Πέμπτη 19 Οκτωβρίου 2017

Plan your Trip to Naxos.

Plan your Trip to Naxos.
In the heart of the Aegean, an island with a history stretching back centuries, a magical interior with traditional settlements scattered here and there and beaches that take your breath away, Naxos is a destination that leaves no one unimpressed. The largest island in the Cyclades has been the crossroads of many people and civilisations for centuries. It was at its economic and artistic peak in the 6th century BC, when some of its most notable monuments were built. The transition from the Roman to the Byzantine era left Naxos with a legacy of numerous Christian churches and monasteries, while it also knew prosperous times during the Venetian occupation as the capital of the Duchy of the Aegean. In the last few decades, Naxos has come to be one of the leading Greek island destinations, while nevertheless managing to harmoniously combine tourism development with its authentic, traditional character.
Old Town: The main town, or Chora, of Naxos is built around the harbour of the island. It is a bustling island town, built amphitheatrically on a hill, with the Venetian castle overlooking it from the highest point. The picturesque Old Town, a settlement with narrow lanes of arches, Cycladic houses and Venetian manors with coats of arms over the entrances, is located at the edge of the castle. It is worth visiting the Archaeological Museum, housed in a 17th century Venetian structure. The museum features objects and works of art dated from the late Neolithic age to the early Christian period.
The Castle: Built in 1207 when the Venetian diplomat Marco I Sanoudo captured 17 islands in the Aegean and formed the Duchy of the Aegean, seated in Naxos. The coat of arms of Joseph Barozzi can be seen over the main entrance to the tower, while the Crispo family emblem is visible above the lintel of the tower's interior door. Wander round the maze of narrow passages that testify to the island's medieval history.
Portara: The enormous marble doorway, the only section of the ancient Temple of Apollo that remains, has stood near the harbour since the 6th century, serving as Naxos' trademark as it welcomes visitors. The frequently photographed Portara is the ideal spot to enjoy the sunset.
Temple of Demeter: Located in the Sagri area, it is one of the most important ancient monuments on the island. The Ionic temple was built between 530 and 520 BC exclusively of white marble.
Settlement of Apollonas: At the top of Kastraki Hill at Grammata, you will see an inscription that reads "the mountain of the sacred village of Apollon". The settlement of Apollonas is located there and the ancient quarry, one of the most significant to operate in Greece, extends beyond it. It is worth visiting the area to admire a giant kouros (youth) statue, 11 metres tall and lying on the ground. It dates back to the 6th century BC and is one of the oldest in Greece.
Bazeou Tower: The 17th century tower is a typical example of monastic, post-Byzantine architecture. Located in Sangri, it operated as a monastery until the early 19th century. Nowadays, the tower hosts various cultural activities, exhibitions, seminars, talks, theatre performances and concerts.
Apeiranthos: This uniquely beautiful village is made in large part of marble. The unusual accent of its inhabitants is reminiscent of the Cretan dialect and leads one to suspect that they are of different origin than their fellow Naxians. An Italian traveller first mentioned the village in 1420, and it is one of the few places outside Athens visited by King Otto during his reign. Stroll around the marble-paved paths with the graceful arches, enjoy your coffee at the traditional coffee shops and visit the towers of Bardani and Zevgoli - typical examples of Venetian architecture. There are four museums in the village: the Archaeological Museum features artefacts of Early Cycladic art from different areas of the island. At the Folk Art Museum, you can see a faithful reproduction of a Naxian house from the last century. The Geological Museum contains more than 2,000 exhibits, while the Museum of Natural History has plants, skeletons of marine mammals and a small aquarium.
Cave of Zas: A trail past the village of Filoti will lead you to the top of the highest mountain in Naxos, Mount Zas, and after about an hour's walk, you can enjoy the view from the highest balcony in the Cyclades! South-east of the village is the famous Cave of Zas, where prehistoric tools and other items were found. Go through the stone entrance that is 10 metres wide into the cave-proper that is about 115 metres long and look at the impressive stalagmites.
Beaches: Dozens of beaches for all tastes lie along the island's coastline. The more tourist-oriented are to the west while for a quieter experience, swim along the east and south coast. On the west side of Naxos, Agios Prokopis is the best-known of the beaches, and nearby, you can also find Agia Anna with its golden sand, Plakes and Kastraki. You will find small sandy beaches in Alykos, behind the cedars. Water sports, such as windsurfing and kite surfing, are available in little Vigla. In the north, weather permitting, you can swim at the beaches of Abram and Amitis. To the east of the island, descend to Moutsouna for a swim and some fresh fish. From there, to the south, you will come across the hidden beach of Ligaridia with the large pebbles, Psili Ammos with the huge sand dunes, and if the wind shows no signs of abating, continue to Panermos and enjoy the crystalline waters which are always calm.
In Naxos, it is worth buying local products, mainly dairy, as well as items of folk art, while the aromatic citrus liqueur made on the island is also quite famous. The island's famous cheese is called "arseniko", which is hard to find due to the fact that it requires a long time to mature. You can also buy myzithra, anthotyro whey cheese, buttermilk and the delicious Naxos graviera cheese from the cooperative on the island. Also look for "askoudes", exceptional olives and local raki. At the village of Chalki, you will find excellent spoon sweets and homemade jams, as well as a few shops selling lovely souvenirs. The Women's Cooperative of Apeiranthos offers fine examples of weavings made on looms, or "krevataria", as they are known locally. The art has been handed down from generation to generation and the weavings of Apeiranthos are known for their detailed decoration and utility. In Chora, you will find a variety of shops with clothing and jewellery.
Food and Entertainment
With its fertile land and sea, the Naxos cuisine has much to offer in the way of gastronomic experiences. The variety of cheeses will overwhelm you, while the salads you find here are one of a kind. The products and specialities of Naxos stand out with their rich variety, and you can sample something different in each area. In mountainous Apeiranthos, try the special dishes with a meat base, such as boiled goat called "zoula" and "patoudo", which is lamb or goat stuffed with aromatic greens. The speciality dish in Melanes is cockerel in tomato sauce and thick pasta, seasoned with cinnamon, while another island speciality is "giachnada", made with various vegetables, potatoes and tomato sauce. For dessert, try the "melachrini" walnut cake and the spoon sweets. There are many options for entertainment in Naxos, particularly in Chora and the tourist beaches, such as Agios Prokopios and Agia Anna.
Cultural events
Castle Festival: The Castle in Chora hosts a number of music, dance and theatre performances every summer which take place at various locations, mainly in the courtyard of the Venetian museum.
Dionysia: The Cultural Organisation of the Municipality of Naxos puts on a series of events throughout the island featuring theatre performances, concerts and exhibitions, and culminating with the wine festival held on the first weekend of September.
Local celebrations: The villages of Apeiranthos and Filoti celebrate Carnival with Dionysian colour, featuring people wearing rows of bells ("koudounatous") or traditional Greek "foustanela" costumes. Traditional religious feasts are held throughout the island on 15 August, the feast of the Virgin Mary, with the largest featuring an all-day celebration with dancing, violins and food in the courtyard of Panagia church in Apeiranthos, a church dating back to 1760.
Variety of bus tours or private tours around Naxos island.
One day cruises to Delos - Mykonos, Paros, Santorini, Iraklia - Koufonissi, Amorgos, South beaches of Naxos and more....
Accommodation in any level (Hotels - Villas - Rooms - Studios)
RENT a CAR, Air Tickets, Charter flights, TransfersTickets for all Boats and SPEED boats.
Departures from Naxos / Αναχωρήσεις από Νάξο:
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