If you are looking for impressive attractions, historical landmarks or secluded beaches, then the beautiful island of Naxos Greece, (Νάξος in Greek) is your holiday destination as it has something for everyone. This is the reason it ranks the most popular and beloved island of the Cyclades.
The most characteristic landmark – a trademark of the island, is none other than the Portara, the Great Door. This is a big marble gate, the ruins of the Temple of Apollo, and like any door, it is located at the entrance of the island to accommodate its visitors. The Portara is like a huge picture frame on the horizon and there are few people who do not gather there at sunset to admire the sun and also take pictures.
The most significant archaeological site of the island is the Ancient Sanctuary of Apollo and Demeter; a well-preserved temple, near the village of Sangri. The most important finds from the excavations are exhibited in the Museum Collection very near the site.
Take a stroll through the Venetian Castle of Chora, which has been inhabited since it was built. The narrow steep streets lead to the highest point, where the School of Commerce and the Sistine Kazatza, a chapel of the 13th century, and the Ursuline School are located. The School of Commerce is where Nikos Kazantzakis, one of the most important writers in modern Greece, studied. It has now become the Archaeological Museum of the island. It exhibits a distinguished collection of Cycladic marble figurines and a rich collection of pottery from the Early Cycladic period.
The heart of mountainous Naxos is distinguished by the “Marble Village” Apiranthos for its exquisite architectural style kept intact since the Venetian times, for the dialect of the people, their traditions and their customs. An authentic village with picturesque cobbled streets, impressive homes, most made of marble, and other cultural places such as the Archaeological, Folklore and Geological Museum and the Library.
If you feel like exploring, then one of the most impressive monuments of the Naxian countryside is the Cave of Zas (meaning Zeus), on the slopes near the village of Filoti. Impressive stalactites and stalagmites and centuries of history characterize this cave, which according to mythology, was the birthplace of Zeus.
Beaches for all Tastes
Naxos has a really huge coastline full of beaches for every taste; secluded, cosmopolitan, quiet, and … windy.
Just three minutes from the town of Naxos is Agios Georgios, with its large golden sandy beach, beach bars and water sports that make it popular among younger crowds. A few kilometers away is the beach of Agios Prokopios. Both are characterized by crystal clear waters and the coarse sand and lush cedar trees.
Lovers of windsurfing or kitesurfing, looking for the ideal conditions of wind and wave, will find the sandy beach of Mikri Vigla on the west coast of the island. Those who seek peace should opt for the picturesque Pyrgaki and Apollo located in front of the village, suitable only for the very adventurous types, as it has high waves.
For a more secluded tastes, on the east side you will find Kalanto in a beautiful bay, Panormos, Kleido with its charming coves and Psili Ammos, while equally quiet is Ampraam Cove, a small beach between Chora and Apollo.