Kinidaros Naxos:The small village of Kinidaros Naxos is located almost in the centre of theisland, 15 km from Chora. It is surrounded by lush greenery and in the ancienttimes the area was known for its marble mines. In fact, the remains of thesemines can be seen today a couple of km from the village. Kinidaros has about400 permanent inhabitants and many trekking paths pass from there.
Moni Naxos:Built amphitheatrically in the centre of the island, Moni village is surroundedby lush greenery and olive trees. Its traditional architecture demands narrowpaths and houses of stone. Moni has a rich tradition in textiles and in fact,the women of the village have many workshops and exhibition rooms for handmadetextiles. Even young women seem to carry on this tradition. Close to Monivillage, there is the famous church of Panagia Drossiani, built in the 6thcentury AD in the Byzantine style.
Moutsouna Naxos:Moutsouna is a small fishing village on the eastern coast of the island. At thesmall port of Moutsouna, many fishing boats moor in summer and give apicturesque atmosphere. This port was used for the transport of marble from themarble quarries of Koronos-Apiranthos. There the marble was loaded in boats andwas transported to Athens or other islands.The region of Moutsouna is dottedby beautiful secluded beaches with clean water, such as Psili Ammos, Klidos,and Ligarida. These beaches are frequently affected by winds, which make themnice windsurfing spots. Next to the port of Moutsouna, there is also a smallsandy beach to enjoy some relaxing moments.
Agia Anna in Naxos: The lovely village of Agia Anna is located 7 km southof Chora, the capital of Naxos. This is a small fishing village withtraditional Cycladic style. The busiest spot of Agia Anna is certainly thesmall port, where fishing boats and yachts moor in summer. This port is linedup with delicious seaside taverns and cafeterias.Just next to the port starts alarge sandy beach with crystal water. Part of this beach is organized withsunbeds and umbrellas. Agia Anna is a convenient and calm place to stay inNaxos. It is frequently connected by bus to Naxos Town and other beaches of thewestern side of the island.
Keramoti Naxos:The village of Keramoti is located right at the centre of Naxos Island,Cyclades. It is a small village with a few stone houses crossed by narrow pavedstreets. Keramoti is surrounded by lots of greenery and high mountains. Closeto Keramoti are the natural springs of the two rivers of Naxos. These riversmeet few km later, at the spot of Dipotamata, and continue their flow together. The inhabitants of Keramoti occupy mostlywith agriculture, cattle-raising and bee-keeping. This village keeps intact itstraditional character and has stayed away from tourism. It is mostly visiteddue to its close distance to Koronos, although the surrounding region is goodfor hiking.
Glinados Naxos:This lovely village is built on the slopes of mountainside. It is located 6 kmsouth of Chora with a population of about 500 inhabitants. The main occupationof the locals is cattle-breeding and agriculture. Glinado is a picturesquevillage situated near Galanado and one of the most fertile areas in Naxos.The village has limitedaccommodation options but it offers a beautiful scenery to the green field.Close by, in the region of Iria, visitors can see the sanctuary of Dionysus, anancient monument dedicated to the god of wine, who lived on Naxos according tothe Greek mythology. There are many churches in Glinado, which is also close tothe popular beaches of Agios Prokopios and Agia Anna.
NaxosDamarionas: One of themost authentic and picturesque villages in Naxos is the little Damarionas,nested between verdant olive groves and vineyards. The village stands at analtitude of 230 meters above sea level and is interestingly more connected withmountainous attributes. It is located in the southern part of the Tragea valleyand only a short distance from other settlements such as Vourvouria (700maway), Damalas (900m away), Halki (1.2km away) and Naxos Town (16km away).Damarionas was allegedly named after Damaris theAthenian, one of the first people to embrace Christianity and introduce it tothe village. The inhabitants were said to formerly have been living in theAgiassos area near the seafront but decided to relocate inland in fear ofpirate pillaging.The traditionally whitewashed, cubic-shapedbuildings and the old mansions shape the local architectural heritage.Damarionas also features a number of orthodox churches and chapels thanks tothe religious nature of its inhabitants.
Galini Naxos:The village of Galini is built in a fertile valley a few km north of Chora. Ithas about 200 inhabitants which deal mostly with agriculture. Close to Galini,there is the monastery tower of Ypsilotera, which was constructed by theVenetians in the early 17th century.
Egares Naxos:There is not that much in this small village apart from some fascinatingchurches. On the hill above the village there is a church which looks like ithas two fronts with two sets of bell towers. Lower down you will find an almostcathedral like red domed church, in front, in contrast, there is a tinyCycladic style church.
