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Naxos is the largest and the greenest island in the Cyclades with impressively high mountains, fertile valleys, lush green gorges, stunning seascapes and traditional villages perched high on mountain tops, where the inhabitants still wear their traditional dress and live off the fruits of the land! Nàxos is also an island of beautiful old churches, monasteries and Venetian castles that coexist harmoniously with the cuboid Cycladic houses.








The stark white Hora of Naxos welcomes travellers arriving on the island. Beside the port, on the islet of Palatia, stands the most famous sight on the island, “Portara”, the marble gate of an unfinished temple dedicated to Apollo. According to legend, it was on this island that Theseus abandoned Ariadne.
Hora, the island’s capital, has all the typical Cycladic features, as well as many monuments from various chronological periods. The heart of the city beats in Palia Hora, the castle-town with lanes and the Venetian castle. The houses with Venetian coats of arms decorating their entrances to this day, the narrow, covered lanes, Catholic churches and fortifications create a unique harmonization of Cycladic and medieval architecture. Inside the castle is the Archaeological Museum with its rich exhibits from the Late Neolithic to the Early Christian periods, with the outstanding collection of Cycladic statuettes stealing the show.
Owing to the high relief and size of Naxos, a number of different ecosystems have evolved, which one can learn by following the marked paths to every corner of the island.
Zas, the highest mountain in the Cyclades (alt. 1004 m.), and Fanari (alt. 908 m.) offer special experiences to friends of mountain-climbing and mountain-bicycling. Ascending Zas requires a stop in the cave of the same name, at an altitude of 628 m., to gaze at the magnificent stalagmites, where Zeus was worshipped in ancient times.
Points of reference in touring the island include the beautiful traditional Naxian villages. They include superb Apeiranthos, untouched by time, with stone houses, lovely squares, narrow lanes paved with marble, and a long intellectual and artistic tradition (five museums!) very near the Panagia Drosiani (7th cent.) one of the most beautiful churches in Greece. Another is Philoti, a most graphic mountain village built on the slope of the Zas range at an altitude of 400 m., with cuboid cottages and narrow paved lanes, surrounded by dense vegetation. Nearby is the Panagia Protothroni (Our Lady of the First Throne), 9th-10th cent., the largest Byzantine church on Naxos, with exceptional wall paintings. Be sure to visit Sagri, the village that consists of three communities (Ano, Kato and Kanakari) with Venetian towers and traditional windmills. The plain of Kato Sagri is called “Little Mystras” because of its many Byzantine churches, the most important of which is Agios Mamas (9th cent.). Near Sagri is also the temple of Demeter and Apollo (on Gyroula hill), built entirely of white marble in the 6th cent. BC).
The landscape of Naxos is dotted with many towers, testifying to the Venetian presence on the island, as Naxos was once the seat of the Duchy of the Aegean.
Naxian products have gained a place of their own in Greek cooking. Its fine cheeses, with graviera the most popular, together with other Naxos cheeses, its aromatic olive oil, famous Naxos potatoes, spoon sweets and the famed local liqueurs, or Naxos wine, the “nectar of the gods” which, according to tradition, flowed from a specific spring on Naxos.
An island with intense cultural activity, Naxos is distinguished for the many alternatives it offers, with traditional festivals and cultural events marking one’s stay on the island.
The dozens of beaches on Naxos compete in terms of their beauty, and travellers can always find the one that suits them best. For example:
- The beach with most Greek and international distinctions is that of Agios Prokopios, just 4 km. from the island’s port.
- The legendary beach of Agia Anna, the physical continuation of the beach of Agios Prokopios, is one of the most famous beaches on Naxos.
- The beach of Agios Georgios, which is very close to Hora, has been awarded the “blue flag”, and is the best choice for those who don’t want to move around much.
- Plaka was the favourite beach of the hippies in the 1960s and 70s. Today it is still one of the most beautiful and popular beaches on Naxos.
- Orkos: On the southwest coast of Naxos, between the beaches of Plaka and Mikri Vigla, there are small continuous inlets that constitute Orkos.
- Mikri Vigla, as can be guessed from its name in Greek (vigla = observation point) was, during the period of Frankish rule, a lookout from which pirates could be spotted approaching the island.
- Glyfada is a huge sandy beach on the southwest coast of the island.
- Kastraki is a small bay behind the peninsula of Mikri Vigla.
- On the peninsula of Alyko, below the cedar forest, small inlets are created that host beautiful sandy beaches with azure waters.
- Agiassos, a beautiful beach with fine sand and shallow crystal waters, extends for 750 meters along the southwest coast of the island and remains one of the island’s pristine beaches.
- Kalantos: a beautiful beach at the southernmost tip of the island. It is protected from the winds, on the edge of the bay of the same name, with a lovely sandy beach and crystal clear shallow water.
- Panermos: protected in a closed bay on the southeast coast of the island, it is almost always windless, and has a small pier and sand with transparent water.
- Moutsouna: two lovely beaches with fine sand and transparent shallow water, idea for families with small children.

Source: naxos.gr