The "Portara" is arguably the most recognisable sight on the island of Naxos.
This large marble gate (the only remaining part of a temple dedicated to Apollo, and built in the 6th Century BC) stands on a small island (which is connected to the main island) by the ferry port in Naxos Town.
As you approach the island by ferry, it is likely to be the first thing that you recognise.
The island upon which the Portara sits is very rocky and it is quite a steep climb up to the top. Thankfully, steps up to the Portara have been built to accommodate the hordes of tourists that venture up to see it.
If you stand "behind" the Portara (ie closest to the sea and furthest from the town), the Portara acts like a photo frame framing the view of Naxos Town.
Agios Prokopios Naxos This long stretch of golden sand on Naxos' west coast stretches for miles and is popular with families, backpackers and naturists alike. But due to its size, there's more than enough room for everyone.
Starting at Agios Prokopios, the beach stretches south to Agia Anna and becomes Plaka beach further down the coast.
At Agios Prokopios and Agia Anna there are tavernas and shops lining the beach and tourist facilities available, while further afield the beach becomes more remote with fewer facilities.
The sea is clear and the beach shelves gently into the sea, making it ideal for kids.
Agios Prokopios itself is a laid-back beach resort with a few tavernas, bars and shops and a number of hotels and apartments. It lies 6km from the island's capital, Naxos Town.
Getting to know Naxos Island
For the holidaymakers who can drag themselves away from the glorious beaches, Naxos provides a wealth of ancient Greek remains as well as plenty of Byzantine and Venetian history. The island's capital, also called Naxos, has a Venetian fortress as well as an ancient Greek temple to Apollo.
This temple is usually the first thing that a tourist sees when visiting Naxos by ferry because it stands proudly on the tip of the island, marking the way into the busy ferry port. The temple dates back to 522 BC but its ruinous appearance is not because much of it has been lost to the passage of time, but rather because the ancients never finished building it.
Naxos town is very picturesque port with a maze of whitewashed streets and alleyways, designed with the frequent invasions from Aegean pirates in mind. Its typically Cycladic architecture blends with the Venetian and every turning invites the visitor to explore.
With such romantic charm and mystique, it is little wonder that Naxos has long been popular with writers and artists. Lord Byron visited in his youth and never forgot the experience, referring to it in his writings as the a"Dream Islanda" and often saying that he would love to return some day.
Naxos Island has 41 villages and most are worth exploring. They are found in the green fertile, valleys that are sandwiched between the rugged, arid mountains. Many of these are over 2000 feet high and the highest, Mount Zeus is 3,200 feet.
Naxos Island enjoys the economic rewards of being a tourist island but it does not depend on them for its prosperity. A great deal of farming takes place in its rich valleys and the cultivation of lemons is especially successful. In addition to lemons, Naxos produces cherries, pomegranates and other fresh fruit. It also produces olives, nuts and potatoes whilst its grapes make some of the best of Greek wines.
Naxos Island Nightlife
Naxos Cyclades Greece is an extremely well-developed island with many entertainment venues, offering visitors a lot of different options. Along the beachfront drive and in the small side streets of Naxos Town (Chora) there are hundreds of cafes, bars, clubs and live music halls, some of the most exciting Naxos nightlife. The seaside resorts of Plaka, Agios Prokopis, Stelida and Agia Anna, located just south of Naxos Town (Chora), also provide a wide selection of nightlife venues. Apollonas village, situated on the northeastern side of the island, is a favourite place to enjoy a delicious meal and to relax with a cool drink while gazing at the small fishing port. Naxos Local Festivals
In contrast to the many clubs and music halls, Naxos Greece also hosts plenty of festivals, fairs and events. While in Naxos Town during the summer months, you can take part in the "Dionysia" Festival, which is a mixture of cultural and athletic events. The summer cultural festival that takes place in the Bazeos Castle is simply wonderful, offering a variety of activities to participants. Other Naxos festivals take place on the name day of the patron saints of each village. Some of the popular festivals: Agios Prokopios on July 8 and Agia Anna on July 25 in their respective villages, the Virgin Mary on August 15 and Agios Ioannis on August 29 in Apiranthos, Agia Marina on July 17th in Koronos and the Virgin Mary 3-day festival in mid-August in Filoti.
Local Cuisine Local Products Naxos Island Greece produces a wide variety of products. The most popular souvenir is a bottle of citron liqueur, which is made from citron leaves. Other Naxos products include hand-made woven fabrics, pottery, hand-made leather goods and jewelry, specially the "Naxos Eye", which is said to bring luck.