Melanes Naxos:Melanes is one of the oldest villages in Naxos, located 8 km south east fromChora. The village got its name by the dark color of the soil and thesurrounding nature is full of olive groves and fruit trees, creating amagnificent scenery.Melanes is a mountainous villagebuilt at an altitude of 63 meters, with a population of about 500 permanentinhabitants. The main occupation of the locals is cattle-breeding andagriculture. Around Melanes, there are many Medieval towers here and there.These towers were used as homes or summer houses by the noblemen in theMedieval times.A walking distance from Melanes,in the location Flerio, there is a statue of Kouros. This is an oversizedstatue of 6,4m height, lying in the ground among the olive trees. This statuewas left at the exact location where it was found and archaeologists believethat it represents either a mortal man or god Dionysus. There is another statueof its kind near the village of Apollonas. For some reasons, these statues wereleft unfinished in the ancient times.Melanes is a frequent destinationfor hiking. Many hiking trails start from Chora and leads to the reion ofMelanes, passing through nice valleys, small settlements and ancient sites.
Sangri Naxos:Sangri village is located at a distance of 12 km southeast of Chora, thecapital and main port of Naxos. This stands out of the Cycladic style, as thedominant colors are grey and brown. Like most mountainous villages of Naxos, ithas Medieval architecture, in constrast to the coastal settlements of theisland with Cycladic architecture.The village is divided in Ano andKato Sangri, with a distance of couple km between them. The village is alsofamous for the Byzantine monasteries and the ancient Temple of Demetra, about1,5 km south from Ano Sangri. This temple is one of the most interestingarchaeological monuments on the island. It was made of marble and dates back to530 B.C.
Apollon Naxos: The lovely fishingvillage of Apollonas is located in the northern side of the island, 36 km fromthe island's capital. It has a small sandy beach, boarded by few nice taverns,tourist shops and a mini-market. Nearby the village of Apollonas the beautifulstatue of Kouros can be seen, which is a half-finished statue of 10.5 metres,dating back to the 6th century BC. it is believed, by many archaeologists, torepresent the god Dionysus.
Koronos Naxos:The traditional mountain village of Koronos is located at 28 km away from thecapital, at an altitude of 540 metres, in a picturesque valley full ofvineyards. Apart from excellent quality wine, the village also produces allkind of fine agricultural products.This village is in a dramaticsetting. It is almost built on a crevasse and there are two distinct halves toit that face each other. On one side you will notice the vineyards which sit onthe hill divided by walls.Nearby Koronos is standing theChurch of Panagia Agrokiliotissa which feast is celebrated every Friday afterthe Easter Sunday with a great religious festival, full of music, dances, foodand wine. The church of Panagia Agrokillotissa can be found by taking a turningto the right about 500 metres before the town. There is also a fantastic, largechurch that you can find in the center of town.In the same area can also befound the cave where Pan, the helper and friend of Dionysus, was worshiped andwhere clay statues of this deity have been excavated.
Potamia Naxos:Located 9 kilometres from Naxos Town, the lovely village of Potamia is perchedon a hillside and surrounded by wonderful green nature. With a population of300 inhabitants, the main financial sources of the village today areagriculture and livestock. Potamia, whose name means riverside,actually consists of three villages: Ano Potamia (Upper Riverside), MesiPotamia (MiddleRiverside) and Kato Potamia (Down Riverside). The name derived from a wonderfulriver that crosses these three villages and makes a great place for hiking.In the Medieval times, Potamiawas very prosperous, as shown by the many Venetian towers and the 14 mills,whose ruins can be seen around till today. Very impressive is the 17th centuryTower of Kokkos with a watermill in its basement. In Ano Potamia, next to aprehistoric water spring, there is the tavern Pigi, one of the besttaverns on the island.
Filoti Naxos:The Tragea region is famous for its olive groves and little Byzantine churchesand they are very much in evidence in the village of Filoti. Filoti is situated18 km from the capital of Naxos, in a beautiful verdant valley near themountain of Zas.The village is situated on quitea steep hill and the main street contains the main life in terms of cafe andrestaurants. It is a traditional Cycladic village built amphitheatrically onthe slopes of the mountain with whitewashed flat roofed houses and narrowflowered streets. Local people use this flat topped houses as balconies.Filoti has a superb little mainpaved square surrounded by picturesque cafes and taverns, shadowed by a hugeand majestic plane tree. Churches are plenty and they are worth exploring ifthe doors are open.
Halki Naxos: The village of Halki(or Chalki) is located in the central area of the region of Tragea which is the biggest olive cultivationarea of the Cyclades, 16 km from Chora, or Naxos Town. Halki has a long historyand was once the capital of Naxos as well as its main administrative and tradecentre. The many Neoclassical houses and buildings testify about the pastwealth and power of the village.Many well-preserved VenetianTowers and fine Byzantine churches can be found in the area such as the 9thcentury Church of Panagia which is one of Naxos oldest churches and houses somebeautiful Byzantine and post-Byzantine frescoes.Parking up or arriving by bus onthe main street you can make the short journey to St Georges church which is agreat example of Byzantine design. On the path there you will notice the olivegroves on either side, something the area is famous for. Going back into themain village notice the architecture and the handsome villas.
