Naxos is the largest island in the Cyclades, the group of islands most people think of when picturing Greece. Located in the Aegean Sea, Naxos is located in east of Paros and south of Mykonos. It is the nuptial isle of the god Dionysus and has the highest mountain of the group, Mount Zas. The island is characterized by its venetian town, the many picturesque villages, the fertile valleys, the sandy beaches, the marble gate called Portara, the Kouros and the naxian food and tasty agricultural products.
Naxos Town, or Chora, is a lovely venetian village where the ferries from Santorini, paros, and Piraeus dock. The most famous landmark, the portara, is a massive doorway of marble that rests on the islet of Palatia, and leads nowhere. It was to be the entrance to an unfinished temple of Apollo. The old town is a dizzying maze of twisting cobblestone streets, arched porticos, and towering doorways. There is a lower section where the Greeks lived during the venetian times, and the upper part, called Kastro (castle) which is still occupied by Venetian Catholic nobility.
On the southwest coast of the island, facing Paros and the sunset, are miles of fine beaches many consider the finest in the Cyclades. All along this area are tavernas and places to stay. There are many small pretty villages located around the island, which is self-sufficient due to its fertile land that produces olives, potatoes, and orchard fruits.
Things to do:
- Visit the best beaches which are on the western side of the island such as Agios Georgios and Agios Prokopios.
- Go windsurfing at western beaches such as Mikri Vigla and Orkos.
- Take a trip to the authentic mountainous villages in the center of the island.
- Taste the traditional drink of Naxos, kitron liqueur.
- Hike on the numerous footpaths that take you to villages, ancient sites and secluded beaches.