KOUROS OF APOLLONAS
In the seaside village of Apollonas, the visitor will encounter one of the most important archaeological findings of Naxos and of whole Greece, the Kouros of Apollonas.
It is a male, unfinished statue of 10.45m hight, lying on the ground, as it was never detached from it.
The Kouros dates to the early 6th century BC and depicts God Dionysus or God Apollon.
THE PORTARA GATE
The Portara, the great marble gate that stands high on the islet of Palatia, now united with Naxos town, is what remains of the Temple of Apollo, who started to be built around the 6th-7th century BC and was never completed.
The Portara gate is the first image visitors face when the ship enters the port of Naxos and is of course the trademark of the island of Naxos. On the islet, according to mythology, Theseus abandoned his love Ariadne, after killing Minotaur in Crete.
In fact what we see today, is the gate of the temple that the tyrant Lygdamis began to build, wishing to present a larger temple than the temple of Zeus in Athens and the Temple of Hera in Samos. After the fall of tyranny on Naxos although, the temple remained unfinished. Today only the foundations of this majestic temple are visible. The glorious gate was constructed of four large pieces of local marble, each of them weighing around 20 tons. It has a height of almost 6 meters and a width of more than 3.5 meters.
Between the 5th and 6th century AD the temple became Christian and it was used until the Venetian era when it was destroyed completely and its marbles were used by the Venetians for the construction of other buildings, mainly for the Castle of Naxos Town (Chora). During the time that it functioned although, a village developed around it.
Because of the rising of the sea level from ancient times until today, the shore have been covered by water. Nowadays we know that in ancient times the islet of Palatia was a low hill opposite of the castle and in between there was a flat area.
KOUROS OF MELANES
The second Kouros of the island is located near the village Melanes, at the area of Flerio.
The statue is unfinished and is lying on the ground, just like the craftsmen of the region abandoned it.
The length reaches 6.4m and is dated around the 7th century BC.
TEMPLE OF DEMETER
In the village of Sangri, in the area of Gyroula you will meet one of the most remarkable buildings of ancient Naxos, the Temple of Demeter.
The temple is build in the Ionic style and is dated back in 530-520 BC. The sanctuary of Demeter and the temple of Iria are considered by the architectural point of view, as the forerunners of the Athens Parthenon.
The entire temple is built of white marble in a square format, with columns in front of it. It also had columns in the inside, which supported the roof in a specially designed interior, which was used for worshiping the goddess Demeter and her daughter, as evidenced by inscriptions found in the temple.
Today, the restoration of the church is fully completed and operates as a museum exhibition.
ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM OF NAXOS
The Archaeological Museum of Naxos is located in the Chora, near the castle area. It is housed in a preserved Venetian building of the 17th century, which attracts particular interest from an architectural point of view.
The museum exhibits objects and works of art, which came to light during the continuous excavations after the 2nd World War. The findings date back to the later Neolithic and up to the Early Christian times (5300 BC – 5th century AD). The Archaic, the Classical and the Hellenistic eras are represented by typical examples of pottery and ceramic benches. In addition to these, the museum exhibits a collection of ceramic and glass vessels from the Roman era.
Excavations over the past 40 years have revealed a number of archaeological sites and findings, which are exhibited in this museum. The collections of the museum include important findings, particularly from the Early Cycladic period (3200 – 2300 BC) but also from earlier historical periods, many of which are unique.
Apart from the exhibits it is worth visiting the mosaic floor of the museum terrace, which depicts a female figure riding a sea monster.
Tuesday – Sunday, 8.30 a.m. – 3.00 p.m.
Tel.: +30 22850 22725
GEOLOGICAL MUSEUM OF APEIRANTHOS
The Geological Museum of Apeiranthos was founded in 1964 and operated continuously for only 4 years. During the dictatorship, its operation was interrupted and it reopened in 1987 on an initiative of Manolis Glezos by donating his collection of stones and fossils and thus giving the museum additional meaning and interest.
The Geological Museum of Apeiranthos provokes the interest of a large amount of visitors from all over the world, as it exposes rocks of the entire island. Emery the famous dark marble of Naxos is dominating.Additionally, the Museum also exhibits stones from other Cycladic islands, such as Milos and Santorini. As a result, the visitor can admire sharp obsidian blades from Milos and volcanic rocks from Thira and even from Mount Etna and Mount Vesuvius.
