Naxos is the largest and greenest island in the Cyclades.
The capital, Naxos Town (Chora), was formerly Venetian. Enter the old town (Kastro) through one of two gates and you are immediately plunged into a maze of narrow streets, covered alleyways, dead ends and many steps! It's a pleasure to potter around the town looking at the little (and not so little) houses- some Venetian families built mansions here many centuries ago.
The iconic image of Naxos Town is the Portara, a huge archway dating from the 6th century. On a fine day you can reputedly see Paros, Delos, Mykonos and Syros from here and it's a lovely spot for sunset photos.
The temple was started in 530 BC when Naxos was one of Greece's great powers. Its ruler wanted to build the highest building in Greece and ordered a temple to be built but war broke out and work stopped. The ruler was overthrown and work ceased completely. It is believed that the temple was to be built in honour of Apollo as it faces Delos, Apollo’s birthplace, although some say that the temple was dedicated to Dionysus, patron saint of Naxos. The temple became a church in 6th AD, most of the marble was taken to build Kastro but fortunately the columns were too big to move so the Portara remains to this day. Some say that if you make a wish at the doorway it will come true.
Agios Prokopios lies about 5kms from Naxos Town and has one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe with fine golden sand bordered by dunes. The beach is partly organised with sunbeds and umbrellas. The resort has a good choice of restaurants, shops and bars.
St George is only about 5 - 10 minutes walk from the capital of the island. It is tourism-centred with water sports, including wind surfing, and a good variety of tavernas and cafe bars, many of which are on the beach. The beach itself is over a kilometre long with fine sand and safe shallow waters. It's a resort to suit everyone.
Naxos is a stunningly beautiful island with a long coastline and mountains. It is green and fertile and is one of the main potato producers in Greece. Livestock farming is also popular. To see Naxos at its best it is advisable to rent a car to explore the interior, where photo opportunites abound. In May the island is covered in wild flowers, gorse and herbs. Rosemary, wild sage and thyme scent the air.
Hotels to visit
One of the most established hotels on Naxos which combines comfort, hospitality and luxury.
The Naxos Resort Hotel lies a few yards from the beautiful beach of Agios Georgios.
One of our favourites on the island! A lovely hotel, designed in the Cycladic style, with wonderful staff and a fabulous restaurant.
J Pendleton, UK, June 2016
H Jackson, UK, June, 2015