Naxos is the largest Greek island in the Cyclades. It was the centre of archaic Cycladic culture. The island comprises the two municipalities of Naxos and Drymalia. The largest town and capital of the island is Chora or Naxos City, with 6,533 inhabitants (2001 census). The main villages are Filoti, Apiranthos, Vivlos, Agios Arsenios, Koronos and Glinado.
Naxos has always been a popular tourist destination, with several easily accessible ruins. It has a number of beautiful beaches, such as those at Ayia Anna, Ayios Prokopios, Alikos, Kastraki, Mikri Vigla, Plaka, and Ayios Georgios, most of them 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 inadequate. Mount Zas (999 meters) 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. Naxos is also known within Greece for its potatoes.
Scuba diving on Naxos: The island’s varied coastline is a sure pole of attraction for scuba divers. Exciting explorations in shipwrecks, caves and sunken aircraft await those at an advanced level. For beginners, the diving schools operating here offer a first class opportunity to discover the magic of the sea. They are located on the organized beaches of the island and provide modern equipment and experienced staff. Recommended areas for diving are the shipwrecks Marianna and Baufighter, Frouros rocky islet and Megalo Glaronissi. In all cases, you can contact the diving schools that know best the most suitable spots for each individual interest and can direct you in safety.
Wind surfing & kite surfing on Naxos: The beaches of Naxos are well-known for the ideal conditions they offer to the aficionados of water sports, especially during the summer season’s northerly (meltemia) winds. Meltemia, which blow throughout the summer during the day with an average strength of 5 Beaufort, are ideal for windsurfing, making it the most popular water sport on the island. Naxos has beaches for all levels of windsurfing (beginners, advanced, experts), as well as different styles (slalom/speed, wave, freestyle, free-ride). The beaches of Ammitis, Ayios Georgios (for meltemia) and Ayiassos (for southerly winds) are suitable for the wave style. The lagoon of Ayios Georgios offers ideal conditions for speed/slalom and the increasingly popular freestyle (with many riders from Greece and abroad choosing the spot for their training). The lagoon, with its shallow and calm waters, is also one of the friendliest spots in Greece for someone to be initiated in the world of windsurfing. The beaches of Ayios Georgios, Plaka and Mikri Vigla host organized sports clubs with all the modern equipment for those who want to learn the secrets of the sport. Mikri Vigla, in particular, is an international meeting point for avid windsurfers and kite surfers. Schools for kite surfing –a sport similar to windsurfing and increasingly popular- also operate there.
For the lovers of water skiing, wake boarding or water games with bananas and tubes, the organized beaches of Agios Georgios and Plaka also offer equipment for rental that will enable you to enjoy a ride and get a full shot of adrenaline.
Horse riding on Naxos: A horse ride during your vacations is surely a special experience. You can ride on and along Naxos beaches, enjoying unique moments, but also on trails that offer the opportunity of acquainting yourself with the beauty of the island. Local operators οffer rides on Naxos beaches to riders of all levels. There are also ponies for children to accompany adults on bigger horses. Live up a unique experience on horseback on a beach (accompanied by a guide), enjoy a ride under a full moon or just experiment by the seaside and discover Naxos’s unspoiled nature.
Sailing on Naxos: With its infinite coastline and unique beaches, Naxos is a sailors’ haven. One can sail around the island and anchor at sheltered coves, marinas or designated anchorages. Sailing round the southern coast of Naxos and back –some 40n nautical miles- is fully recommended in the summer, as this side is not affected by the seasonal northerly winds.
Yacht sailing on Naxos
Meltemi sailing on Naxos
The Island of Naxos has a large selection of picturesque beaches.
There are beaches for all types of the guests of the island. Some are very organized and offer a wide range of water sports and fun for adults and children, where as others are quiet, abandoned and isolated but with crystal clear waters and golden soft sand. Most of Naxos beaches have restaurants, taverns and cafes located at a short distance, where visitors can have a meal, a beer or a cool refreshing drink after a day under the stimulating Naxos hot summer sun.
The most popular Naxos beaches are located on the western side of the island, developed in tourism, south of the main town of Naxos and the Port, while the eastern side is secluded and affected by the wind.
Ayia Anna Beach and Ayios Prokopios Beach are two of the most popular beaches on Naxos. These two beaches are located around 6 kilometers towards the south of the main town of Naxos Agia Anna is lined with cedar trees, while Ayios Prokopios has pool -like waters. They are long and sandy, full of umbrellas and chaise lounges. Nearby, the lovely beach of Stelida can also be found.
Below Ayia Anna Beach and Ayios Prokopios Beach are the seaside settlements of Maragas and Plaka, where you will find beautiful stretches of white sand, lined with beach bars and taverns. Plaka Beach has a beautiful view of the neighboring island of Paros. Another beautiful beach very close to Plaka is Orkos beach, with its soft sand and green ambience, Orkos beach attracts many visitors every summer.
Right next to the main town in Naxos (Chora), is the beach of Agios Georgios (also known as St. George Beach). Its close location to Chora makes it extra popular. Ayios Georgios is a very organized beach and it offers its guests a good selection of water sports, activities, as well as restaurants, taverns, cafes and beach bars.
The three beaches of Mikri Vigla, Kastraki and Ayiassos, located on the southwestern side of Chora, have beautiful soft sand and crystal-clear water.
Travelling from southern Naxos, up the eastern coast, you will find quiet Kalandos Beach, cedar-lined Psili Ammos Beach and a series of coves known as Moutsouna Beach. The pretty, pebbly beach of Lionas, on the northeastern side of Naxos, is a good place to have a peaceful swim. Apollonas Beach is a magical spot, characterized by small picturesque coves and beautiful blue waters.
The Byzantine monuments on Naxos: On the island of Naxos, most churches that were built during the Byzantine period (during the 6th until the 15th century), were shared among plains of land, plateaus and massifs. More than often, when we walk along the small paths on Naxos we see churches made from stone, many of them are house wall paintings. These monuments emerge through the many olive trees or sometimes you may try to distinguish them within rocky landscapes. The combination of landscapes and natural wealth results undoubtedly in a rare beauty that visitors will never forget. The number of churches on Naxos fills the existing gap that results from the scarcity of sources of information about Naxos’ history and the history of the Cyclades islands during the Byzantine period.
Let us now take a look at the castles; the ruins of the castle of Apaliros, an embattled settlement located towards the south of Sanngri that was in use from the 7th until the beginning of the 13th century. We can see the wall with the circular tower, the many barrel water tanks and the many ruined churches. The second castle is known as the Apano Castle on Naxos and it is located between Potamia and the villages of Tsikalario and Cheimarros, but unfortunately this castle is also in ruins.
The Byzantine churches of Naxos are very many and it will take you more than a few days to visit them all. In the area of Tragea, there are so many Byzantine churches that the area was rightly named as the Mystras of the Cyclades. The churches are all made of stone and they are characterized by their small size and simple shape. The type of churches found on the island of Naxos are usually simple aisle less domed churches, barrel-vaulted churches, single or twin, small free cross domed churches, cross in square domed churches etc. The paintings that decorate these churches are also very interesting. Although they have a provincial character, they are characterized by their variety and their high artistic level. The abstract decoration of some of the churches is also quite incredible. The themes of the decoration include geometrical patterns and animals and are linked to the iconography period. In this point we should note that during the Venetian rule, Orthodox churches were still being built, especially during the second half of the 13th and the first half of the 14th period.
The cave of Zeus (or Mount Zas): Mount Zas or Mount Zeus on Naxos island has the proud status of being the highest peak in the Greek Cyclades islands. Located in the area of Tragea on Naxos, Mount Zas has a very important historical significance. In ancient times, the local Greeks believed that the cave on the northwest side of the mountain was the birthplace of the God Zeus. Zeus, the god of the sky, became the king of the 11 other gods known as The Olympians. This is how Mount Zas and the Cave Of Zeus were named. If you would like to explore inside the cave of Zeus, it has been characterized as safe but you will need to take a flash light with you.
Portara and the temple of Apollo: This is the most famous door (porta in Greek means door and Portara means big door) of the Cyclades. The Portara is one of the most important monuments on Naxos. It reveals Naxos’ rich history and it impresses the islands visitors with its greatness. Portara was the gate to the temple of Apollo on the small islet of Palatia. It was built during the third quarter of the 6th century B.C. The temple’s size is 54 meters X 28 meters. The gate has been created from four monolithic architectural parts. During the early Christian times, the temple was turned into a church, which was preserved at least until the Venetian occupation.
The sanctuary of Demeter and Apollo: The sanctuary of Demeter in Gyroulas (or Sangri) is one of the most significant buildings of ancient Naxos and dates back to 520 – 530 B.C. The ancient sanctuary was made entirely of white marble and was dedicated to the worship of the ancient goddess Demeter; in the 6th century it was turned into a Christian basilica church. Today the restoration of the temple has been completed and there is also a museum exhibition.
The temple of Dionysos in Iria: The sanctuary of Dionysos is located in the area of Iria, just 3 kilometers away from the main village of Chora. You will see their finds from the temple of Dionysos that date back to the 6th century B.C. The foundation stones of the santuary as other very few ruins of the temple are being preserved. These findings include marble pillars and a well from the 6th century B.C. the only one with a marble layer, as well as a small exhibition room. Three more temples were found under the archaeological site. All of them were dedicated to the God of wine Dionysos. More important is that in the same area, the statute of Dionysos was found, it was one of the most important findings of this site and today it can be found in the museum in Chora.
The tower of Chimmaros: The tower of Chimmaros is a point of reference for the island of Naxos, equivalent to the Portara or the temple of Apollon. It is a monument with a symbolic meaning and an impressive presence which has passed in the legend and is celebrated among others in the following local folk song:
” O kardia mou pou se tharrou, san ton pirgo tou Chimmarou”
” Oh my heart that you take courage, like the tower of Chimmaros”
The circular tower constitutes an exeptional sample of a well preserved defensive structure of the 4th century and predominates a secluded and today uninhabited landscape on the lowest hills of Mount Zas, in the southeastern part of Naxos.
The existing building stands to the impressing height of 15 meters and still has a double wall. The exterior wall was built with large local marble plinths, while the interior wall is built with stones with connectors in between. The walls are connected at regular intervals by side arch bricks, which stand out un-refined, exceeding in the interior face. The gap between the two faces is filled up with a mixture of clay and stone. The gate is located in the southern part of the tower and there is only one window at the height of 10 meters from the ground, that is on the second floor of the tower. The narrow loopholes feature the defensive character of the monument. In the inside of the tower, you can see the ground floor and the three higher floors which are connected with a marble staircase which has been built into the wall. The top of the tower does not exist today. The towers original height has been estimated to have been 18 meters while it has not yet been proved if the roof was flat or conic. The tower is fenced with a square wall, which sides measure 35 meters and its height 2 meters.
The towers in Melanes: The village of Melanes on Naxos has several very impressive towers. The Venetian Marcos Sanudos built his summer home tower in this area. Apart from this impressing tower, visitors can also see the towers of Mavrogenis, De Marie and Frangopoulos.
The Iria ancient site: Located in the area of Livadi on the island of Naxos are the four temples of the God Dionysus, that are believed to have been built in the 8th – 9th centuries BC and provide the evidence of the leading role of Naxos Island in the Greek architecture and sculpturing. The ancient site of Iria is one of the finest archaeological sites on Naxos Island in the Cyclades.
The windmills and castles in Sagri: Close to the center of the island of Naxos in the area that is called Sagri, there are some well preserved traditional windmills and the ruins of an old Venetian castle.
The 17th century Zevgoli castle: Zevgoli Tower, a two-story Venetian-era stone structure that has been renovated and is now inhabited and privately owned, is located close to the center of Apiranthos. This impressive monument, built on a rock at the village entrance in the 17th century, was originally owned by the Castri family, then by the Sommaripa family. The ancestors of the present owners acquired it immediately following the Greek Revolution in 1821. As was also the case with the Barozzi Tower in Filoti, this tower served as a residence for feudal lords of the period. The tower features Aegean-style arches and many verandas and balconies which are well worth going up to for the view on offer.
The ancient emery mines: The ancient emery mines are located on the Mt. Amomaxis above the road close to the area of Koronas on Naxos Island. If you walk up to the ancient emery mines, you’ll also notice the remains of a railway that was once used to transport the minerals to various ports.
The Mycenaean tomb on Naxos: The Mycenaean tomb at Chosti is an important and rare monument in the Cyclades, being one of only three vaulted tombs that have been discovered in the region -the other two are those at Ayia Thekla on Tinos and at Aggelika on Mykonos.
It is also rate in the sense that it is located in a highland area, far away from the major Mycenaean settlement that was situated in Chora.