Significant exhibits are small meteorites pieces from the distant Brazil and beyond. Especially impressive are the fossilized bones of the dwarf elephant that used to live on the island of Naxos until almost 70,000 years ago.
ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE OF GROTTA
Below the Cathedral square, on the north side of the harbor, the excavations revealed a piece of the Mycenaean capital city of Naxos, which dates back to 1300 BC.
In is part of the ancient market and the Mycenaean capital city. The area has been developed appropriately and thus is attracting many Naxos tourists.
TOWER OF BAZEOS
In a distance of 12 km from Naxos Town, stands the imposing and distant Bazeos Tower, a monument of great historical value and importance for the island.
From an architectural point of view, it belongs to the Venetian towers that dominate in abundance throughout the island. The tower was built in 1600 BC and originally functioned as a monastery of the Holy Cross, until the early 19th century. After 1830, it came into possession of the newly established Greek state. In the late 19th century, the Greek government sold the tower to the Bazeos family which preserves the heritage until today.
The tower was used as a summer residence of the family for many years. In the year 2000, the last owner of the Tower, a descendant of the Bazeos family, after realizing the architectural and historical value of the tower, he restored it and now it is used as a place for cultural activities.
The period from July to September is the peak of the artistic activities with concerts and theatrical performances of the Naxos Festival, which is hosted in the courtyard of the Tower.
For more information please visit the site of the Tower: www.bazeostower.gr
The church Panagia (Virgin) Drosiani is located between the Tragaia area and the village Moni. The monastery is dedicated to the Virgin of rain, since according to tradition; the faithful locals were trying to exorcise the problem of drought that plagued the island for many years.
The cluster of temples of Drosiani was built in the 6th century and is one of the most important early Christian churches. According to archaeologists it features the best preserved murals with the oldest one dating back to the 7th century and reaching up to the 14th century.
The most famous of these is a double play on the dome of the church showing Christ at an early age, almost without a mustache and then as an adult man.
MONASTERY & TOWER OF AGIAS
On the 6th km of the coastal road from Apollonas to Naxos Town (Chora) visitors meet the Monastery of Agia, which is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. In a beautiful landscape with dense vegetation and turquoise waters, the monastery stands proudly over the years, welcoming the visitors.
About 150 meters from the monastery stands the famous tower of Agia, which was built with stones out of Naxos. Unfortunately, part of the tower was destroyed by a fire which broke out in 1992.
The monastery celebrates on August 15th, day of the Assumption of Virgin Mary, with a great traditional festival.
The Panagia Ipsilotera (Highest), true to its name, is located at the highest point of the valley of Eggares, just after the village Galini.
In fact, it is a monastery built in 1600 BC, which served as a fortress and refuge for local residents during the war with the Franks.
MONASTERY OF FOTODOTIS CHRIST
North of the village Danakos and after following a small dirt path you will find the monastery of Fotodotis Christ. Situated in a magical landscape among fig trees, oaks and vineyards, the monastery stands on a hill, becoming one with the natural landscape.
The monastery has the typical architecture of fortification. Numerous paintings and sculptures adorn the interior of the church, which is divided into three (3) sections with three (3) altar table, one for each aisle.
The monastery celebrates on August the 6th, the Transfiguration of Christ, where crowds of worshipers swarm to worship the image of Christ and admire the breathtaking view.
In Naxos Town you will come across the Panagia Vlacherniotissa, the oldest church on the island. In between a very beautiful landscape, the church stands imposing and somewhat distant.
Inside, the wooden temple refers to Byzantine times with many images and representations.
Among them the image of Virgin Vlacherniotissa and the one of Prophet Ilias (Elijah), which are painted by the most famous student of El Greco, the cretan Angelo.
You will definitely have heard of this beach, as it is one of the best in Greece and in Europe. It is located five (5) km from Naxos Town at a sheltered location with white sand and a length of 1.5 km.
It is well organized and offers its visitors many opportunities and facilities for sunbathing and water sports of all kinds.