Apiranthos Naxos: is apicturesque mountain village with a beautiful name meaning plenty offlowers. Apiranthos is located 26 km from the capital, between two greenvalleys, at an altitude of 650 metres. Apiranthos is one of the most beautifuland charming villages of Naxos, full of wonderful houses made with fine marble.Apiranthos is a large village andsits precariously on a hilltop. Journey to the top of the town to park, andthis is also where buses stop. From there, there is a largish street, beyondthe impressive Church of Panagia Apeirathitissa which is one of the oldestchurches of the island and houses some fine and valuable icons. All the museumsare situated there. Apiranthos has three interesting museums which are theArchaeological Museum of Apiranthos, a Museum of Folk Art and an interestingGeological Museum.There are a number of cafes andtaverns there. A magnificent view is offered, overlooking the town into thevalley. The architecture in this town is very interesting with the Venetianinfluence clear. One can see houses with coats of arms above their doors andthere are also some ornate balconies on view. There is a windmill in ruinssituated above the village. There is also a dilapidated Venetian tower. As youwalk around the streets you will notice the marble under your feet and look outfor the church of Panagia Aperathitissa which is one of the oldest on theisland.
The Archaeological Museum inApiranthos Naxos, Cyclades: The Archaeological Museum of Apiranthos (orAperanthos) is housed in a small building in this traditional, mountainousvillage of Naxos. In Apiranthos, known as the Marble village, you will findthree other small and equally interesting museums: the Folklore Museum, theGeological Museum and the Museum of Natural History.The Archaeological Museum ofApiranthos houses findings from excavations in the region. These findings datefrom the first Cycladic Era and have been collected from ancient cemeteries andsettlements. There distinguish some ancient statues, funeral columns, andweapons from the prehistoric times.
The Vallindras Distillery inHalki, Naxos Cyclades: In the heart of Halki village, the old capital of Naxos,there is a small distillery that today works mostly as a museum. Thisdistillery was established in 1896 and was managed by Vallindras family. Itused to produce a very famous liqueur of the island, kitron, a short of yellowdrink from a fruit a bit less bitter than lemon. This liqueur is traditional ofNaxos and was distributed all over Greece.In this small but interestingmuseum, you can see traditional items, machinery, and tools used for thedistillery of kitron. Most machines used to work with fire and some werebrought from abroad. You will also see eminences and awards for the kitron ofthis distillery and old furniture from the 19th and the early 20th century.
The Geological Museum ofApiranthos in Naxos, Cyclades: The Geological Museum is located in the squareof Apiranthos. The Geological Museum was initially supposed to be in the localschool when it was created in 1964 but the construction process was interruptedin 1967. Construction was taken up again in 1987 under the initiative ofManolis Glezos.The museum exhibits a vibrant andvast collection of over 2000 stones, minerals, and fossils found on the islandthrough various excavations. A major part of the personal collection of ManolisGlezos can also be found here. The entire collection is called the PetrosProtopapadakis Geological Collection. The Emery, a quiet hard rockwith dark colors, considered to be the most precious metal in Naxos, is foundin large amounts at the museum. This metal was widely used in ancient times toconstruct tools that would process stone.
Built in 1776,Markopolitis-Papadakis tower in Akadimi (Halki) has a unique style ofarchitecture which is hard to find in Naxos or other Greek islands. It is oneof the very few towers constructed by a local - Markos Politis - instead of aVenetian lord. The 3-level tower is an impressively large building and was usedas a defensive fortress during the war. Ever since the death of Markos Politis,the tower has been owned by the family of Papadakis.
The Tower of Agia in NaxosGreece, Cyclades: Located at the area of Agia, in the northern part ofNaxos island, the renowned Tower of Agia is an edifice of special historicinterest. The tower is easily accessible as it is situated near the coastalroad, just 6 miles before arriving at the village of Apollonas from the Choraof Naxos, while its strategic location provides a spectacular view to theAegean Sea.The exact year of its resurgenceis not known, however, it is estimated that the imposing tower was built duringthe 17th century and is an architectural example of the post-Byzantine era.Following the tradition of other buildings of the tower genre that wereextensively built around the Cyclades during the years of the Venetian andOttoman sovereignty, the tower of
The olive tree is an inextricablepart of the Greek culture, gastronomy, and history. In Naxos, the production ofolive oil and its by-products was a major part of the economy and everydaylife, and “liotrivia” (olive press houses) were numerous. The Olive PressMuseum is hosted in a renovated olive press building in Eggares village, whichis located at the western part of the island, under 8 kilometers from Chora.The original building dates back to the mid 19th century and was operatinguntil 1960, while now it has been fully restored and transfers the visitor toan authentic, traditional era. Guests will have the opportunity to learn aboutthe history of the olive tree, olive press techniques as well as soap makingand other uses of olive oil and its by-products.The Museum has a free entrance aswell as provides guided tours and it is open to the audience on a yearly basisfrom the 1st of April to the 30th of September, from 9:00 to 18:00. For moreinfo, please visit www.olivemuseum.com.
