Mikri Vigla beach
Favorite thing: This beach is on the West side of the island, northern than Naxos town.
I rented a Quad to get there and it was a real fun experience as this part of the island is the most suitable for this kind of bike. There are plenty of unpaved sandy roads along the cost where you will need the 4 wheels and wide sandy areas where you can really enjoy the drive and have fun.
Mikri Vigla is a long beach with white sand and crystal blue water, it is very large with some intersting rocks in the right side forming little sandy cove.
There were some cedar trees for the shade and one beach rental with sunbeds and umbrellas. There were also a small taverna.
With a quad you can drive back to Naxos town following the sandy roads that go north along the cost but I would not try those with a different kind of scooter. Too easy to get stuck in the sand.
On your way north you will see several other wonderful smaller beaches worth a visit.
Favorite thing: This beach is on the further South part of Naxos, we wanted to rent a quad to get there but the hotel manager gave us the much appreciated advice to rent a big scooter instead.
The drive to reach it is long, you have to go East toward Filoti and than South, the road is deserted, there is absolutely nothing after Filoti all the way down to the beach. The road is sometimes steep with impressive view of the valley and the sea. It is mostly paved but there is a pebbly part in the middle and the last part is also white.
The beach is nice, with golden sand and clear crystal water. It is a bay so the water is warmer then elsewhere in Naxos. There were no beach facilities at all and no trees for shade. There is a small river that goes into the sea and a white church on the rock in the right.
On the left side of the beach (front at the sea) they were finishing to build a dock for small boats so i guess they are trying to develop this area more.
Psili Ammos beach
Favorite thing: While in Apiranthos I asked a bar tender which one was the best beach on the East coast of the island. He told me to go to Moutsona bay. We drove the scooter down a steep, narrow, curvy and not protected road for about 25 minutes but we did not liked Moutsona bay too much, so we kept going to the next one Psili Ammos bay, about 9 km South.
Psili Ammos is a half moon shaped bay with crystal clear shallow water and white sand. The sand form some nice dunes where cedar trees grow and provide some shade. One the right part of the beach (front at the water) there are some interesting rock formations to explore.
I do not remember for sure if there were beach rentals or taverna by this beach I probably was too tired for all that seating on the small scooter saddle and cooked by the sun!
Agia Anna beach
Favorite thing: South of Chora, you can reach it with KTEL bus that start at Chora port. It is a short ride, maybe 10-15 minutes.
The beach is long, sandy, with shallow water and VERY organized. The sea is the usual wonderful Greek sea, but there were too many people for my taste, a endless line of beach rentals, sunbeds, umbrellas and sweaty bodies.
After awhile I noticed that the left part of the beach (water in front of you) seemed to be more quiet, there were some little boats, no rentals, a lot less people and an interesting promontory to explore with a nice traditional white and blue chapel on top.
I definitely reccomend this beach to those who have childrens because there are many playgrounds and beach activities, to those who like loud music because there are plenty of beach bar thay play VERY LOUD music, but I would not go back.
Favorite thing: Aliko beach is a wild beach South of Chora.
There is NO beach facilities there, no bar, no toilets, no showers. You have to make sure you have all you need for your day but there will be very few people and you will have a little paradise for you to enjoy.
I went there with the KTEL bus that start at the port for 2.30 euros each way. At the time I tought it was a lot, but the 20Km took almost an hour because of the mountain roads and the several stops in the villages.
The best spot at Aliko is on the left of the small promontory so I did not follow the crowd that went to the main beach on the right and went left.
The first sight is awesome, you are standing on a cliff and you have a wonderful view of the bay. The rock formations are grey on the left and pink-red on the right. The sea is green and transparent.
The beach is pebbly but not unconfortable and there are some small coves where you can find some shade.
You will want to stay forever but the last bus to Chora leaves at 6pm (check with the driver) so better get going.
BE AWARE that you will have to climb down a cliff to get to this beach , the right side (sea in front of you) is the easier. Better to wear shoes with some grip.
Occasionally there might be nudist at this beach.
Saint George beach, right in town
Favorite thing: Saint George is the town beach of Naxos. It lay right outside the East side of the Chora and it is very long, sandy and with clear enaugh shallow water. The further you go from the Chora the wider and cleaner is the beach.
There are beach rentals (7 euros two sunbed and umbrella in 2008) and beach bars where you can have a snack, a drink or a delicious Horiatiky (greek salad).
There are free showers to wash off the salt and the sand from your body.
Fondest memory: The best spot for me was by the Trata bar. Their pergola was the best to cool off with a Frappe or to have lunch and, as soon as the sunset aproach, they pull out chairs and little tables on the beach and you can sit and sip your drink watching the sun go down in the water.
history of the island
Favorite thing: The history of the island goes back to Ancient Greece times. Herodotus had written about the products of the island (fruits, olives, wine). What’s more, Naxos had high quality marble. In Cycladic Era (2500 BC) the town must been in the area above the castle where many tombs, statues and other things have been found. During the second millennium BC (Minoan Era) Creta takes all the power that lasts for many centuries. During the Classic Era in the island many temples and statues are dedicates to the Gods. Because of the marble quality sculptors and architectures had the opportunity to build temples for Dimitra, for Apollo, the statues of Kouros etc
At 490 BC during the Persian war Naxos lost, the inhabitants went away and many cities tried to take advantage of this after (Athens, Sparta, Egypt, Macedonia etc). The roman empire used the island as place of exile. During Byzantium era many churches build over the temples and in 1207 the Venetian Marko Sanudo founded the Douchy of Aegean sea, built the castle in Hora and his offices built their towers across the island. The ottoman empire were taking taxes but there’s nothing left on the island to be seen by that period (1564-1821)
Preventing sea sickness
Favorite thing: if you are planning to do island hopping in September-October, when the Aegean Sea is quite restless, make sure to take some pills against sea sickness. My friend has recommended to buy Drimen (Dimenhydrinate 50mg) while in Greece. it worked great. just take one pill (instead of two) an hour before your board a boat to keep you well and ready to explore the next destination.
