Maria Vive Mare, A Part Of The Naxos Story

Why I fell in love with Naxos, Greece.

The place is magical with its whiter than white buildings, blue as blue skies, and 50 shades of green sea. Every corner, every village, every building holds a story reaching far, far back into history. To be accurate…every cobblestone in all of Greece and the Greek Islands is steeped in thousands of years of historical stories.

Before I tell you (in many future posts) about Portara, the doorway of the ancient Temple of Apollo built in 522 BC, or about the hike to the Kastro built 1207, or even about the thousand and one other things to do in Naxos, let me tell you how to start your day if you are staying close to the port.

Coffee Culture & The Morning

The first morning, in Chora Naxos (Naxos Town), the tranquil silence was broken by the saintly pealing of church bells, followed quickly by the sounds of birds twittering in sudden busy-ness.

I woke up with a thirst for coffee – you will notice that in Greece, the coffee culture is amazing and the coffee itself addictive.

After a few moments perusing the scene of a Cycladic morning – man rubbing his belly in only his underwear on terrace, woman hanging out the washing, scooters bringing down the boxes of vegetables from the village farms. I then admired the white buildings with blue trimmed doors and windows, as I basked in the cool sea breeze flowing through the balcony and wide open windows.

Cafe Vive Mare

My new addiction  for cheese pie and coffee propelled me out the door. A few feet past the  greengrocer’s one can smell the most delicious scents of coffee, I could smell icy-cold frappe, steamy lattes, slow dripping americano, and right behind chasing it with that flaky buttery cheesy aroma is yes, Tiropita. I looked to the left and there it was, the Cafe Vive Mare, filled with locals getting their morning chats on.

Too shy to enter in my obvious-tourist smock and hat, I kept on going. Right around the corner I spotted this gorgeous spot, which happens to be the other side of Vive Mare Cafe.

Vive Mare
Colours of Naxos on cobblestones, this is the backyard of Vive Mare cafe.

Do you know what is the best thing that can happen first thing in the morning, before coffee? It is when the kindest, sweetest-faced person with the biggest smile offers you coffee.

Vive Mare Naxos
Maria is Vive Mare, she is an absolute treasure and my new friend for life.

The coffee is real authentic Italian coffee, rich and deep and nutty with slightly bitter notes. Pour in a few drops of local milk and it is transformed into a cup of creamy chocolaty goodness. When you order a coffee at Vive Mare, it comes with iced water…and a honeyed orange cake.

Vive Mare Naxos
Hands-down the best cuppa coffee in Naxos.

The Club sandwich is possibly the best I have ever had in my life. The ambiance, the sea breeze, smiling Maria, the coffee and so much more made this breakfast one of the best of memories of Naxos.

Turkey with herbs and spices, grilled, local cured meats, lots of greens and loads of mayo, all served in between lightly toasted local bread. Can you taste it?

Naxos Vive Mare
The best Club Sandwich in Naxos is at Vive Mare. Thanks Maria!

If you are on the Island and would like to skip the misses and just jump to the hits…Please make your way to Vive Mare, it is truly a tiny hidden-in-the-corner gem that is loved and adored by all who finds it.



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Samantha McLeod

Vancouver based food and travel writer.

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