Panagia tisSpilias (Virgin of the cave) is a church built in a cave, located in the areaof Xerokampos, near Damarionas village. Upon entering the small cave, one cansee a collection of various icons and votive offerings that are placed beneathan imposing natural stone formation.According to a local legend, a maiden comingfrom a local noble family found this cave while seeking refuge to protectherself from armed pirates that were persecuting her. Inside the cave she foundtwo icons -one of them depicting Virgin Mary. She prayed to Virgin Mary andpromised that she would build a church if she was saved. As if by miracle, thepirates passed by the cave and did not see her. So the girl built the frontentrance to thank Virgin Mary and the small church remains well-preserved tothis day.
The storyaccompanying the church of Panagia Argokoiliotissa began almost two centuriesago, about 1835 and is a unique, unusual one.In that year, a local of the nearby Koronosvillage in Naxos visualized in their slumber a visit from a spiritual beingthat revealed a specific location. After sharing this with their fellowvillagers, two excavations were performed in the Argokoili area unearthing twovery old orthodox icons, dating back to the Byzantine era. One of them picturedVirgin Mary near the fountain of life; coincidentally, it is said that in thenext year (1836) at the excavation’s anniversary, there was a small stream ofholy water coming out of a rock in the same area.The villagers continued the excavations thereand discovered an underground cave-like Byzantine observatory, speculated to bestanding since the Iconoclasm years. After a short period of time, a smallbasilica church was built atop the observatory, elongated in the next fewdecades. It was named after the place (Argokoili) and the icon it hosted,resulting in its modern name of Panagia Argokoiliotissa. The steep, carvedinside the rock staircase leading to the underground rooms is accessible tothis day, albeit restricted to the crowds as a precaution.
The chapel of Agios Sozon inNaxos Greece, Cyclades: Built upon the steep rock, seemingly hanging a fewkilometers away from the bright blue waters of Agiassos bay in the southwestpart of Naxos, the whitened chapel of Agios Sozon attracts many visitors as itshines brightly under the sun. The chapel is accessible by foot or by boat.Traditionally regarded as theprotector of sailors, Agios Sozon’s worship is to this day celebrated in islandand coastal regions. His name actually translates in Greek as “the one whosaves”. The small chapel with the cone-shaped dome is considered to date backto the Byzantine era, having been built as a vow of a merchant, who, during ashipwreck, swore to raise up a church in honor of Agios Sozon in case the graceof the Saint helped him survive the incident. Reportedly, as his merchandisewas mainly wine and oil, he placed these ingredients in the foundations of thechapel.Agios Sozon is accessible bytaking the hiking path that begins from the beach of Agiassos, while you canalso reach the chapel by boat.
The imposingtower-house of Barozzi-Gratsia was built in the beginning of the 17th centuryby the Venetian Barozzi family. It is located in the picturesque village ofHalki (Chalki) in Naxos, behind the orthodox church of Panagia Protothroni.The earliest written mention of it was found ina report concerning a pirate raid in 1678. The building has undergone gradualalterations, repairs and renovations by its former owners, visible to itsstructure. It expands in 3 levels, its walls are reinforced and the iron-barredwindows, wooden drawbridge, immovable wooden gates among other characteristicsindicate its fortified nature.In the later years it was acquired by DomnaMariora Mavrogeni before being sold to Aga (meaning Lord) GeorgakisFrangopoulos along with the olive mill and the surrounding land. The last ownerwas Ioannis Gratsias, from whom the tower was named after.The tower has been an inspiration for legendsand medieval folktales in the area, enhancing the Naxian folklore aspect.
Rina cave is a beautiful sea cavelocated at the beach of the same name. It can be accessed by boat from Panermosbeach or from a day cruise from Naxos port.
Routsouna Waterfall is an amazingsight, untouched by human intervention. It is located near Keramoti, apicturesque villages on Naxos. Note that you need a 45 minutes walk to reachthe waterfallThe waterfall is created by twostreams that converge at the western edge of the village. The origins of theserivers are spotted on Koronos and Fanari mountains. The height of RoutsounaWaterfall is about 20 meters.The surrounding area enchants youwith its tranquil atmosphere and dense vegetation, which comes as a result ofthe continuously flowing streams. Routsouna waterfall is definitely a uniquesight that differs from the common Cycladic setting.