It comprises a circular burial chamber, built with boulders in scaled horizontal layers that create a dome. The tomb has a diameter of 3.30m at the base and a height of 2.40m.
As indicated by an opening on its south side, the tomb has been looted in the past and thus valuable items and information about its identity have been lost. It is, however, supposed that it was built circa 1300 BC and that it is the tomb of a local ruler, whose name, though, cannot be identified by the poor findings that remain. It is supposed again that his name might bare relation to the name of the site (Axos) where the tomb lies. In turn, the name Axos may derive from Naxos, the name of the first king of the island who came at the head of colonists from Asia Minor.
The castle on Naxos: If you go up to the castle of Chora on Naxos, that was built by Marco Sanudi in 1207, and if you wander on the stoned paved alleys of the medieval settlement, you will feel like you have traveled back in time, it is a unique experience. You can choose one of the two entrances to the castle: Trani Porta, which is on the north side of the castle or Paraporti which is facing to the west side of the castle, this is where your tour will begin and each road, whether circular or straight will lead you to the top of the hill. Take a walk in the steep alleys, admire the Venetian mansion houses with the coats of arms, a typical union of insular architect and western elements; discover the neighborhoods that hide many stories and legends. Visit the many stone churches, stare out at the monument of Portara and feel a little of the magic of those years that is preserved within the walls of the castle. The square of the Catholic Cathedrial is a reference point, near which you can find the Jesuits monastery and the Mansion of the past trades school where Nikos Katzatzakis studied. Today the school is housed in the Archaeological Museum of Naxos. You will also find the Capella Casazza (The church of immaculate conception) nearby which was a chapel of Sanudo, as well as the castle of Crispi, the only one preserved out of the twelve castles that were built next to the palace of Sanudo. You should also make a stop at the old mansion house next to Trani Porta where the Venetian museum is housed along with exhibitions and music nights. Descending down towards Chora, on the outskirts of the castle, you will discover the old market streets with the picturesque whitewashed alleys and the traditional Cycladic architecture, many beautiful shops and taverns.
The three Kouroi of Naxos: Near the village of Melanes ( Flerio) there are two out of the three Kouroi that you can find on Naxos. The unfinished archaic kouros, almost 6,5 meters long, is lying down inside a garden, where it has been for centuries, exactly in the same position that the ancient craftsmen deserted it. In the north of Naxos, close to the village of Apollonas, there is a gigantic Kouros (10 meters in length), which is probably a personification of Dionysos. You will find it at the beginning of the village, in an ancient quarrey. The third and the less famous Kouros is located in a landscape path towards Ano Potamia, near Flerio.
The Archaeological Museum of Naxos: The Naxos archaeological museum is housed in a building which constitutes a representative sample of the island’s architecture style during the Latin rule and it is located in one of the narrow ascending alleys which leads to the castle. The building was once housing the Jesuit’s academy, in the late 19th century and early 20th century the building housed the well know Emporiki Scholi (The School of Commerce) where Nikos Katzatzidis also attended. In 1973 the building was given to the Ministry of culture. The archaeological collections in the museum include important findings from the evacuations made on Naxos and other neighboring islands and are dated from the early Neolithic Age until the late Roman period (4th millennium B.C. – 6th century A.C. )
The archaeological museum on Naxos is famous for its two large collections: the Cycladic collection and the Mycenaean collection. The Cycladic collection includes findings from the first Cycladic period which extends from the 4th century B.C to the late 3rd century B.C. – a period during which, the Cyclads were an important center of cultural development.
The Mycenaean period is represented mainly by valuable pottery decorated with paintings which are inspired by the natural environment, copper swords, objects made of ivory and gold, beads made of semi valuable stones, as well as rings that were found in evacuations of tombs of that period. In addition, in the museum are exhibited finds dated to the geometric period (amphora and pots with abundant decoration) and a lot of samples of the geometric architecture which were found on the island’s tombs i.e. objects made of gold and clay.
You should also go up to the museum’s terrace and admire the unique mosaic flooring taht was found in a residence of the 3rd century B.C. and depicts a semi-nude figure of a woman who is riding upon a sea monster.
Working hours: every day except for Mondays from 8.30 until 14.30
Entrance fee: 3 Euros – Telephone number: +30 22850 22725
The folk collection of Naxos by K Koutelieris: On the main pedestrian street of Naxos old market, in the roupel location, operates a private folk collection of Naxos by B& K Koutelieris. The collection displays the cultural and the historical course of the Naxos society. You can see parts of a typical household of Naxos while at the same time you can see the activities that marked the island especially during the last 100 years (emery mines, French female school) are displayed on giant poster documents.
Working hours: Every day from April until November 10.00 – 15.00 and 19.00 – 23.00
Entrance Fee: 3 Euros – Telephone number: +30 22850 25561 +30 22850 25531
The Geological museum on Naxos: This small but impressive museum, housed in the building of the Apiranthos primary school, displays more than 2,000 samples of rock, minerals, ores and fossils from Naxos Island and beyond, and is considered one of richest of its kind in Greece.
The metropolis site museum: The metropolis site museum on Naxos is a very unusual museum, designed by Agni Kouvela. It is located in the square of the Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral and displays an important collection of finds from the ancient town of Naxos. The collection includes significant finds and indoor images with a gradual chronological transition from the Mycenaean period (1300 – 1100 B.C.) to the Geometric period (900-700 B.C.). From the Mycenaean period, a big part of the walls of the town is preserved in good condition. On the foot of the walls, one can discern small vessel workshops which give unique information about the manufacture of that age. From the Geometric period, an altar was found which was surrounded by broken pots. This was part of an earthen tomb which was constructed to cover the graves of the prominent Naxians. The en lighting designs, the ground plans and the representations of the ancient town will help you to understand the space better, the finds and the historical transition from one collection to another.
Working hours: Tuesday till Sunday 8.30 until 15.00
Entrance is free
Telephone number: +30 22850 24151
Acadimoi: village of Community apartment Halkeion. All around the village are olive trees and many other trees. In the Acadimoi is situated the Tower of Markopoliti, the Kotsampasi of Naxos on Ottoman domination, that in the 1801 was hung by their Turks in Mitilini for his revolutionary action. This Tower a hanging bridge, and with the Tower of Keramiou is the only towers that were not built from Venetians. In Acadimoi had the seat and the Greek School of Halkeion, in which had served as the principal of the school the founder of Experimental School of University of Athens Nikolaos Exarhopoulos. In this village they situated also the Byzantine Church “Eisodia of Virgin Mary” that celebrates on 21 November and is a local feast as well as the Church of Saint Nikolaos.
From the Akadimo came Academic Ioannis Papadakis, a Scientist of international fame with long and very important career in Greece and in the abroad while it occupied high positions in maximum inquiring centers in a lot of countries and in international organisms of UN that had relation with the climate and the agricultural capabilities of many countries of world.
From this village came also Antonios Barotsis Member of Greek Parliament, the second in command of Greek Army Jakovos Vazaios and Major Generals Antonios Patsarisis and Konstantinos Papadakis, with important national action.
In this village two watermills are situated: Barotsi and Gkoufa and a olive press. All the houses have gardens and wells.
Agersani: The village is located in the South-western part of the island, in altitude of 40 m. and in distance 4-5km from the sea. The tradition says that: “The village took the name Agersani after a chapel that is located roughly 1 km outside the village in the Northwest side, Saint Arsenios. This chapel was the first that was found there, when the village built. Remains of old settlements and various discoveries testify that the village perhaps firstly was coastal and afterwards, for the fear of pirates, was abandoned, in order to build it in the place that is situated today. The village in our days has tree settlements: Apano Chorio , Kato Chorio and Pera Chorio. Appreciable monuments of village are: The small tower of St. Nikolaos with characteristic dovecotes. Two old windmills are located in the hill of Stroumpoula. In Ellinikon point, a hill in the southern part of the village, exist ruins of ancient fortress and in Petradia, a settlement at Yria, exist marks of ancient temple and broken vessels. Also, in the village is situated the church of Saint Spyridonos, a church that was recently renovated, thanks to the efforts of the parish priest Symeon and became a very nice church which is crowded by the faithful villagers every time there is a Mass, the church of Saint Nikolaos, a building of 18th century, which was useful as observatory in the piratical ages, the Monastery of Timios Prodromos with the chapel of Saint Vasileios, which had never been lived by monks and a lot more chapels around the village.
The area around the village is one of the richest of island. The residents of village deal with agriculture and the livestock-farming even if the last years has been developed a lot the tourism in the beautiful beaches of village. Famous beaches around the village are the beach of Ayios Prokopios, one from the most beautiful beaches in Greece, the beach of Ayia Anna in the graphic bight of Ayios Nikolaos, that continues even today being an anchorage not only for the local fish boats also for out lander fish boats and a lot trawls and trawl-liners anchoring very often and that is the reason of why the air in the beach is smelling by the scent of a shore dinner, and finally the enormous beach of Plaka, of roughly 5 km length, with graphic dunes and particular flora from krinakia, voutima and armirikia. In the past time the residents of the village dealt also with the salt marshes, which in 1947 were producing 1000 tons of salt. Today a big part from them has been drained in order to be manufactured the airport of the island which is functioning from the beginning of ‘ 90 decade.
Agidia: In the NW feet of Chrysostomou hill, in a distance of three kilometers from the town of Naxos, is built a beautiful small village called Agidia. It is situated amphitheatricallyup the hill, with its all-white church of St. Charalambos. The village face the front fertile plain of Livadia, Chora and the blue sea. It has about 300 residents, who mainly deal with livestock, agriculture and viticulture. The road from Agidia to Chora, is full of ancient and medieval monuments that bear witness and old history. Such monuments are the old monastery «To Fraro», which has been built in 14th A.C.century, the ancient aqueduct of Lygdami, a medieval fountain, the ruins of the Early Christian church of St.Stefanou and Venetian turrets. All are fold with legends and tales. Many things testify that the area was the “countryside” of representatives of the city (Chora) in ancient times.
Ayios Thalelaios: Ayios Thalelaios is a small and graphic dorp of Naxos Municipality, with 85 permanent residents, who deal mainly with agriculture and is built in feet of hill “Saint Fokas”. In front of the village is stretched out a beautiful valley with gardens that are irrigated by wells as there are no running waters. It is located 5 kilometers far away from the capital of the island and it is the first from the 4 dorps that constitute the municipal apartment of Melanes. The houses are built the one next to the other and the alleys are closely without particular architecture. Most of the houses are small and ground floor. It took the name after the homonym Saint Thalelaio the Thaumaturge that celebrates on 20 May. The church of the saint is double aisle. It is not precisely known when it was built, but in the exterior wall exists a faint sign of 1501A.C. : “ΤΟΥ DΟULΟU ΜΟΝΑCHΟU IGΟUΜΕΝΟU SΑGRΕDΟC (1501)” ( of the Superior Monk Sagredos) .At the past years existed a marble piece with an embossed form of the superior monk, but was disappeared the last years, probably someone stole it. Saint Thalailaios lived in 284 A.C. , in the ages of king Noumerianos. He came from Lebanon and was the son of Veroukios and Polimia. He endured a lot of tortures in order to kiss the Idolatry and in end he was decapitated. He had studied doctor and he offered his services without taking money (Anargyros). Even today are being reported miracles. In his memory is chanted the sequence that was written by Saint Petros Nikodimos, the Mount Athon’s monk, in the 1972. At the spacious courtyard of the church it was and still is organized the most important festival of the island. The at the time monastery of Saint Thalelaios, the one of Fotodoti and the one of Agia are considered as the older monasteries of the island, as it is reported that in 1509A.C. duke Krispos dedicated these three monasteries to the Patriarchate of Constantinople . By the archaeological aspect, exist in the dorp an old aqueduct that was bringing water from the spring of Fleri to Chora, at the ages of tyrant Lygdamis. The aqueduct was restored the last years and it is situated in the Eastern end of dorp. Also in the north-east from the church, in antiquity, a bethel should exist, as is testified by the scattered marbles, from which a lot have been used for the building of the parish church.
Apeiranthos: The village Aperathou is located in the glacis of a hill in Eastern feet of mountain range of Fanaria. As a remarkable village it is reported already on the 1413 from the sightseer Christoforo Bouodelmonti. The name of the village “Aperathou” it is founded in the general fall of the greek language from the first time we find it written in traditional texts. Maybe the village was named after a resident whose name was “Perathos”. Apeirantho “baptized” the village some unknown scholar, few years before the Revolution of 1821, thinking that this way the name of the village was more archaic formal. In our days we have the chance to found ourselves, walk, enjoy ourselves in one of the most nice traditional settlements in Greece, that still keep up an especial character. It was called “marble village'”, because of the marble existing everywhere, in the streets, in the houses and the light of the sun up in the sky of the Aegean Sea is reflecting all over the village. The village is situated around two Towers that were probably built, the 17th century and were owned by Francs landholders. Each corner/spot of the village shows the particular traditional architecture, which is obvious in the forms of anefano (chimneys), that make the village seem as a valley of anefanos.
