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.
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. In case you decide to visit Naxos Island please do not waste all your time at the famous beaches of Naxos. Five days days to explore Naxos villages. It really worths visiting them since tourism hasn't touch them yet. Tradition and architecure in combination with the warm hospitality of the peole will make you love the island. Ancient ruins, statues, old castles and tombs are found around 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.
Like most islanders, the Naxians are warm and kind people, with their natural friendliness and their openheartness.
Chalki Village, the ancient capital of Naxos Town. Chalki is located in the centre of the Tragea basin and it is the most fertile area of Naxos with large olive groves. There you can the Barozzi Tower and the ancient church of Saint John in the valley. There are hiking routes here too you can follow. In the past, Chalki used to be the trade center of the island, whereas today, it is the seat of the municipality of Drymalia.
Here in Chalki and Damarionas, in these two villages, local aristocracy used to live in fine Neoclassical houses.
When it comes to taste, the word Kitro is synonymous with Naxos Island. Kitro is a strong, scented liqueur made from the leaves of the citron (lemon) tree, and distilled according to traditional methods. The distillery of Mark Vallindras was founded in 1896 and they offer a nice guide over the Kitro making procedure.
The harvesting of the citron leaves takes place from October to February, and the distillation process follows immediately thereafter. Additional ingredients are added in the next stage (water, sugar, natural colourings, et. al.) in order to give Kitro its final “shape”.
Kitro is sold in three different varieties: yellow (without sugar); white (a bit of sugar [preferred by the locals]); and green (with more sugar [preferred by most visitors]).
Today Kitro liqueur is purposely produced in moderate quantities, in order to avoid compromising its quality standards.
Description - Sights: a significant tourist resort of the island, Apollonas is a village offering both greenery and picturesque beaches strewn with small white marble-like pebbles,a beautiful fishing village in the northeastern part of the island. Over the past few years, the area has been significantly developed, and now provides accommodations, restaurants and tourist shops.
At a short distance from Apollonas, at the entrance to an old quarry, a huge (10-meter in length) lies resting, dating back to the 6th century B.C. and very likely represented Dionysos. Kouros, on the top of the village, follow the sign and you will ssee this 7 meter statue still lying there. It is said that these statues were left on Naxos Island because of accidents that occured during their making. Naxos Marbles were used in Acropolis and the manufacturing of statues.
It has a long beach which combines pebbles with sand. Apollonas, the seaport of Koronida, used to be the summer holidays resort of Naxos; today, it continues to live on tourism maintaining though its traditional character and picturesque beauty.
Á small village to the heart of Naxos. Its seems like time passed and left this village without impact. You may see the famous castle of Della Rocca, the famous Kouros in the archeological site Flerio. There are very nice tavernas to eat local products at very low rates. People are very friendly and hospitable.
The village Kinidaros is known as the village of “the ones who have fun” and is situated 16 kilometers away from Chora. There, you will see the modern marble quarries, where the majority of the locals are occupied. In Kinidaros village you will find a fantastic hiking route leading to Kinidaros waterfalls and the ancient bridge. You will also find 3 small churches in a row.
The residents of Kynidaros are distinguished for their effortless disposal in music and dancing. The rich music and dance tradition of the village is maintained almost unchanged in the passage of time. Soem of the most famous singers of traditinal greek music come from Kinidaros Village. (Konitopoulos) .
Some of the best dancers of come from Kinidaros VIllage.
The village Sangri is built in one of the most verdant regions of the island and includes large areas of land that are appropriate for cultivating and stock breeding. The Venetian towers, the Byzantine churches and the picturesque windmills count as the village’s trademarks. In Sagri follow the signs and visit Demetras Temple in the middle of the valley.
Ano Sagri, is located on a hillside having splendid views on Naxos Island. The monastery of Agios Eleftherios used to serve as a secret school during the turkish occupation on the island of Naxos. To the south lies the monastery of Agios Ioannis at Gyroulas, wher excavations have revealed a temple tha is believed to date from the 6th century B.C. and was dedicated to Demetra ( the famous Demetra's Temple).
If you feel like hiking reach the top of the mountain where Apalirou Castle lies. a fortress on the island, dominating the landscape. This ancient ruins, small towers, walls, and some ruins of a old church.
Apeiranthos, one of the island’s most beautiful villages, is built in the heart of the highlands of Naxos and is rich in history and tradition. It seems untouched by time as it preserves its unspoiled traditional character, and impresses with its medieval architecture.
