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.
NAXOS FETIVALS 2013
Naxos Carnival - Torchlight Parade 2017
Greek island of Naxos celebrates Carnival with Torch Parade
The island of Naxos hosts some of the most colorful Carnival celebrations in Greece, with some customs dating from antiquity.
Others, such as the now-famous Lampadiforia (Torch Parade) are more recent but have become very popular and an integral part of the festivities.
In the Torch Parade, a procession of young men and women with faces painted to resemble black-and-white masks wear white sheets and hold torches on long poles on Saturday night. It first took place in 1994, dreamed up by young members of the local cinema club. About 50 people back then went out into the street holding the torches, screaming and dancing, startling the unsuspecting public as they paraded toward the Temple of Apollo.
Now, the celebration is a well-established part of Carnival festivities. About 2000 people are expected to take part this year.
Local hotels provide sheets for the revelers to put on and residents join in the fun. Since the local Venetian castle has been rendered off-limits by archaeological authorities, the parade takes place along the maze of the old town's narrow streets. Revellers dance to the beat of drums, ending at the town's central square, where a scarecrow is burned.
In the Greek island's main town and villages, more merriment awaits on Sunday, the official end of the Carnival, and Clean Monday.
In some villages, young men wearing cow bells and carrying a phallic symbol - a common feature of ancient rites celebrating spring - dance their way to the village's main square.
In others, young men wearing folk costumes and ribbons and holding thick canes make their way to neighboring villages to the tune of music and invite the women to dance. The women, in turn, offer the men local delicacies and wine.
Axia International Festival is a special meeting point for all Music and Art lovers.
Alexander Reichardt, Katharina Bolesch, founders-general directors, artistic director
The Directors of the Axia Festival are pleased to announce the appointment of Nigel Shore as the new Artistic Director of the festival. Nigel Shore is internationally renowned as a musician. His knowledge and creativity will greatly enhance the Axia Festival, which is already gaining favourable recognition worldwide
Contrasting greatly to the lively nightlife on Naxos are the island's plentiful festivals, with the best selection of events and things to do falling during the busy summer months. Naxos Town (Hora) is where many of the biggest and most popular festivals tend to take place, with the most cultural offering a taster of Greek music and dancing.
If you are holidaying on the island during the summer months, then do look out for the Dionysia Festival, which is a successful combination of both culture and athletics. Another very prominent summer event on Naxos is staged at the Bazeos Castle, where participants are able to enjoy a variety of different activities.
The people of Naxos have managed to preserve the true character of their island customs, reviving them each year. People who love their homeland, take care to preserve the traditions so that their heritage can be passed on proudly form generation to generation.
Each of the various villages around Naxos have their very own patron saints and related festivals, August 15th sees the Feast of the Virgin Mary, around the island and primarily at both Apiranthos and Filoti. Some of the most famous naxos festivals in summer months 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 Ag≠ios 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 Virginís no≠vena in Tripodes 29th August: Festival of Agios Ioannis in Apiranthos, Apollonas and Agersani 2nd September: Festival of Agios Mamas in Kampos Komiaki 8th September: Festival of Theoskepasti in Komiaki and Potamia village
Apart from the festivals that are celebrated in each village every year, the cultural orgnizations of Naxos do their best on summer time in order to preserve traditions and contribute to the local music and dancing.
Also look out for the truly enchanting full moon concerts, which are staged during the months of July and August at the Dimitra Temple in Sangri and at the Dionysus Temple, which is to be next to the village of Glinado.
Something else for seasonal Naxos holiday makers to bear in mind are the very special evening cultural events held at the Della Rocca-Barozzi Venetian Museum, where traditional classical music concerts and more contemporary recitals can be enjoyed.
In March carnival revives in the island of Naxos.
Carnival "Apokria" is celebrated on Naxos Island. Come to Naxos and enjoy the ancient traditions and stories that revive. With much singing an dancing and general merry-making, especially in the villages of Apiranthos and Filoti. Most picturesque of all are the "koudounatoi" (koudouni equals to bell) people wearing bells we could translate it as the "bell ringers". Their faces are hidden behind a thin cloth to prevent recognition and bells are hunging around them. They run from house to house, up and down the narrow lanes, jumping and shaking their bodies about in such a way as to produce a great commotion as the bells jangle and clatter.
15th - 16th - 17th
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" the bell ringers . It really worths visiting Apiranthos on this day to see this local custom reviving.
" Easter Friday, at Koronos: Feast of Panagia Argokiliotissa.The feast of Panagia Argokiliotissa attracts pilgrims from all around the island and the minor Cyclades.