The Aperathean linguistic idiom rescues ancient Greek and Byzantine characteristics. Are maintained customs as “Koydoynatoi” at Carnival time, as the tradition in weaving/textile and as the aperathean song, the faculty of men and women “to speak” with verses -Aperathou is the village that versify-.All these make the village a special place between the other specials in Aegean Sea.
The tradition of the village has the roots in the Byzantine ages and in antiquity as it is testified by the existing monuments. In the Archaeological Museum (also deserve our interest, the Folklore museum, the Geological museum ,the Natural History museum, the Library N. Glezou, the Textile Cooperative of Women) mainly exist discoveries of Cycladic Ages, that is to say by the 3rd millennium B.C., as the “epikroustes plates” of Korfis Aroniou.
The economic and artistic blossoming in the Byzantine years is testified by churches with running layers of murals from the season of Iconoclasm until the 13th century. Saint Kiriaki, with the eminent abstract representations of birds with ribbons in the neck, is a unique monument in Balkans. A place of pasturages and farmers, emery excavators, poets, persons of letters, art, policy, “Aperathou” prides for his “authenticity”.
Apollonas: The small beautiful village is situated in a cove in the north-eastern coast of Naxos, in distance of 36 km, from Chora. In the top of village, in Kastraki point, is found Kouros (young mans’ statue). It is an unfinished marble statue, of 10,5 meters length and is dated by the 6th B.C. century. The archaeologists believe that the statue depicts the god Dionysus or the god Apollo. In Apollonas the visitor can swim in clean, sandy or with small pebbles beaches and can walk in small dells with fresh running potable water. In the small sandy beach, in front of the village, cafe, bars and restaurants exist. For your stay there are private apartments, rooms and hotels.
Chalkeion – Trageia: Halki is a small, but unique large-village. It distinguishes for the old mansions with the tiles, the classic balconies with beautiful rails, festoons in the roofs and paved with slabs courtyards. It is situated next to a stream, with high platans and running water, in the water tanks washed their clothes in the past years, and small likeable all white gardens. Thousands visitors each year, experience a different sense of carelessness, enjoyment and exploration of a place that conjoin yesterday and today with success. Most houses are renovated and elegant and inform us proudly, for the prosperity of the very little residents in a season when the lif Halki is a small but unique village. The village stands out because of the old mansions with tiles, the classic balconies with nice rails, garlands on roofs and paved with slabs courtyards. Located beside the stream, with very high trees and running water, ponds, where used to wash clothes and engaging young evergreen gardens. Thousands of visitors each year experienced a different feeling insouciance, enjoyment and exploration of an area that successfully marries the past with today. Most houses are renovated and inform us with proud, for the welfare of those few people at a time when life in the other villages was very tough. That happened because of the location of Chalki up the road that connects all villages and therefore is an important commercial center. Inside and around the village there are many ancient ruins, Byzantine churches full of frescoes and high Venetian towers.
Major monuments is Panayia Protothroni (6th century AC), Saint George the Diasoritis (9th century AC) and the Tower of Barotsi (Gratsia), a magnificent building was built in the early 17th century by the Venetian family Barozzi.
The last years Halki has shown resurgence. There is the seat of Municipality, a County court, a notary’s office, a land registry and various shops that serve all the around area. Also, there is a very beautifully place for pastries, coffee and snacks, as well as a restaurant in the square of the village with interesting and separate flavors that wait for the visitor in the summertime, under the shade and the dew of the trees.
The distiller “Vallindra'”, offers in the visitors and passer-by’s an exceptional drink, the citron, from distillation of leaves of citrons, which gives the chance to the visitor if he buy one bottle to travel mentally and remember the place of production, when he return back home.
Eminent textiles (handmade), prompt whoever sees them to admire them and to ensure a keepsake from island, for him and for his friends.
Damalas: Houses, almost fifty, Built in the grade to Ayia Irini, Two wells and one three, Damalas one small , peaceful village
“Stefanos Ι. Struvalis”
Damalas is a small village that is located in distance roughly 14 km from Chora in the way to Tragaia.
Damalas, is situated amphitheatrically in foot of hill “La(g)ou the Voyni'” and is visible from a lot of points of Naxos.
Appreciable monuments at Damalas are:
The Church of Agia Eirini, built in 1800. In side the church the visitor can see elaborate marble chancel screen/iconostasis, the beautifully made wooden partition of gynaikonitis (a place inside the church only for women) and marvellous marble baptistery.
In the northwest end of village is situated the old olive press, which was restored, with initiative of residents, in 2000 and it functions. In the old olive press (trio) you can see the perfect architecture of the building and the instruments of that season… Mainly you can live as triatoras working in the “roll” and in “ergati”. Entry is free.
In the entry of village there is a traditional pottery place.
Damarionas: Damarionas is a traditional village in the centre of Naxos. It is situared on the mountain Rahiin feet, in the end of the olive-full basin of Tragaia. It is 16 kilometres far away from the capital of Naxos, Chora. It has been characterized as traditional dorp. It is appreciated that it began to be built from 1400 A.C. and afterwards.
The first residents of Damarionas lived, in the beach at south-western area of Agiasos. The residents for the fear of the pirates, that by the 7th A.C. century preyed the islands of Cyclades, moved to the interior of the island, first in the Roalidia location, in side of the Castle of Apalirou and later in the current place that nowadays is located the Damarionas
The permanent population of Damarionas, including the residents of Damalas,Vourvouria, Agiasos and Pirgaki is 521 citizents (real population 557 residents). Dorps Agiasos and Pirgakj are wind protected, coastal, with big beautiful sandy beaches and are located south-western the Damarionas in a distance of roughly 15 kilometres. Damarionas is a rural-veterinary village.
Damarionas has been characterized the “hospitable village of Naxos”. The fest of the village is on 6 August, the day that celebrates the parish church , named “Metamorphosis of Sotiros” (Savior) and begins the eve day .
Places of interest in Damarionas are: The bust of the great resident of Damarionas , member of the “Friends’ Company” ( a Greek union that established to help the Revolution of 1821), Ioannis Paparrigopoulos, the monument for residents of Damarionas that dead in our national wars, bust of the doctor Georgios Veronis in the entry of village, the famous seven ste(g)asta of the village, the paved with slabs narrow streets, the Square of Patelou, the Square ‘Potiros” with the enormous old platan, the mansions Prompona, Vasilikoulas and Mpakalainas and the graphic cafes, where someone can enjoy the marvelous coffee and their tasty titbits. Also there is a private folklore collection, which is visitable.
Near Damarionas are located a lot of graphic palaiochristian chapels in the region of Mpaouzi and a palaiochristian church, the Kaloritsa, built in a cave in the western side of mountain Ai- Lias.
Danakos: Danakos is a mountain village in the Eastern side of Naxos. Two versions exist for the name of the village.The first one says that, Danaoi lived for the first time at the particular location and the second that in the area grew a lot of canes (danax). Skilful craftsmen used them to make cane manufactures and they supplied the entire island and not only. The place is very beautiful. The village is built in a glen between two mountainsides. The waters of Vrisi, (source), revive persons, animals and ground. In platans, in oaks, in walnut all sorts of birds make their nest. Oranges, mandarins, figs, cherry-sours give colour to the landscape. Seven watermills exist but do not function anymore. The residents are millers, builders of Stone – best in the island – and cattle-breeders. With their cheese someone can taste all the perfumes of nature. With their song – are famous versifiers – you conceive the difficulty of everyday routine. People are calm, full of sweetness as the landscape, despite the cruelty of the stone. When you leave Danakos, you have already remembered how to love again.
Eggares: In the Northwest part of the island, 7 kilometres from the city of Naxos, village Eggaresi s located, in the rich, all green flat and in feet of mountain Korakia (old name Mitria from the many myrtles (Myrties) that was growing up in the area). There N. Kazantzakis, was passing his summer vacations and wrote “Report to El Greco” where he refers to the village as an earth paradise. It is a small village that combines plain, mountain and sea. It has extent of 4500 stremmas (1 stemma=1000 sq.meters) and population of 200 individuals, at winter time, that in summertime quintuple. The residents deal with agricultural and stock farming. Products: oil, potatoes, citrus fruits, cheeses. In the middle of village dominates the grandiose church of Virgin Mary Dormition and close beside the big stone square. Two rivers cross the village with verdurous riversides. Following the river someone will meet the abandoned settlements “Mesa Geitonia” with the tower of Foufopoulou and “ Lagkada”, as well as seven (7) preservable watermills. There is located a reservoir, the main water supplier of the bigger part of the island. Below the plain is situated the beach of Ammiti, a nice, virgin and quiet beach, without interventions. Next to the sea there is “Amitis” lake where reeds grow up . Preservable monuments are: the old marble bridge, that needs repair, remains of a monastery in the top of Gennisis mountain and the chapel of “Agias Gennisis” in a cavern. Places of interest in village are two renovated olive presses – ‘One of them is hosting the Local Office Eggaron -. Splendid food you will find in the taverns of village.
Traditional Customs: New Year’s Day Carols: with tsampounes and doubkia (traditional music instruments) take place on the Eve and New Year’s Day ,when all the villagers go to the shops to enjoy treats, just after the end of the Mass.
The Carnivals kordelatoi: go with violins to near villages and entertain the women of those villages while kordelatoi from near villages come to Eggares and after receiving treat by the locals they entertain them with their own violins.
“Perifanes” : The day of Good Friday and on the August 15 locals set up burning “perifanes” (bundles from canes that are put on fire) in the streets and in the alleys of the village and follows the litany of the epitaph of Christ and Virgin Mary correspondingly.
Resurrection: they use maskoula (crackers).
In August it is the main dance of the village at the school.
Filioti: The biggest village of Naxos dominates in two parts “Glefaro” and “Pahidi” corresponding green glacis that are separated by a stream, a shows spectacular beautiful and grandiose. It is full of life and action. The summertime attracts a lot of people, locals and foreigners. The cafes, the pizzerias, the barbecue-shops and other sorts of shops are full of people. People of Filoti are proud for the over-age and very high platan, that in its shade have been discussed thousands problems, have been carried out inexperienced political discussions, have taken part all kinds meetings and appointment. This old-platan could say hundreds of stories if it could speak!
The natural beauty of Filoti is unique. In this preferential place locals, with the passage of centuries, were proved worthy creators of social and economic life structured in the humanity and in the honesty. Thus, today we enjoy a beautiful Filoti and a social life flourishing in her liveliness and authentic in the islander character. The Aegean Sea moral, that characterizes the social perception and practice of locals, has, fortunately, not been degraded by the self-alienation whirlwind of our times. Small squares, graphic alleys, ste(g)asta’, full of flowers courtyards and all-white streets compose a unique greatness of fine taste and organisation. The visitor when he reaches the square should not fail to go a little above to the historical church of Virgin Mary Dormition, to see the white and architectural beauty, and to the museum exploitation buildings, which accommodate the Rural Cooperative of Filoti and the Association of Women.
If the uphill small road, in the hundred metres, to the church, proved tedious the visitor can rest in the shade of the platan at the old and historical square of Lahanario. For the visitor, who has free time, a walk around the village will turn out to be the most pleasant tiredness experience. There are so many for him to see and admire!
The athletic and theatrical centre “Emm. Barras “, the Technical and Professional Highschool, the I.P.T. (institute of professional training), the War Memorial, the Helideck, the court” Giagkos Gratsias “, the Elementary School, the Cultural Centre of Association of Filoti, the Tower, the source of Kalamos, the neighbourhoods with the graphic streets and the spruce houses, the alleys and churches, the street crossing the village, the cordial greeting by the ordinary and anonymous people, unselfish treating that constitutes also noblest, consciously solidified, perception of spirit of hospitality. If the visitor goes to see also the rural regions of the village, this will complete his travelling happiness. Go up to the top of Za mountain, or via Levgason (where exists an ancient sign ΟΡΟΣ ΔΙΟΣ ΜΗΛΩΣΙΟΥ- mountain of Zeus Milosius) and Kaminion or from the Argious.
