ACTIVITIES IN NAXOS
The beauty of the Cycladic spirit
Naxos is an island that expresses the beauty of the Cycladic spirit: simplicity, hospitality, culture and slow-living, in balance with a natural environment that is so diverse; wildness and sweetness compose the island’s unique, authentic character that was treasured since antiquity. Throughout various historic periods, Naxos was graced with important architectural and sculptural monuments, temples, castles, churches and picture-perfect villages. Surrounded by fertile valleys and famed mountains as well as astonishing crystal-clear seas, Naxos offers a great variety of choices that its loyal visitors love.
The Old Town’s impressive Venetian Castle and the Archaeological museum will amaze visitors during their walks at the picturesque Chora. Centuries of the island’s history are evident in the mansion facades, their arched doors and curved heralds, the narrow streets and marbled windows that overlook the port and -on its north edge- Portara (grand door); one of the most famous landmarks of Naxos, where the temple of Apollo, god of light used to be.
The town’s festive atmosphere, can be perceived during a relaxing tour, with small breaks at the colorful shops and taverns of the island’s capital.
Away from this joyful hive, in the Southwestern coast of Naxos, Kalados offers solitude and relaxing quietness to the lovers of a pure, natural getaway.
Close to the traditional Filoti village, on the way to Kalados bay, is Cheimarros Tower, a circular-shaped defensive monument of the 4th century BC. The route after the tower is graced by the impressive Zas mountain and magical landscape of sculpture-like rocks. Kalados bay is a gem of beauty and serenity; a small river flows by the beach, creating a wild bird protected wetland. This part of Naxos has been designated as a Natura 2000 zone, established to ensure the survival of Europe’s most valuable species and habitats. Several ancient shipwrecks dating to the Hellenistic period (323-31 B.C.E.), Roman Imperial Period (27 B.C.E.- 284 C.E.) and the Late Roman Period (300-600 C.E.) have recently been identified along the southern coast of Naxos near Kalados.
Kalados, untouched by organized touristic attractions, boasts a natural golden-white sand beach, so calming and serene, in perfect harmony with the sky and the wildness of the island’s southwest coastline. On the opposite side of the bay lies the new Kalados marina welcoming yachtsmen touring the Cyclades, or a disembarkation point for a water taxi service to the smaller Cycladic islands. Alternatively, you can simply relax in a traditional stone-floored taverna sipping a beer, admiring the shimmering Aegean while your local produce lunch is being prepared.
Outside of Kalados, whether you like your schedule filled with adrenaline charged activities or not, the laced coastline of Naxos, offers a great choice of beautiful beaches to the island’s visitors, ideal for swimming, scuba diving, windsurfing, kite surfing or relaxing and doing nothing at all. The awarded Aghia Anna or Aghios Prokopios beach, Psili Ammos, Plaka, Orkos are a few of the island’s well-known beaches with transparent crystal clear blue water.
The soul of Naxos is evident at the many proud, rural, traditional villages of the island. Apiranthos, Chalki, Tragea, Damalas, Vivlos, Koronos, Filoti and Keramoti are only some of the different villages that gratify visitors with their attractive scenery, delicious local recipes, beautiful craftsmanship and interesting museums. Each season of the year demonstrates different images of the Naxian villages; summer visitors will appreciate the outgoing, mellow, evening gatherings at the cool village cafes.
HIKING & TREKKING
The rich network of tracked island footpaths, inspire visitors to discover captivating natural and cultural landmarks. More than seven walking trails are organized by the Municipality of Naxos, focusing on the historic features and natural diversity of the island: the route passing through Tragea Valley, leading to Ano Potamia is a green refreshing introduction to the island’s authenticity and the route leading to the ancient sanctuary of Demeter and Kore is a fascinating experience.
Have you ever tasted a gruyere cheese from Naxos? It has sweet, rich taste, so rich, aromatic and delicious: the fine quality dairy products, the use of traditional techniques in contemporary up to date facilities, deliver some of the most recognized cheeses of Greece, like Arseniko, Ladotiri and Myzithra. Additionally, Naxian meat and delicious vegetables, -like potatoes or tomatoes, good quality honey, citron liquors and fine wine, are some of the products that inspire well-known Chefs; the gastronomy of Naxos is today a beacon for pure, creative and authentic cuisine.
SAILING & ISLAND HOPPING
The beauty of the picturesque Cycladic islands is best discovered with a sailing boat. Sailing around Naxos and visiting the surrounding islands like Iraklia, Donoussa, Schinoussa, Koufonissia or Paros, is a part of an unforgettable experience that offers amazing views, swimming opportunities in unique secret spots and the touch of sun and the wind to awaken your body and spirit.