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Naxos travel guide

Naxos is the largest island of the Cyclades. Naxos has an area of 428.07 sq.km and a population of 17,093 inhabitants, located between the islands of Mykonos and Paros. The island of Naxos has an oval shape. The largest length of the island is 18 miles, while the wider reaches 13 miles . It has 14838 inhabitants. The capital of the island of Naxos has 4,334 residents.
The terrain is mountainous with highest peak in the mountain Zas (1002 m). The mountain Zeus (Zas) separates the island to the East Naxos, which is more mountainous, with many ravines.The west Naxos, is rather plain, with the small plains of Livadi and Tragea, with farming including grapes, figs, olives and various fruit trees. The major headlands of the island is Panormos, Stavros, Gaitani, Aemilianos, Prokopis, Virgin and Magri. Naxos has not remarkable gulfs and hence natural harbors. The climate is healthy. Naxos includes several uninhabited islets such as Parthenos and Aspronisi.

It produces many agricultural products such as cereals, mainly potatoes, olives, citrus fruits and god quality vintage wines.The livestock on the island is in development. There are many cows and sheep. The subsoil contains a good fossil, the emery, used in polishing metal, and the marble of the island is fine. The emery mines have fallen into extinction today because of the new synthetic materials that are cheaper. Main crops are cereals, potatoes, pulses, fodder and especially olive trees, citrus and other fruit. Naxos is the richest island in the Cyclades. From the citrus is made the famous "kitrorako. The livestock products are renowned as the best of Greece, such as cream cheese and cheese. The rich subsoil produces high quality marble and the famous Naxian land, the emery, used in the manufacture of grinding wheels and dust in the construction of various optical instruments. Each year produced around 10,000 tons of emery, the extraction which employed over 1000 workers. There are also unexploited deposits of iron on the island. The road network of Naxos consists of rural roads, starting from the capital and connect all the villages. With the rest of the country Naxos is connected by sea and air.

Interesting is the story of the island. According the ancient Greek tradition Dionysus was born here, father and patron of wine. Also believed that Theseus left Ariadne in Naxos, in his return from Crete. First to settle on the island of Naxos were the Cares and the Cretans.
Here was developed a great culture and the island began to acquire economic and military power. When the Persians came to Greece they found high resistance in Naxos, which ultimately destroyed in 490 BC.
Naxos under the sovereignty of Athens, often rebelled against it. Occupied at times by various conquerors. In 648 AD was taken by the Saracens. Once occupied by the Franks in particular the Venetian Marco Sanudo, who along with the islands of Paros, Antiparos, Sifnos and Kimolos, Milos, Folegandros, Ios, Anafi, Santorini and Syros, founded the Duchy of Naxos.The Turks gave special privileges to the island. Naxos was plundered several times by French pirates.


The island is ideal for holidays, and have developed a tourist industry.The island has many mansions (which survive from the era of the Duchy of Naxos), there is an archaeological and historical museum, and several churches. There is also a Venetian fortress.
Galini Village located 6Km, on the northwest side of the island on one side of the valley of Eggares. On the opposite side is the village. It has a few Residents, but in the summer the population is multiplied by the locals who come here for vacation. Recent years have seen an intense construction activity. Most residents work in agriculture.

The entrance to the Port of Naxos is dominating by the megalithic temple of Apollo from the 6th century BC Known as Portara. Standing on the islet which is separated from the Naxos a narrow strip of land, also called the Baths of Ariadne. Naxos has a fascinating archaeological museum in the Mitopoleos Square, with findings and artefacts that have been excavated from the Ancient Agora of Naxos. The impressive Venetian castle of the 13th century dominates the city and was built on the ancient Acropolis. Within the castle is the cathedral where there is a remarkable picture of the 12th century and a museum with an important collection of early Cycladic art composed mainly of marble statues. There is also a Byzantine museum and a Venetian house museum and many beautiful mansions with marble coats of arms. In the Grotta area of Naxos is the ancient Mycenaean town.Part of this city is now under water but you can see some of the ruins.

In the interior of Naxos there are interesting monuments and archaeological sites worth visiting. The most significant of these are ancient quarries at Melania and Apollo. Here visitors can see the partially carved statues of Kouros. The biggest of these is the Kouros of Apollo. It is assumed that these statues began in the 7th century BC could not be completed due to deficiencies in stone. In due time you can visit the ruins of the Mycenaean tombs

At 2Km from the village lies the bay Ammitis. It is a quiet beach which attracts many visitors. When blowing the northerly winds is a perfect place for windsurfing and other water sports.
The village is also famous for the Festival of island songs that takes place every year the fifteenth of August. The festival takes place at a primary school and includes local food, dancing and plenty of fun. All local bands and major islands singers have passed through there.

To the east of the island is fertile valley Baouzi and Sagri. Here you will find the ruins of the temple of Demeter from the sixth century BC, near the pretty little village of Ano Sagri. Also here is the renovated Tower Bazeos built in the early 17th century. Originally operated as a monastery and now hosts exhibitions and concerts during the summer months. Also, in the village Sagri you can visit some very well preserved windmills and many Venetian castles. In the area of Livadi there are four temples of Dionysus, which was built in the 9th-8th century BC, the archaeological site of Iria is one of the greatest archeological sites. Visit also the beautiful 17th-century castle Zevgolis situated on a rock at the entrance of Apeirathos. Another famous sight of Naxos are the towers. There are about 30 of these structures, remnants of fortified mansions tha were built between the 15th and 18th century AD. Particularly interesting are those located near the villages Filoti,  Melanes and also on Naxos, Halki, and Sagri.

There are many old churches scattered throughout the island, the Church of the Apostles of the 11th century St. George Diassoriti which has one of the best preserved 12th century frescoes. There are also many beautiful caves to see. Especially surprising is the Cave of Za which was dedicated to Jupiter, and contains some fantastic stalactites. It is thought that the cave has been used since prehistoric times, because prehistoric tools and artifacts were found.

In Naxos you will find many beautiful sandy beaches in Naxos for swimming and water sports. From the most famous is the beach of Agia Anna, Agios Prokopios beach, Agiasos and the beach of Saint George. In Naxos you will find many restaurants, coffee bars, taverns and shops of all kinds. The island also has a remarkable nightlife with music bars and clubs.
In Naxos you will find hotel accommodation, rooms, furnished apartments. There is also a camping near the town of Naxos.

 
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