Naxian Utopia | Experience
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Experience

Naxos is not a typical Cycladic island, it combines the architecture and morphology of the Cyclades with those of Mainland Greece and the Ionian. Venetian castles, medieval walls, stone built churches and monasteries, lush mountains, sandy beaches, picturesque villages, museums, archaeological sites, stunning cuisine, cozy bars and cafés make Naxos an unbeatable destination . One thing is for sure, in Naxos you will not get bored!!!

Plan an excursion to the Ancient Sanctuary of Apollo and Demeter in Gyroula Sagri (daily, except Mondays, 08: 30-15: 00), the Sanctuary of Dionysus in the Yria (daily except Mondays, 08:30 – 15:00, 22850 42325, 22850 22725), Apollo’s Kouros in the village of Apollonas, a huge impressive semi-finished kouros in the ancient quarry of the area. And of course don’t forget to climb up to the Temple of Apollo, to see the famous Portara, the trademark of the island, at the port.

The island has seven museums of particular interest, such as the Archaeological Museum, which is housed in the building of the Emporiki School in Chora, with exhibits dating back to the Neolithic period until the Early Christian period (daily, except Mondays, 08:30-15:00 22850 22725). The Byzantine Museum, housed in one of the most imposing buildings of Chora Castle, the famous tower of Krispi, which hosts a very remarkable exhibition of Byzantine sculpture from Naxos and the Cyclades from the 7th to the 12th century (daily except Sundays , 10:00-14:00, 210 3218075). The Geological Museum in Aperanthus, with a unique collection of minerals and minerals from Naxos and the South Aegean since 1964 (July, 10:30-19:30 & August 10:30-21:00, 22850 61725). The Venetian Museum in Chora in the Della Rocca-Barozzi Tower, filled with furniture and utilitarian items of the time (daily, 10:00-15:00 & 19:00-22:00, 22850-28377). The On-site Archaeological Museum, a unique of its kind museum, where visitors can admire the ancient remains of the Mycenaean city of Grotta, right at the spot where they were found (daily, except Mondays, 08:30-15:00, 22850 22725) Metropolis of Chora). The Folklore Museum, in the main square of Aperanthus with more than 1,200 exhibits of folk art (July 10:30-19:30 & August 10:30-21:00, 22850 61725).

You can also plan a visit to one of the traditional olive presses of the island. Note the most interesting of them. The Boulamatsades olive press in the neighborhood of Livadaki in the settlement of Koroni (22850 51457, 6944 607672). The oil mill of Ioannis Sakeliadis at the Kokkos tower in Kaloxilos, built around 1664, of Dimari, located in the homonymous position between Melanes and Kourounohori, the first motorized oil mill on the island (all year round), the one in the village of Damalas (22850 31326) and the olive press at Eggares dating back to 1880 (July-August 16:00-18:00, 22850 24180, 6973 054 801).

Vallindra’s visitable distillery. The first who create the famous drink “Kitro” of Naxos, one of the three liqueurs with a designation of origin. Housed in an old mansion in Halki (22850 31220).

The pottery workshop in Damalas is a traditional 4th generation pottery workshop where you can closely follow the clay treatment process as well as buy clay and decorative items (daily until late at night, 22850 32820).

Also of particular interest are the churches and monasteries of Naxos. It is worthing a visit to Agia Kyriaki, located at Kalloni (3 km from Aperanthus) dating back to the period of Iconoclasm, one of the most important monuments in the Balkans. The Agioi Apostoloi, a Byzantine church of rare architecture, as it is one of the few two-floor churches in Greece. Agios Mamas in the area of Potamia, a byzantine chapel with remarkable sculptures and frescoes in the inside. Kastromonastiro or Photodotos Monastery near the village of Danakos, which is considered to be the oldest and perhaps most important cave monastery of Naxos (June & September: 11am – 2pm / July & August 11am – 3pm). The monastery of Kaloritsa, which is a natural cave with dimensions of about 30 m. in length and 10 m. in width, converted into a church in the 4th century. The ruins above the Byzantine monastery of Panagia Kaloritissa are dated between the 11th and 13th centuries (Kambos Ayiasou, hill Prophet Elias 22850 31326). Finally, the monastery of Panagia or Drosiani on the way to Chalki. The temple, was originally a Catholic monastery and has a unique architecture (11:00 – 17:00).

Naxos is full of castles and towers worth visiting, such as the Apano (Upper) Castle, one of the most impressive monuments of the island, take the path that starts from Tsikalarios and admire the Aegean Sea view. The Venetian castle of Chora, inhabited ever since its construction until today. The Jesuit resort between Melanes and Potamia in the area of Kalamitsia which was the summer monastery of the Jesuits of the island, a blend of western and local architecture. The Aparilos Castle between Sagri and Ayiasos, an important center of the Byzantine Empire dating back to the 7th century (22850 31326).

Many of Naxos’s villages deserve your attention too, like the Acadimis in the plain of Tragia where the headquarter of the Hellenic School of Chalki is situated with the schoolmaster Nikos Exarchopoulos, founder of the Experimental School of Athens. The famous beautiful Aperanthus at an altitude of 600 m with marble cobbled streets and Venetian towers. Apollo, which was the port of Komiaki, where the famed marbles of the island were transported, note that just a few meters away is located the famous kouros of Apollo. Atsipapi, a special medieval settlement in the northeast of Naxos. Danakos, a small hamlet built in a canyon at the foot of Mount Zeus or Zas. The Moutsouna, the harbor of Aperanthus with the old aerial railway that until the 1970s carried the emery from the Koronos mines. Sagri, one of the most beautiful villages of Naxos, being preserved due to its exceptional architecture and finally Halki a small and picturesque village in the plain of Tragia.