Also, he can visit the Faucet of Ario, the Spiliotissa, the Tower of Heimmaroy, the Kamino, the sea of Kalantos, Spedos, the pasture lands with the mitatos and stockyards, scattered (around 50 in Filoti) chappels, the Castle of Apalirou, he will pass seladia, he can go up to tops, he can smoke a cigarette with the shepards and have a conversation with them and the visitor will feel the quality of bucolic emotion from the sound of bells and the playing of tsampounas (music instrument), he can eat touloumotiri( traditional cheese of Naxos) with tomato and rest a little in the shade of prinies( tree). Even if these areas are barren, they are caterers and productive of tastiest and coveted animal husbandry products. This area has been tied up closely with the social and folkloric and economic history of the village, and still constitutes a area that is interwoven with the seductive mystery of pure nature. However I pestered a lot the visitor. I invited him just for a coffee, in the Bridge, and he was found as a romantic wayfarer in the pasture lands. Now, it is time to offer to him something different. He will find this when he will return Filoti, where, if it happens to be present while the preparations of August 15, he will find so many to be happy about. Then the nights in Filoti are noisy with the street full of people that promenade and with the shops giving a sense of mental euphoria. And when the night comes, all these calm down, the visitor collects, as a last enjoyment of the night, the islander sounds of music and songs (mainly extemporary)became from the residents who are celebrating, in luminous flat roofs, certain important for them social events, as weddings and Christianising that.
Galanado: Galanado is a small graphic village of 412 residents. It is amphitheatrically built with view to the fertile flat of Livadi, Stelida and Chora. Without being for sure, the village took the name after a resident who was named Galanos. The residents deal mainly with agriculture and livestock-farming. In the few last years new houses are built, especially in Ag. Isidoros point, not exclusively by Galanado residents . The parish church of the village is “Agio Pneyma'(Saint Spirit) and was built in 1822, as ii s written above the door of Temple in the left aisle. In the southern side of the village, TOWER of BELONIA dominates , as a residue of Venetian domination. Nowadays , it belongs to a citizen and in the courtyard still remains the twin chapels of Saint Ioannis that belongs both to Catholics and to Orthodoxies. Easterly, is MITROPOLOS point between the churches Ag.Georgios and Ag. Eirini there is an enormous blocks of stone, and it said that there existed a Palaeolithic settlement. In the limits to Potamia, are found the chapel of St. Dimitrios built up the mountain and the church of Stavros (Cross), an old monastery. North is PARATREHOS point, a place where they were the aestival residences of Francs that remained in Chora. The beautiful gardens do not exist anymore, only remnants, the palms and the enormously araucaria.
Galini: The settlement was named Galini in 1955. It is one of the small rural villages of Naxos with 192 residents. It is about 6 kilometres far away from Chora and is located in the northern road axis from Chora to Apollonas. It is located amphitheatrically in the western side of valley of Eggaron, above the rocks, respecting the tradition and the fertility of the ground. Each house has a small garden.
The old name of Galini was Ahapsi, a name with which was characterized as settlement of Municipality of Biblos of province Naxos (OFFICIAL JOURNAL OF THE HELLENIC REPUBLIC 22-18/12/1840). It was named Galini on 1955.
It is a village of new families, of young persons that support a two-class Elementary school with twenty children. They uphold with devotion the traditions and the customs of village. Centre of activities is the school and the only cafe.
At Easter they are set up perifanes(bundles from canes that are put on fire) for the Epitaph and maskoula(crackers) announce with bang the Resurrection of Christ. On 15 August, the village celebrates. The eve becomes procession of the Epitaph of Virgin Mary and on the day of 15 August is organised a festival. On 29 August they celebrate the Ai- Yannis Nisteftis (faster). It is the end of summertime. On 1 February, the village once again celebrates the Ai- Tryfonas, the protector of farmers. In the Carnivals again, kordellatoi or foustanelades, as they call them in the village, give particular and unique carnival atmosphere. Thereis not in Galini any shop selling traditional products. If however they offer to you xynotyro(cheese), mizithra, orange, apricots, figs, medlars, lemons, wine, oil, tomatoes and other, do not you deny to them. You will find a hotel for calm and particular vacations, as well as tavern for food.
In front of the village extends a flat with gardens of fruiterer trees, horticultural, vines and olives. The cultures are protected from air with the traditional cane windshields. In each garden the visitor will see a well and a stone table, as well as microscopic farmhouses next to a tank, under the shade of a fig tree or a mulberry. There you meet all kinds of cultures, from most modern up to traditional. It is the flat that Nikos Kazantzakis refers when he mention his summer vacations, in the book ” Report to El Greko”.
From Galini begins a road that lead to the beach of Amiti. In a hundred metres from the village, in the right, it is situated the church of Virgin Mary of Attaleiotisa. Afterwards five hundred metres roughly, in left, good hidden in the stream, is situated the monastery of Ypsilis that was built at 1660 A.C.. It is one of the more characteristic castle monasteries of Naxos, because of the particularity of the south-western circular tower. The strict exterior austerity of architecture of tower succeeds the plasticity of volumes in his interior. The tower of Ypsilis is private but visiting, with ticket 3, 5 Euros.
Where the plain of Eggaron finishes, is found the appreciable water biotope that is defined from the sea by the sandy beach of Amiti (extent of 500 meters). When the (meltemia) etesian winds strengthen, Amiti is ideal place for serf and unique for romantic nights!
Glinado: The settlement was founded about 1650. The first historical testimony we meet, for the existence of the village, is from year 1672 and was found in a dotal document of “General Files of Greek State”. In this document the name of Manolis Kapounis is mentioned , who is one of the first residents of the village and whose name we meet for the first time in legal acts before 1672.
Toponym emanates from the phrase “in the place of Glinadon”, that is to say in the area that belong to Manolis Glinos and to his relatives. Those first settlers (very probably by Mountainous Naxos) and the followed ones settled down in the two (opposite found) barren hills of village, “Dekti” and “Tzintili”, because of the piracy and the possession of the fertile flat of Livadi by the “francs” feudal lords and the holders of ground Horaites aristocrats. With the pass of years were lived the between the hills space and the village took the current form. There settled down (historical proved) the residents of three neighboring settlements that depopulated progressively: the Agamitadou, the Louloudou and the Tzitzamou.
Basic occupation of residents was the agriculture and the livestock-farming functioned as additional economic size, had limited base in the local economy, after it was practised symbiotic. Each family allocated small livestock, mainly ovine. However, the last years the cow stock farming (fattening of animals and production of milk) it erases ascendant course, and constitutes henceforth one from the basic pylons of economic life of village. The agriculture remained the main and the diachronic profession of residents.
The residents worked as kountouverniarides in the ground properties of feudal lords in Livadi until the first decades of the 20th century. The sordid conditions of life for a long period are showed (indicatively) through the events of 1777 that the farmers rose against the “Francs”. Protagonists were (according to the then catholic archbishop) some “barbarian and vile ploughmen villagers from Galanado, Glinado and Tzitzamo”. When the king Othon visited Naxos the decade 1850, people from Glinado delivered him a letter, in which reported in a tragic way the conditions of their life, which were a little different from those that led in ineffective insurrection of 1777… In 1834, afterwards the national re-establishment, the village depends in the Municipality of Biblos and 1919(.5 March, OFFICIAL JOURNAL OF THE HELLENIC REPUBLIC 52A) becomes autonomous community, after fulfil the conditions of law: has more than 300 residents and allocates autonomous “school of elementary education”.
The village is located in altitude of 80 to 113 meters. With panoramic view to all the sides of horizon and with “person” to the west (Eastern Paros) fairly it has been characterized as the “balcony of Naxos”. The three (up to moment) hotels that have privately built in conspicuous localities, the two restaurants-tavern that already have been built in spaces from equal astonishing view, the tens luxurious residences of Naxians, Greek, Europeans that has been built the last years constitute sure clues for what “is going to happen”, with additional datum that the village is a transport nodal point, because links Chora with the two Ljvadohoria (Agersani and Tripodes) but also with all the south-western part of Naxos (Vigla, Kastraki, Aliko, Pirgaki, Agiasso), which is developed tourist.
Today the village numbers 509 permanent residents. According to the items of period 1951-2001 is observed a declining course in the population, which is not owed in the immigrate exit, neither in (being absent) mobility of men’s of population, but in the reduction of weddings and birth rate and in the natural ageing of population.
The fertile ground and the new economic fact that were in effect afterwards 1953 were main inhibitory reasons for preventing immigration, as then is founded the government owned Centre Seed Production of Potatoes of Naxos, with basic suppliers the residents of villages at Livadi. The economic-historic fact we consider (as we have proved with scientific work) that it contributed in the creation of that conditions that changed soundly the economic and social life of people of Glinado, the up to then social use of their natural space and, naturally, the relations of particular rural community with her natural environment.
Up to then (1953) the agricultural production of the village was characterized by the mixed farming that is connected with the scattered character of landed property. The establishment of the Centre Seed Production of Potatoes of Naxos involved big inversions in the productive system. The establishment meant that the fertile Livadi was selected officially by the Greek State in order to produce government owned potato seed, in order be channelled in markets of Interior. The production entered for first time in orbit of commercialisation. It was a leading developmental proposal, which the local society accepted with enthusiasm. From then and after the systematic monoculture of potato seed raised almost all the traditional cultivated types, the potato became the auriferous source for the residents, “tied up” them with their ground, infuse them with social self-confidence, determined their attitude opposite education and the other free professions, even their nickname Patatades(potato men). It appears that the future of management of this product (no and so much auspicious the last years) is connected with the future of the village.
The visitor will mainly meet the “traditional” hospitality of residents, exempted from each affectation. Winter-summertime, passing or residing in this for his vacations, he can enjoy a calm walk in the “internal” street of village.
Kaloxylos: Kaloxylos, with roughly 100 residents, is located in Tragaia area in the centre of Naxos and constitutes with the villages/settlements Halki, Heimmaro, Tsikalario, Acadimoi, Kerami, Metohi and Monoitsia, the municipal apartment Halkeion of Municipality Drymalia Naxos.
The area is characterized by the beauty of nature and is full of olives, vines, platans, oaks and other fruiterer trees. Graphic alleys, nice houses, courtyards and flowers constitutes the village picture. In the village entry, is situated the imposing church of Saint Triada. Chapels pops up in the wider area, contemporary and Byzantine-time, with more considerably the Virgin Mary Damniotissa and the St Ioannis Theologos.
In the centre of village exists an olive press, that functioned up to the last years and was repaired recently and can be visited by whoever wants to. Kaloxylos and the natural environment of the area are considered as an ideal place for walks and hike.
Kerami: Kerami is one of the most beautiful places in Naxos. The village is next to the olive grove of Tragaia and near to the other all-white settlements. It is located in the middle of a road that leads from Halki to Filoti. In the past time Kerami was a small village of poor residents, with little fields and less animals. Now the village is full of new houses and young families with many children that guarantee the development of the village in the future. The visitor can relax and enjoy the view to beautiful clean houses and flowered gardens. He can see the tower of Markopoliti, that magnetizes the glance and he will tries to understand the history of the island and imagine how life was in the years of the submission by Francs and Venetians. The visitor wishes to see the interior of the Tower and no one can blame him for that. The Tower is of architectural interest and nowadays operates as a museum, with precious figurative creations. If the visitor is lucky enough he will meet the current householder Mr Vasilis Kalavros, who will may give him a guided tour.
The tour in the village will be completed with the visit to the beautiful churches, Saint Apostles in Metohi and Saint Ioannis. Both of them are well conserved and are marvellous remnants of Byzantine season.
In the entry of village the main church of village, Taxiarhis, dominates. Next to the church, up the street, are situated hospitably cafes that can help the visitor to relax and enjoy a coffee, rake or a summertime refreshing drinks. There are also taverns for the visitor who wants to eat.
Keramoti: Keramoti is α mountainous traditional village, lost in the rich vegetation, in the bottom of the dell between mountains Koronos, Atraliki and Vouno. It is constituted by almost 80 houses, from which the most remain uninhabited in the winter. At the inventory of 2001, the village had 76 residents. It is located in the centre of the island and is connected via the bigger road network in mountainous Naxos, (cross-road of Stavros Keramoti) and with three rural streets with the villages Apeirantho, Koronos, Kynidaros and Moni. In this spot is situated a small church, dedicated to the Rise of Cross, that gave the name to the cross-road. The location of the church is unique, because someone can see the eastern and western coasts of Naxos. Keramoti is located 25 km away from Chora and with Apeirantho, Korono and Komiaki they are the emery-villages (excavation of emery) of Naxos. The name was given to the village because of the its shape that resembles as a tile (keramos).
