Naxos isle is the largest island of the Cyclades in the crystal blue-green waters of the Aegean Sea. Ancient structures, fortified mansions, and traditional Greek foods are around every corner. This island is famous for its handcrafted cheeses made from farm-fresh goat’s milk and local herbs and seasonings. This laid back island of gorgeous beaches offers a retreat from the crowded tourist-laden destinations of the Greek isles. Naxos is a place to experience the true culture of the Mediterranean.
1.Archaeological Museum of Naxos
The Archaeological Museum of Naxos preserves the arts and personal items from as far back as the final days of the Stone Age up to the beginning times of the Christian Era. The discovery of these relics revealed the commercial and cultural evolution of the area. Forty years of digging has uncovered collections of significant importance from the Early Cycladic period including marble figurines, believed to be part of burial rituals. Other exhibits on display include pottery and terracotta handcrafts representative of the Archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic eras. The utmost alluring artifacts are the delicate glassware pieces from the Roman Age.
Naxos and Lesser Cyclades 843 00, Greece, Phone: +30-22-85-02-27-25
2.Geological Museum of Apeiranthos
© Geological Museum of Apeiranthos
The Geological Museum of Apeiranthos is housed on the first floor of the Cultural Centre of Naxos and provides visitors with educational displays and geological maps of the area. The island is abundant with interesting rocks and minerals that have played a substantial role in the development of the economy and civilization of the people. Visitors will learn about the island’s geography, climate, and hydrology. The Geological Museum of Apeiranthos details the history of the mineral commodities, particularly emery and marble, and how they contributed to the rise and fall of the Cycladic civilization. Geology enthusiasts will relish in the bold colors of the highly significant minerals displayed at the museum.
Portara is located on the small island of Palatia, once a hill on the island of Naxos before the Mediterranean Sea levels rose, now connected by a causeway. This famous doorway is nearly all that remains of the 2500-year-old temple conceived by the tyrant Lygdamis in 530 BC. Scholars disagree on whether this unfinished temple was built to honor Apollo since it faces towards his birth city of Delos or if it was dedicated to Dionysus, the Greek God of wine who was celebrated by the people of Naxos. Archaeologists determined from the surviving foundations the temple would have measured 181 feet long by 80 feet wide.
Naxos Island, Cyclades, Greece
4.Church of Panagia Drosiani
The Church of Panagia Drosiani is a single-story cluster of buildings topped with domes built in the Aegean-style of the 6th century AD. There are three adjoining chapels along a shared wall with the two outer ones sharing the same dome features as the original chapel. These chapels contain remnants of Byzantine paintings on the archways and domes, dating back to the 7th century. They are believed to be the best-preserved and most peculiar Christ pictorials ever discovered. The church served as an homage to the Virgin of rain when years of droughts plagued the island.
Epar.Od. Chalkiou-Keramotis, Drimalia 843 02, Greece, Phone: +30-22-85-03-10-03
Chora Naxos is the capital city of the island of Naxos, the largest in the group of islands, the Cyclades. The city overflows with architectural wonders, historical monuments, and breath-taking views of the Aegean seascape. Visitors enjoy taking strolls on the city’s walking trails or the sparkling white beaches. The city’s architecture climbs the island hill like stacked building blocks and at the top sits a Venetian castle, a heavily fortified mansion built to protect the island of Naxos from the invading Turks. The city is lined with stone-paved roadways and a mix of Cycladic and Medieval architecture painted in bold blue and stark white.
© Davide D'Amico/stock.adobe.com
Filoti is a village in the Tragea region located on two steep hillsides at the base of Mt. Zas. The city of flat-topped houses and narrow streets is speckled with traditional cafes and taverns along the town square. The village is known for Panagia Filotitissa, an Orthodox church dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin, built in 1718. Other sites visitors take pleasure in include the Cave of Zas where mythological Greek God Zeus hid out from his father and later received the bolt of lightening making him ruler over Olympus. In addition, tourists marvel at the impressive Chimaros Tower of Naxos that has stood tall since the 4th century B.C.
Agios Prokopios is a village with a popular beach a few miles from Chora Naxos where visitors find shimmering blue-green waters lapping at the soft sandy beaches. Young people flock to the area during the summer to enjoy the casual cafe atmosphere by day and the party lifestyle at night. The beach is abundant with lounge chairs and umbrellas for a relaxing spot to gaze out over the water. The village of Agios Prokopios contains numerous restaurants, bars, and snack shops. Tourists can rent motorbikes or ATVs to get around the village or use the ever-reliable public transportation.
Agios Georgios is a cluster of homes, boutique hotels, and cafes nestled between the wide-mouthed valley and the pristine waters of the bay. This tranquil village is unspoiled by heavy tourism and is a lover’s destination paradise. It is ideal for young families as well who are looking for a restful countryside retreat. Visitors will find an ample number of cafes and shops for all their needs. Agios Georgios is a place to slow down and unwind, to relax and enjoy nature, and to reconnect with life. The lush landscape is skirted by the ancient olive groves, dark green forest of twisting trunks surrounded by towering cypress trees.
Pizzadelia is a quiet and cozy restaurant that uses fresh local ingredients to create mouth-watering pizzas, plates of pasta, and salads. Each pizza is made to order with only the best ingredients sourced from local farms and markets. The eclectic choice of pizza toppings and extensive selection of beers take taste buds on an adventure. This five-star location serves up the best pizza late into the night by some of the friendliest staff in the business. Pizzadelia offers plenty of outdoor seating so guests can enjoy the serenity of the Greek isles while dining on a local favorite during the spring, summer, and early fall seasons.
Aristidi Protopapadaki Naxos 843 00 Greece, Phone: +30-22-85-02-21-91
, Michigan beaches
© Scirocco Restaurant
Scirocco Restaurant opened its doors in 1995 when two brothers wanted to share with the world the finest cuisine prepared by the best chef they know, their mother. This family built dining experience is filled with the love and genuineness of the Mediterranean culture. The menu offers traditional Greek dishes, offering fresh-baked breads and flavorful dips like tzatziki, a selection of local cheeses, seafood sampler platters and a long list of appetizers and specialty entrees. An extensive wine list ensures guests will find just the right glass or bottle to sip with their meal. Scirocco Restaurant has a children’s menu with kid-approved dishes like cheeseburgers and spaghetti.
Plateia Petroi Evipaioi, Naxos 843 00, Greece, Phone: +30-22-85-02-59-31
10 Best Things to Do on Naxos, Greece
- Archaeological Museum of Naxos, Photo: kanvag/stock.adobe.com
- Geological Museum of Apeiranthos, Photo: Geological Museum of Apeiranthos
- Portara, Photo: pbombaert/stock.adobe.com
- Church of Panagia Drosiani, Photo: Dimitris/stock.adobe.com
- Chora Naxos, Photo: saiko3p/stock.adobe.com
- Filoti Naxos, Photo: Davide D'Amico/stock.adobe.com
- Agios Prokopios, Photo: costas1962/stock.adobe.com
- Agios Georgios, Photo: jsk12/stock.adobe.com
- Pizzadelia, Photo: Pizzadelia
- Scirocco Restaurant, Photo: Scirocco Restaurant
- Cover Photo: aetherial/stock.adobe.com