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Author : Anthi kontosorou Date : 19 / 2 / 2005

The island of god Dionysos

Chora of Naxos
Chora of Naxos
Naxos is situated at the center of Aegean sea. The long history is revealed to the youngest through the remains of ancient monuments.

Naxos is the biggest and most fertile island of Cyclades. Its name is connected with history, mythological narrations, wars, pirate invasions, but and creativity.
Walking around the picturesque cobblestone paths of Chora, somewhere between myth and reality, you will discover the human power and the unfailing talent for creation.

The island borders with many cycladic islands. Westwards of Naxos is Paros, northwards are Mykonos and Delos, southwards the Small Cyclades islands (Heraklia, Shinoussa, Keros, Koufonisia) and eastwards the small islands of Donousa, Stroggili and Agia Paraskevi.

Unlikely other Cycladic islands, Naxos is a fertile island. It is not accidental that in mythology Naxos was the homeland of Dionysos. According to tradition the island was gifted by god Dionysos.
From ancient times to our days Naxos produces citrus fruits, while fine wine is produced from its vineyards.
Animal husbandry is developed and the cheeses distinguish for their quality. Naxos is an earthly paradise…
Touring around the island can be a real surprise for all travelers, as the options satisfy all tastes. Visit the archaeological monuments and walk at the fertile valleys (Melanes, Egares), but also at the mountains of Za that reveal the beauties of Naxos.

The castle settlement
The castle settlement
In the north part of Chora we see the archaeological site of Grotta. In Chora is located the island's archaeological museum and the school of Oursoulines that distinguishes for its architecture.
Agios Georgios beach in the south part of Chora, and Grotta in the north attract most tourists during summer period.
Naxos is a beautiful place that satisfies all preferences. Hotels of all categories and with all comforts, restaurants and graphic taverns where you can taste the tradional local cuisine, bars and clubs with live music to dance till dawn!
In Naxos you will find all the traditional products, products of folklore art, but also boutique shops. And if you care for a souvenir take a look at the handmade ceramics and webs that have a long history in the island.

Agios Prokopios beach
Agios Prokopios beach
Lovers of swimming and water sports will find their paradise in Naxos. Endless shores, crystal clear waters and the shining sun are waiting for you. During your tour around the island you will discover extraordinary beaches, satisfying all tastes. Organized with all the facilities for those seeking for cosmopolitan beaches, small and isolated for those looking for some privacy. Take a walk at the seaside settlements after your swim and enjoy the landscape…

One of the most famous and crowded beaches of the island is Agios Georgios. It is very close to Chora (town). It has a golden shore and shallow waters, while there is an organized sports center to practise on water sports.
Quite famous is the beach of Agios Prokopios. It has an extended beach with crystal clear waters that gathers a lot of tourists. Next in row in the beach of Agia Anna with all the infrastructures for water sports. Characteristic of the area is the cedar forest that reaches up to the shore creating an exotic landscape.

Sunset to Kastraki
Sunset to Kastraki
At the south part of Naxos is the fertile valley where the famous potato is cultivated. Here you will see the traditional village of Agios Arsenios with the crystal clear waters and the untold beauties. South of this village are the small beaches of Kastraki, Orkos, Aliko, Pyrgaki and Plaka.

At the east part of Naxos you will see the traditional seaside settlement of Moutsouna, a natural harbor that will fill you with unique pictures.
Following the coastal road from Moutsouna to the south part of the island you will reach the beach of Psili Ammos. It is an isolated beach. The cedar forest, the gigantic sandy hills and the crystal clear waters create an idyllic picture worth visited.

The fishing village of Apollonas
The fishing village of Apollonas
At the northeast part of Naxos, on the way to Apollonas village, you will find the beach of Abrami with the warm waters.
In the entrance of Apollonas village is situated a gigantic unfinished Kouros of Apollonas.
Apollonas is the most developed part of east Naxos. It has a magnificent beach with a sandy shore, while very close to the sea are a few taverns where you can taste traditional dishes and local recipes.

Meet the enchanting mountain and the fertile valleys...

Aperanthos: the
Aperanthos: the "marmoreal village"
The mountainous and semi-mountainous villages of Naxos, with the fertile valleys, where the famous products of Naxos are produced (potatoes, wine) and the picturesque settlements, are ideal for jaunts in the countryside.
One of the most beautiful villages in the central part of Naxos is Apiranthos, the “marmoreal village” as the locals call it. Apiranthos will impress you with its medieval architecture and the deep creed of people.
In the surrounding area you will see imposing Byzantine churches, while the village has also an archaeological and folkloric museum. Here, you will see the castles of the venetian sovereigns Sommaripa, Kastri, Bardani and the impressive castle of Zevgolis of the 17th century.
The biggest village in Naxos is Filoti. Built amphitheatrically at the foothills of mountain Za, the biggest mountain in Cyclades islands (1004m), it is said to be the place where god Zeus grew up. This village attracts many tourists due to its monuments and tourist infrastructures.

Panagia Drosianni
Panagia Drosianni
The region of Tragea, also known as “little Mystras”, consists the central, semi-mountainous part of Naxos. From ancient times to our days it has always been the most fertile part of the island. It is a place full of olives and citrus fruits that give the biggest amounts of the island's agricultural products. Between the plains you will see the villages of Chalki, Acadimi, Himarros, Kaloxilos, Damalas, Damarionas and Tsilikario.
Halki has lot of old imposing mansions that reveal the financial robustness the village once met.
In Halki you will see the churches of Panagia Protothroni, Panagia Drosiani and Saint George.
It is worth visiting the venetian castles of Gracia and Barotsi.
We suggest you to make a stop at the traditional citrus distillery in Halki and see the traditional way of making liqueur.

Kouros at Flerio
Kouros at Flerio
Melanes is built in a fertile valley, at the southeast part of Chora. Apart form natural beauties, the region has important sites to see. In Flerio you will see one of the two unfinished Kouros statues of Naxos.
11 km from Chora, is the village of Sagri. The traditional colours and the authentic cycladic architecture make it one of the most beautiful of the hinterland. The venetian castle of Somaripa, as and the ancient temple of goddess Ceres are saved in Sagri. At a small distance is located Bazeos tower where the Naxos Festival is hosted during the summer.

The temple of Dionysos
The temple of Dionysos
The south part of Naxos is known as Livadi. Big part of the area is covered by a fertile champaign where potato is cultivated. A village with big tourist development, Livadohoria, is situated at the same area. In Glinado village and more specifically in Iria, are the remains of Dionysos’ ancient temple built during the 6th BC. Excavations in the area have brought into light many important findings.

Eggaron valley
Eggaron valley
Egares valley is located northeast of Chora (town). The whole valley is covered with soil gardens and trees. It is a beautiful region you won’t see anywhere else in Cyclades.
The small villages we meet along the valley seem like beautiful ornaments. Amongst these villages distinguishes that of Egares, built eastwards of the valley. The combination of green fields and traditional architecture will definitely enchant you!


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