In the North and in the South of Keramoti are the springs of the two most important rivers of Naxos, the one up Koronos mountain and the other up Fanari Mountain. This two rivers are united at the western part of the village, in “dipotamata”point and therefore continues to flow as a single river to the west and shapes up the unique waterfall in Naxos of 6 metres, flows to the village Eggares irrigating the area and debouch to the sea. The running waters, that maintain their flow even in summertime, offers to the village a all green breath-taking beauty, that abstains a lot from the usual cycladic landscape. The life of village in the past, was unbreakably connected with water, as it is testified by the two devastated watermills, the traditional wash-house and the bridge.
The residents of Keramoti, are characterized by the simplicity and the hospitality of the locals in the traditional mountainous villages of Naxos. There is a traditional song that talks exactly about that: “Keramoti and Danako they do not have a person bad…”
Main occupations of residents are the agriculture, the livestock-farming and the apiculture, while the village is famous for the wine and the honey.
Keramoti is thus structured, that the entry of cars in narrow alleys is not allowed and this way maintains the traditional character. In the centre of the village is situated the square or “platsa”, as it is called by the locals. “Platsa” was in the past the point of meeting of the villagers. A little below “platsa”, is situated the only cafe of the village, as the new point of gathering. In Keramoti used to operate an elementary school that nowadays remains closed because of the lack of children. The school lives up once a year, as in the last years the events for the Stayroproskynisi festival are hosted there, with folkloric music, dance, local dishes and local wine.
The church of the village is dedicated to Saint Ioannis Theologos and in the ground yard of it exists a folklore museum.
Electricity was energised to the village in the dues of decade 1960, while the road connection of village with the road axis of Country – Apeiranthos – Apollonas was made in the decade 1970 with subsidy of the Prefecture of Cyclades. In the same decade was made the water-supply of all the houses.
The visitors of the village should not miss the chance to walk in graphic alleys of the village and rest in the shade of platans in the old bridge of southern river, to be refreshed by drinking water from the springs, to visit the watermill and the old olive press in the square (“platsa”) and to conclude your tour by drinking rake in the cafe and con-sociating with the hospitable residents.
Maybe Keramoti does not have the accommodations of the seasonal centres of the island, but it constitutes one of the few traditional settlements of Naxos, that have remained untouched by the time. The picturesqueness and the landscape of the village make the visitor to feel calm and to admire the beauty of the simplicity. A beauty that declines, a beauty that constitutes a reality that disappears, as long as the delivery is abandoned, as long as the beautiful villages are depopulated…
Komiaki – Koronida: The name Koronida determines the whole Community, not only the village. Probably took the name after the concept that is the main one of the many “towns” (small villages) that are situated in the area. However, just by hearing the name “Komiaki”, someone thinks of the comedians. It is said that the residents of the village are of pleasant personality, with facetious disposal, with humour and they are famous for their jokes and playful remarks, as the comedians.
Koronida was also the name of Asclepiad mother, who gave birth to him after her affair with Apollo. Koronida is said that was living at Koronos mountain, in the higher top that now is situated Komiaki, above Skeponi and she is reported as one of the local nymphs of Naxos, Yades. That is to say the nymphs that had raised Dionysus and Zeus change them into the homonym constellation. Zeus entrusted three sisters, Koronida, Filia, Ckeidi with the raising of Young Dionysus so as to avoid Ira anger after his mother, Semeli, died. Voutis after he kidnapped Koronida he married her and Dionysus imposed her with holy fury, madness, so as to punish her.
The village is situated at the fertile glacis of “Koronos” mountain, at an altitude of 650 m, N, NE and NW of Naxos, in “Malliasmena Chorafia” point. In the feet of the village, is situated Podaria and impetuous torrents, Karioti, Koykoymavlas (Ai Giorgis), the Marinou, the Rodinon, the Romanos flow and delimit the village. Tranos Riakas River flows from Mavromari debouch into the sea, at the graphic bight of Apollonas.
The landscape is rough with rich vegetation of platans and oaks, with stubbles, ravines and dells that rotate, rocks are combined with the Traditional Islander Architecture with mitata, threshing floors and benches, tanks and ponds, gardens and “alitanes”, scattered country churches, Agia, Ampram, the Apollonas, the Areles, Kampos, Melinos, Myrisis, Skeponi, Faraklos, Faneromeni, the Chilia Vrisi…. composing the graphic picture of village. Enjoy your swimming in the virgin beaches of settlements of Kororida. The Saint, the St.Codoros, the Ampram, the Apollonas, the Arelles, the Plain, the Melinos, the Platis Yialos, Stavri, Faneromeni, the Faraklos and the Chilia Vrisi are beaches near the village with clear, clean sea.
The visitor can enjoy local gastronomy in the taverns, the traditional “batoudo”, he can, also, drink wine made from the been famous vines and accompany it with tasty cheese as xinomizithra, kefalotyri or xinotyro, made from the milk of ovine of free pasturage. Get in touch with the islander music at the traditional cafes as the residents of Komiaki influence the musical events of Naxos, mould and evolve the traditional music of the island per the centuries. Komiaki is a birthplace of musical tradition, with the “Vitzileadistiko” dance and the “Komiakitiki Vlaha”.
Visit the traditional Komiaki, explore the Dateless Vaulted Mycenae Tomp in Axos valley, near Hostis tap, Kana with the Greek castles, Apollonas with the famous Kouro, a male stone statue of 11 metres, which was dedicated to god Dionysus, the monastery of Agia, the after Byzantine church of Teoskepasti, with age-long platan at the village square, the Byzantine church of Saint Nikolaos at Troullos point and the Monastery of Faneromeni of the 16th century.
We offer you the stimuli; you just have to make the way!
Koronos: Your houses beautiful, small, companionate,
Foreigner in the ungrateful, inanimate concrete,
In the hills behind, in bulwark hidden
If fall above them the glance of pirates.
Roofs with lofts and wooden girders
From cut with moon apaliria’,
Violins’ eerie gigantic you say bows,
Rhapsodize “Factitious of everything” art.
Streets sinuous, clean, paved with slabs,
That cover them here and there “stiasta”!
There the love the evenings wait
For two words of love in order to says in a hurry.
Verses from the poem of the G.Psarros titled “At Cesspools”, collection “Poetry and Folklore, Folklore and poetry”
Koronos is one of the oldest, the bigger and the most mountainous villages of Naxos. The picturesqueness and the beauty of village are unique, discrete. Is located in the northeast part of island in distance of 30 km from Chora and the bigger part of it is built in the sides of one deep and green glen, for that it was named “ Votrhoi” (Cesspools) up to the 1932.
The village is separated in seven neighbourhoods that are:
- The “Centre”. It is located in the centre of village. In this exist “Platsa” with arbours, cafes, and characteristic “palace of” Mayor of that season and the big and the central well of village.
- The “Ane(g)yrida”. It is the most beautiful place of village. Scrambled up on a green and abrupt mountainside, round a huge grey black rock, fills with awe and admiration whoever sees it. Characteristic of this neighbourhood are the very abrupt uphill roads with endless, cementations steps.
III. “Provolakia”. Is a relatively small neighbourhood in the feet of “Anegyrida”, with a small and narrow street sculptured alley in the abrupt side of “Ryaka”.
- The “Apano Sterna”. It is a small neighbourhood near in the “Centre” where in the past time was full of life.
- The “Castle”. It is a big enough neighbourhood, that is extended continuously because of the near to it road. In past years was said “Above neighbourhood”.
- “Kato(g)eitonia” (neighbourhood ). Here, as tradition says , were built the first houses of village, in order not to be seen from the sea and not to be in danger by the pirates.
VII. The “Livadaki”. It is an enough big and life full neighbourhood, with shops and cafes, with the church of Agia Marina but also the school of village. Behind the school is found the bakery of village and in front of it the “Karampinados”, in which, when with the a lot of rains in winter time was filled (opened) (run out water), the women of village went there to wash clothes.
Important factor of local economy existed for a lot of years the excavation of emery, that simply “is today maintained” and the export is enough limited while the residents henceforth deal mainly with the livestock-farming, the agriculture and the viticulture.
The extraordinary street plan and traditional architecture of the houses compose a breathtaking picture that it intensely refers in a village of Pilion. Feasts and fests, walks in the alleys with stone terraces and the many steps under stiasta and arches at Kakanasi and the squares of village, the visit in the folklore museum, but also the acquaintance with the local products and dishes constitute indubitably a attractive proposal for the visitors. Traditional small cafes in “platsa” the village and in the street for Saint Marina wait for those who they want they try local sweets and “raki” while the traditional taverns in the Brigde of Village with the local recipes constitute a unique choice for eclectic well eaters.
Kourounochori: It is one of the 4 settlements of the Local District Municipality of Melanon. It is situated in the middle of the road from Chora to Kynidaros at the top of the eastern valley of Melanes over beautiful gardens which are full of all kinds of citrus fruit and olive trees and all kinds of vegetables.
The inclined territory has been elaborated in an irrigated and agricultural place with elegant terraces.
All the gardens and courtyards of houses are full of flowers and for this reason the village is called Anthohori (village of Flowers).
The source of Fleriou is very important to the village and waters areas and settlements.
Unique archaeological treasures of the region are:
- The ancient aqueduct with length of 11 kilometres, carrying water from Fleriou source to Chora and was built in the last third of the 6th B.C. century. In the 1st phase was made by clay tubes with an underground tunnel of 230 m. at the entrance of Fleriou basin. In the later phase was made a built track( era of the Roman period ).
- The ancient quarries went strong in the 7th and 6th B.C. century and supplied the entire art of ancient Greece with marble. Inside the quarries have been saved unique findings of huge sized statues, two statues of naked young men, each of 5.5 m. and two Kouroi of the 6th B.C. century.
- Unique in the region is the Venetian Mediaeval Tower.As reported by MILER, who has written the story of the Franks, a Duke in 1370 (Kokkos) was murdered by one of his relatives, who took the lead and built the Tower. By another aspect tower was built in 1600 when Ursulines came to Naxos. In the beautiful garden of the Tower, which belongs to a simple house is situated a marble table with an inscription, indicating that at this table king Othonas used to eat.
Kyridaros: In altitude of almost 400metres, Kynidaros is situated between vines, olives, oaks, platans and prinies. Tradition report that the village was firstly built in another localion, in the graphic valley of Halandros, the Kiouria point. According to tradition, the area of Halandron had rich and dense vegetation with a lot of waters and wild animals. From there was started the ancient aqueduct that manufactured by Ligdamis the 6th B.C. century and supplied Chora with water, which remain the same even today (the source of Skoulikaria supplies Chora and the villages of flat Naxos with potable water).
Today in the area of Halantron there is the almost abandonded church of Saint Dimitrios, next to the grandiose royal church of Saint Artemios and little below the devastated settlement of “Kioura”.
According to tradition, but also with archaeological testimonies:
At the Byzantine ages of Venetian domination and Ottoman domination, the village was situated in this locality and constituted fief of Francs feudal lords of season. Ruins prove that it was destroyed totally in a wild raid of pirates at the 15th century roughly.
The few residents that were saved from the settlement of “Kioura”, left for the interior of island and built their new village, the Kynidaros, in the exact point that is situated today, for better safety. It is saved a document that is reported the Toponym “Kynidaros” with chronology of 9 March 1539.
From administrative opinion, the Kynidaros remained community from 1912 until 1998, when it mutated also into municipal apartment of Municipality Naxos according the “Kapodistrias” plan of the Government.
Mainer occupations of 400 roughly residents of Kynidaros were, from even past times , agriculture and livestock-farming and circumstantially the building work. The last decades, the excavation of marble from the around mountains, which are rich in layers of marble, has kept the population of village in hearths constituting and is the most important financial source for the village.
The residents of Kynidaros are distinguished for their effortless disposal in the music and the dance. The benders constitute characteristic aspect of kynidarean life. The rich music and dance tradition of the village is maintained almost unchanged in the passage of time. Tradition reports that afterwards the destruction of Naxos from the Eneteans, families was transported in the island from various places, and in the Kynidaro settled down themselves families with instrumentalists, singers and dancers. This is the reason for the innate love and faculty in the song, the music and the dance.
Melanes: The village Melanes is one of the more ancient settlements of Naxos. The name Melanes came from a fable very similar to the one of Roxanne at which, two brothers after duel for the governing of Naxos were killed each other in the area, where today is situated the Byzantine holy Church of Saint Georgios and, their sister ordered to be brought an Nigrescent (melanos) Tunic.
In of Fleriou point functioned the first faculties of sculpture where there are found the Kouros of Melanes, a piece of work of the 6th century B.C.(much older than Acropolis) and bethel of the sources (the house of archaic ages). Other important monument is the Tower of Jesuit. Is one medieval building that is dated roughly in 1680 A.C.. Perhaps it is the most important building of Middle Ages not only in Greece but also in Mediterranean.