Apiranthos, is one of the oldest settlements on the island, and has much in the way of interesting folklore to offer, as well as some remarkable examples of traditional architecture. Here the widespread use of marble, for both masonry and road construction is such a characteristic feautre of the village that is also knows as "Marmarino" (made of marble). Steep, narrow little lanes with covered archways, balconies covered with lowers, clean freshly painted houses. Delightful little squares surrounded by cafes and tavernas, meeting places for the locals.
A unique feature of the houses of Apiranthos are the twin chimneybreasts, constructed in such a way to function at the best level.
Apiranthos Naxos Attractions
The Church of Apirathitissa Panagia, with its sculpted marble screen, and the Churches of Theoskepasti, Ag. Ioannis Theologos adn the oldest of all Agia Paraskevi, locatd a little outside the village.
The 17th century Zevgolis Tower as well as Bardanis Tower, with their characteristic Venetian coats of armas depicting lions, have been very well preserved.
The Apiranthos Museum, there you can admire relics found on the east coast of the island, including pots, statuettes, adn plaques showing scenes from everyday life.
Apiranthos is famous for its wine and its woven goods, as well as for the so-called "kotsakia", rhymes where the locals still show a special talent in composing, marking important occasions in village life or any personal joys or sorrows.
The citizens of Apiranthos speak a distinctive local dialect, quite similar to Crete which is particularly melodius to the ear. Many of the villagers are employed in the emery mines at Apiranthos and Coronos.
The following museums are found in Apirtanthos VIllages. The Archeolodical Museum, The Folklore Museum, the Geological Museum and Museum of Natural History. In the Archeological Museum of Apirathos you can admire finding dating from the first Cycladic Era. Ancient Stautes, funeral columns and weapons from the prehistoric times.
Stone and marble dominate the architecture of the village; these materials have been primarily used by artisans to create masterpieces which decorate houses, towers, streets and squares. A lot of scholars in the fields of science, art and politics were born in the village (Petros Protopapadakis, Dialehti Zevgoli-Glezou, Petros Glezos, Manolis Glezos, Grigoris Zevgolis a.o.).
Koronos is one of the widest known emery villages of Naxos and it is located approximately 30 kilometers northeast of Chora. Stone paved alleys, whitewashed courtyards, beautiful houses of island architecture with wooden balconies, steps that connect the different neighbourhoods, shadowy plane trees and poplar trees and picturesque “kafenia” (greek traditional cafes) compose the scenery of this beautiful village.
The historic village Moni is renown for its textile production, as well as for the wood carving workshop, where beautiful pieces of art are made of olive wood; not only ornaments, but also tools of usage. If you visit the village, do not forget to stop at the church “Panagia Drosiani” (Our Lady Drosiani).
Filoti, the largest in population village of Naxos but also of all the Cycladic islands, is built amphitheatrically on the foot of the highest mountain of Cyclades, the mountain Zas. Take a rest at the big central square under the shadow of the big plane tree and enjoy your coffee in one of the picturesque “kafeneia” (Greek traditional cafes) around the square.
Skado - MesiNaxos
You will meet these small emery villages on your way from Koronos to Koronida. Rich vegetation dominates the landscape. After the
Mesi’s seaport Aghios Georgios, you will see the old castle “Kalogiros” (meaning “monk”).
Three interesting settlements (“Pano Potamia”, meaning “upper rivers”, “Kato Potamia”, meaning “lower rivers” and “Mesi Potamia”, meaning “mid rivers”), plunged in the green, with their main characteristic to be the little gardens, will certainly pull your interest and will make you stop for a while, before you continue your tour in the villages of the municipality of Naxos.
These four villages are situated in the western part of the municipality of Naxos, within a short distance from Chora. The locals are occupied mainly with the cultivation of the potato and the stock breeding. The coastal settlements “Aghia Anna”(Saint Anna) and “Aghios Prokopios” (Saint Prokopios) belong to the “Aghios Arsenios” village, whereas the “Plaka” region belongs to the Tripodes village.
South East of Naxos Town you will find Galanado. There is Belonia Tower, which was built by a local Venetian overlord. Beside the Tower there is a small chapel dedicated to Saint John. This little church has a remarkable feature. On the one side you will find an orthodox church and just next to it you will find a catholic church.
Vivlos - Tripodes, there you will see three windmills on the mountain and some other windmill ruins around the village.