The Monastery Tower of Ipsiloterain Naxos Cyclades: The beautiful Monastery Tower of Ipsilotera is locatedoutside the village Galini, about 7 km northeast of Chora. This fortified towerremains nowadays the strongest fortress on Naxos, as it seems to protect theisland with its high location and strong walls.This monastery tower wasconstructed in 1660 by Iakovos Kokkos, a nobleman of Christian Orthodoxreligion who was fighting against the dominance of the Frankish in theCyclades. The monastery of Ipsilotera is actually located inside the walls ofAngelopoulos Tower, one of the most powerful towers of its time. This tower wasused as the base of operations or a hideaway for soldiers and citizens.In the center of the yard, thereis the Byzantine church of Panagia Ipsilotera. The building has a round shapethat looks like Glezos Tower in Chora with embrasures, bastions and largeopenings on the walls to put the canons and other weaponry.
The Church of Agios Mamas inNaxos, Cyclades: In a lush green valley in the region of Potamia Naxos, thereis the Byzantine church of Agios Mamas, dating from the mid 9th century. Thischurch is considered the oldest chapel on the island and has a very interestingarchitectural style. The roof is cross-shaped and in the interior, there areinteresting sculptures and frescoes. Unfortunately, the interior is not open tothe public as the church needs restoration.Before the Venetian occupation ofCyclades in the Medieval times, the Church of Agios Mamas served as theOrthodox Cathedral of Naxos. After 1207, when the Venetians conquered theislands, the church was turned into a Catholic chapel. Agios Mamas, theprotector of shepherds, was an important saint for the locals, as agricultureand cattle-breeding were the main income sources for Naxos. Access to thischurch is possible through a hiking path from Potamia.
Chora Naxos or Naxos Town: Chorais the capital and main town of the island of Naxos Greece. It is considered tobe one of the most beautiful Cycladic villages in the entire group for it has afine architecture, composed of Venetian and Cycladic elements. Naxos Town haskept an authentic and traditional character and a strong local colour.This large town is located on thewest coast of Naxos and, on its top, stands an impressive Venetian castle,characteristic and trademark of the island. This marvelous construction hasbeen built following the orders of Marco Sanudo who conquered the Cyclades in1207 and used Naxos Island as the seat of the Duchy of the Aegean which hecreated.The castle (called Kastro inGreek) was containing Sanudo's residence as well as the various institutionsand administrations of the duchy. It was designed by an engineer and has apentagonic shape, built according to Venetian architecture with beautifulbuildings, mansions, monuments and churches standing on the paved narrowstreets. It is a beautiful and charming place that has kept its medievalatmosphere. In the castle's area is the Archaeological Museum of Naxos, housedin an old Jesuit Commercial school.In the northern part of thecapital a long paved road leads to the islet of Palatia (Palaces) where standthe unfinished Temple of Apollo and the trademark of the island, the famousPortara (Big Door) which is the gate of the temple.Around the port area you willfind most of the important features like banks, bus departures, luggage storageand car hire. The waterfront and marina slope all the way round to theheadland, on the other side of which Agios Georgios Beach begins. Various fishrestaurants, taverns, cafes and bars are lining on the waterfront which is theisland's center of tourist activity.
The Castle(Kastro) of Naxos, Cyclades: The Castle of Naxos Town is actually the oldVenetian town. Along with the Tower of Glezos, it served as a protective shieldto the impregnable fortress of Sanoudos in Chora of Naxos, and was originallybuilt under the supervision of Markos II Sanoudos (the Venetian conqueror afterwhom it was named), who came along with the establishment of Frank sovereigntyin the Aegean in 1207.The fortification adjoining thefortress is conspicuous by its pentagonal shape and has three gates. The Glezostower popularly referred to as the Krispi stands like a sentinel in closeproximity to the northwestern gate and certain parts of the tower extend to thewestern and northern side of the fortress. It consists of four floors and it isthe only castle in Naxos with a round shape. The fortress circuit towers,particularly the Glezos tower is impeccably preserved even to this day. Theentry to the tower is conspicuous by the customary coat-of-arms that oncebelonged to the Crispi family.
Naxos Portara,Cyclades: The Portara, or the Great Door, is essentially a massive marbledoorway (of the temple of Apollo), that stands proudly as the jewel of Naxos.It lies close to the port, on the islet of Palatia which was once a hill. Backin the ancient times, a strip of land connected the north side of Naxos port tothe islet of Palatia. Today, the strip of land has been replaced by a causeway.Myth has it that the islet of Palatia was exactly where Ariadne, the Minoanprincess was abandoned by her lover, Theseus after he killed Minotaur on theisland of Crete.Around the year 530 B.C whenNaxos was at its peak of glory, the then ruler, Lygdamis wanted to build thehighest and most magnificent buildings in all of Greece in Naxos. He orderedfor a massive temple to be built but when war broke out between Naxos andSamos, the work stopped abruptly.After that, Lygdamis wasoverthrown in 506 BC and the temple, which was supposed to be at least ahundred feet tall, was never completed. Today all that remains ofthe temple is the Portara. The temple was supposed to be Ionic, 59 m longand 28 m wide with a peristyle of 6x12 columns with double porticos at its end.It is believed that this temple was to be built in the honor of Apollo, theGreek God who protected music and poets. Proof of this lies in the fact thatthe temple faces in the direction of Delos, which is believed to be Apollo'sbirthplace.
