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Naxos

The Island of Naxos, Greece

Naxos is the largest island of the Cyclades. As it sits right in the middle of the archipelago, it could easily make someone with a great imagination recall a mother watching over her children play in a water yard.

In the book of Greek history, Naxos has been continuously writing its own chapter since the 4th millennium BC. Legend has it that Zeus, the father of all gods, grew up here to avoid the ferocity of his father, Cronus. Later on, he fell in love with Semele, the daughter of King Cadmus of Thebes. God Dionysus was the result of their union. Dionysus loved his birthplace and blessed it with fertile lands.

Let There Be Light

Drenched with light from the crack of dawn till dusk, when the sun takes its awe-inspiring orange colors and dives deep into the arms of the Aegean Sea, Naxos is a blessed piece of land with a rich history and long-standing traditions deeply rooted in the hearts of Naxiots. 

It is no coincidence that Apollo, the god of the sun and the light, was worshipped here. 

The first thing visitors lay their eyes on when approaching the main port of Chora is Portara, a massive marble gate, remnant of the Temple dedicated to Apollo. The god of light has been shedding his rays on Naxos for thousands of years now, helping the locals make it the stand-apart place it has always been.

History & Culture

The first inhabitants are believed to be the Thracians. Their leader, Naxos, gave his name to the island. During the era of the Cycladic culture, Naxos was the most important civilization center of the Cyclades, contributing to a great extent to the development of the archipelago.

From the Temple of Dionysus to the famous Castle of Chora and from Paleopyrgos to the 17th-century bastions, Naxos is steeped into architectural wonders and majestic art that testify its age-old history and continuity throughout the centuries.

Another significant milestone in the island’s history is 1207. After the 4th Crusade, a Venetian duke called Marco Sanudo took over the island and established the Duchy of Naxos. During that time, many Venetian-style castles and towers were built. After a line of Venetian rulers, Naxos fell under Ottoman rule until its liberation in 1830 along with the rest of Greece.

Nature

Endowed with lowlands to the west, low mountains at its central zone, and a mountainous area to the northeast, Naxos is heaven on earth for those who love getting in touch with nature.

Complemented with some of the most beautiful beaches a human being can ever witness in their lifetime, Naxos is a phenomenal token to the generosity of mother nature when it decides to combine all its secret ingredients in one place. A true treat for the senses, the island opens its arms to humankind for an experience like no other.

Activities

Naxos boasts a wealth of activities of all sorts for people who want to feel a little adventurous during their holidays or are seeking an out-of-the-ordinary experience.

When it comes to water-related activities, besides swimming at some of the most stunning beaches you could ever find, visitors can try windsurfing, kite surfing (in fact, Mikri Vigla beach with its constant winds is famous worldwide amongst water sports fans), sailing, and many more.

On land, Naxos’s mountainous terrain and many trails give way to fun activities such as hiking, trekking, bike riding, horseback riding, etc.

Plus, given that Naxos is a foodie paradise, you can take part in various food tasting and wine tasting sessions.

Food

Naxos is a world-class gastronomy destination. Its highly fertile soils bring to the table agricultural products of unparalleled quality whose fame spans the world for their unique taste. Naxos potatoes will forever be engraved in your mind if you get the chance to try them, cheeses like arseniko (a hard goat cheese) are like no other you have ever tasted, and the island’s seafood is equally memorable.

World-class fine dining restaurants co-exist side by side with attractive, rustic tavernas, sharing one thing: their pride for their island’s treasures and their love and dedication for what they do.

The island has a vibrant culinary scene that perfectly mixes traditional flavors with modern tendencies. 

How to Get to Naxos, Greece

Naxos has an ideal location, in what we call “the garden of the Cyclades”. Paros, Mykonos, Tinos, and so many other islands are just a stone’s throw away. The notion of island hopping is taken on an entirely different level for someone who is based here.

Besides that, it is very easily accessible by boat and plane, and right in the middle of most ferry routes.