In the existing monuments, characteristic also are, the roman aqueduct and the archaic aqueduct that were transporting water from Fleriou point to Chora of Naxos.(In our days four parts are saved in various points). Byzantine Churches of Saint Georgios, Virgin Mary of Kryptomatis, the resort of Sanoudos in the Kampones, the tower of Sanoudos in the Koyrnohori, the olive press of Demari.
Remarkable are the watermills, the green valley with olive groves and oranges the traditional taverns of the village. The residents deal with building works (from best artisan in Greece) and also with the livestock-farming.
Mesoi: Mesi (means middle) is a small graphic village in the way to Apollona. It is considered that took the particular name because it is found between Skado and Apollonas or was between two others that do not exist anymore.
The characteristic of the village is the Platanos(platan). There exists a source with “light” water, as say the locals, from which as much as someone will drink he will not” inflate”. They consider this water as “elixir of youth” because the village has many over-age men in very good natural situation.
By in the source stands for a lot of years an enormous platan that offer shade to the visitor.
Next to Platano become the dances, festivals, the wedding receptions, the after christening ones and all kinds of events of the village.
Also, there is the renovated traditional olive press (famprika) and the Municipal School that functions as folklore museum.
Little outside from the village is found the Drakontospilio with stalactites and stalagmites. According to tradition this cave does not have an end. There were hidden the residents of village in order to rescue themselves from the raids of pirates.
In the way to Apollonas there is Kalogeros, a low relatively but abrupt mountain that in the top has plateau with ancient and Byzantine buildings of castle. The mountain is named Kaloeros because according to tradition in the feet lived a monk (kalogeros) or according to another tradition the mountain it is named Kalogyros because of the castle that is found in the top very well protected from the dangers. A secret path, it is said, led to the castle, which the pirates could not discover. A time, however, they met in the down part of mountain an old woman that washed her clothes. The scared her in order to give away to them where the path is. But she was not telling that to them. When however, they promised her that she and her family will be saved themselves, she showed the street to them, and thus they occupied and burned the castle.
A rural street leads to Saint Giorgis Voridis, a small beautiful port for swimming and for fishing. There exists also the homonym church. Seals have been presented in the rocks of Agios Giorgis and in the neighbouring bights enough times. Also in the right of the port of Saint Giorgis exists a marine cavern that, they say, it is so much big that fit inside it and was hidden the submarine “Papanikolis” while the period of Greek-Germany war. Famous is the festival of Agia Paraskevi, on 26 July.
Miloi: A landscape that will not annoy your aesthetic. Opposite, the atmosphere in the three small dorps of Miloi that connect them a dreamed way, old watermills with enormous afoykles, the old aqueduct with the nice waterfalls, the graphic way between gardens with fruitful trees, platans, olives, and bearberries, a small number of good-hearted and polite residents of the village. All together work in total for an unforgettable walking/itinerary.
You do not need a guide in order to visit. You just have to follow the running of water that will guide you from Koyrnohori to Miloi and from there to the ancient bethel of the sources and in ancient kouros of Melanes. They took the name after the lots watermills that are in all the way along the waters. The village is separated in three areas, Kato, Mesaio and Pano Milloi that belong in the Municipal apartment of Melanes and are located in the south-eastern part of homonym valley.
Kato Milloi: It is the first dorp where the scenic seems unusual for someone who lives in the city. It seems as the time has stopped a hundred years ago. You see low one-stored houses with the courtyards empty by humans, remains of an old-time age. One or two small rooms in order to settle a family with many children, the first one is the kitchen (maerio) and the reception and other one is the bedroom of the house. Outside in the courtyard that is more spacious, there is one room the “matzes” or “mytatos” a room for the animals and a second one the “foyrnario” that constituted the auxiliary hypostatic of the house.
Mesaioi Milloi: In the second dorp you distinguish a different newer season of decade 1930. A clump of 5 or 6 two-storied houses the one next to the other that they seem to fight for protection as they can feel the distress of the obvious abandonment. Wheeled do not reach here, with as a result the whitewashed paved with slabs paths to keep the beauty they have by the care of an old lady for enough time. The beauty and the elegance are innate heritage in to the housewives of the village. Handmade blinds dress the windows while splendid laces embellish the cupboards and other corners of the house.
Pano Milloi: following once again the running of water to the up mills the pictures of nature that you discover are unique. The element of water is sovereign here. The charm of the landscape is shown by the waterfalls and by the eternal running of waters as nature takes care of every detail and creates moments of magic. In Pano Milloi coexists old with new. Here become efforts for conservation and restoration of old houses that shows love and respect to tradition. And as you find yourself there it deserves the labour following the traditional path and always next to the running of water to reach up to Flerio that is the way in a row of an inexhaustible natural beauty.
Moni: Moni is situated up to a green ridge of mountainous (central) Naxos and namely in altitude 500m.in the term Fanari. The natural position is so much wisely chosen and harmonic to an environment full of olives, vineyards, fruiterer trees, gardens with green vegetables and tomatoes and gardens with mellows and water mellows, that constitutes, admittedly, one of the most beautiful naturally “balcony” to Aegean Sea. Α “balcony” like a non expected, open embrace, that smiles openly to the sun and gazes into the impressive landscape in front. This landscape, following the bubbling gargling stream with the old stone bridge precisely next to the village, overflow as a torrent in the roots, shaping initially a green basin full of cultures, while, unexpectedly it tears in two parts the mountainous volume and leads hedonically in the sea, that is visible from Moni, even if it is situated in distance of 20 km. from Chora of Naxos!
This incredible view, when the sky takes a clear blue colour, reveals everything around, far to the Aegean Sea and allows the observer to see even opposite at Paros. The view, therefore, this, in connection with the cultivated soil that come down from the ridge of Moni and extend in a big distance in front, surrounded by a ring of harmonic mountainous volumes in natural shapes of pyramids – with protagonist Za mountain, the “eagle shaped” mountain that inspired the great poetry Odysseus Elytis who described it precisely in the leading work “Axion Esti” (…as the shades above in the mountain, with the raise of sun, create the picture of aproud eagle µe open wings) renders Moni a unique energy place, that revives the body and the spirit in the minimum time and create a feeling of euphoria and energy to everyone that experiences this condition.
This place, even if it is “burned” by the sun and by the full Greek sky, does never “burn” humans. Ethereal dew overflows from everywhere and caresses the gardens, sending a handful golden but invisible rain above in the thirsty ground. Perhaps for this reason, precisely in this place, from ancient years, it was the natural place of Goddess of wisdom, that was worshipped in the Antiquity as “Athens drosos” and that later, when prevailed the Christianism, became “Virgin Mary Drosiani'”. For this, however, remained the tradition that the icon of Virgin Mary of Drosonis “refresh”(drosizo) ‘, because she diffused dew in the environment, but also she “sweat” moreover, each time that Moni and the residents were threatened by some danger, warning them thus, in time. This icon is situated in a very ancient palaiochristian chapel, in a small distance from the village. The church constitutes a very important monument with frescos even from the 6th century, concurrent or even more ancient from those at Ravenna. The older part of the chapel, with the primitive conical room and the three niches in the sides, is built with naked stonework and plates in the roof, while the place of manufacture leads as to the conclusion that there had been, probably, situated a mausoleum up to a moment in the past.
Besides being a natural “battery” of energy, Moni, is a village that deserves to be visited by all that come in Naxos, thus is a traditional village with traditional old mansions home. Stone dominates everywhere in the architecture, thus the craftsmen of the stone of Moni were always famous and manufactured a lot of work (bridges, booms etc) all over the island. Thus, after you reach in the war memorial, in the beginning of the village, and after leaving there your car, you can walk in the graphic alleys of the village and to see first of all the paved with slabs small “platza” (square) of the village. At your walk, you will see two old olive presses and a remnant of an old Venetian Tower in Eastern part of the village and finally, the source of Moni and the well in the other end of village.
But not only the men of Moni are famous as craftsmen of Stone, famous, for other, reason, are also the women of the village. They are famous all over the world for their art in looming, thus they practise traditionally the textile art and they teach it with pious consequence to young girls.
Moreover, do not forget to visit the very interesting wood carving workshop, woodcut in olive, little more outside from the village, in the way to Halki.
Two other important occupations of residents of Moni, are cheese-making and vines. It deserves you to taste the pure flavor cheeses of pasturages, but also the wine that is produced by the households of the settlement, and not only the wine, but also the exceptional raki (arrack). You can find all these in the restaurants of village and your can accompany with their “heady” sweet or peppery flavor, the traditional mezes (titbit) that you will be served hospitably there.
Do not forget, to order also homemade sweet of spoon or to buy some from the service shop of cooperative.
We are waiting for you, and not only wish, but we are sure for your pleasant stay in Moni, with the beautiful mountainous embrace, with the good company, but also the natural energy, the health, and the celestial dew!
Monitsia: Monoitsia, a beautiful graphic settlement, is built on a ravine. The small rivulet flowing next to the village at past years often was becoming a big one, because of the rain and did not stop to flow, to babble, and to water the bushes and the trees, giving this way colour and fragrance to the landscape.
The village has few houses with trees in courtyards.
Walking around the village, in the last house, in the way that leads to the wash-houses, one huge age-long oak offers shade and dew to the visitor. If we decide to walk to Rachi, we can visit and admire the church of St Sideros, a royal order without cupola, which is an important relic of the Byzantine Ages. Old churches, as the Virgin Mary the Rachdiotissa which is situated a little outside the village, Saint Antonios, St Nikolas and St Vasilis (restructured) inside the village, testify the existence of long-lasting human presence.
Nowadays, the village is not inhabited by the descendants of older families, because of the absence of an infrastructure. Only a few individuals, mainly foreigners, appear to enjoy and prefer the calm of Monoitsia. Foreigners find the village so much attractive, that decide to create conditions of existence with their own expenses. The last years appears to be the choice for local who manufacture seasonal residence with ranch, in which they will find, for sure, the peacefulness that they need in the embrace of nature.
Potamia: Potamia is one of the most beautiful and most traditional villages of Naxos. It hardly 8km far from the harbour of country and it is lodged in a green valley with age-long platans, a lot gardens with fruitful trees and various other beauties that make the visitor be wonder-struck. It took the name after the rivers that crossing the village and running all seasons. It is constituted by four settlements: Pano Potamia, Mesaia Potamia, Kato Potamia and Lierado. It has permanent population 362 residents (census 2001), that the summertime is increased. The residents deal with the agriculture and the livestock-farming. Main products are the oil, the citrus fruits, the horticultural and cheeses.
According to tradition the first that submerged the magic coast of Naxos were the prehistoric population, Thraces. Kares followed them and then Ionians. However because they had frequent attacks from the pirates, they began moving to the interior of the island, choosing dominating points in order to be able to defend themselves from an invulnerable position. Thus they reached also in Potamia, where after they realised the wealth of valley which yielded the spring source of Theologos at any season, they began systematic culture planting fruitful trees of any kind and flowers, thus changing it, in small time, to a land paradise and to the most important resort of Naxos. Then, in points where the water of source did not reach were planted the olive groves.
At the first years of Byzantine Empire, as they testify the old ruins, the first settlement was Ziria in the valley of Potamia. Then was built another settlement, the one of “Psarrou'”, which was found in Mesaia Potamia, front from the current Elementary School. The ruins that exist there but also many more traditions testify the existence. Simultaneously, in small distance by this was created a cemetery in the place “Slaves” or “Mnimatakia”, where the residents buried the dead. Later were built also the third settlement, Lierados, in the banks of river and in the 200 metres from the current Elementary School. Later were erected the existing today three villages, which constitute the community of Potamia. Did not skip the attention of settlers the motive force of shaped stream from the spring source At Pano Potamia and thus was built fourteen watermills for the milling of cereals of residents. In Pano Potamia it is able to visit one of them.
The village reached in big acne when Naxos was dominated by venetian origin Francs invaders, which under the protection of Dukes of Naxos occupied all the valley of Potamia and shared the land as thy wanted, making the residents of Potamia their slaves. Then were built eight imposing towers: Massena, Della Rokka, Kokkoy, Bageri, Malatesta, Afentikon, Mousou Mari, Ammodaras. The visitor can wander in the stone natural peripatetic paths, visit the Above Castle and the Girl of Potamia (statue of woman). He should not leave out to visit the marble “faucet of Faraksou'”, for which fables report that Franc house-holders shaped the primitive aspect in order to seat their sovereigns in the around channels and discuss for their romantic loves for the voluptuous sovereigns. Also, in south-western Kato Potamia it is the land property Agios Mamas and the Byzantine church of the 9th century, the Virgin Mary, as well as 34 other old churches and chapels that are also scattered in the four settlements. Finally, each visitor that will be found in this graphic village can taste the tastiest homemade titbits in the traditional shops, as well as the hospitality, the kindness and the politeness of persons of Potamia.
