Naxos beaches
Agios Prokopios, has been rated as Greece’s third best beach and among Europe’s top ten. An enormous beach with coarse sand, the setting here includes sand dunes and crystal-clear waters whose color alternates from blue to deep blue and turquoise. Agia Anna beach, a continuation of Agios Prokopios beach, ranks as one of Naxos’s most renowned coastal spots. A picturesque little port with fishing boats lies at the end of the stretch.  Mikri Vigla  is ideal for windsurfing and kite surfing as the bay is sheltered and winds are suitable for flights over Naxos’s beaches.Sequestered beaches are considered Alyko, Pyrgaki and Agiassos beach.

Ancient Naxos
Portara, a huge marble gate and the single remaining part of an unfinished temple of Apollo of 530 BC, is Naxos main landmark, standing on the islet of Palatia, at the entrance to Naxos harbor.

One of the most important sanctuaries of ancient Naxos, dedicated to the god Dionysus and possibly a female deity of nature, was operated at Yria, south of Naxos town and in the middle of the fertile valley of Livadi, between the 14th century BC (Mycenean era) and the Roman period.

At the fertile valley in the Gyroulas district, south of the village of Sagri,  the inhabitants of the area began worshipping (outdoors) the deities of nature in the 8th century BC. A monumental, all-marble temple was constructed at the spot in the late 6th century.

As early as the Archaic period, Naxiots tapped the rich sources of Flerio, Melanes in order to solve the water problem of Naxos city. The first aqueduct (late 6th century) comprised clay pipes laid in a ditch. The second, constructed during the Roman comprises a pipe built with hydraulic mortar, with underground and elevated sections. Both aqueducts, following the same course, began from a source that can be seen under a later construction crossed a distance of 11km and ended at a point in the city.

One of Naxos’s two main marble quarrying areas in antiquity is located in the greater Flerio area.The main attraction is the two oversized but incomplete freestanding stone figures of unclothed young men (Kouroi), dating to the early 6th century BC.

Byzantine Naxos
The fortified monastery of Timios Stavros (also known as Bazeos Tower by the name of the family who now own it) in the Agiassos valley, outside the village of Sagri, is one of Naxos’s most characteristic monuments. The tower has been restored and every summer since 2001 it hosts the Naxos Festival.

The Church of Panagia (Virgin Mary) Protothronos at Chalki is one of Naxos’s oldest and most important religious monuments .Initially built in the early Christian period as a three-aisled basilica, it was converted into a cruciform, domed church in the 9th century.

The Church of Panagia (Virgin Mary) Drossiani –a short distance from Moni, on the way to Chalki- is one of Naxos’s oldest.  Some of the frescoes that have been saved date to the 6th century and are considered among the oldest in the Balkans.

Photodotis is Naxos’s oldest and perhaps most important fortified monastery. Located at an altitude of 500m, the imposing structure was built on the ruins of a 6th century basilica some 300 years later.

Cultural Town
Of medieval Kastro’s estimated twelve towers only one remains.According to local legend, this surviving monument, known as the Crispi Tower, served as the palace of the dynasty of the same name. These days, the tower serves as a Byzantine Museum.

The School of Commerce was initially a monastery for Jesuit monks who settled on Naxos in the early 17th century, guided by French diplomacy and foreign policy in the Levant. Salesian monks assumed control of the school in 1891and organized it on modern standards, converting it into a School of Commerce.The celebrated Greek writer Nikos Kazantzakis studied at this school as a teenager in 1898. The school gained huge fame but eventually had to close down, permanently, in 1927, three-hundred years after its establishment. Now the Archeological museum is located there.

The Catholic Cathedral was built in the medieval era. It went through various construction phases before taking its final shape in the 17th century. Its marble floor is richly decorated with 17th and 18th century memorial stones depicting the family crests of some of the most prominent Catholic families that were active on the island from the 16th century onwards.

Main Villages
Apiranthos, or t’Aperathou in local dialect, is located 28km from main town Chora on Naxos.

Venetian towers, pretty, old two-storey houses, marble paved alleys with arches above them, picturesque squares and the poetic disposition of Apiranthians combine to create a rare atmosphere in the Cycladic islands.

Apollonas is the northest fishing village of Naxos. It was also the port from which Naxos marble was exported throughout the operation of the ancient quarry. The huge ancient marble statue (Kouros) of Apollo lies in supine position just a few meters outside the entrance to the village, while remnants of the ancient port have been found at Marmara position.

Chalki Thanks to its position at the center of the island’s road network, the village of Chalki thrived and prospered as the commercial hub of the entire Naxos uplands district up until a few decades ago. This is no longer the case but the wonderful neoclassical mansions with the large balconies, the adorned roofs and the paved courtyards bear witness to past prosperity. Its noteworthy sights –on a par with the village as a whole- include the Church of Panagia Protothroni, which has been in uninterrupted service since 1052, the imposing, 17th century Barozzi Tower and the pretty mansion housing the historicVallindras distillery, which has pioneered the renowned citron liqueur.  In terms of archaeological interest, the broader area of the Tragea valley has been described as the“Mystras of the Aegean,” after the medieval Byzantine citadel in the SE Peloponnese. The vast olive grove is dotted by some 30 important Byzantine churches with rare frescoes, inscriptions and sculptures.  The most prominent of these are Panagia Drossiani, Agios Georgios Diassoritis, Panagia Damiotissa, Agios Ioannis at Kerami and Agii Apostoli at Metochi.

Filoti is the largest of all Naxian villages. Set amphitheatrically on the slopes of two hills at the foot of Mount Zas, it is virtually surrounded by impressive summits which leave two openings, one headed west to Tragea, the other south to the local livestock farms. Filoti’s liveliness and cultural richness is made evident upon entry to the village while headed for its main square.

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