International Telephone code : +30 22850 plus the 5 digit number
Telephone Code within Greece or Naxos Island : 22850 plus the 5 digit number
Hospital - Health Centre Naxos Island ( tel. 23333, 23550 )
Available doctors at the hospital: pathologists, general, pediatrist, orthopedic, gynecologist, cardiologist, microbiologist, dentist, doctor for diabetics, for radiographies and surgeon. There are also four rural doctors and twelve nurses. The Health Centre has a microbiological and a radiant laboratory and two ambulances.
In each of the following periphery centers works a rural doctor. The doctors of the hospital often visit these centers.
Filoti : Rural doctor office tel. 31404
Apiranthos: Rural doctor office tel. 61206
Komiaki: Rural doctor office tel. 52213
Melanes: Rural doctor office tel. 62372
Halki: Rural doctor office tel. 31206
Koronos: Periphery rural doctor office tel. 51280
Vivlos: Periphery rural doctor office tel. 41221
Ag. Arsenios: Periphery rural doctor office tel. 41484
Hora: Sanitary station tel. 22346
Emergency Incidents: A helicopter of EKAV (Hellenic Centre of Immediate Need) carries all the emergency incidents to Athens or to Syros Island (if the weather conditions are not appropriate). For a non-emergency incident, the patient is carried out to Syros island by ship.
Various shipping lines operate ferries to Naxos and they can and do change from summer to summer. The travel time is between six and eight hours. Boats leave from two ports, the well known Piraeus and the lesser known Rafina which is, in fact, closer to the new airport. There is also a catamaran - the High Speed - which, in theory, cuts the sailing time to Naxos to about three and a half hours.
Under normal circumstances, there is at least one ferry every morning leaving Piraeus at 8 am. arriving at Naxos between 2 pm and 3pm. There is then, usually, one or two in the evening departing between 5 pm and 8 pm and arriving, therefore, between 11 pm and 2 am. This gives a good general guide to times but should never be taken on trust - always try to check and double check these times. By Plane: Small planes fly to and from Naxos operated by Olympic Airways. At peak times there should be two flights a day, leaving Athens at about 9 am and 4.30 pm.
Useful Phones on Naxos IslandLocal Area Code : 2285 (0)
Code for Greece: 003(0)
Municipality of Naxos: 22717, 22712
Police Station of Chora:
+30 22850 22100, 23280
The west coast of Naxos Island , where Naxos Town and the beautiful beaches are located, is only the tip of the iceberg. Naxos Island is the largest of the Cyclades Islands and has a lot to offer in its mountainous interior as well.
By far the best way to visit the interior of Naxos island is to rent a car. Then take a scenic loop beginning in Naxos Town and heading out southeast to Filoti, then northeast to Apirathos and Apollon, and finally head back to Naxos Town along the highway that follows the north coast.
PANAGIA DROSIANI NAXOS ISLAND
This Early Christian church lies near the village of Moni.
The interior wall surfaces have wall paintings of various phases; from the end of the 6th and the beginning of the 7th centuries.
Apirathos is known as the White City because nearly everything there is built from white marble from the island's famous quarries. Even the gravel on Naxos is crushed white marble! Apirathos is on a hill and has narrow winding paths that are fun to navigate. The town was colonised in the 17th and 18th centuries by Crtean refugees trying to get away from Turkish oppression. It really is a wonderful mountain village with marble paved climbing streets which are so easy to get lost in, and 14th century towers which were built by the Venetian Crispi family.
Chalki Naxos Island
The best way to see more of the island is to hire a car and head off into the Tragaia valley with its little towns and wonderful views. Chalki is a pictureque little place with Ventetian. architecture. It is worth a short stop to wander through the little streets. In the centre is the old Byzantine Fragopoulis tower.
Post Office (hours of operation 07.20 – 14.00 Monday to Friday): +30 22850 22211
Naxos Island - Cyclades Greece
A spot of white in the turquoise waters of the Aegean Sea, Naxos Island is a unique blend of ancient ruins and beach culture. The largest of the Cycladic Islands, Naxos Island is the childhood home of none other than Zeus, king of the gods. Upon arrival in Naxos, hike over a causeway to Palatia, where the Portara, a stone gateway to an ancient temple that no longer exists, stands alone, the symbol of the island. At sunset, the views of Naxos island, and the sea beyond, are breathtaking. People gather every afternoon and relax gazing the sunset from Portara Naxos.
Naxos Island is a popular tourist destination with several easily accessilble beaches. More than 98 kilometres of fine golden sandy beaches are surrounding the beautiful island with superb crystal - clear turquoise waters which are glimmering under the bright Mediteranean sun.
Agios Prokopios, lying on a sheltered bay with a beautiful stretch of sand, and then Agia Anna Beach, Plaka Beach, Micri Vigla, Kastraki. On the eastern side of the island there is a road which follows the coast down from Moutouna to the south, passing the magnificent beach of Psili Amos, and ends up at Panormos on Naxos Island, a deserted beach with pine trees.
