ACTIVITIES IN NAXOS
EXPLORE THE RUSTIC, EPIC NAXOS
Naxos, ideally situated in the heart of the Cyclades, embodies all the values that made Cycladic islands worldwide destinations: white and blue sugar cubed houses and beautiful villages in dialogue with tremendous historic jewels…Castles, temples, statues and old churches; all sprinkled with sunlight and surrounded by breathtaking beaches, fertile valleys and glorious mountains. Like its famous landmark, Portara (door), which is located at the port of the island since antiquity to honor the god of light Apollo, Naxos is a gate itself, opening all sorts of wonderful possibilities to its loyal visitors.
A walk in the historic Old Town (Chora) of Naxos is essential for visitors that wish to connect with the important islands’ history. The Venetian Castle, the Archaeological museum, the impressive mansions with their arched doors and marble heralds give the impression of time travelling; In front of the Castle, lays the beautiful port: a dreamy promenade by the sea that leads to the temple of Apollo is so relaxing during sunset… An aperitif and a traditional dinner in one of the many picturesque local taverns is a great choice to feel the town’s joyful vibe.
Under the unique Cycladic light, the beaches of Naxos are famous for their purity and unspoiled natural setting of crystal clear turquoise waters and golden-white sand. Organised or untouched by civilization, the shores of Naxos follow the rich island’s contour, offering great choices for those who want a family or a sport’s oriented beach, quietness and isolation or luxurious beach services. The awarded Aghia Anna or the Aghios Prokopios beach, Psili Ammos, Plaka or Mikra Naxos to name a few of the islands’ beautiful beaches. Orkos beach, between Plaka and Mikri Vigla is the perfect hideaway of naturally created “private” bays; an environment of extreme beauty and transparent waters for hours of relaxing swimming.
The physiognomy of Naxos is highly formed by its charming and colorful villages which spread from the coastline, all the way up to the mythical islands’ mountains. Rural and calm, traditional and proud, Naxian villages exhibit towers and churches, mansions and picturesque paths leading to the impressive natural scenery that contours them. Apiranthos, is typical example of a gem island village, small and beautiful, with many interesting museums like the Geological Museum, the museum of Natural History, the Folklore Museum and the Aegean Children’s Art Museum. Chalki, the Tragea valley head village has such a unique color of byzantine charm; the pottery tradition village of Damalas is quiet and charming; the villages of Vivlos and Koronos or the traditional Keramoti share an authentic breeze… Each Naxian village has a different, unique character that will reward the visitors with their purity and genuine hospitality.
HIKING & TREKKING
Naxos features a rich network of footpaths, which are tracked, offering direct access to the islands’ most beautiful natural and cultural landmarks. At least seven important walking trails are organised by the Municipality of Naxos in order to highlight the islands’ rich historic features as well as the beauty and variety of the natural environment: the route that passes through the charming Tragea Valley leading to Ano Potamia or the one leading to the ancient sanctuary of Demeter and Kore, are definitely worth exploring.
Naxian products are well known for their quality and amazing taste; a fusion of the islands’ rich geographical variety and producer’s up to date mastery, that use traditional techniques in a contemporary, inspired work frame. Naxian meat, dairy products, vegetables -like potatoes or tomatoes-, and fruits, are among the most popular of Greece. Arseniko, local gruyere, ladotiri and myzithra are some of the famous Naxian cheeses, that can be tasted and bought at the shop of Naxos Cheese-Making Industry in Chora. In Naxos, one can find good quality honey, citron liquors and last, but not least, fine local wine.
Live the island experience to the fullest, by sailing around Naxos with a sailing boat or a yacht: leave your wet footprints on the wooden deck after a refreshing dive into a secret bay, have a cocktail on board, let the wind touch your face, see the sunset, count the stars, feel free… There are numerous organised and natural anchor points in Naxos to inspire a private or an organized sailing experience that will be hard to forget.
Island hop enjoying the friendly Cycladic waters in a sailing boat or a traditional wooden boat full of charm; there are many ways to visit the islands around Naxos and embrace the core of their outgoing spirit. Amazing views and dives in crystal clear waters that are only accessible by boat are enough to inspire your island hopping… the diversity and beauty of the surrounding islands like Iraklia, Donoussa, Schinoussa, Koufonissia or Paros, are a bonus.