering.
Honestly I have no idea why I ordered what I did. Well, I know why I got the cheese croquettes with tomato sauce…I mean, how could I resist that? It was a bit like a yummy deconstructed pizza.
But I’m not sure what drew me to the spaghetti with cheese, basil, tomatoes, and pine nuts. That’s up my alley to be sure (though I thought it would be more pesto-like), but not really Greek and I don’t know why I didn’t try something more traditional.
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What *was* traditional was the little glass of cinnamonraki (note sure if that’s how it’s spelled), a local liquor with cinnamon, cloves, and honey that they gave me at the end of the meal with my bill. I had heard that this was a common practice in family-run tavernas in Greece, but this was the only time I ran into it.
Before I left I walked around the terrace a bit…I just couldn’t get enough of these views! I wished I could come back to watch the sunset with a glass of wine and my Kindle. Sunsets from Rotonda Naxos are supposed to be amazing, and well worth the drive.
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Where to stay in Naxos
I stayed in two different hotels in Naxos, and would strongly recommend both. The first was Hotel Grotta, which was great—overlooking the ocean in Naxos town, with gorgeous views, wonderful hospitality, good food, and a 5-minute walk into town.
The other was the unique luxury ELaiolithos, the only hotel located up in the mountains. The location and views were amazing, and the hotel uses only local materials, food, and drink. You get such an interesting experience here including the owner Helen’s hospitality, it’s absolutely worth a stay.
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