The island had its peak development during the 8th and 7th century B.C. It was under the domination of the same conquerors as the other Cycladic islands too. In 1207 was conquered by Mario Sanoudo who established the powerful Dukedom of Naxos. In 1564 it was occupied by the Turks whereas actual administration of the island was effectuated by the Venetians. In May 1821 the island was liberated.
In the centre of Aegean sea it is situated the fertile island of Naxos, the biggest island of Cyclades, in an extent of 428 sq.km. and it is in a distance of 103 n.m. (7 hours) from Piraeus.
In the capital Naxos or Hora with the stone-paved narrow streets with the arches and the old stone-built houses situated around and inside the old Venetian castle there are a lot of sightseeings.
In the entry of the harbour, at the one end it is the islet with the church of Myrtidiotissa and at the other the islet Palatia with the imposing "Portara". Portara is the marble gate of the temple of Apollo that the tyran of Naxos Lygdames has begun to build in the middle of the 6th B.C. century but it has never been completed.
The castle, built at the top of a hill, offers a magnificent view to the sea. Passing through the "Trani Porta" (Great Gate) you will admire the tower with the fighting places maintained in their initial position. In the castle you can see ruins of the palace of Sanoudo, the building of the School of Freridon, the building of the School of Nuns (Ursulines), the cathedral of Romancatholics.
The houses of the castle are of interest. Many of them are of the 14th and 15th century with Venetian coats of arms in their facades.
In Hora there are many remarkable churches. The oldest is Panaghia Vlacherniotissa with wooden sculptured temple of excellent art and precious icons among which it is Panaghia Vlacherniotissa and Prophet Elias as well, works of the Cretian painter Angelos being an apprentice of El Greco. Considerable icons are also in the cathedral (Zoodohos Pighi) in the area of the ancient "agora".
In the northern end of Hora, in the beach Grotta, there are findings of Mycenaean settlement.
The Archaeological Museum is housed in the old Commercial School of Jesuites, a building of Frankish sovereign where catholic monks were teaching. It includes remarkable exhibits.
The monastery of St. John Chryssostomos of the 17th century is in a distance of 3 km. from Hora, while out of Hora is the only turkish monument in the island, Aga’s fountain.
Out of the village Galanado, southeast of Hora, it is situated the tower of Belonia, belonged to a Venetian aristocrate of the region and close to it there is a chapel dedicated to St John.
St. Arsenios is an old village in the region Livadi, 8 km. south of Hora, built in a valley full of trees and many chapels all around.
Ports serving it are the touristical villages St.Prokopios and St. Anna.
Mikri Vigla is a village by the sea with marvellous beaches, ideal place for surfing. It is in a distance of 17 km. from Hora. In a rock just a few metres from the sea there is the chapel of Panaghia Parthena (Virgin Mary).
The picturesque village Apeiranthos is built on the foot of the mountain Fanari preserving its characteristics from the Venetian sovereign period. The entire village is a sightseeing. However of distinguished beauty are the churches of Panaghia Aperathitissa, St. Kyriaki, St. John Theologos, the deserted windmills and the mansions of old rulers of the island.