Sangri: Sagkri, the apple of Naxos eye! The village is situated above a hill with the horizon open in front of it. It is named “small Mystras” because of the abundance of Byzantine churches.
Inside the village, the famous monastery of Saint Eleftherios is situated, that functioned also as a secret school in the years of the Ottoman domination and today accommodates the Folklore Museum. Near the village is the most important archaeological site of the island, Gyroulas with the recently restored Temple of Demeter and a remarkable museum.
Gyroulas was rewarded in 2004 from the European Union and EUROPA NOSTRA “for the sensitivity that was demonstrated at the restoration of this important monument and the successful accord to environment”.
The village is also famous for the venetian towers, two of which, devastated, are situated in Kato Sagkri, a preservable settlement, while a third, Palaiologou Tower, renovated, is in distance of 20 ‘.
But not only the Byzantine churches and archaeological sites make Sagkri stand out. It is especially the enchanting beaches with the white sand and the wonderful colors of the Sea.
Mikri Viglais a very famous beach with the rocky hill, which separates two beautiful beaches, wind protected Vigla and Orkos. At summertime, the champions of wind surfing gather in Orko to enjoy this sport, taking advantage of the cool meltemi of the Aegean.
After Mikri Vigla, the extensive beaches Kastraki and Glyfada spread to the bays of Alykos and a magnificent forest of small cedar trees come out on the white sand. It is a landscape of unique beauty in the island. Alongside in these beautiful beaches there are many hotels, villas and rooms for visitors to enjoy a stay as much pleasant as it can be in a beautiful and hospitable environment. Someone can enjoy the sun and sea there as anywhere else.
Skado: The Skado is a village with unique beauty, surrounded by trees that in summer can be sources of oasis and calm for visitors. It is believed that took its name after the word “iskas – ados” that means fig, because there were many fig trees in the area or after “skiero”(shady) because of the shade of trees. Inside the village there are beautiful bi-level houses, with the characteristics of local architecture, many of which have been abandoned. At the edge of the village is the church of Panayia (celebrating, August 15), which, according to tradition, was built the period of Ottoman Domination. The church was started to be build but residents of the village had various rural work and had no time to complete it. One day a resident found in a mountain path an earring. He asked who might have lost it and he was told that the daughter of Pasha had come for a walk and maybe the earring belonged to her. He went then to Pasha and gave him the earring. His daughter was so happy that asked her father to give the man what he wants. Pasha asked him what he wished and he replied that his only dream was to build the church. From that day soldiers of Pasha was forbidding the residents to leave the village if they had not worked certain days in the church. So in a little bit of time the church of Virgin Mary was completed with the help of the Turks. Skado belongs to the emery villages and t inhabitants «share» miners of emery and work on them. The dealing with the extraction of emery is perhaps the reason for not having many farmlands or developed animal husbandry and for this reason many residents died by hunger in this village, the period of “Occupation” by German Nazi (there is also a monument with the names victims).
One of the two olive presses of Skado is situated at the centre of the village and sought to act as museum. In the village there is a material rich in folklore collection of Marigos Pittara, worth visiting. In Skado also operates the High School of mountain Naxos.
Vivlos – Tripodes: Mills unforgettable, of my village beloved
Sometimes you gave in Tripodes life
Now in the elevation all three forgotten
Utmost seashore you caresses a blow………..
As you look from the street at the graphic windmills “climbed up” the hill, you think it is a painting table. The village is located in the South-western part of the island in the passage for the marvellous beaches of Kastraki – Alikou and Pyrgaki without lack of an own beach, Plaka. Also, the village is well known for its history, the hospitality of the residents, the archaeological monuments as the Paliopyrgos of Plaka, the chappel of Ag. Matthaios, the Virgin Mary Tripodiotissa, the Stayropigi, the Plaka.
To Tripodes happened the same thing that happened to most of Naxos. Firstly a more ancient settlement of Tripodes in the beach of Plaka appears to exist, as it is proved by the ruins of the ancient Tower of Plaka and the ancient temple of Ag. Matthaios. Later, because of the fear of pirates and the devastating raids the settlement was transported inner, while the current position was defined in the years of Francs Domination and it became in one of the large village of Livadi with the name Biblos or Tripodes.
The name is connected with the fairy tale of Tower of Plaka or Paliopyrgos. According to the fairy tale sometimes, the old king of Naxos put a bet with two young men in order to his only daughter choose the most capable one for her husband. The first feat was the manufacture of a Tower, the other one the transport of water from the Kampones to Chora. The two works had to be done in one day. The lads agreed between them one to make the Tower and the other one the aqueduct. Little before evening they reached the palace in the same time but then they fought and killed each other. The Princess by her sorrow that was lost the young men, put herself under oath to live in the Tower and made it an oracle. The evenings with starlight she sat in stool with three legs and staring at the stars. As soon as the day became she was going to the village and said in each one of the villagers what would happen in his life. One day the Tower collapsed and the Princess disappeared. The villagers brought in the village the tripod stool and from then and afterwards they named the village Tripodes. Above in this stool they wrote the first Community meetings in a Bible and thus were named Biblos.
In 1836 Naxos was divided in five Municipalities and between these and the Municipality of Biblos that included the villages Glinado, Agersani, Tripodes Sagkri, Potamia and Melanes. From 1912 is established the community Tripodes – Biblos that today numbers 807 permanent residents (census 2001) who deals with the agriculture, stock-farming and tourism. In the entry of the village the Virgin Mary the Tripodiotossa welcomes the visitor. According to the tradition Dame (Virgin Mary) indicates herself the place that she wanted to be built her church. The first day the residents began to build the church in Trio point but the church collapsed the very next morning and they saw a vigil candle burning in the position that the church is situated today. They dug and found the icon. In past times was one from the robust male monasteries of the island. The signs testify the age of the church from the 16th century while in the “ypoga”(basement) was a school up to the decade the ‘ 50.
It is a double-aisle temple with a very nice carven chancel screen. The bells still need three men’s pair of hands in order to sound each Sunday and specifically in the feast of Novena of Virgin Mary on 23 August. The local residents and Athenian visitors honour her feast with litany around the village. In the evening follows a bender in the square of village up to next morning.
If someone is in the village the day when celebrates the Ag. Paraskevi on the 26th of July he can follow the road to the chapel of Virgin Mary at Plaka to Light a candle in her glory . The locals look up to her and the day of her feast they do not work in order to honour her memory. After the Mass finishes, someone can enjoy the beautiful sandy beach and the immense sea of Kara. Whoever if someone is on vacations at the island on September, the fest of Stayropigi in 14th of the month at the homonym chapel little outside the village in the street to Kastraki, will compensate him. The graphic all-white chapel of Stayropigi is situated next to platans, oleanders and osiers. In the old days from the underground came out water, holy water. At summertime there is a scent in the area from the herbs and roses that grow up all around.
The village is beautiful in all seasons with the all-white houses, the monuments, the hospitality of the residents, the shops, the hotels, but also with the mores and the traditional customs.
Vouvouria: In the central Naxos between two streams and an olive forest, a small village is located, named Vourvouria .
It is a graphic dorp that most maps do not include, but you will meet it in the way to mountainous and central Naxos. The name Vourvouria is the sound of the nature and a verse of a poem. “Vourvouria'” took the name after the noise of the running continuously waters or after the plants bulrush (vourla) that grow up in the riversides. Men of art and literature said that the village should be named “heaven” or “Mesopotamia” (area between two rivers). In the decade of 1950 the village was full of life and 150 person lived there, between them 40 children. Today village has 20 houses and 25 permanent residents. The architecture, in most houses is uniform.
Mansions, whitewashed, stone houses with pountia (big balconies), volta (arches), and courtyards compose the village. It is said that all houses were built by the same workman.
In the dorp, 3 old olive presses remain , showing the occupation of residents and the production of oil in the past years.
Come to Vourvouria and walk through the alleys. Begin from Agia Paraskevi church , follow the shady path, full of lilacs, oranges, olives and bullaces. In a little bit you will reach the other Agia Paraskevi church in the next hill. Light the vigil-candle and see the villages in the silver olive grove. If you pass from the square, in your way to the river, will meet the rosemary. You will see wells and old wash-houses. The water still runs, satisfying the villagers thirst .
The beat of the battledore is still heard, as if the landlords are still washing clothes .If you are lucky, in your walk, you will meet Giorgi of Koula. He is the “Grandfather” of village, who will make a small basket for you, tell you a fairy tale ,talk with you for life or just give you his bless.
In the afternoon, if you meet a resident with keys in his hand you, you will know that he goes to light on the vigil-candles of the village churches .
Village churches: Saint Prokopios (built at 1809-1810) and is the parish church, Saint Georgios (1762), Agia Paraskevi(1397), and Saint Konstantinos (1311), which reveal the presence of Vourvourja in the Byzantine season.
On the 8th of July, Saint Prokopios fest is celebrated, Then you will hear the sound of the village bells and and you can take part in the procession of the old icon around the village. The smell of incense is pervasive in the air, all over the village .
Many residents migrated from this small village of Naxos.
But all of them are dreaming of their return in this big “Paradise” of Naxos island, named Vourvouria.
Zodochou Pigi: Zoodochos Pigi is a settlement in the road Chalkeion – Potamia – Naxos and at a distance of 1.100 m.. The village belongs to the Municipal Office of Chalkeion.Two villages consist the settlement, Cheimaros, Tsikalario, with a population of about 100 residents each.
The villages have a conjunct parish church and a conjunct Elementary School. In the entrance of Tsikalario, next to the famous spring is St. Stephen church with frescoes of the 6th century. To the North is situated the country church St. Pachomios known as St. Pachis(fat) because weak/thin children used to pass through the lintel-marble-so as to get more strong. In 1213 Angelos Sanoudos forbidden this custom but he was forced to bring it back because the residents of the near villages rose up against it. At a distance of 880m to the West is situated the Byzantine and the later Venetian castle “Apano Castle” with ruins of Byzantine and Franc churches, Cyclopean walls and imposing crenellations. In the eastern foothills of the Castle were discovered round tombs of geometric Era. Findings of excavations are hosted in Archaeological Museum of Athens.
Tsikalario, in antiquity, was the workshop place of the inhabitants of the castle, hence the name. (Tsikali = Clay cooking utensil). The name of the village Cheimaros comes from the river which flows in winter and spring near the village.
In the history of Greece, Naxos was a very important centre of civilization, it is said to be the most important of all the Cyclades during the ancient periods of, 4000-1000 B. C
The Thracians were the first inhabitants of the island and they remained on the island of Naxos for two whole centuries, until one day the Carean took control of Naxos Greece; it is believed that the island owns its name to their leader (Endymion’s son) who was called Naxos. Later, during the rule of well known King Minos, the Cretans arrived on Naxos. As the Mycenaeans gained power in Mainland Greece, they also spread to the islands and in particular to Naxos, where significant Mycenaean sites have been discovered.
Later, the island of Naxos was dominated by the Ionians who helped with the development and growth of the island’s civilization, which became very wealthy during the 7th century BC, because the inhabitants of the island started the sea trading and creating colonies. Some of the statutes and temples found today on the island of Delos were made from marble from Naxos.
The Persian Empire was the worst enemy of Naxos, against which many battles were fought. Prelude to the Persian war, was the Naxos revolt a catalist that encourged other cities, as far as Cyprus, to join the strugle against the Persians. After the well known Greek – Persian War, Naxos was the first island to come under Athenian rule. Later, it became part of the Empire of Alexander the Great and then part of the Roman Empire. During that period the island was the target of countless pirate raids.
During the Peloponnesian War the Athenians lost Naxos against the Spartans, who immediately took over Naxos.
In Roman times Naxos belonged in the prefecture of the Islands. The commander was proconsul and was situated in Rhodos. After the abolition of the Byzantine Empire from the Crusaders (1204), Naxos was conquered after fights that lasted 5 weeks in Marcos Sanoudos, who became Duke of Naxos and of the Aegean Sea. He built at the highest place of the town, above the Greek houses, a palace wit 12 towers, made the port in such a way in order to be suitable for naval yard. He also built a cathedral for the Latin Archbishop; he distributed the best fields to his followers and conquered also the islands of Antiparos, Sifnos, Kimolos, Milos, Folegandros, Ios and Santorini, joining them to his ducat.
Twenty dukes from the house of Sanoudos, Dalekatseri and Krispon ruled successively in Duke Throne of Naxos until 1537. Then, with no obvious cause, Chaired in Barbarosa came to Naxos and John Krispos (12th Duke) gave him the keys of the gates. Turks held Krispos in the ship and raided the town and the palace. He gave his freedom back in exchange for a yearly 5000 golden coins tax.
