The Greek archipelago of the Cyclades boasts the stunning island of Naxos. For tourists looking for a genuine Greek island experience, Naxos Island is a must-visit because of its gorgeous beaches, clean waters, quaint villages, and rich history. The island, which is the biggest in the Cyclades, has plenty to offer for everyone, including historical sites, hiking trails, and water sports.
Naxos Town, the capital of the island, is a bustling hub of attraction with a busy port, winding streets, and dynamic nightlife. The idyllic Greek island of Naxos is the ideal place to spend a great vacation, whether you want to unwind on the beach or learn more about the island’s rich cultural history. In this article, we discuss the 5 best Naxos tourist attractions briefly.
Quick Facts About Naxos
- Area: 430 km²
- Population: 20,000
- Highest point: Mt. Zeus
- King: Zeus
The Portara is currently one of the island’s busiest tourist destinations in Naxos, bringing in tourists from all over the world who come to take in its beauty and discover its past. Since the Portara perfectly frames the sun as it sets, it is a well-known location for tourists to see stunning sunsets.
According to legend, you can make a wish if you pass through the Portara three times. Both locals and tourists visit the location in hopes of having their wishes come true.
Guests to the Portara are welcome to stroll the neighborhood near the building and take in the expansive views of the Aegean Sea and the surroundings. Also, there are several neighboring eateries and cafés where you can unwind and savor a meal or a drink while admiring the breathtaking views.
On the Greek island of Naxos, Mount Zas—the tallest mountain in the Cyclades chain—can be found. At 1,004 meters above sea level, it is a spectacular and commanding sight. In addition to being the highest mountain in the Cyclades, Mount Zas is very important to the island of Naxos’s history and culture.
Zeus was supposedly born on Mount Zas, according to Greek mythology. In fact, the Greek word “Zas” means “Zeus” in modern English. Zeus was allegedly nourish by the nymphs of the local springs while being nurture in a cave on a mountain. Hikers can still visit the “Cave of Zeus,” which is the cave where Zeus was born.
In addition to its legendary significance, Mount Zas is a well-liked hiking and natural beauty spot. The mountain’s summit can be reach by a number of hiking trails, which open up to stunning views of the Aegean Sea and the nearby islands. The difficult trek is well worth it because of the breathtaking vistas at the summit.
The “Agia Marina” trail, which starts in the village of Filoti, is the most well-travelled hiking route to Mount Zas’ top. Depending on your level of fitness, the trail takes 3–4 hours to complete and is clearly mark. Hikers will pass through picturesque forests, historic sites, and quaint villages along the way.
Hikers will be rewarded with expansive views of the Aegean Sea and the nearby islands at Mount Zas’ peak. You can even see as far as the island of Mykonos on a clear day. At the peak, there is a modest chapel honoring the Virgin Mary that is a favorite resting place for hikers.
Experience A Naxos Villages
Several picturesque towns on the island of Naxos provide visitors with a glimpse of life on a classic Greek island. Anybody visiting Naxos should tour the villages, as each one has its own special charm and personality.
Apiranthos is one of the most well-liked villages to visit in Naxos. Apiranthos is a picturesque and tranquil village that is ideal for an afternoon stroll because of its well-preserved history and small, winding alleyways. Many museums, including the Archaeological Museum of Apiranthos, which displays items from the island’s ancient past, are also place in the settlement.
Chalki , which is a settlement in the center of the island, is another place worth visiting. Chalki is renown for its old mansions, picturesque alleyways, lovely cafes, and handcraft goods stores. One of the island’s oldest churches, the Byzantine Panagia Protothroni Church, is also open to visitors.
Another settlement not to be missed is Koronos. This picturesque mountain community is well-known for its traditional tavernas, which serve delectable regional fare, and its breathtaking views of the Aegean Sea. The village’s century-old traditional olive oil press is another attraction open to visitors.
It’s also worthwhile to visit the settlement of Filoti. This charming community is known for its mediaeval architecture and breathtaking vistas, and it is situated at the base of Mount Zas. Tourists can stroll through the village’s winding lanes and take in the vibrant homes and churches that dot the scenery.
Temple of Demeter
One of the most significant archaeological monuments on the islands of Naxos is the Temple of Demeter, which is situated in the village of Sangri. Demeter, the goddess of agriculture, fertility, and fruit, was honored at the temple when it was erected in the sixth century BC.
After being founded in the early 20th century, the Temple of Demeter has been through numerous excavation and restoration phases. Visitors can now tour the temple’s remains and learn about its historical and cultural significance.
The temple was originally encircled by a lovely colonnade and constructed of local marble. Visitors can marvel at the elaborate carvings and decorations that adorn the temple’s walls and columns, which are a tribute to the skill and workmanship of the ancient Greeks.
The unusual altar that was used for sacrifices is one of the Temple of Demeter’s most intriguing elements. The altar, which is shape like a square box, is situated in the middle of the temple. This peculiar form is suppose to represent the ground, which was devote to Demeter.
Visitors can learn about the history and mythology surrounding Demeter and her place in ancient Greek culture in addition to visiting the temple’s ruins. Powerful Demeter was revered across Greece. But her cult was especially meaningful on the island of Naxos where agriculture play a significant role in the local economy.
The neighboring museum, which has relics and displays relating to the temple and the goddess Demeter, is open to visitors of the Temple of Demeter. For anybody interested in Greek mythology and history, the museum is a must-visit location. It provides a fascinating look into the ancient history and culture of Naxos.
Apano Kastro Trail
One of the most well-liked hikes on the island of Naxos is Apano Kastro, which allows hikers to experience the island’s stunning scenery and rich history. The hike to Apano Kastro, a historic fortification perched atop a rocky mountaintop overlooking the Aegean Sea, is strenuous but worthwhile. Apano Kastro mountain is the best Naxon tourist attraction that should be in your bucket list while visiting this place.
The hike starts in Halki, a community renowned for its handcrafted stores and ancient architecture. From there, the walk meanders through the verdant countryside while providing breathtaking views of the nearby hills and valleys. Hikers should be ready for a challenging workout because the trail is well-mark and simple to follow, but it is also pretty steep in some parts.
Hikers will finally arrive at the 13th-century Apano Kastro ruins as they continue to ascend the mountainside. The Venetians built the fortress as a barrier against pirates and other invaders, and it was a significant bastion for many years.
The Apano Kastro ruins provide a fascinating look into the island’s lengthy past today. Visitors can tour the fortress’s dilapidated towers and walls and try to picture what life must have been like for the troops and villagers who once called it home. The fortress’s magnificent views of the Aegean Sea and the surrounding towns are also breathtaking.
Although the ascent to Apano Kastro can be strenuous, it’s a fantastic way to take in Naxos’ breathtaking scenery. Along the trip, hikers might see wildflowers, butterflies, and other wildlife as they pass past vineyards and olive groves. When the weather is cooler and the views are at their best. The hike is best complete in the morning or in the late afternoon.
In conclusion, Naxos is a genuine Aegean Sea gem, offering tourists a staggering variety of attractions to discover. Whether you are looking for a romantic break, a trip with friends or family, or a single vacation. Naxos is certain to live up to your expectations and leave you with lifelong memories. Therefore don’t wait to start planning your next vacation to Naxos. Take advantage of everything that this stunning island has to offer. Keep connect with Picnic Advisor for more travel information.