Favorite thing: This beautiful seaside resort is situated in the north of the island.
Not far from Apollonas and near the entrance of an ancient quarry there is a half finished "kouros". This is a very big statue (6th century B. C.) that should represents the god Dionisos.
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Aromatic and colourful walks
Favorite thing: The walks took us over hills and rocks and through meadows and even over a small river in one valley. The views were magnificent, especially the white villages hugging the mountainsides, Filotis being one of the nicest and nearest to Mount Zas. We passed the olive groves along the valleys. And went along the rocky mountain paths were we would come across herds of goats, we also saw ducks and a lone turkey. We noticed that there are very few cattle here on the island.
There was a lot more that we were delighted to see; there was the Kouros, an ancient statue never fully erected and still lying in its ancient quarry. The marble quarries and the emery and obsidian stone. The ruins of the temple to Demetre. The colour of the deep blue of the Aegean Sea. The interesting looking moths, butterflies, lizards and beetles. The beautiful sunsets. The lovely little shops full of copies of artefacts, some of which I saw in the local archaeological museum, very ancient remnants of life in Naxos and the Cyclades.
I came home very energised and happy, and with lots of photos and stones.
Fondest memory: Because of it being spring time, the whole of the island was covered in the blooms of wild flowers and herbs, a wonderful sight to behold! The fragrance of Oregano, Thyme, Chamomile, Lavender, and Melissa were a daily delight.
The island is also very rich in archaeological finds and remains as it has been lived on constantly for the past 3000 years. I very much enjoyed these sites and the feel of the history connected with it.
Simple but beautiful Byzantine churches and monasteries we found all over the island, many containing icons of great artistic value, covered in gold leaf and intricate painting, some are also half covered in silver to protect the paintings. The architecture of these churches, while simple, I found very graceful and atheistically pleasing, painted in brilliant white with some of the domes in Greek blue, the older ones, of which we saw quite a few, are in natural stone, even the roofs are. I loved all the blue and white which are the colours used to paint houses and churches. Ten days was too short to really get to know the people but I really enjoyed meeting the islanders.
What I miss most after having experienced in Naxos is the flavour of a real Greek Salad. The peacefull colours white and blue and fragrance and abundance of the flowers and herbs. Also I loved the sound of the language and the music.
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Favorite thing: The architecture of Naxos is distinct from that of any other Cycladic isle. You'll notice immediately the fortified Venetian towers called "piryi" that you can find along the hillsides. Also specific to Naxos is the remarkable number of small Byzantine chapels, many of which contain exceptional frescoes dating from the 9th to the 13th centuries. The Kastro of Hora is one of the finest medieval fortified towns in the Cyclades, and a delight to explore.
Naxos is very well connected to other islands by ferry, so you shouldn't have any trouble getting here at most times of year. Even the big ships stop here. It's possible to catch a bus to a village that interests you and then explore it on foot; but do keep in mind that island buses are reliable but infrequent (at least when I last visited)! A bike may be all the transport you need to the island's beaches - but be careful not to be run over by some crazy drivers!!!
If you are interested, have a look at this Wikipedia information on Naxos
The Greek Islands in January
Favorite thing: There is an advantage to tour the Greek Islands in January as there are few tourists . But there are tourists.
It does rain in Greece . When it does the ferry schedules can be disrupted , so make sure that you confirm ferry schedules after rain and inclement weather.
If you do not you may spend an additional four days on an island with nothing to do. Make sure you have something to read .
Naxos is not an exciting place to be stranded on in the month of January.
Favorite thing: I can't pick one single thing . . . and that's why I chose this picture. I spent a long time thinking what was best, and realized I couldn't put my finger on it. Naxos has a bustling, touristy port town, but other parts of the island make you feel you are alone on planet Earth. There are ancient ruins, and flowers newly bloomed.
Fondest memory: Here in this picture (taken in the town of Apiranthos) I think my thoughts are summed up. It's a strong tower, and a cliff, and a beautiful work of architecture, and a garden, and a birdhouse . . .
Portara, the Temple of Apollo
Favorite thing: Portara is called the uncompleted Temple of Apollo which is situated on a very small island Palatia which is connected with Naxos island by a narrow road. Portara has 6 m. height and 3,5 m. Archaeologists believe that the building of the temple had stop when war broke out between Naxos and Samos and it remained unfinished.
Agia Anna beach
Favorite thing: Agia Anna is a resort situated 8 km south of Naxos town. It s the most known touristic sandy beach of Naxos, with very clear water but very crowed all hours during the summer. There are also many restaurants, taverns, and beach cafes and clubs, along the beach and at general area of Agia Anna. Windsurfing and other water sports are available on the beach.
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