Wondering what you can do in Naxos?
Definitely, the following destinations will surprise you!
Looking for rent a car Naxos Greece, you will see our company Naction Rent a Car, and you will get the chance to explore our beautiful island!Naxos provide traditional villages and magnificent sightseeing. You will definitely spend your time beautifully with quality and unforgettable moments!
There are many destinations and beautiful routes!
PORTARA – TEMPLE OF APOLLO
Of course, we start our visiting from the emblematic Portara – the Temple of Apollo. Portara is located in the “Palatia” area, at the entrance of the port of Naxos.
It is a huge marble gate, a remnant of a temple of Apollo in 530 BC. It consists of 4 pieces of marble weighing 20 tons. It began to be built during the time of Lygdami, in the 6th century BC, it is following the Ionic style and was 59 m long and 28 m wide.
The small part of the island “Palatia” has been associated with the myth of Ariadne and Dionysus, who wants Ariadne to be abducted by Dionysus on their beach. It is considered the place where the first “Dionysia” was celebrated. Today, a cobbled street leads to Portara, while in the afternoon the view of the sunset from there is unique.
Leaving from the area “Palatia” we walk to the coastal road of Chora – from the interior side. There are cobbled streets with shops, cafes, and taverns along the coastal road. Among the shops, there are small cobbled streets that lead to the top of the Old Town. The route that follows is unique, as the architecture of the buildings, the small narrow streets that hide many surprises in every corner – spread amphitheatrically to lead us to the top of the medieval castle.
OLD TOWN – KRISPI / GLEZOU TOWER
KRISPI – GLEZOU TOWER: Of the twelve towers built during the medieval period to protect the castle, only one survives, the Crispi Tower.
According to local opinion, the tower was named after the eponymous dynasty, while in fact, it was the private residence of James, the illegitimate son of Duke William II. Today, the tower functions as a Byzantine Museum, at the request of its donors to the State, the P. Glezos family, for that reason it is also known as the tower of Glezos or Aperathitissa, due to the source of the family.
KAPELA KAZATZA (= CHURCH – HOUSE)
At the highest point of the Castle and next to the School of Commerce, is the Kapela Kazatza. It is a construction of the 14th century and according to local tradition, it was a chapel of Markos Sanoudos – a Venetian conqueror of the 13th century.
In the town the castle lies the Catholic Cathedral Church, which was built in medieval times. Its final form of Cathedral was finalized in the 17th century. On the floor, there is marble with tombstones of the 17th – 18th centuries.
The Byzantine image of the 12th century with the double facade, located in the central step of the temple. On one side is the Virgin Mary the Merciful and on the other side is St. John the Baptist. The frame in which the image is depicted is clearly influenced by the baroque style of decoration.
ARCHEOLOGICAL SITE OF GROTTA
Leaving the Old Town of Naxos we head to the area Grotta in order to visit the Archaeological Site of Grotta.
Near the square of the Cathedral Church of Naxos – in the area of Grotta, a part of the Mycenaean capital of the island discovered in 1300 BC. It was discovered by excavations.
VILLAGES & SHITESEEING IN NAXOS
Beginning from the famous beach of Agia Anna we take the direction to the area of Sagri. In Sagri village and specifically in the area of Gyroulas is the Archaic Temple of the Goddess Demeter / Demeter Temple. It is one of the most brilliant buildings dating back to around 530 – 520 BC and is considered architecturally a precursor to the Parthenon. The magnificent Demeter’s Temple has been made of the finest quality of Naxos marble. Demeter was the ancient goddess of grain and the people used to build temples to her close to fertile areas.
In the area of Damalas – specifically on the road to Chalki, there is a traditional pottery workshop of Manolis Lybertas that is worth seeing.
Then continue your journey to Chalki, one of the most picturesque village of Naxos.
The houses with the flowery courtyards and the small streets of the village gain the impressions of the visitors. Among the small neighborhoods you will find a quite elegant gallery, the “Fish & Olive – Art of the Aegean”. Exclusively in Chalki and nowhere else in Naxos, you will find original jewelry and ceramics of the homonymous gallery.
Also worth mentioning is the laboratory of Vallindra’s Distillery, where they bottle the traditional drink of Naxos, Kitro. It’s a liqueur that has three versions: white, yellow and green.
