Naxos is the biggest and the greenest island in the Cyclades. It has high mountains, fertile valleys, lush green gorges, stunning seascapes and traditional villages perched high on mountain tops, where the inhabitants still wear their traditional dress and live off the fruits of the land. Naxos is also home to beautiful old churches, monasteries and Venetian castles coexisting harmoniously with the Cycladic architecture.
Upon entering the port of the whitewashed Chora of Naxos you’ll encounter the islet of Palatia at its entrance. On Palatia islet the impressive marble gate, temple of Apollo, “Portara” stands still since the 6th century BC. According to mythology, the god Dionysus met Ariadni there, who had been abandoned by Thesseus.
Chora, the capital of Naxos, whose landmark is an imposing Venetian castle, is an old castle town with stone paved alleys (known as kalderimia in Greek) where you can admire a unique blend of Cycladic and Medieval architecture: mansions with Venetian blazons still decorating their entrances, narrow arched alleys (known as stegadia in Greek), catholic churches and fortifications.
Discover the varied landscape of the island by following numerous breathtaking routes (Chora–Melane-Halki, Halki–Danakos-Apeiranthos, Skado-Apollonas, etc.); follow the hiking trail from Apiranthos, along the emery mines, where you’ll have a breathtaking view to the Archipelago up to Moutsouna Beach! Climb to the top of Zas Mountain, Cyclades’ highest mountain and Fanari Mountain or follow beautiful biking routes around the mountains!
Many Cycladic islands are renowned for their beaches but Naxos is the only one that can boast an endless coastline comprising a string of beaches of incredible beauty, with superb turquoise waters and golden sands.
On Naxos there are beaches unspoiled or organized, hidden beaches to discover, beaches for water sports or family recreation; beaches next to ancient monuments, near important wetlands, medieval forts or Byzantine churches; beaches only a step away the from main town Chora, and beaches in areas of exceptional natural beauty, untouched by civilization or tourism.