Ursulines School & MerchantAcademy in Naxos, Cyclades Greece: Established by monks of the Jesuit orderin the 17th century, the Ursulines School is located inside the Chora’s Kastro(the Castle), close to the Catholic Cathedral.The School’s operation initiatedoriginally in 1628, under the supervision of the Jesuit monks that arrived inNaxos due to the extension of French diplomacy during the time. It was theorder’s monastery that hosted the separate schools - for boys and girlsrespectively- and aimed at the proper education of the Catholic youth of Naxos.It is worth mentioning that the Ursulines established the first school forgirls ever to exist in Greece, allowing women to have access to highereducation. The School was run by Jesuits until 1782, and after they fled theisland, it came under the administration of Lazarist monks -according to thedecision of King Louis XVI- until 1891. It was then that the Salesian monksproceeded to the reorganization of the School and established the renownedMerchant Academy that quickly gained fame all over Greece for the quality ofits studies; the celebrated Greek writer and philosopher Nikos Kazantzakisattended the Academy in 1897, while its operation lasted until 1927.Nowadays, the Ursulines Schoolcontinues to provide Greek French-oriented education while the Academy’sbuilding is as of 1985 property of the Greek State and functions as a culturalcenter.
Naxos Archaeological Museum,Cyclades: The Archaeological Museum of Naxos is situated at the central squareat the top of the Kastro. It is inside a beautiful 17th Century Venetianbuilding, a perfect example of architecture during the Frankish period. It hasfive floors and was built to be a school for Jesuits eventually housing theSchool of Commerce in the late 19th Century and later becoming theArchaeological Museum in 1973 also being declared a historical monument sincethen.All the findings of excavationscarried out over the years are exhibited here at the Archaeological Museum. Ithouses everything from objects of everyday use to works of art dating from theLate Neolithic period to early Christian times. The Cycladic Civilization wasat its peak of glory in the third millennium B.C and Naxos was a center ofCycladic art back then. Around this time there were Cycladic settlements alongthe east coast of Naxos and outside the town of Naxos at Grotta.The museum houses an impressivecollection of marble Cycladic statues, gold jewelry, vessels, marble and claypots, wooden tools, funeral gifts that were found from the sites of theseplaces. Many of the vessels are hand-made consisting of coarse grain claysometimes decorated with a herringbone design.
Built in the prior location of asmall chapel, the Orthodox Cathedral (the Metropolis of Naxos) was originallyestablished in 1870 by Bishop Neophitos, while the building process wascompleted in 1878. The church is dedicated to Zoodochos Pigi (meaning“life-giving source” in Greek, an allusion to Virgin Mary) and is located nextto the ancient site of Grotta and the Metropolis Museum. Findings of theCycladic era can be visited on spot.The cathedral was constructed ona blend of materials taken from other temples and buildings, while it issuggested that the graphite pillars were brought from the island of Delos, therenowned ancient religious center. In the interior, several icons that dateback to the times of the Ottoman sovereignty are hosted, while among otherheirlooms a gospel that is suspected to have been a donation of EmpressCatherine of Russia stands out.
Situated inside the Chora’sCastle (Kastro), near the Archaeological Museum, the Catholic Cathedral is anoutstanding medieval monument that dates back in the 13th century.Constructedduring the Venetian rule, under the supervision of Markos Sanoudos, theoriginal temple has been restored between 1500-1600 AD by the prominentCatholic families of Naxos, whose donations are preserved to this day. Thetemple exhibits particular historic and cultural interest, as it includes iconsthat combine western and eastern influences while a definite must-see is theprominent 11th century, a two-faceted icon of Virgin Mary and John the Baptist.
The Church of PanagiaMirtidiotissa in Naxos Town: The small and picturesque church of PanagiaMirtidiotissa is located on a rocky reef in the old port of Naxos Town,Cyclades. On top of it, the locals built this small church to protect the shipscoming in and out of the port. Right next to the church, three trees grow. Thelocals highly esteem this small church and many shops, boats and many unionswere named after it.
