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 Attractions ...
The Gate, Naxos Town
When arriving to Naxos Port the first impression you get will remain always in your mind. 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.Portara, the huge marble Gate of the Temple of Apollo which was never finished. This is the trademark attraction of the island, built in the 6th century BC. It is believed that the temple was never completed and most of its parts were taken to build other structures on the island. Don’t miss the stunning sunset.
Agias Tower - Abraam beach
On the way to Apollonas you will reach Agias Tower. The spot offers a great view and offers you a journey to the way people used to live many many years ago.
Tower of Barozzi - Gratsia
Here we are taken back to the previous rule of the dukes as soon as we visit the Tower of Barozzi – Gratsia which predates the 17th century.
Chimmaros Tower, near Filoti village
The Tower of Chimarros is located in Filoti, a very scenic village in the center of Naxos Island. It was built in the 4th – 3rd centuries BC, during the Hellenistic Period and is a circular, marble structure standing at a height of approximately 15 meters.
The tower of Cheimarros is a point of reference for Naxos, equivalent to the “Portara” (gate) of the antique Apollo Temple on the islet Palatia. It is a monument with a symbolic meaning and an impressive presence which has passed in the legend and is celebrated among others in the following local folk song:
« o kardia mou pou se tharrou, san ton pyrgo tou Cheimarrou »
( «Oh my heart, you take courage, like the Tower of Cheimarros »)
The circular tower constitutes an exceptional sample of a well preserved defensive structure of the 4th century and pre dominates a secluded and today uninhabited landscape on the lowest hills of the Mount Zas, in the southeast part of Naxos.The existing building stands to the impressive height of about 15 m and has a double wall. The exterior wall is built by big local marble plinths, while the interior is built by stones of different size with connectors in between.
The walls are connected at regular intervals by side-arch bricks, which stand out unrefined, exceeding the interior face. The gap between the two faces is filled up with a mixture of clay and boulder. The fine matching of the exterior stones without binder as well as the whole construction of the monument bear evidence to the high quality of the antique stone art.
The Castle of Naxos
Choose one of the two entrances of the Castle; Trani Porta in the north side, or Paraporti, facing west, in order to begin your tour. Every road, whether ring of radiate, leads to the top of the hill. Walk in the steep alleys, marvel at the Venetian mansion houses with the coats of arms – a typical “union” of insular architecture and western elements; discover the neighborhoods that hide stories and legends; visit churches; stare out over the monument of Portara and feel some of the magic of that time that is preserved “intact” within the Castle.
The square of the Catholic Cathedral is a reference point, near which you can find the Ursulines School, the Jesuits
monastery and the Mansion of the past Trade School, where Nikos Kazantzakis studied. Today the School is
housed in the Archaeological Museum of Naxos.
Nearby you will see the Capella Kazata (church of Immaculate Conception), which was a chapel of Sanudo, as well as the castle of Crispi, the only one preserved out of the twelve castles that were built next to the palace of Sanudo. Stop at the old mansion house next to Trani Porta, where the Venetian museum is housed along with exhibitions and music nights.
Going down to Chora, in the outskirts of the Castle, you will discover the old market with the narrow whitewashed alleys, the picturesque shops and the traditional small tavernas.
The maintenance of the tower is owed to the fine construction of the exterior wall. However, a part of the superstructure has tumbled down and extended areas of the interior wall are crumbling or have already collapsed.
From 1997 until 2001, systematic restoration activities have been undertaken, which were financed by the 2nd Community Support Framework (CSF). During this period, the building material, which had collapsed in the interior of the tower and was hiding entirely not only the floor but also the lower part of the walls, was removed. The following has been also achieved: design surveying of the two floors in the interior of the tower, photogrammetric surveying of the exterior part and topography of the monuments direct environment: the interior northwest side of the building was restored by demounting and resetting the stones, a lot of crumbling parts of the interior face were supported until their final restoration and finally, the horizontal surfaces were covered with lead plates in order to stop their erosion which was caused by the rain as well as to prevent the destruction of the monument in general. Unfortunately, the restoration works remained unfinished because they were not included in the 3rd CSF.
