Visit to the Geological Museum
This was a very interesting stop on our walk to Apollonas. This collection is called the "Petros Protopapadakis Geological collection". The museum is found in a delightful village called Apeiranthos, also called the Marble Village because its streets are paved in marble and many of its houses are build in this stone. As you can see from the photos the museum houses an extensive collection of stones and minerals to be found on the Island. Also fossils. As you can imagine there are of course lots of examples of the different marbles and emery stone which is found on this Island.
This museum used to be housed in the local school but is now housed almost next to the Archeological museum in the village. There is also a Folkoristic museum.
- Hiking and Walking
- Road Trip
Agios Prokopios Beach
Agios Prokopios beach is one of the best beaches I have been on anywhere in the world! It is certainly one of my favourite beaches in the Greek islands, which is a great achievement considering the competition!
This long stretch of golden sand on Naxos' west coast stretches for miles and is popular with families, backpackers and naturists alike. But due to its size, there's more than enough room for everyone.
Starting at Agios Prokopios, the beach stretches south to Agia Anna and becomes Plaka beach further down the coast.
At Agios Prokopios and Agia Anna there are tavernas and shops lining the beach and tourist facilities available, while further afield the beach becomes more remote with fewer facilities.
The sea is clear and the beach shelves gently into the sea, making it ideal for kids.
Agios Prokopios itself is a laid-back beach resort with a few tavernas, bars and shops and a number of hotels and apartments. It lies 6km from the island's capital, Naxos Town.
- Family Travel
Portara - the symbol of Naxos
The "Portara" is arguably the most recognisable sight on the island of Naxos.
This large marble gate (the only remaining part of a temple dedicated to Apollo, and built in the 6th Century BC) stands on a small island (which is connected to the main island) by the ferry port in Naxos Town.
As you approach the island by ferry, it is likely to be the first thing that you recognise.
The island upon which the Portara sits is very rocky and it is quite a steep climb up to the top. Thankfully, steps up to the Portara have been built to accommodate the hordes of tourists that venture up to see it.
If you stand "behind" the Portara (ie closest to the sea and furthest from the town), the Portara acts like a photo frame framing the view of Naxos Town.
How to get there: You can't miss it. If you've just got off a ferry, you'll see it standing imposingly to the left of you. The walk along the narrow road connecting the island to Naxos takes only 2 or 3 minutes. If you're arriving in Naxos Town from elsewhere on the island, the bus station is between the ferry port and the Portara - literally a 2 minute walk away!
- Historical Travel
One of the best things about Naxos was its many beautiful beaches. The first beach just south of Naxos Town is Agios Georgios Beach (St. George Beach), which is actually fairly small and quite crowded even before high season. It's fine in a pinch, but the farther south you go the more secluded and peaceful the beaches get.
Agios Prokopios is the next beach to the South, followed shortly by Agia Anna (the two are separated by a rocky outcropping). Both are nice, but our favorite beach of all was Plaka, located about 7 km south of Naxos Town. Plaka is actually a clothing optional beach, so if that bothers you it might not be the best place for you to go. However, we didn't mind at all. The sand is soft and smooth, the water is beautiful turqoise, and best of all it's very quiet and peaceful. Even then it's not difficult to find a place to eat or a convenience store nearby, which makes it even better.
Note: I didn't take any pictures of the beach at Plaka because I didn't think the nude sunbathers would appreciate it. The photo I posted is from Agios Prokopios instead.
Be sure to visit the interior of the island!
The west coast of Naxos, where Naxos Town and the beautiful beaches are located, is only the tip of the iceberg. Naxos is the largest of the Cyclades Islands and has a lot to offer in its mountainous interior as well.
By far the best way to visit the interior of the island is to rent a car. Then take a scenic loop beginning in Naxos Town and heading out southeast to Filoti, then northeast to Apirathos and Apollon, and finally head back to Naxos Town along the highway that follows the north coast.
It is a picturesque mountain village. The old people here are dressed like the people form Creta and their ascent is similar. Propably some people from Creta been here in the past and built the village.
Walk around the narrow cobblestone paths, visit the small museum of natural history (or the archeological and folk museum). Don’t forget to eat at Lefteris restaurant one of my favorite in the island. Also don’t miss the Tower of Zevgoli.
Agios Georgios beach
Agios Georgios beach is the closest beach to Naxos Town, just a 5 minute walk from the town centre.
Because of its proximity to the island's capital, it is also the most popular and developed beach on the island.