The VenetianMuseum of Naxos: (Permantly closed) The Old Town of Naxos, orChora, stands at the heart of the massive Venetian castle also called Kastrothat was built by Marco Sanudo, the first Duke of Naxos in the thirteenthcentury after he captured it in 1207. Of the seven towers that were originallybuilt, only one remains as of today. One can also see a Catholic cathedral,remnants of ancient Venetian houses, schools and other magnificent works ofarchitecture.One of these structures is TheVenetian Museum also called the Domus Venetian Museum that is located at theKastro's north entry. The museum is actually an 800-year-old Venetian housebelonging to the Della Rocca family. Walking into the house is like taking awalk back in time. It allows you to truly experience life Venetian style. Mr.Della Rocca has converted his ancestral family home into a museum all byhimself and has recently opened it to the general public. He also manages themuseum solely on the proceeds obtained from tourists without any assistancefrom the Greek government.
The Museum of Naxos Ancient Town(Metropolis Museum) in Naxos: The Metropolis Museum, which actually belongs tothe Cathedral of Naxos, is found right in front of the Zoodochos Pighi Church,at the town square of Naxos town. It is a small museum, built on top of theexcavated sites, where an ancient Mycenaean town of the 11th century B.C. wasfound.This place is known as thearchaeological site of Grotta and the exhibits include pieces of pottery,ancient graves, remains of residences, walls, and other buildings. Expertsestimate that the acropolis of the settlement was built on the current locationof Kastro (the Chora’s Castle).The excavations at the ancientsite were conducted between 1982 and 1985 and the preserved museum opened tothe public in 1999. The location is well arranged and fitted with glass panelsfor the visitors to see the old findings and remnants of the Mycenaean andGeometric settlements. The city was reportedly deserted after the MycenaeanEra, probably because the inhabitants were afraid of the sea flooding. Theremnants of this town were found underneath a Roman City, while another part ofthe ancient city appears to have sunk under the seabed, as a result of thegeological changes during the centuries. Cemeteries of the same period can alsobe visited at Aplomata as well as Kamini.
The Temple of Demeter in SangriNaxos: The Temple of Demeter on Naxos is located near the village of Sangri.This magnificent temple has been made of the finest quality of Naxos marble andis believed to date back to the 6th century BC. As Demeter was the ancientgoddess of grain, people used to build temples to her close to fertile areas.Such a fertile ground is found around the village of Sangri, on Naxos.Some excavations in the areacertify that the area was used for a religious purpose since the late MycenaeanEra. That time, the cult of the gods was open air. The temple was built inaround 530 B.C in the classical architectural style.The temple declined after the 3rdcentury B.C. With the domination of Christianity, the temple of Demeter wasturned into a Christian religious center and a small chapel was built in thecenter of the temple. This chapel was dedicated to Agios Ioannis and was constructedusing the marble of the ancient temple. The church was probably ruined in the6th century A.D., after an invasion of the Arabs. It was rebuilt in 1977 in asouthern location.
village of Melanes, in thecountryside of Naxos. There is a second Kouros statue located outside of thevillage of Apollonas, in northern Naxos. The statue of Melanes lies on theground, at the exact position that it was found by the archeologists. It is 6meters long and dates back to 7th century.Archeologists believethat this statue used to hold a temple roof but they were decidedly abandonedby the ancient sculptors due to faults in the marble and stone that were madeof. Historians assume that the statue depicts god Apollo or god Dionysus.Others believe that the statue represented a local hero, which is why it is solarge in size. Remains of ancient temples surround Kouros statue.
The Statues of Kouros in NaxosCyclades: These remarkable statues can be seen at the villages of Melanes andApollonas, on Naxos. The statue in Apollonas, also known as the Kouros ofApollonas is a life-size statue, exceeding 10 meters in height. It dates backto 8th century and archeologists haven't actually decided on whether the statuedepicts the god Apollo or the god Dionysus.The statue remained incompletefor unknown reasons. Its construction is simple without any decorativefeatures. The other statue is located in Melanes village. It lies on theground, at the exact position as the historians found it. It is smaller thanthe one in Apollonas and it dates back to 7th century BC. Archeologists believethat these statues were predestined to hold on to a temple roof but they weredecidedly abandoned by the ancient sculptors due to faults in the marble andstone that were constructed of. Remains of ancient temples surround bothstatues.
The Church of Panagia Drossianion Naxos: The church of the Panagia Drossiani, meaning Dewy Virgin, is theoldest Christian church of Naxos. Located near Moni, it is also considered oneof the most important Byzantine churches and is therefore of immense historicalsignificance. There are two different views on why it is called. One reason isthat the location where it is built is called Drossia whileothers believe that the name refers to the icon of the church seeping orweeping every time the village is in danger. Hence the name Dewy Virgin.The exact location of the churchis in the middle of Naxos alongside the road to Apollonas. It dates back at theend of 6th century A.D. It is full of rare paintings and offers a beautifulview of the Tragea Valley. The dome shows Jesus Christ Pantokrator.
