Donoússa, due east of Náxos, and northernmost of the chain of ‘Back Islands’, is even more remote and has few ferry links. Larger and more mountainous than the others, its Geometric-era settlement (900–700 BC) was excavated by Váthí Limenarí, but most visitors come for the fine beaches, with taxi boats to get you to them in July and August. Otherwise a good place for walkers and hermits, although a little bus goes back and forth on the paved road.
For Stávros, the port and main village, the beautiful sandy beach of Kédros is a 25-minute walk. Resources can be stretched stretched in high season; Mersíni, with tiny village a 20 minute walk up hill has spectacular views, and two tavernas for drinking them in along with your and a spring.
The island’s second best beach, Livádi enjoys a dramatic setting, and is an hour’s walk east of Stávros. On the north side of the island, little Kalotarítissa, a 75 minute walk from Stavrós, is near the third beautiful beach, Trypiti, overlooking a tiny islet.
Images by Howard Chalkley, yiovanna