Naxos Island Greece is such a versatile island that satisfies all types of tourists, from the sightseer and the nature lover to the party-goer and the laid back tourist.
To get a taste of the island, we suggest taking a stroll in Naxos Town (Chora) through the winding alleyways to admire the whitewashed houses, with their potted flowers, and colourful doors and shutters. It is truly a calming and rejuvenating experience.
When entering the harbour of Naxos Island you can see Portara, Naxos Island , the chapel of Our Lady Mirtidiotissa and the castle. Portara the big marble gate that stands high on the island of Bachus is waht the remains of the ancient temple of Apollo that was standing here. The ruins of the temple are called Palace, implying the palaces of Ligadmi the ancient tyrant of Naxos Island. The legend says that here Theseus abandoned Ariadne when he came back from Crete.
Naxos town on Naxos Island possesses several of the island's most characteristic sites, such as the "Portara" (the marble gate to the ancient Temple of Apollo), the Venetian Castle, the Mycenean City in the Grotta area, the Archaeological Museum, the 16th century Bazeos Castle, and the Churches of Zoodochou Pigis and Panagia Myrtidiotissa.
While touring Naxos Island, you can visit many other significant archaeological and historical sites. Apiranthos is one of the oldest settlements on the island, that has much in the way of interesting folklore to offer as well as some remarkable examples of tradtional architecture. In Apirathos, you should stop to admire the Zevgoli Tower and the Museums as well as the encahnting view of the sea. If you are an archaeology buff, then we recommend visiting the Kouroi in Apollonas and Flerio, the Ancient Site of Iria and the Sanctuary of Demetra and Apollo near on naxos island.
Sagri. The Plain of Tragaia which stretches from Sagri to Agiassos has been called "Little Mystras" by Byzantine scholars becuase of the wealth of important Byzantine remains that have been found there. Many churches which not only contain valuable sculptures and wall paintings, but are of interest from an architectureal point of view, lie scattered around the area. In a lonely area to he north of Panormos stand the Chimaros Tower, a round marble building dating from the Hellenistic period.
From the Venetian Era on Naxos Island , you can admire the Bellonia Tower in Galanado and the towers in Melanes. A splendid natural site is the Cave of Za in Filoti, where visitors can see a collection of impressive stalagmites just over the Zas Mountain on Naxos Island.
Naxos Island News NAXOS ISLAND GREECE
Carnival is celebrated on Naxos Island. Come to Naxos and enjoy the ancient traditions and stories that revive.
Sinaxia, a group of people who love the island and show it.
The adaption of Dionysos from the Tirrenean pirates revives, Lampadiforia and Naxos Town Carnival give joy to all people who live on Naxos.
Take a small taste of Naxos Carnival in 2012, as caught by Star Channel. Naxos, where tradition and old customs still survive until today. Star Channel (greek Tv station) visits Naxos and records moments of Naxos celebrating this years Carnival and the festivals taking place on Naxos villages.
In Apiranthos the Carnival is celebrated with a tradition called "koudounatoi". It really worths visiting Apiranthos on this day to see this local custom reviving.
Sunday 18th February 2013
A German plane Arado Type was caught in fishing nets near Iraklia Island. The plane is said to be shot down after dense enemy fires by the British in September 13th in 1943. The British (Beaumberg) landed off Lemessos.
Naxos beaches where awarded with 3 BLUE FLAGS for the year 2012. These beaches are Agios Prokopios beach, Agia Anna beach - Maragas and Saint George Beach. With 394 awarded sea shores in total, Greece is again in the second place among 48 countries worldwide .
The Blue Flag works towards sustainable development of beaches and marinas through strict criteria dealing with Water Quality, Environmental Education and Information, Environmental Management, and Safety and Other Services.
The most important festivals during the summer months on Naxos Island are:
20th May: Festival of Agios Thalaleos, in Agios Thalaleos Village 30th June: Festival of Agii Apostoli, in Melanes Village 7th July: Festival of Agia Kyriaki, in Potamia Village 8th July: Festival of Agios Prokopios in Agios Prokopios Beach naxos 14th July: Festival of Agios Nikodimos in Hora and Glinado Village 17th July: Festival of Agia Marina in Agidia and Koronos Villages 25th July: Festival of Agia Anna in Agia Anna Beach 27th July: Festival of Agios Panteleimon in Agersani Village 6th August: Festival of Christ the Saviour in Glinado, Damarionas and Kourounochori Villlages 15th August: Festival of Panagia (Holy Virgin) all over naxos island and particulary in Filoti 23th August: Festival of the Holy Virgin’s novena in Tripodes 29th August: Festival of Agios Ioannis in Apiranthos, Apollonas and Agersani 8th September: Festival of Theoskepasti in Komiaki and Potamia