The Temple of Dionysus in Naxos,Cyclades: The cult of god Dionysus was much developed in the ancient times inNaxos. Dionysus was generally much loved by the ancient Greeks as he was thegod of wine, celebration, and fun. He was thought to live in dense forests andto be always drunken by wine. As Naxos was famous in the antiquity for its wineproduction that was traded all over Greece and the Mediterranean, peoplebelieved that god Dionysus resided permanently on the lush forests of Naxos.In fact, the myth says that whenTheseus abandoned Ariadne on Naxos, Dionysus saw her and fell in love with theyoung, beautiful lady. At first, Ariadne didn't like the god and tried to hidein the intense greenery of the island, but Dionysus found her, they got marriedand Ariadne became a goddess.To honor their god, the residentsof Naxos built a large temple that partly survives till today in the modernposition Iria, close to Glinado village and about 5 km from Chora. Scientistsbelieve that religious activity in the area started in the 13th century B.C.,during the Mycenaean Era and that four successive temples were built on thatexact era along centuries.
Bazeos Tower is one of the mostprominent sights in Naxos, located on the main road that connects the Chorawith the mountainous villages of Halki and Filoti. Dating back to the 17thcentury, the castle was built in this peculiar location as an attempt toprovide safety to its residents from the frequent pirate attacks that used totake place. Originally, Bazeos Tower functioned as the monastery of TimiosStavros but was gradually abandoned during the 19th century. Later on, it cameto the ownership of Bazeos family which kept the tower as their summerresidence, until the last descendant decided to restore the tower into a spacesuitable for hosting cultural events.Everysummer since 2001, the renowned Naxos Festival at Bazeos Tower takes place,hosting contemporary works of art as well as happenings of cultural interest.For more info regarding the tower’s history as well as news on the updatedactivities, please visit the official website atwww.bazeostower.gr.
The Jesuit Monastery inKalamitsia, Naxos: In a walking distance of 2 km from the villages of Melanes,in the region of Kalamitsia, there is a deserted Jesuit Monastery. Thismonastery, also known as the Jesuit Palace, is surrounded by low hills andolive trees. Constructed in 1673 by the Jesuit monk Roberto Sauze, thismonastery was constructed on the ruins of an older Venetian mansion. Itsmarvelous design, elegance and luxurious style provoked the reactions of theresidents that time as this luxury was opposed to the supposedly austere lifeof the monks.
The church of Agios GeorgiosDiasoritis in Naxos Greece, Cyclades: Quite close to the picturesquevillage of Halki, in the path that leads towards the Monoitsia settlement,visitors can find a small yet impressive church that is dedicated to SaintGeorge.Built in an idyllic mountainousregion, in the valley of Tragaia, the church is estimated to have beenconstructed upon the remains of an ancient temple and dates back to the 11thcentury. The architectural style it exhibits is quite rare for the region ofNaxos, as it is a Byzantine edifice that belongs to the cruciform genre withsymmetric lines and a dome. The church is built upon four columns and featuresimpressive stone arches, as well as includes tombs, most of which are empty andpre-existed its resurgence.Whatis most striking regarding the temple is its interior, which is evidently thework of a skillful artist. The enchanting frescoes are well-preserved to thisday and impress with their colors as well as elaborate style and illustrations.The most prominent ones portray Saint George, the archangel Michael and SaintJohn, while others depict major celebrations of Christianity.
The Monastery ofChrist Fotodotis in Danakos, Naxos Cyclades: North of Danakos village is ashort track road of 1 km that leads to the Monastery of Fotodotis Christ. Thename of this monastery means Christ who gives the light and itis found at an altitude of 500m, on top of a hill with a fantastic view to thesea and Donoussa island.The architecture of thismonastery looks intensively like a fortress. Originally the monastery wasfounded in the 6th century AD and tradition says that it was constructed by aByzantine princess after she was saved by the rough sea in the region. In the16th century AD, the three-aisled basilica was turned into a domed church.Fortification walls were also constructed around the church, giving to themonastery its present form.The interior of the church hasfantastic frescoes dating from the Medieval times. At the yard, there is alarge plane tree, while the region is rich in oak trees, fig trees, andvineyards. The Monastery of Fotodotis celebrates on August 6th and attractsmany pilgrims from the close villages of Danakos and Filoti.
Besides Apollonas and Melanes,the locals discovered yet another impressive Kouros in a lying position withina field in the Flerio area (also near Melanes village, in a walking distancefrom the other Kouros), and archeologist research shows that thisstatue dates back to 570 BC.Its height is one of the mostimpressive features, reaching almost 6 meters, while one of the legs is broken.The statue is assumed to be a special order from a wealthy family and has beenleft unfinished as it is the case with other ones, with experts suggesting thatit was probably damaged during the creation process and thus was abandoned inthe mountainous region. The technique used is characteristic of the Naxiansculptors and the statue was named “Ellinas” (Greek) as it was considered toembody the virtues of the race and the ideal physical and personality traits ayoung male should have.