At a distance of 600 meters from Halki is the Holy Temple of Agios Georgios of Diasoritis. The church was built and decorated in the 11th century AD and is one of the most important Byzantine monuments in the area. This is evidenced by the architecture of the temple, the frescoes, the sculptures, the two tombs with archosolia in the narthex, and the inscriptions. In some places, it seems that the frescoes of the temple are covered by a second layer of illustrations, probably of the 13th century. In the southeast corner of the narthex, there is the prayer inscription of the protospatharios John. The report of the premier Byzantine dignitary is of particular importance for the history of the church but also for the role of the area as an administrative center with control in the hinterland of the island.
A little further out of the village Chalki is the monastery of Panagia Drosiani.
It is one of the most important pre-Christian temples built in the 6th century and is a tribute to the “Virgin of the Rain”, due to the drought that plagued the island for years. Interior of the church – the frescoes are preserved from the 7th to the 14th century.
Returning from Panagia Drosiani, we follow a new route to the village of Filoti. Filoti is the biggest village of Naxos after Chora and is highly developed.
The 2 huge tree (plane tree) stands emblematic in the village square with the shops around and the small streets of the village that stretch amphitheatrically. The Church of Panagia Filotitissa – a tribute to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary stands in front of the village. A little further on is the Barotsis Tower and next to it there is a fountain with marble taps from the time of Otto.
At the Southeast side of the Filoti village is the highest peak of the Cyclades, the mountain of Zas. The altitude of the mountain is 1,004 m.
At the top of the mountain, there is an inscription carved on a rock “Mount Zeus of Milosiou”, meaning Mount of Zeus – protector of sheep. In mythology – it is considered that Zeus grew up on this mountain and God Dionysus was raised on the same mountain and especially in the “Cave of Za”, which is located at an altitude of about 630 meters and is an impressive natural attraction of Naxos. At the entrance of the cave, there is a small church of Zoodochos Pigi, built during the Turkish occupation as a Christian shelter.
Access to the Mountain of Za: To reach the mountain you pass through the village of Filoti and head the way to Apeirantho’s village.
On your uphill route, you will follow the sign that reads ‘Zeus Cave / Peak Za’.
You can drive to the asphalt road and at about 1200 meters, just before the church of Agia Marina you leave your car and follow as a pedestrian the direction to the path that will lead you to the Cave and the top of Za. We note that from the ‘Cave of Za’ there is a path that leads to a green environment and to the spring of Arion – which is only one kilometer from the village of Filoti.
At the foot of Mount Za, is the oldest mountain village in Naxos, the village of Danakos. For Danakos village there were mentioned, Homer and Thucydides. Characteristic of the village is the dense vegetation and the running waters that flow along with the whole village. The colors and scents of nature will captivate you.
North of Danakos village, is the Monastery of Fotodotis Christ. It is a castle-monastery with fortified architecture.The interior is decorated with numerous sculptures and frescoes. The church is divided into three sections with three Holy Banks – one for each aisle.The exterior of the temple is beautiful and is flooded with vineyards, fig trees, and oaks, while the hill on which it is located offers a great view of the infinite blue.
Informative, the monastery of Fotodotis remains open (every day -except Sunday) from 1st of June – 30 of September, with the following program: June andSeptember: 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. / July and August: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. On 15 of August – Assumption Day of the Virgin Mary, the church remains closed.
Access to the Temple: The road to the Fotodotis Monastery is a passable dirt road.
- By car you might come up to the church of Agia Marina. Until there is an asphalt road. From there you follow a hiking path for about 1 km. Either
- following the walking path from Danakos on foot – access is more difficult as it passes through a mountain.
KOUROS IN FLERIO
The Kouros in Flerio located a little further from Melanes village. The land of Naxos was rich in exceptional quality marble. Important quarries were located in the valley of Melanes, Flerio, and Potamia. Today, some colossal unfinished statues are preserved. Usually, those statues were ordered by nobles and due to some damage, the ancient sculptors and quarrymen left them on slopes, near the quarries. The Kouros of the Flerio is an unfinished kouros with a broken right knee.
It dates back to around 570 BC and represents a teenager 5.5 meters long. At a distance of about 700 meters is the unfinished statue of a daughter (female). Despite the unfinished statue, it is a wonderful sight and worth a visit.
Passing from the Kinidaros of Naxos, we head the way to Koronos village.It is one of the oldest settlements on the northwestern side of Naxos.