NAXOS AND GREEK MYTHOLOGY In 1564, Duke John died and his son Iakovos took the throne, but he was forced by the Turks to leave and in 1566 the Duke of Naxos went to the rich Israeli Joseph Nazi, who was the choice of Sultan Selim. This duke ruled, having Spaniard Francisco Koronelo as inspector. After the death of Nazi and Koronelo, Naxos became part of Turkey until 1821, with a break between years 1770 – 1774, when along with other islands of Cyclades was in the hands of Russians. The time of the Venice – Turkey war the Venice fleet took Aegean, having as a consequence Naxians to pay double taxes (in Venice and in Turkey). This lasted until 1699, when Turks by conquerinf Crete became the only leaders in Aegean.
The taxes in Turks were 6000 grosses in 1676 and 10500 in 1700. Naxos had a Turkish commander and six co-commanders, who were elected every year from the inhabitants. On the 21st October 1675 Naxos town was raided by pirate Ougo d’ Kreveler. Three years later (26th August 1678) d’ Kreveler, with a lot of French and Maniates pirates came to Naxos and captured the commander and his brother Ali Tselempi. They capture also and other Turks, men, women and children and they caused a lot of damage. Naxos suffered a lot, because Turks assumed that the capture of the commander was done after a deal with Naxians.
In 1826 the Austrian admiral Paulugi, attacked with his fleet against Naxos and 700 men conquered the town. According to them the cause was that the residents of Naxos, Kasos and Crete, equipped pirate boats and robbed Austrian cargo ships. Paulugi left three days later after taking a signed paper of obedience from Cretans, while Naxians were safe in the highest mountain of the island. In May 1941 Naxos was occupied by the Italians and in October 1943 by Germans.
It was freed on the 15th October 1944.
Naxos is a very popular island in Greek mythology, many myths in Greece involve Naxos as some point. Naxos was a centre of the Cyclades islands from 4000 to 1100 BC. The capital has always been Chora (also known as Naxos main town), but the island used to be called Calliopolis (‘the most important city”) in ancient Greece. The island is said to have got its current name from its first ruler: king Naxos, but it has had different names through history: Dia (“Zeus”), Stroggylo (“round”) and Dionysias. It held tights bonds with Santorini and Halkida, and together they founded the colony Naxos on Sicily in 734 BC.
According to a story in Greek mythology, the young Zeus was raised in a cave on Mt. Zas (“Zas” meaning “Zeus”). Homer mentions “Dia”; literally the sacred island “of the Goddess”. Karl Kerenyi explains (speaking as if he were an ancient Greek):
|“||This name, Dia, which means ‘heavenly’ or ‘divine’, was applied to several small craggy islands in our [ Aegean ] sea, all of them lying close to larger islands, such as Crete or Naxos. The name “Dia” was even transferred to the island of Naxos itself, since it was more widely supposed than any other to have been the nuptial isle of Dionysus.||”|
When Zeus’ mistress Semele died before giving birth to their child, Zeus took the embryo and put it in his thigh. When the baby, Dionysus, was born out of Zeus thigh on Naxos, the nymphs Philia, Coronida and Clidi brought him up on the island, which was to be Dionysus Favourite Island. The god made the island fertile and full of grapevines, forever blessing it.
Another myth that involves the island of Naxos :
Minos was a king in Crete. The mythology says when the God Poseidon got angry of King Minos he decided to punch him. Therefore, he induced King Minos’ wife, Pasiphae to be bewitched by a white bull. She gave a birth to a creature half a bull and half a human called the Minotaur and then died. Minos got angry, imprisoned the Minotaur in a labyrinth, and began to feed him annually by human blood and sacrifices of young Athenians. His daughter, Ariadne began to hate her father for this. When she was ten years old, she began to know from her monstrous half brother about the nature of his father and her father. When Greek Prince Theseus, the son of King Aegus arrived with other 13 Athenians in one of the annual sacrifices, Ariadne saw him and fell in love with him at first sight. She gave him a sword to kill the Minotaur and held the end of the thread to lead him out of the labyrinth.
The Cretan princess left home and sailed with Theseus and his fellows to Athena. They reached the beautiful Naxos and wanted to get some food and water. She slept in the island and when she woke up she found that Theseus have sailed and left her on Naxos. One of the satyrs in the Naxos found her and led her to Dionysus and the God of wine married her.
In a few versions of the myth, Dionysus appeared to Theseus as they sailed away from Crete, saying that he had chosen Ariadne as his wife, and demanded that Theseus leave her on Naxos for him; this has the effect of absolving the Athenian culture-hero of desertion. The vase-painters of Athens often showed Athena leading Theseus from the sleeping Ariadne to his ship.
With Dionysus, she was the mother of Oenopion, the personification of wine, Staphylus (related to grapes), Latramys and Tauropolus Her wedding diadem was set in the heavens as the constellation Corona.
She remained faithful to Dionysus, but was later killed by Perseus at Argos. In other myths Ariadne hanged herself from a tree, like Erigone and the hanging Artemis, a Mesopotamian theme. Some scholars think, due to her thread-spinning and winding associations, that she was a weaving goddess such as Arachne, and they support the assertion with the mytheme of the Hanged Nymph.
Dionysus however descended into Hades and brought her and his mother Semele back. They then joined the gods in Olympus.
The Naxos portion of the Ariadne myth is also told in the Richard Strauss opera Ariadne auf Naxos.
The giant brothers Otus and Ephialtes figure in at least two Naxos myths: in one, Artemis bought the abandonment of a siege they laid against the gods, by offering to live on Naxos as Otus’s lover; in another, the brothers had actually settled Naxos.
We cooperate with a couple of rent car agencies on the island of Naxos. Please feel free to book a car or motor bike through this website.
In order to rent a car through the website, please contact: [email protected]
Cars can be delivered to the port or to your hotel and be picked up again there, too.
Insurance is usually third party but full car insurance is also available upon request. The vehicles are rented out for a minimum time of 24 hours and prices are negotiable.
It is best to pre-book a car as it’s not easy to find what you are looking for in the high season on Naxos.
|COMPANY NAME||TYPE OF BUSINESS||LOCATION||TELEPHONE NUMBER|
|Apollon||Rent a car / motorbike||Chora / Naxos||+30 22850 23175|
|Naxos vision||Rent a car / motorbike||Chora / Naxos||+30 22850 26200|
|MotoNaxos||Rent a car / motorbike||Chora / Naxos||+30 22850 23420|
|Maganari Naxos||Rent a car / motorbike||Chora Naxos||+30 69 77 391 488|
|Karabatsis tours||Rent a car / motorbike||Ayios Prokopios||+30 22850 41655|
Naxos is the largest Greek island in the Cyclades. It was the centre of archaic Cycladic culture. The island comprises the two municipalities of Naxos and Drymalia. The largest town and capital of the island is Chora or Naxos City, with 6,533 inhabitants (2001 census).
Naxos is a popular tourist destination, with several easily accessible ruins. It has a number of beautiful beaches, such as those at Ayia Anna, Ayios Prokopios, Alikos, Kastraki, Mikri Vigla, Plaka, and Ayios Georgios, most of them 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 inadequate. Mount Zas (999 metes) 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. Naxos is also known within Greece for its potatoes.
If you would like to visit the many picturesque villages of Naxos, you could use the main bus services, the buses will take you to most villages and in the summer time the buses are very frequent. For more information about buses on Naxos : +30 22850 22291
If a bus does not help you, then the next best choice is to call a taxi: +30 22850 22444
USEFUL TELEPHONE NUMBERS ON NAXOS
|Police station||+30 2285 0 22100 / +30 2285 0 23280|
|Port police authorities||+30 2285 0 22300|
|Ambulance||+30 2285 0 23333|
|Health centre on Naxos||+30 2285 0 23333 / +30 2285 0 22346 / +30 2285 0 23867|
|Stray animals help on Naxos||+30 69 56 13 39 29|
|Fire department||+30 2285 0 32199|
|Post office on Naxos||+30 2285 0 22211|
|Bus station on Naxos||+30 2285 0 22291|
|Taxi station on Naxos||+30 2285 0 22444|
|Naxos airport||+30 2285 0 23292 / +30 2285 0 23969|
|Tourist police on Naxos||+30 2285 0 22482|
|Taxation office on Naxos (Eforia)||+30 2285 0 00000|
|Building department Naxos (Poleodomia)||+30 2285 0 23 710|
|Tourist information on Naxos (Kep)||+30 2285 0 29358|
|Telephone company (OTE)||+30 2285 0 22599|
|Elecricity Company (DEH)||+30 2285 0 24544|
|Water Company (DEYAP)||+30 2285 0 25300|
|IKA Naxos||+30 2285 0 22232|
|Aiplane information||+30 2285 0 24816|
|Archeological museum on Naxos||+30 2285 0 22387|
|Unemployment office in Naxos (OAED)||+30 2285 0 25366|
|Military ground on Naxos (Stratopedo)||+30 2285 0 23441|
|Muniplicity of Naxos (Dimos)||+30 2285 3 60100|
|Plumber on Naxos (Mattis)||+30 6946997637|
FERRIES TO AND FROM NAXOS
The most popular way to get to Naxos is by ferry. In the summer time, there are more than six ferries per day to and from Naxos from the main port of Greece which is Piraeus.
Naxos has a small airport but traveling by ferry is more popular, cheaper, easier and pleasant. You can get to all the near-by Aegean islands by getting a ferry from the main port of Naxos.
You will be surprised at the amount of ferries arriving and departing from Naxos per day. As well as the normal ferries there are hydrofoils (so-called “Sea jets”; no transportation of cars, motorbikes possible) and high-speed catamarans (“High speed”) that take you to your destination in half the time but the ticket costs double the price of a usual ferry (i.e. Blue Star Ferries). The ferries are now quite reliable and with their comfortable and modern lounges and decks you should have a very pleasant journey to your destination. Cabins on the ferries are available but are not classed as necessary.
We wish you a nice trip !!!
If you would like to visit the beautiful island of Naxos, you may book your accommodation through our site and get a special discount. If you have fallen in love with Naxos and you wish to stay, then perhaps you should look at some of the real estate on Naxos. If you need any extra information, then please contact us here [email protected] or +30 69 34 620 501 / +30 22840 24 879
THE GEOGRAPHY OF NAXOS
The island comprises the two municipalities of Naxos and Drymalia. The largest town and capital of the island is Chora or Naxos City, with 6,533 inhabitants (2001 census). The main villages are Filoti, Apiranthos, Vivlos, Agios Arsenios, Koronos and Glinado.
Naxos is a popular tourist destination, with several easily accessible ruins. It has a number of beautiful beaches, such as those at Ayia Anna, Ayios Prokopios, Alikos, Kastraki, Mikri Vigla, Plaka, and Ayios Georgios, most of them 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 inadequate. Mount Zas (999 metres) 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. Naxos is also known within Greece for its potatoes.
Naxos in Greek mythology
According to a story in Greek mythology, the young Zeus was raised in a cave on Mt. Zas (“Zas” meaning “Zeus”). Homer mentions “Dia”; literally the sacred island “of the Goddess”. Karl Kerenyi explains (speaking as if he were an ancient Greek):
“ This name, Dia, which means ‘heavenly’ or ‘divine’, was applied to several small craggy islands in our [ Aegean ] sea, all of them lying close to larger islands, such as Crete or Naxos. The name “Dia” was even transferred to the island of Naxos itself, since it was more widely supposed than any other to have been the nuptial isle of Dionysus. (Kerenyi 1951 pp. 271–272) ”
One legend has it that in the Heroic Age before the Trojan War, Theseus abandoned the princess Ariadne of Crete on this island after she helped him kill the Minotaur and escape from the Labyrinth. Dionysus (god of wine, festivities, and the primal energy of life) who was the protector of the island, met Ariadne and fell in love with her. But eventually Ariadne, unable to bear her separation from Theseus, either killed herself (according to the Athenians), or ascended to heaven (as the older versions had it). The Naxos portion of the Ariadne myth is also told in the Richard Strauss opera Ariadne auf Naxos.
The giant brothers Otus and Ephialtes figure in at least two Naxos myths: in one, Artemis bought the abandonment of a siege they laid against the gods, by offering to live on Naxos as Otus’s lover; in another, the brothers had actually settled Naxos.
If you would like to visit the beautiful island of Naxos, you may book your accommodation through our site and get a special discount. If you have fallen in love with Naxos and you wish to stay, then perhaps you should look at some of the real estate on Naxos. If you need any extra information, then please contact us here [email protected] or +30 6934 620 501 / +30 22840 24 879