About Naxos


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 Town spreads from the port and the old town is a maze of old winding white-washed streets, hiding a variety of interesting shops and tavernas. The old Venetian castle or Kastro dates back to 1207 and the old school building now houses the archaeological museum.

Even though the town is steeped in history, it is very cosmopolitan, and provides all the facilities you would expect including banks, a post office, a hospital and large, well stocked, supermarkets. There is also a pleasant, sheltered town beach lined tavernas and with shallow water, which is ideal for children.

The main square and the harbour front offer restaurants and cafes with a variety of cuisine including traditional Greek, Italian, Mexican and Asian. There are also traditional ouzouries where you can drink with the locals or you can visit the music bars that come to life late in the evening. For a more unusual night out try the open air cinema, where you can relax with a drink and watch an up-to-date film beneath the stars, a truly memorable experience.


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.

The busier beaches tend to be closer to Naxos Town such as Agios Prokopios, Agia Anna and Plaka. Whereas the further south you go to the beaches of Mikra Vigla, Kastraki, Glyfada and beyond have a more relaxed and peaceful feel and are quieter in the height of season. Parthenos has excellent conditions for windsurfing and kitesurfing.

But Naxos is not just about wonderful beaches....

Inland Naxos

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.

Apollon was originally a fishing village and is now a popular tourist destination with many cafes, tavernas and shops. Visitors also travel to see the large unfinished marble kouros dating back to 600 BC,which measures nearly 10.5 metres.

Picturesque Halki is situated in the beautiful Tragea valley, a walkers paradise, surrounded by olive groves and citrus fruit trees. The leaves of the fruit tree are used to make the local liqueur Kitron and a trip to the distillery in the village gives visitors the chance to see the production and sample a glass.

The largest village on the island is Filoti and it is built on the mountainside in the shape of an amphitheatre. It offers stunning views of the mountains which rise impressively through the centre of the island with a rugged beauty. Mount Zas (Zeus) rises to an imposing height of just over 1000m (3300ft) and is the highest mountain in the Cyclades. On a clear day the exhilarating walk to the summit is rewarded with fabulous views over Naxos and the surrounding islands.

Greek Mythology

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.

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