This long stretch of golden sand, with shallow clear sea, is backed by accommodation and tavernas and attracts a great many holidaymakers in the height of summer. I visited in September and May, at which times the beach wasn't overly crowded, but it was still far busier than the beach at Agios Prokopios where I was staying.
A number of companies hire out sun loungers and sun shades right along the beach, while watersports are available for those who want to do something a little more adventurous than merely bake in the sun. I often saw groups playing beach volleyball and kids playing bat and ball games by the sea. Overall, it is a far livelier beach than the one at Agios Prokopios. Personally, I prefer the solitude and vast expanses of empty, undeveloped sand at Agios Prokopios, but if you are travelling with small children or with a group of friends, then I would recommend Agios Georgios beach as a more "fun" beach.
There are plenty of places by the beach to enjoy a drink or a light lunch with wonderful sea views, while the restaurants and shops of Naxos Town are mere minutes away.
Ancient Monuments & Structures
Naxos has many ancient sites, the most visible of course being the Portara, on the islet of Palatia, which is just outside the harbour. The huge frame is all that remains of a temple that was dedicated to Apollo.
Built in the 6th Century, this magnificent landmark was built with marble.
There is a walkway to the Portara, and once on the Palatia islet, which is covered with wildflowers- photo opportunties abound.
The climb up to the Portara is slightly challenging, but well worth the view once one gets there.
The Kouros is a enormous 7th Century BC statue of a man, laying on its back- and situated in an ancient quarry, above Apollonas beach.The statue measure 10m, and is easy to locate. Follow signs on the road from Hora to Apollonas.
Temple of Dimitra- set on top of a hill, the well preserved ruins of this temple are well worth a visit.
There is a small museum on the site, which is worth a visit .
The surrounding hills are covered in wildflowers.
Temple of Dimitra is approx 1.5km south of Sangri.
- Historical Travel
The best way to see more of the island is to hire a car and head off into the Tragaia valley with its little towns and wonderful views. Chalki is a pictureque little place with Ventetian. architecture. It is worth a short stop to wander through the little streets. In the centre is the old Byzantine Fragopoulis tower.
- Arts and Culture
- Family Travel
If you continued along the main road from Chalki and drive up the twisting climbing road towards Mount Zas you get wonderful views across the valley. you pass through the village of Filoti which is the largest village in the region. Mount Zas is the highest in the Cyclades at 1,000 metres. We stopped at Apeiranthos instead of Filoti (only having one day to explore) and we are glad we did. The town was colonised in the 17th and 18th centuries by Crtean refugees trying to get away from Turkish oppression. It really is a wonderful mountain village with marble paved climbing streets which are so easy to get lost in, and 14th century towers which were built by the Venetian Crispi family. We wandered through the streets climbing up and down and it is very easy to loose you sense of direction - we ended up walking along the main road to get back to our car at the other side of the village.
- Family Travel
- Historical Travel
- Arts and Culture
Beaches of golden sand
Plenty of choices for everyone:
Agios Georgios (next to Hora), Agios Prokopios(crowdy), Agia Anna (I like the golden sand), Mikri Vigla (cold waters), Plaka. If you drive a little bit further you will see some beaches more peaceful like Kalanto, Pyrgaki, Aliko etc
The Archeological Museum, Castro
Not everyone enjoys wandering around museums. However, this is a small one, with some fascinating artifacts, which were discovered on the island.
All of Greece is an Archeologist Paradise- so if one can't actually do the digging, at least one can admire the treasures that we are fortunate to examine.
The artifacts and statues are well dispayed, with explanations in English and Greek.
The Museum attendent was kind enough to elaborate if we wanted more information.
- Museum Visits
- Historical Travel
Apiranthos (or Apeiranthos)
Apirathos is known as the White City because nearly everything there is built from white marble from the island's famous quarries. Even the gravel on Naxos is crushed white marble! Apirathos is on a hill and has narrow winding paths that are fun to navigate. You don't need to stay long, but it's very interesting to just walk around and see this very unique village with its walkways paved with white marble.
Agios Prokopios is very popular because of its beach. It gets really crowdy some days but even when there's wind at other beaches (during August there are a lot of winds) here is pretty calm!
There are many studios to stay and some good restaurants (not all of them)...
Filoti is situated at the foothill of mountain Za(the highest peak of the island at 1000m) and it’s inside in a complete green scenery. There isnt anything to see here but a nice opportunity to see locals, have a greek coffee under the huge platan tree that offers shade under the hot sun and play backgammon for hours… I did it and I lost :)
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