Here you will enjoy the natural beauty in all its glory. On the edge of the coast you will find the church of Agios Prokopios. Behind the dunes lies a village with hotels, cafes and bars.
Access is easy from the nearby capital city with regular public bus transfers, taxi and car or motorcycle.
Saint George’s Beach is a sandy, crowded beach with shallow waters and is located only three (3) min. away from Naxos Town when moving south.
It is sheltered from the winds, which is a frequent phenomenon in the Cyclades. It is ideal for families with children and for various water sports. All around you will find bars and restaurants for all tastes.
The beach of Agia Anna is the continuation of Agios Prokopios and is one of the famous of Naxos. It has fine sand, clear and turquoise waters and a rare cedar forest that grows in its hot sand.
A fishing retreat on the edge of the beach is added to the landscape and there you can find, early in the morning, fresh fish in the boats.
The beach is a continuation of the beaches of Agia Anna and Agios Prokopios and is one of the most beautiful beaches of Naxos. Fine white sand beach with large sand dunes, a magnificent scenery.
There are many taverns next to the beach and various apartments for rent overlooking the sea.
Plaka has become one of the top destinations in Naxos inthe recent years and we truly believe not unfairly!
As we understand from its name (Vigla) it was previously an observatory, probably because of the fear from pirates in Naxos. There are essentially two beaches: Limanaki and Parthenos, separated by a huge rock.
Both beaches are sandy and wonderful. The Parthenos beach is a meeting place for the friends of kitesurfing and windsurfing since weather conditions are ideal here for these kind of sports.
The special about these two beaches is the fact that while on the one beach you can enjoy the windless bath , on the other beach the sportsfans enjoy the strong winds!
In the area there are also some restaurants.
Between Plaka and Mikri Vigla there is the magestic beach of Orkos, far away from the hustle of cosmic beaches of Naxos. Its feature is the consecutive small bays, a unique setting, which is ideal for diving away from the crowds.
White sand on the seabed, tranquility and panoramic views of the island’s southwest side, a scene you shouldn’t miss if you visit Naxos.
The farthest coast, 54 km away from Naxos Town. It is a small and sheltered bay with a small beach and palm trees.
You will definitely find some anchored shipe enjoying the peace and if you have your own boat it is a good idea to anchor in this bay. You can access it from Moutsouna village through the coastal road.
The beach of Aliko lies in the southwest coast of Naxos and is located 20 km away from the capital.
It is a small but exotic and sheltered bay, surrounded by cedars. The access is easy and the road is of asphalt.
The area has some traditional restaurants, necessary after a long swimming day.
Amitis beach is a large beach with white sand, not crowded, located just outside the villages of Eggares and Galini.
Before you reach the beach, you will walk past the monastery of Panagia Ypsilotera, which stands since 1600 and offered a safe shelter for the residents of those years.
Caution with the children because there are strong currents. The beach has a canteen.
It is a natural harbor, located 38 km away from Naxos Town.
Moutsouna is connected with the history of emery and visiting the region you will have the opportunity to admire the overhead railway of the emery mines which rank among the top industrial sites in Greece.
Today, Moutsouna is a picturesque village with beautiful beaches to explore.
Kastraki is the longest beach in Naxos (3 km length) with fine white sand and turquoise waters. The beach is ideal for resting and relaxation, for fishing or swimming.
Due to the large scale there are several access points to the beach. The Kastraki beach is ideal for walking from one end to the other and is also ideal to light a fire one night with full moon.
The Lionas cove is located 40 km away from Naxos Town in the northeastern side of Naxos and just 6 km from the Koroni village. The bay was once the export port for emery and on the route you will see the arcades of old emery mines.
Since the beach is exposed to winds, we suggest visiting it on days with low or no winds. The sea is crystal clear and the beach is characterized by colorful pebbles. The road is paved and the settlement is surrounded by many taverns where you can settle your hunger after swimming!
The sunrise in Chanoplaka combined with the rocky landscape create a magical image which is one of the most beautiful on the island of Naxos.
At the southern tip of Naxos lies the Kalandos bay. It’s a sheltered bay with amazing sand, but difficult to approach.
You will have to either use one of the boats that organize daily cruises or use the car through the rough road from Filoti, which is approx. 20 km away. If you decide to go alone, bring supplies, food and water and you will not regret it.
