In this review we will stay at Studios Zafiri in Naxos Town, the capital of the Greek island of Naxos.
As there weren’t any flights or ferries from Athens to Astypalaia on the day I needed them, I was forced to puzzle a bit with my itinerary. In the end the best solution was to fly to Naxos and take a ferry a day later Astypalaia.
I’ve visited Naxos before and I love the island. As the biggest island of the Cyclades, there is a lot to see and do given that the rugged island packs quite a lot of history, culture, beaches and nature. I would even say that you need a full week to do it any justice, as the island is so mountainous and large that you at times forget you are even on an island.
Although it was tempting to stay longer, I settled in the end for one night in Naxos Town (Chora Naxos in Greek). The whitewashed old town is one of the cutest in Greece and it has some excellent cafes and restaurants. Revisiting the town was hardly a crime!
There is a wide variety of accommodation in Naxos Town ranging from luxurious boutique hotels to self-catering apartments and everything in between.
Given that this visit to Naxos was just a short one-night stopover, I didn’t care about luxury or having a great view from the room. Price was the biggest factor, followed by good ratings and a decent enough location within walking distance of the old town. Studios Zafiri seemed to be a great match on all three fronts.
One important reason why I opted for Studios Zafiri was the free pick-up from the port or airport which was kindly offered by the host Nick. Communicating with him through the interface of the online booking website was smooth and easy.
When my flight from Athens landed at Naxos Airport, Nick stood right outside the building on the parking lot waiting for me.
Nick immediately stood out with his welcoming nature and professionalism, as he informed me that he was strictly adhering to the new corona guidelines for the hospitality sector set out by the Greek government.
During the drive, as well as in the apartment building, he wore a mask at all times. Nick also informed me that the check-out time was set one hour back to 11am instead of noon as otherwise he wouldn’t be able to properly disinfect all the rooms to an even higher standard than normally.
Of course, this was perfectly understandable and fine to me, and I really appreciated that as the host of a small accommodation he even went beyond the normal standards.
After a short drive we arrived at the location of the apartment building, which exists out of several studios in different sizes. I had booked a studio, which sleeps two and is fitted with a small kitchen. I paid 45 euro for it, which is certainly a decent price for the Greek high season on a popular island.
The studio itself is quite typical for a budget accommodation in Greece, which means that it is certainly not the most beautifully decorated room ever. The furniture such as the chairs and table on the terrace and the bed, were all quite basic.
That said, it was something which I fully expected and I did think that the owners did try their best to make the room as cheerful as possible by hanging up a few paintings and artworks. The same was certainly true about the public spaces and hallways, which were well looked after.
More importantly, the room was indeed spotlessly clean. I could clearly see that Nick did his best making the accommodation as COVID-proof as it can be, for example by placing disinfection sprays in both the room as well as in public spaces.
I also appreciated the outdoor terrace. Although the views from the terrace over the street were nothing to write home about, it was certainly a nice area to sit in the morning for breakfast or in the evening for a nightcap. The two large doors which open from the room to the terrace also ensure some fresh air flowing into the room.
The kitchen in my studio was well-equipped and had everything which you might need such as pans, plates, cutlery, a water boiler and a coffee drip machine.
On the table inside the room, Nick had placed a small carafe of complimentary tsipouro (Greek raki) – which was certainly a nice touch and much appreciated by me.
The studio also featured a TV as well as air-conditioning, which is a must in the hot Greek summer if you ask me. Overall I’d say that the facilities and amenities at Studios Zafiri were well above my expectations for a budget studio.
Just like the rest of my studio, the bathroom was a bit basic but spotlessly clean. Although it was a bit on the small side, at least the shower was good and didn’t flood the entire bathroom – which is unfortunately an oh so common occurrence at Greek budget hotels and studios.
By passing the shower test, Studios Zafiri already proved to be much better than your average budget accommodation in Greece!
The building of Studios Zafiri is located in a residential area of Naxos Town. The old town of Naxos is a leisurely 15-minute walk away on foot, while Agios Georgios beach is 10 minutes away.
A supermarket and a bakery are located within five minutes walking. Overall it’s a great, quiet location if you don’t mind the short walks.
Overall I certainly had a pleasant stay at Studios Zafiri. After spending a great day walking around Naxos Town and having some excellent food, I managed to sleep like a baby on the comfortable bed.
The next day, Nick again kindly offered to drive me to the port for my onward journey, which again was a nice, much appreciated gesture.
For a budget accommodation on a popular Greek island, Studios Zafiri managed to do a great job and it certainly surpassed my expectations. The price was great, the location good, the room clean and comfortable and the kitchen was well-equipped.
Although you shouldn’t expect any luxury, I had a comfortable and enjoyable stay at Studios Zafiri. What mattered most were the little personal touches, whether it was the complimentary raki, the free pick-up and drop-off from the airport/port, or the hospitable welcome by the host Nick.
Studios Zafiri is certainly a well-run accommodation which is lovingly taken care after by Nick, who also went beyond government standards when it came to corona regulations and cleanliness – something which certainly is harder for a small local business than a big international chain hotel.
If you are looking for a nice self-catering studio on the island of Naxos and don’t mind the leisurely walk to the old town or the city beach, then Studios Zafiri will certainly fit the bill and won’t disappoint you.
Trip report index
This article is part of the ‘A Dodecanese Dream: Summer Island Hopping in Greece‘ trip report, which consists of the following chapters:
1. Back in the Skies – My First International Flight in the Age of Corona
2. Review: Kimon Hotel, Athens, Greece
3. Exploring Plaka: Through the Winding Streets of the Old Town of Athens
4. Climbing up the Acropolis: Visiting Athens’ Most Famous Sight
5. Review: Skyserv Melina Merkouri Lounge Athens Airport
6. Review: Sky Express (ATR 42) Athens to Naxos
7. Review: Studios Zafiri, Naxos Town, Greece (current chapter)
8. Naxos Town: The Gorgeous Historic Heart of the Cyclades
9. Review: Blue Star Ferries Naxos to Astypalaia
10. Review: Belvedere Studios, Astypalaia Town, Greece
11. Astypalea Town: The Unknown Crown Jewel of the Aegean Sea
12. Astypalea Island Guide: Exploring the Butterfly of the Aegean
13. On a Night Boat in Greece – Astypalea to Kastellorizo With Blue Star Ferries
14. Review: Traditional Apartments Alexandra, Kastellorizo, Greece
15. Kastellorizo: A Look Around Greece’s Easternmost Island
16. Hiking on Kastellorizo: Two Sunset Hikes Detailed
17. Review: Olympic Air Kastellorizo to Rhodes (Dash 8-100)
** rest of the chapters to follow soon **