Naxos Island is the largest island in Cyclades and it is one of the most beautiful among the Greek Islands. It combines superb fine sand beaches, with fertile valleys and mountainous beauty. It is one of the best holiday destinations among the Greek Islands, and its many attractions include the unique beauty, the variety of the landscape, the numerous historical places to visit, the beautiful walking and hiking routes, the traditional life which has been preserved in many villages.
Naxos Island has over 40 villages to visit and most of them have their own distinct character and style. Naxos Town (or Hora) is the capital and port and it is a lively and busy town with 8,000 inhabitants. Ferries from here connect Naxos with the mainland and the islands of Santorini, Mykonos, Paros and many other Cycladic islands.
Most of the villages in Naxos Island are in the middle and the north of the island. There are many routes to choose from, and for adventure lovers there are numerous walking tours to discover olive groves, forests, caves, ravines.
Potamia is a group of three beautiful villages in a fertile valley, Melanes is close to Potamia and it is the place to see the huge statue of Kouros.
Apeiranthos or T'Aperathou is a large village high on the slops of Mount Zas at 650m altitude, Koronos, a stepped village is is one of the most beautiful villages in Naxos Island and formerly home to the emery miners. Keramoti is a tiny village full of walnut trees and surrounded by mountains, with the winter waterfall of Routsouna a short hike away.
Halki in Tragea, once the administrative centre, is becoming a stylish and cultural centre of artisans. Filoti is the largest village, sourrounded by olive groves and settled on the flank of Zas mountain. Sagri with its ancient monuments, Byzantine Churches, Venetian castles is one of the interesting places in Naxos.
Galini and Eggares are traditional, quiet and peaceful agricultural villages, in the verdant valley leading to Amiti beach.
MUSEUMS AND SIGHTSEEING
The archeological museum
All findings from excavations are kept in the archaeological museum, proof of the uninterrupted cultural presence in Naxos from pre-historic times until the end of the ancient times. The museum is housed in the building of the former Commercial School in the area of the Castle.
Grotta's archaeological site
Excavations made under Metropolis square have revealed some remains of the Mycenaean city of Naxos (1600 - 1100 B.C). The place has been landscaped and it is open to the public.
"Portara": Naxos' landmark
Portara can be seen from afar as ships approach the island of Naxos, standing on the northern side of the port. This monument is a gigantic gate, which remains from a temple that was dedicated to Apollo. It was built during the 6th century B.C, when Naxos used to be a commercial and cultural centre.
The Venetian Castle
An impressive monument which was built during the long Venetian rule (1204-1537); it is located on a hill which is the natural acropolis of Hora. A medieval town in the heart of the Aegean still in its original form, inhabited continuously since 1207. The external walls of the peripheral houses shape the wall of the Castle, which has only three entrance gates.