The magnificent beach meets the sea on one side and a small lake on the other. It is a unique landscape!
The beach of Agiasos is another sandy beach, a serene landscape combined with the infinite blue of the Aegean. You should definitely visit it and swim in the crystal clear waters especially if you are tired of the fuss of the popular beaches.
The beach got its name from the hill located there, which was an observatory for the pirates (like Vigla). It’s a fabulous location on the southwest coast of Naxos, with a long sandy beach, while in mainland there are cedars and lentisk.
If you choose to visit this beach of Naxos, it’s most likely that you will not find many people but it will reward you with its beauty.
The Abram bay is located on the northwest side of the island between Naxos Town and the village Apollonas.
It is a small sandy beach with crystal clear and warm waters. Next to the beach there is a small village and a tavern. It is a beautiful, idyllic landscape with trees and fresh spring water.
NAXOS TOWN (CHORA)
The capital of Naxos is called Chora or Naxos Town. It is one of the most picturesque towns of the Cycladic islands and of course the most popular tourist destination for Naxos.
Naxos Town is built on a small hill about 30 meters above sea level with its classic defensive and dense construction. Naxos Town is located about 2 km from the airport and it exudes traditional as well as modern air with its small white buildings which have been converted into bars, cafes, restaurants, shops or even boutiques.
The capital of Naxos is the best place to start a tour on the island. First of all one should visit the huge marble gate “Portara”, afterwards the Venetian castle, the Mycenaean city in Grotta and several museums. Within the town and the main square visitors will find the Catholic Church and the Central Tower.
Stroll through the narrow streets, discover the Venetian mansions with their coats of arms and search for the Trade School where the famous writer Kazantzakis studied and which today houses the Archaeological Museum of Naxos.
It is worth spending several hours in Naxos Town which will reward any visitor with its hidden beauties.
Apeiranthos is perhaps the “most authentic” village of Naxos and one of the most beautiful places of the Aegean. Apeiranthos is nowadays the spiritual center of the island and has a rich tradition and culture.
At the archaeological museum of the village there are findings of the Cycladic era, with the prominent “jagged marble slabs” (“epikroustes plates”) of Korfis Aronis. Apart from the archaeological museum, visitors can enjoy the geological museum of Manolis Glezos with rare exhibits, the Folk Museum and the Museum of Natural History with many plants and mammal skeletons, as well as a beautiful aquarium.
The village, beyond a synonym for culture is also a destination for those seeking the ultimate natural beauty combined with the charm of a traditional Cycladic village. Walk through the cobblestone streets, pass beneath the marble arches and taste the best wine of the island at the traditional cafes.
Filoti is the biggest village and with the most residents on the island after Naxos Town. The village is well developed both socially, touristically and is a perfect destination for holidays with a variety of accommodation, restaurants, cafes and folk art shops.In the big village square, the old plane tree stands impressive, offering its shade to every visitor. Various paths spread out amphitheatrically from the square, waiting to be explored.
First stop, the church of the Assumption of Virgin Mary or otherwise Filotissa, which according to deliveries was built upon the efforts of residents to acquire the land from the owner of the tower, which is still located next to the church. A little further stands the Tower of Barozzi and next to it there is a fountain with marble faucets and a marble inscription since the time of King Otto.
On the main road leading from the squares bridge towards the end of the village, restaurants, supermarkets, cafes, bakeries, snack bars etc. await the visitors to enjoy the local specialties.On the same road lies the Museum for the Collection of Greek Coins of Nicholas G. Moustakis. This collection includes notes and coins that circulated in Greece and Cyprus since the early 19th century.
Halki is located in the basin of Tragaia, just 14 km from Naxos Town. It is a very picturesque village with neoclassical houses and lots of plants. Halki has been for many years a brilliant social, economic, religious and cultural center.
Picturesque streets and squares, balconies fully bloom, various shops, orchards and olive groves make the landscape like a beautiful painting.
In Halki there is the impressive church of Panagia Protothroni (Annunciation), built in the 6th century, which the visitor should definitely see. The village includes an opportunity of accommodation and can be a good choice since its located almost in the center of the island with access to all the beaches of Naxos and to the surrounding villages.