Naxos. An island full of beauty and graces, which have been causing great emotions for centuries!
In the middle of the Aegean, under the strong sun of the Cyclades, is Naxos. Beautiful and, at the same time, mysterious, manorial and traditional, it envelops every visitor in Cycladic mystagogy, moves and charms. In the shadow of Za (Zeus), the highest mountain in the Cyclades, the island of Palatia, with the internationally famous Portara, seems to float in the blue waters of the Aegean. Scattered in the deserts of the island, Roman kouroi seem to "converse" with the elegant Cycladic figurines at the Archaeological Museum of Kastro, while everyone's eyes and senses are refreshed by the charming medieval images offered by the paths of Chora. Apeiranthos and Filoti defend the title of the most beautiful traditional settlements of Naxos, while the plateau of Tragaia, also known as "the Mystras of the Aegean", impresses, not only for its natural beauty, but also for the endless gallery of Byzantine art presented in its churches, as they emerge in the silver olive trees and the deep green cedars.
Through a travel canvas of unacknowledged beauty, such as Naxos, we select only some of its archaeological and natural beauties and present them directly, reinforcing the opinion that Naxos, the largest island of the Cyclades, is nothing but a travel destination, which gives moments of endless pleasure to every visitor.
The most famous and recognizable monument of Naxos. Marble and imposing, Portara stands, for centuries, on the island of Palatia or on the island of Bacchus, as it is otherwise known, the small island, which hosts the most photographed monument of the island. This impressive monument, which, according to historical sources was originally built in the 6th century BC and was dedicated to the God of Light, Apollo, is surrounded, to this day, by myths about its use and function, woven around the Portara an extra veil of mystery and make it, even more charming, in the eyes of every visitor. At sunset, the gate, left standing by the marble archaic temple, is living its most romantic moment. The colors of the sunset touch Naxos and the hearts of the people, who, sitting on the ancient stones, enjoy the shocking moment of the sun sinking in the crystal clear waters of the Aegean.
Temple of Demeter
In the village of Sangri, in the location of Gyroula, we will meet one of the most remarkable buildings of ancient Naxos. The temple of Demeter dates back to the decade 530-520 BC and is of Ionic style. The church is made, whole, of white marble in a square shape, with columns on its facade. Inside it also had columns, which supported the roof, in the specially designed interior space, which was used for the worship of the goddess Demeter, as evidenced by inscriptions found in the temple. Below the archeological site, we will find the distinguished museum Gyroula, where in its halls are exhibited important findings from the temple of the 6th century BC.
Looking at the three naked, half-finished young men of the 6th c. BC, with the two lying in the shade of a large tree in the village of Melanes, at Flerio (9km from Chora) and the third being in the seaside village of Apollo (35km from Chora), awe floods the thoughts and the eyes of visitors. Both the Kouros of Apollo with its impressive dimensions, as well as the other two Kouros, located near the ancient quarries of the island, prove the undoubted talent of the Naxian artists and their effort to impress the Olympian gods. Although all three kouros remained incomplete, they still impress to this day with their rugged body proportions, while the craftsmen's efforts to naturally render the virtues of the human body reinforce the view that the statues represent the god Apollo or Dionysus. In the same area we will also find (around Flerio) the remains of the ancient aqueduct.
Panagia Drosiani is located 3 km. after the village of Halki. The monastery is dedicated to the Virgin of the rain, as, based on tradition, the faithful Naxians tried to exorcise the problem of drought, which plagued, for years, the beautiful island. The complex of temples of Drosiani was built in the 6th century and is one of the most important early Christian temples. According to archaeologists, the monastery now has the best preserved frescoes on the island, with the oldest of them dating back to the 7th century and dating back to the 14th century, leaving every visitor amazed by their artistic perfection and aesthetics.
The settlements of Filoti and Apiranthos
These are the most beautiful, traditional settlements of Naxos, which attract every year a large number of visitors, ready to get a taste of the special charm of the traditional settlements of the Naxos hinterland. Filoti is the largest village of Naxos. From its square there are amphitheatrical, paved and labyrinthine alleys, which lead to places that impress the visitor. Well-preserved houses with flowery gardens and courtyards, as well as shady squares, with picturesque cafes and chapels, stand out in every corner of the settlement, which in combination with a landscape of unparalleled natural beauty, refreshes all the senses and creates a canvas of distinct experiences. A similar atmosphere prevails in Apeiranthos of Naxos, the picturesque stone settlement, also known as the "marble village". The stone and marble, used in abundance by the local builders, form in Apeiranthos an attractive residential environment, which makes the settlement the undisputed "gem of Naxos and all the Cyclades”, while the intense cultural activity and the interesting naturalistic paths , which surround the village, ideally complement the profile of a destination that excites and fascinates everyone.
The largest island of the Cyclades may not have most, but it does have some of the best sandy beaches in the Aegean. In a large coastline, the beaches of Naxos, with their unbelievably beautiful turquoise waters, with their fine white sand, fully organized or, at least, secluded and deserted, promise to fulfill every travel expectation. With the satisfactory road network of the island and the plethora of options that the beaches of Naxos offer, visit Agia Anna, Agios Prokopios, Plaka and Psili Ammos and enjoy your swim in an idyllic setting of unsurpassed natural beauty. For lovers of water sports and adventure, the organized beach of Mikri Vigla, which is the top and most popular choice for kitesurfing, guarantees an experience that will be unforgettable for young and old visitors, solemnly confirming that Naxos is a destination, full of endless beauty and unexpected surprises, which can only steal the heart of every visitor, but, above all, yours.