A unique experience due to the location of this unique fortress-tower-monastery.It is off the main touristic routes, there is no publicity made about it and consequently very few people know about said monument! Hurry up to be one of the happy few to visit it.It is even possible to fall down, as the Greek State, does not give a cent for its restoration! The tower is private domain.
The fortress-tower-monastery of the Virgin Mary of Ypsilotera (the Higher) is located between the village of Galini and the beach of Amitis, high on a hill, but not visible from the sea (and the reason were the pirates!).
It was built around the 17th century by Iakovos Kokkos.The family of Kokkos were one of the (Orthodox) noble families of Naxos.
There is a lot to visit (though in a "neglected situation) and see: The "scalder",from where the monks used to dump "boiling water or oil" onto the invadors, in times of hostile attacks, the loophole, the courtyard and around the courtyard, the cells of the monks.The church dedicated to "Our Lady the Higher" and the coat-of-arms of the Kokkos family.
The Tower of Ypsilotera is 5 kms away from the Town of Naxos.Once you arrive to the village of Galini, turn left and follow the signposts or ask the locals.
It' s open from 09:00 to 20:00, daily and the ticket costs 3 euros.
Just south of Naxos, lies a small archipelago of islands: Koufonisi, Shinoussa and Iraklia being the most important. These are little visited by foreign tourist without their own boats. There is infrequent boat connections with Naxos and Amorgos. A short walk from the harbo on Iraklia - Ag. Georgios - takes you to the east to the little beach at Livadi. We had the grand opportunity to be introduced to true Greek hospitality at the little beach taverna one night. The young couple who ran the place were getting ready for summer crowds. Their tavern was the 'in' spot for the intelligentsia of the island to congregate - the doctor, the teacher, etc.. Appetizers, wine, conversation and music were the order of the evening. A little Greek, a little English, a little German and a lot of laughter. Such are the evenings that memories re truly made of.
The beach is nice and the taverna grand. You can camp there. Wander about the hills of the small island, away from the bustle of Santorini and Mykonos and feel Greece seep into your soul.