Koronos is considered to have been created in 1200 BC during the first period of Cycladic civilization. Most of the village is built on a green and deep stream. The roads in the village and the traditional architecture as well, give an unusual image of the Cycladic standards. The beautiful houses with flowers in the courtyards, the beautiful arches, the arbors, and the neighborhoods with the labyrinthine cobbled streets and the countless steps highlight the charm and the romantic atmosphere of the village.
WATERFALLS OF ROUTSOUNA
In case we are interested in hiking, the landscape located a little further out of the village Keramoti is fascinating – looking at the Waterfalls of Routsouna.
The Routsouna Waterfalls: On the north and south sides of Keramoti, two important rivers of Naxos are created, starting from the mountains of Koronos and Fanari and reaching the area of Routsouna. Where the water of the waterfall falls, there is a plane tree and a lake with enough depth, where in the summer the children of Keramoti swim. The water continues its course and reaches the plain of Eggares, irrigating the area before reaching the sea, on the beach of Ammitis. The running water, which maintains its flow even in summer, creates an enchanting image, far removed from the usual Cycladic landscape.
Access to the Routsouna’s waterfalls: We leave the vehicle inside the village of Keramoti. From Keramoti there is a path of unique beauty, which starts from the old bridge of Keramoti and leads to the waterfall.
Apeiranthos is occupied by a rich cultural heritage. In the village, there is anArcheological museum with findings of the Cycladic period. Also, you can visit the Geological museum of Manolis Glezos with rare exhibits, the Folk Museum, and theMuseum of Natural History with many plants and a beautiful aquarium. The cobbled streets, the marble arches, and the architecture of the houses confirm the picturesqueness of this traditional Cycladic village.
SANCTUARY OF YRIA/IRIA
In Iria, we will meet the place of devotion for the god Dionysus.It is one of the most important temples in the city of Naxian, which functioned from the 14th century BC until the period of Roman navigate.Four successive buildings were erected there, in the same location and with the same orientation.
Today, the last phase has been restored, the temple of the Archaic period – dates back to the second half of the 6th century BC. This temple was converted into a
Christian basilica in the 5th-6th AD. Century. The frequent floods resulted in its abandonment and remove the devotion to the neighboring church of St. George. The temple of Yria is proof of a brilliant marble architecture in Greece.
EGGARES OLIVE PRESS
Beginning our journey from the area of Grotta in Naxos, we get the way to the villages Galini – Eggares. Passing by the village of Galini – we arrive in Eggares Village. The Olive Press Mill – “Eggares Olive Press” is located there.
It is an old olive mill dating back to the early 19th century. Today’s owners have fully restored it and it is available as a museum. It is a stone building that consists of two areas: the traditional one with all the olive oil production departments and the second area with an exhibition of olive products.
AGIAS MONASTERY & AGIAS TOWER
Heading to the village of Apollon, on the way we meet the Monastery of Agia and Agia’s Tower below. The monastery of Agia has an altitude of 220 meters, outside it has a spring, age-old plane trees, and dense vegetation.
The monastery is a tribute to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and is celebrating on the 15th of August. At a distance of 150 meters from the monastery is the Tower of Agia – built with Naxian stone.
The tower dates back to the 17th century and was inhabited until 1992 when a fire broke out and destroyed most of it. Today only some walls survive and only the beautiful sea view is the same great such it was in the past.
In Apollo, we will find a beautiful sandy beach and clear blue waters to swim. There are small cafes and taverns around the beach. A short distance from Apollo beach is the Kouros of Apollo which is one of the most important archeological findings of Naxos and in the whole of Greece. Kouros probably represents the god Dionysus or the god Apollo. It’s an unfinished male statue 10.45 meters high and islying on the ground.
AKROPOLIS OF PANORMOS
The final destination is the Acropolis of Panormos.
The monument is declared as historical and preserved. It is located south of Moutsouna. Crossing the sandy beach of Panormos on foot, with a 10-minute walk we reach the ruins of the prehistoric acropolis at Karfari Amygdalias. On the hill, there are remains of relatives, walls, and ruined buildings from a very old settlement. Acropolis belonged to the Early-Cycladic period and dates to the end of the 3rd millennium BC. It was discovered in 1963 by archaeologist Christos Doumas. The landscape is magnificent and the view of the sea is beautiful. On the Opposite side – by the sea, we can see Koufonisi Island.