Zeus is said to have grown up and spent his childhood on this island.
Plains barren areas follow marble mountains ,the highest of Cyclades end in deep shaded ravines, areas with vegetation host white villages, long sandy beaches meet the sea, medieval towers, lush valleys, timeless mountain villages and delicious local produce.
All of these and more await on your when you will arrive in Naxos, the island in the Cyclades that has it all.
Naxos, is the largest island in the Cyclades. So fertile, it’s self-sufficient. You’ll find plenty of history, ruins from every era, an extraordinary array of landscapes, friendly locals and wonderful food in the most beautiful part of the Aegean.
Entering the harbor of Naxos, you’re greeted perhaps by the unusual and unique in whole Aegean monument, the ancient huge door “Portara” – the massive marble gateway identical to the National Geographic logo – will welcome you and will make you suspect the uniqueness of the place.
Your suspicion will be confirmed arriving in Chora ( meaning town) and the sight of the medieval castle above the town that it is still inhabited today.
Walk through the narrow alleys in the oldest part of town and up to the fortress and you’ll think you’re back in the Middle Ages.
Inland, you’ll find isolated villages untouched by time, like Tripodes, Filoti, Halki and Apeiranthos the jewel among the mountain villages, that more than ten centuries have rolled by without substantial changes to its houses, cobbled streets, accents, customs and daily habits, and invite you to explore their beauty and feel the same alternation.
You’ll find Mt Zas (another name for Zeus), green valleys, abandoned monasteries & venerable churches.
Foodies love Naxos.
Its outstanding local products make it an unsung gastronome’s treasure trove.
First, try the cheeses, highly prized by Greeks, such as graviera (similar to gruyere), Kefalotiri called Arseniko (meaning masculine).
Second, order some potatoes, preferably fried. Their superlative taste and texture come from the island’s potassium-rich sandy shale. You may find you like them so much, you’ll order some more for dessert!
Then, to end your meal, have a glass of Kitro, a liqueur distilled from the leaves of the citron, which comes in three versions, green, yellow and clear.
If you’re a sun worshipper, Naxos’ endless stretch of gorgeous sandy beaches will keep you blissfully happy. Keep in mind to have your last swim to be in Agios Prokopios beach, nearby the main Port, the trademark of the island with all-gold coarse sand…the one that does not stick to you and does not irritate you!
A few hours before your departure you would love to get lost again and again in the alleys of the Chora, in the castle , in the inland villages so you could enjoy more and more the unspoiled beauties.
In vain, neither these, nor the beaches, nor the emotions that the locals fill you with, are full enough to cover your feelings for Naxos.