||Naxos is a little known gem of a Greek island, nestled in the heart of the Cyclades, which also include the islands of Paros, Mykonos, Santorini and Ios. It is the largest and most fertile of the Cycladic islands and is rich with citrus orchards, olive groves and vineyards. Because of this agriculture has traditionally been the main source of income.
With its fabulous beaches, picturesque villages, imposing mountains, lush valleys and historical sites, Naxos has something for everyone. Activities such as windsurfing, kite surfing, diving, cycling, walking and horse riding are all available locally.
Throughout the countryside items of historical interest can be found including fortified watchtowers (pyrogoi), huge marble statues (kouroi) and numerous ancient churches.
If arriving by ferry you will be greeted by the sight of the imposing Portara Gate from the unfinished Temple of Apollo, which dominates the port and has become the symbol of Naxos.
Naxos has some of the best beaches in the Cyclades, if not the whole of Greece. The majority of which are located on the south-west of the island below Naxos Town, where you get the impression the coast is one long sweeping sandy beach, stretching for miles. However each has its own characteristic and whether you are looking for sweeping bays or intimate coves, excellent conditions for watersports, ideal for children or a place to get away from the crowds, you'll find Naxos has it all.
To experience the real Naxos you must take a trip inland to visit the villages. These include Aperiathos which is considered to be one of the most beautiful villages on the island with its marble-paved streets and charming archways. The women still weave on looms in the traditional fashion and the items displayed at the local womens handicraft centre are for sale.
The Greek Islands are full myth and legend and Naxos is no exception. According to Greek mythology Zeus, the father of the gods, grew up on Naxos and the highest mountain was was named in his honour. The marriage of his son, Dionysus, to Ariadne is said to have taken place on Naxos after Ariadne was abandoned there by Theseus, the slayer of the Minotaur. With Dionysus being the god of wine and pleasure and Ariadne the goddess of fertility this union is said to have blessed Naxos with its fertile soils and a plentiful supply of wine from its vineyards.