Naxos counts various beaches to cover every taste. From small and cozy to big, organized with loud music and happenings. All you have to do is choose the one that suits you best. Note that a boat sails from Agia Anna to the most virgin and unspoilt beaches on the southeastern side of the island (daily from early June). You can also cruise to Koufonissia, Donousa, Schinoussa and Iraklia.

Beaches

 

Agios Prokopios: the island’s most famous beach and within a short distance from the Naxian Utopia. Agios Prokopios has been awarded with many Greek and International distinctions and is only 4 km away from the port. It is considered the 3rd best beach in Greece and one of the 10 most beautiful beaches in Europe. Well-organized with the ability for water sports. Close to it, is located the famed red lake that often hosts herons and worth a visit.

 

Agia Anna: this is the natural continuation of Agios Prokopios beach and is probably the most famous beach of Naxos after Agios Prokopios. Organized, large and with a beautiful sandy beach and a cedar forest on the back. Ideal for those who likes water sports.

 

Plaka: endless golden sand, amazing blue waters and view of Glaronisia and Paros. The sand dunes on the back of the beach give a special tone. It is organized, but the cedars near the sea offer a generous natural shade.

 

Mikri Vigla: sandy, picturesque and unwind its ideal for families with young children, offering peace and relaxation. Those who like fishing will love it too.

 

Kalantos: in the southernmost part of the island, almost unwind with shallow crystal clear waters. Next to the sand, a river flows out, resulting in a rich wetland habitat that hosts a variety of birds. Ideal for those who love nature.

 

Port & Beach Panormos: Located on the southeastern coast of the island in a small closed bay it has a beautiful sandy beach with crystal clear waters. In the summer months there is a canteen. If you are in the mood of hiking take the path that starts from the beach and reaches the prehistoric acropolis of Amygdalies of Aperanthus to admire the stunning view towards Koufonisia.

 

Moutsouna: The bay of Moutsouna in Naxos, hosts two wonderful sandy beaches ideal for families with young children.

 

Orkos – Sagri: Between the beaches of Plaka and Mikri Vigla you will find small bays that form Orcos beach. Perfect for nature lovers and couples.

 

Ayiasos: huge beach with shallow clear waters and fine golden sand. It stretches over 750 meters on the southwest coast of the island and is probably the most virgin beach of Naxos. The small coves with the caves formed on the side of the beach are ideal for snorkeling.

 

Agios Georgios: just a few steps from Chora and awarded with Blue Flag, it is the ideal solution for those who do not want to leave far away from the city. Organized and with the ability of water sports. If you love surfing then head to the south side of the beach, which is a surf point for sports enthusiasts.

 

Ammitis: It is the beach of Eggares. It has a large white sandy beach and very clear waters. It is worth to stay until sunset because here the sunset is just stunning. Perfect beach for surfing as it is quite exposed to the northern winds. Nature lovers will love it because of the small wetland formed there by the river’s outflow.

 

Glyfada: sand dunes and shady cedars form the scenery. Due to the large extent even in August, it is relatively calm. It is ideal for fishing and water sports.

 

Kastraki: A small bay with white fine sand, located behind the small Vigla peninsula and next to the beach of Glyfada. It is well organized.

 

Lionas: wild beauty, white pebbles and crystal clear waters. Ideal to calm and relax.

 

Chilia Vrisi: protected by most winds, has pebbles and transparent shallow waters.

 

Kleidos: is a sandy beach with crystal clear shallow waters. Ideal for those who do not want to be among the crowd.

Sea sports

Naxos is ideal for almost any kind of water sport. The air with an average intensity of 5-7 beau fort favors windsurf. In Agios Giorgios and in Amittis there are north winds and meltemia and in Ayiassos southern winds are also appropriate for Wave. At Agios Giorgios lagoon the conditions are ideal for speed / slalom and freestyle windsurf. Mikri Vigla is an international meeting place for windsurf and kitesurf enthusiasts, many surfers also gather at Orkos.

Marine Sports Services Companies

  • Flisvos Kitecentre, 22850 75490 Mikri Vigla Naxos
  • Flisvos Sportclub Center, 22850 22928, 22850 22935, Agios Georgios
  • Laguna Beach Park, 6972 426 905, Agios Georgios
  • Naxos – Surf Club, 22850 29170, 6944 363147, Laguna, Agios Georgios
  • Plaka Watersports, 6944 633194, 6945 916790, Plaka Beach
  • Thalasea, 22850 75357, Mikri Vigla

Shopping

Naxos is famous for its delicious and of exceptional quality cheeses. Choose among the famed Graviera PDO, the famous Arseniko, Xinomyzithra, Toumoulotiri, Afromyzithra, Kopanisti, Ladotiri, Thilikotiri and many others. The thyme honey is also excellent. Try the zamboni a kind of delicious salted meat and of course do not leave the island without buying Kitro a special and delicious traditional liqueur of the island.

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