Touring in the Cyclades islands: Naxos

Apollo Temple' s Gate (Portara) at Naxos port - Photo by S. Lambadaridis

Apollo Temple’ s Gate (Portara) at Naxos port – Photo by Sotiris Lambadaridis
 

14th stop: Naxos island

Naxos is the largest island in the Cyclades island group in the Aegean. It was the centre of archaic Cycladic culture.
The largest town and capital of the island is Chora or Naxos City, with more than 6,000 inhabitants. The main villages are Filoti, Apiranthos, Vivlos, Agios Arsenios, Koronos and Glinado.

View of Naxos town - Photo by Sotiris Lambadaridis

View of Naxos town and port – Photo by Sotiris Lambadaridis
 
Naxos port with the tiny islet of Church MyrtidiotissaSquids drying in the sun at Naxos port, GreeceView of Naxos port and seafront, GreeceNaxos port - Photo by S. LambadaridisNaxos port – Photo by Sotiris Lambadaridis
 

Naxos is a popular travel destination, with several interesting ruins. It has beautiful beaches, like those at Agia Anna, Agios Prokopios, Alikos, Kastraki, Mikri Vigla, Plaka, and Agios Georgios, most of them are near Chora. Naxos is the most fertile island of the Cyclades. It has a good supply of water in a region where water is usually scarce. Mount Zeus (1003 m) is the highest peak in the Cyclades, and tends to trap the clouds, permitting greater rainfall. This has made agriculture an important economic sector with various vegetable and fruit crops as well as cattle breeding, making Naxos the most self-sufficient island in the Cyclades.

Historical Naxos

Venetian tower Pirgos Agias in the north of Naxos island

Demeter Temple on Naxos, GreeceDuring the 8th and 7th centuries, Naxos dominated commerce in the Cyclades. Naxos was the first Greek City-State to attempt to leave from the Delian League circa 476; Athens quickly squashed the notion and forcibly removed all military naval vessels from the island’s control. Athens then demanded all future payments from Naxos in the form of gold rather than military aid.
Herodotus has described Naxos around 500 BC as the most prosperous Greek island.
In 502 BC an unsuccessful attack on Naxos by Persian forces led several prominent men in the Greek cities of Ionia to rebel against the Persian Empire in the Ionian Revolt, and then to the Persian War between Greece and Persia.

Beaches and villages on Naxos

A coastline of 91km awaiting you for exploration. Long sandy beaches with crystal clear  waters, other beaches pebbled or even rocky, all of them offering you beautiful experiences.

Beach on Naxos - Photo by S. Lambadaridis

Plaka beach on Naxos – Photo by Sotiris Lambadiris
 
Agios Prokopis, beach on NaxosOverview of the beaches of St. Anne and St. ProcopiusApollonas, NaxosThe port of Agia Anna, Naxos
 

Things to do

windsurfingWindsurfing: Naxos is a famous destination for windsurfers from all over the world. If you are a beginner, Naxos is an ideal spot for you to thanks to its flat beaches and protected bays. If you want to try windsurfing and you are spending a few days in the island, you will not find a better opportunity to do so. Take the chance in one of the many sports centers located in the windsurfing spots of Naxos.

Naxos is ideal for experienced windsurfers, but at the same time, appropriate even for beginners, since one may find windsurfing schools with experienced trainers and safe, flat beaches to practice. The most famous spots for windsurfing on Naxos is the south part of St. George beach and Parthena bay at Mikri Vigla beach. In these areas, you will find sport centers and shops where you can rent or buy all required equipment, and a crowd of other passionate windsurfers to share your love.

KitesurfingKitesurfing: Whether you are a beginner or an experienced kite surfer, harnessing the strong winds of Naxos island can offer you long hours of kite surf fun.
Hundreds of kite surfers daily enjoy the excitement of kitesurfing in Parthena bay at Mikri Vigla, known as one of the best spots worldwide. The view of all kite surfers playing with the waves and flying in the wind will inevitably make you want to try kitesurfing yourself.

diving in GreeceScuba diving: The crystal clear waters of Naxos, make your visit to the island an ideal opportunity to become a scuba diver and to experience the deep blue sea.

The rich biodiversity of the sea bottom around the coast of Naxos it the reason why it is considered among the best areas of Greece for diving. Meadows full of Possidonies, reefs, vertical cuts, as well as scattered shipwrecks in the area, open up an amazing experience for those diving to explore them.

The island offers diving facilities, opportunities for diving training courses from highly experienced instructors, as well as dive packages for qualified divers and beginners.

hikingHiking/Trekking: Naxos is the greenest island in the Cyclades. It is full of water springs, streams and small rivers in ravines. Its lush, fertile landscape is a refreshing contrast to the other much drier Cyclades islands.
The most famous and unique water spring in Naxos is Garinou, located above Kinidaros village. The water here continuously seeps through the sand to create a pure crystal clear river that leads to the valley of Eggares.
Hiking enthusiasts can follow the river to Eggares village. This scenic route, passes by three beautiful lakes, the church of St. Artemios, the old monastery of St. Dimitrios, as well as several picturesque watermills and a small waterfall. There is plenty of opportunity to observe the local fauna, such as turtles, crabs and butterflies.
If you like trekking, it would be a shame to leave the island without having explored its trekking opportunities. The beautiful landscape of Naxos and the numerous monuments scattered across the island make it worthwhile for you to bring along your trekking shoes, so as to discover them by following one of the many available walking paths.

Walking along the hiking paths of Naxos will offer you the opportunity to get real close to its beautiful nature – the valleys, rivers, small waterfalls and the olive groves – as well as to approach monuments you might drive by without stopping when crossing the island by car.

Accommodation

Faros Studios Apartments
Alyko beach, Naxos 84300, Greece
Tel: (+30) 69456 23733
Website   Email: farosnaxos@gmail.com

Hotel Grotta
Chora (Naxos Town), Naxos City 84300, Greece
Tel: (+30) 22850 22101, (+30) 22850 22215, (+30) 22850 22001
Website   Email: info@hotelgrotta.gr

Castello Studios
Agia Anna, Naxos 84300, Greece
Tel/Fax: (+30) 22850 24968, Tel: (+30) 22850 42120
Website   Email: info@castellostudios.gr

 

External links

Naxos official website
Naxos island – Video Travel Guide

 

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