Naxos Tower Architecture
Most of the towers were built in Naxos in 1600 and after the Venetian Domination, for protection from depredation of the pirates but also to impose its sovereignty to the locals. Today, about 30 such towers are built on the most fertile farmland of Naxos. They have many floors and none has white exterior walls of whitewash. The towers are all in the colour of the stone and the soil of the around region so as not to stand out from the environment. The incredible style is consisted of bastions, battlements, “zemetistres” large and solid doors, which make an impregnable tower.
Near the village or Melanes (Flerio) there are two out
of the three Kouroi you find in Naxos.
The unfinished archaic Kouros,almost 6.5 m long,
is lying douwn inside a garden for centuries in exactly
the same place that the ancient craftsmen deserted it.
In the north part of the island, near the beautiful village
of Apollonas, there is a gigantic Kouros (10 m in length),
which probablya personification of Dionysus.
You will find it in the begging of the village, in an
ancient quarry. The third and less famous Kouros
is found in a landscaped path, near Flerio
Temple of Dimitra in Gyroulas (Sangri)
The temple of Dimitra in Gyroulas is one of the
most significant buildings of ancient Naxos and
dates back to 520-530 BC.The ancient sanctuary
was made entirely of white marble and it
was dedicated to the worship of goddess Dimitra;
in the 6th century it was tuned into a Christian basilica
church. Today, the restoration of the temple
has been completed and there is also a museum
Temple of Dionysus in Iria
The Sanctuary of Dionysus is situated in the area of Iria,
only 3km away from Chora. You will see there finds
from thetemple of Dionysus that date from
the 6th century BC.
The foundation stones of the sanctuary as well as
very few ruins of the temple‘s walls are being
The finds include marble pillars and a well of the 6th
century BC (the only one with a marble layer) as well
as a small exhibition room.
Three more temples were found
under the archaeological sight; all of them were
dedicated to Dionysus.
Kalamitsia – Melanes Village
In Melanes lies you may visit Kalamitsia, where, in 1673, a Jesuit monk built a wonderful building, a proper palace, as a country residence for the Jesuit monks, in the luxuriant green valley.
Kouros Statue – Apollonas
The main reason why day trippers come to Apollonas is the so called Kouros of Apollonas. It is a massive, about 10 metres long statue from the 6th or 7th century BC.
Kouros Statue – Flerio
The popular name for "Kouros" was Ellinas (the Greek) and has its origin in 7th century B.C. The statue is around 6,4m long and is missing his left foot and a part of his right leg. Click here to attend an interesting presentation of the archeological site Flerio and the small traditional villages next to it, Kournochori and Miloi.
Zas Cave – Filoti
The spring is the starting point of the old footpath leading to the cave of Zas, at an altitude of some 600 meters. The cave is of high archaeological importance and a small church, dedicated to Zoodochos Peghe (Virgin, Spring of Life) is established in the interior of it.
It was the strongest fortress in Naxos and the administrative centre of the island during the Byzantine empire, situated on the top of an unapproachable mountain in the area of Sagri.
Margaritari Hotel is located in Agia Anna on the island of Naxos.
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Margaritari Hotel offers 14 spacious rooms, all with comfortable large beds, individually controlled air-conditioning and heating, radio and satellite TV, mini fridge, he bathroom features hairdryer, with shower.
Our warm and enthusiastic staff will make you feel part of Naxos and we will do our best to make your stay unforgettable.
The unlimited view of the sea is captivating. Enjoy the hot Greek sun and the spectacular sunsets from your private veranda.
Hotel main number for general enquiries:
Call us at (+30) 22850 42141 - (+30) 6973 602867
Address:HOTEL - MARGARITARI OF NAXOS Agia Anna PC 84300 Naxos
or Fax on (+30) 22850 42867 | Email: email@example.com