The story about Panagia Argokiliotissa
In 1835 two old byzantine images where found in this place Argokili, Coronos Village. These two images where transfered to Coronos Vilalge and from there to Mitropolis of Paronaxia. The next year, Panagia appeaered in the place where the byzantie images were found. Locals dug the place down and found a small cave and inside it there are corridors leading to the top of the mountain. Every day on the nameday of Panagia Argokiliotissa hundreds of locals walk from the surrounding villages and even from Naxos town to Panagia Argokiliotissa. It really worths visiting the place, and more specifically the small cave and guide yourself up on the exit.
the church outside the cave and the cave where it was found
"1st May, Naxians visit the mountains to collect flowers in order to prepare the so -called "Mae". May consists of a circle filled with flowers and it is then hung at the doors of each house in order to bring luck.
" 5 May, at Kinidaros: Panigyri in honour of St. Irini.
" 20 May, at Agios Thaleleos: The panigyri in honour of Agios Thaleleos, includes outdoor dancing, local instruments and free meal.
" 23 June, Klidonas at Apeiranthos: The oeve of the Feast of Saint John, the young people in the town of Apiranthos obeserve the ritual of "fire jumping". The same evening salty little pies are prepared which are believed to have magical powers. The same night you will dream of the person you will be married after eating these pies.
Klidonas in Agios Prokopios
On this night, the 23rd of June, the locals light up the bonfires of St John and burn their May wreaths. Young people and children must leap over the fire three times. In general, a lot of young people take part in the
folk tradition, fire has the power to ward off of evil spirits, sickness and all evil.
" 29 June, at Melanes: The big panigyri (festival) of the Agii Apostoli, which lasts for three days.
" 7 July, at Potamia: Panigyri in honour of St. Kyriaki. " 8 July, at Agios Prokopios: Panigyri in honour of St. Prokopios, with music and dancing.
" 14 July, in Chora: Panigyri in honour of St. Nikodimos, one of the biggest of the island, with dancing and live music performed by local groups.
" 15 July - 5 August, in Chora: The Dionysia cultural festival with exhibitions, theatre, concerts and sports events.
" 17 July, at Koronos: Panigyri in honour of Agia Marina.
" 25 July, at Agia Anna: Panigyri in honour of St. Anne, with music and dancing.
" 26 July, at Kinidaros: Panigyri in honour of St. Paraskevi, with music and dancing.
27 July, at Agios Arsenios: Panigyri of Agios Pandeleimon. The feast includes dancing to the sounds of the traditional instruments.
Yo the sounds of tsampouna music the locals dance. It really worths visiting Agios Arsenios on this day giving yourself the opportunity to make a journey to the past.
It is also a tradition that some guys get dressed up like bears and a guy behind hits them. On the photos above you can see the traditional costums that they wear. They are called "kordellades". This tradition is followed in many villages of Naxos.
More information on Agersani you can find at Agersani's official website www.agersani.gr
" 6 August, at Kourounochori: Panigyri commemorating the Transfiguration of the Saviour.
This small village full of kind innocent people celebrates. Fantastic place, a small paradise.
A complete photo gallery on Kournochori Village celebration and events you can find at www.panagiafleriotissa.gr/photogallery.html.
www.kournocorimiloi.gr/photo gallery.html provides you with very nice photos of the village.
" 15 August, at Filoti, Apeiranthos and Agia monastery: Panigyria in honour of the Virgin. The celebrations at Filoti last 3 days and are among the islands most festive.
" 23 August, at Tripodes: Feast of the Dormation of Virgin Mary.
" 28 August, at Apeiranthos and Apollonas: Panigyri in honour of St. John.
At this date in case you are in Naxos it worths taking the boat and visiting Iraklia, a small island next to Naxos. On this day, the islanders walk about 2 hours and reach a big cave where the celebration of Saint John takes place. 28th August in Saint Johns day there is a ceremony in the cave of Saint John. Lots of people gather in the cave which is lighted by candles.
Take a taste of the panygiri in Apiranthos that is celebrated each year. Apiranthos, a village that really worths visiting due to its architecture, museums, respect to the local tradtions and customs.
" 8 September, at Moni: Panigyri in honour of the Panagia Drossiani.
" 8 September, at Koronida (Komiaki): The feast of Panagia Theoskepasti.
" 14 September, at Galanado: Panigyri in honour of the Holy Cross. The farming folk in the village of Galanado leave some seeds bundled up in a cloth outside the church for the priest to bless and ensure a good crop. "
The September Grape Harvest. Baskets are filled with bunches fo grapes which will produce the famous mellow Naxian wine. The grapes are then pressed in the traditional way, with songs. Once the must is produced, the residue from the grapes is given a special treatment to produce "tsipour" a kind of raki. The villagers gather around cauldron eating and drinking.
" 20 October, at Kinidaros: Panigyri in honour of Agios Artemios, the protector of the village.
" 6 December, at Kinidaros: Panigyri in honour of Agios Nikolaos.