Right next to Hora, Agios Georgios is in fact part of Hora now.
Many people choose to have a room here (better prices), be close to the beach and in walkable distance from the town (only 10 minutes). The nice restaurants on the beach will please you stomach too. If you rent a room here you propably have the sea just a few meters away from your room.
Agio Prokopios, nesting nicely in a sheltered bay is the beach on the most western tip of the island and from here, you can move south, along ~20km through Agio Anna, Maragas and then finally to Plaka. If you walk fast, you can get to Maragas within 30 minutes from Agio Prokopios.
There are breaks in the stretch, so meaning you have to climb back onto the roads or get around low headlands at some sections, but walking the entire stretch is certainly possible.
Of course, if you really think walking is a detestable thing to do, then you can take the bus serving the Naxos Town-Agio Prokopios-Agio Anna-Plaka route and get to where you need to go.
Each of the beach has its own clutter of hotels and restaurants and it gets more upmarket the further south you go. By the time the bus reaches Plaka, it's pretty swanky down south.
This is a great stretch to be grabbing a great Greek sunset. I had the sun bidding me farewell as I retreated back to Agio Prokopios, as the sky puffed up its cheeks, glowing fiery red.
For folks dying to hang loose, the stretch of beach around Maragas-Plaka is a sanctioned nude beach and it does attract its fair share of naturists, so don't be surprised to find yourself tumbling into a colony of people gloriously sunning them in their full naked glory! (grin)
This temple is probably the most famous landmark in Naxos. They started building it around 350 B.C. and never finished it.
The remains of Temple, which measures 24x55 m. greet you on your left hand side when sailing towards the harbour.
This might be one of the worst taken picture ever but still.....
Ano Patomia is a small town in the central hills of Naxos, situated in a valley in the greenest part of the island. Rather than the arid landscape and scraggly vegetation covering much of the rest of the island, this region is lush and features tall trees and robust greenery. We didn't see any tourists here at all, so it was an undisturbed look into life on Naxos.
Apollon was a fishing village but it is also a resort with lots of fish tavernas. It is well known for the ancient marble quarry on the hillside behind the village. Steps (quite steep) lead up from the main road along the village to the quarry with its huge Kouros - a very large unfinshed statue that was started and abandoned in 600 BC. The figure is thought to be the god Apollo - it is 10.5 metres long and weighs 30 tonnes. We parked along the road and climbed up to see the figure from the top - which gives you the best view. On the way up we saw lovely wild flowers which made the climb much more fun. The figure can be seen from lower but the best view is looking down on it.
As you drive towards Naxos town from Apollon you get good views of a Venetian fortified watchtower along the coast.
I don’t usually like the Hora in the Cyclades islands when they serve the port because they are ugly but Naxos’ capital is attractive enough because its built under the hill that has the castle.
So, have your cameras ready before the boat reaches the port to take some photos of the town.
The sea front is full of touristic restaurants but I always prefer to eat at less touristic places like in the villages. But of course its nice to be there to chill out and for people watching at the cafes that are there side by side. Go up to the castle, get lost in small paths, visit the museums and the churches. You won’t get bored here…
On the northern coast of Naxos between Apollon and Naxos Town sits this ancient Venetian watchtower built after the fourth Crusade in 1204, when Marco Samado took control and of the island established a Duchy of the Archipelago that ruled for nearly 300 years.
The incredible Portara at Hora is a marble gate that was supposed to lead to the uncompleted temple of Apollo(probably around 530BC but the building stopped because of a war).
It is situated in a small island(Palation) that is connected with the town of Naxos. You can walk there (right next to the port) but watch out for the waves that will make you wet! lol Go late in the afternoon just before sunset for some nice photos. Portara is one of the most photographic places in Greece.
Have in mind that many others will go there with you the same time :)
The venetian castle used to hold the town away from pirates attacks in medieval times. The gates build by the Venetian Marko Sanoudo in 1207 who set his Duchy here.
You can stroll around the small alleys but don’t forget to go inside the museums (see the small cycladitic statues at the archeological museum), visit the churches(there is a catholic cathedral at the central square), buy souvenirs in small shops, watch a concert in the afternoon! The maze of the small pathways is funny but one way or another they lead to the top.
Took a day tour to nearby Delos & Mykonos via Panteleos Cruises on board the Naxos Star. Tour departs every Tue, Thu and Sun. The ship departs from Hora (Naxos Town) at 9am and reaches Delos at 10.20am. You have 3 hrs to self-explore.
Delos is unique among the Cyclades. Currently uninhabited, save for a team of archaeologists, who would have thought that such a small stark barren isle, consisting of layers of schist and granite and almost bare of earth, would once have been the epicentre of the Greek ancient world?
Delos was claimed to be the holy birthplace of Apollo, the Sun God. It saw its first placement in Greek history from 1580BC onwards, where it played, with increasing importance, a role in the ancient Greek world.
In 478BC, it became the seat of power for the first Athenian League and housed the Treasury. While remaining prosperous, the isle subsequently became an object of tussle between Athens and Macedonia and then later on with Rome. The height of power that Delos enjoyed never returned and the island went into eventual decline and death. By the end of the 5th century, Delos had been abandoned and forgotten.
Systematic excavations, still under progress, were started by the French School of Archaeology in 1873. Plenty of breathtaking ruins await visitors. Entry fee is 5 Euros (circa Sep 2006) and you'll get a free map. Follow the map and wander around. There're many side roads and trails but a full exploration of the island (including Sanctuary of Zeus & Athena up at Mt.Cynthus) would take 5 hrs, so with 3 hrs, you'll be advised to either rush through or sacrifice certain routes.
Check out the museum, the Terrace of the Lions, the House of Cleopatra, Sanctuary of the Egyptian Gods and explore the route to the Theater, for from a vantage point, you can grab an awesome panoramic view of the island!
NOTE: Come prepared with a big bottle of water, sun-block lotion, a cap/a hat and maybe a towel if you perspire easily. There are very little shelter.
Go to the temple of Apollo, which is the arch at the far end of town. You can't miss it. Get there just before the sunset, and you'll have an amazing view. And if you turn around, you'll get a great view of another fantastic beach, Portara.
Just up the hill from Apollon is the Kouros, a huge unfinished statue in the ancient quarry located there. I was surprised that there are no barriers around the statue and that visitors can walk right up to it. One person even climbed onto it, but I didn't think that seemed very appropriate.
The Vallindras Naxos Kitron Distillery was established in by Markos Vallindars in Khalki in 1896.
more precisely, in this year he has finally received the trademark after about 20 years of making now famous liqueur made out of kitron tree leaves and fruit.
the unique family recipe, which has won the liqueur many prestigious international awards, is of course kept in secret. in the museum you can see the different stages of liqueur processing and bottling; you can also taste the three kinds of kitron liqueur as well as cherry-based brandy. you can purchase any of those drink in the store located in the same building. the prices are slightly more expensive if you were buying them in Tirokomika Proionia Naxou, an old store on Papavassiliou St. in Naxos.
It's inevitable, I apologise foremost. You'll see this tip on every Naxos page, so bear with me ya?
You can't miss it. It's there....sticking out of the landscape....like a sore thumb....but in a good way.
Erected on the Palatia Islet and connected to Naxos Town (Hora) by an artificial causeway, this unfinished giant gate of a temple dedicated to the Greek Sun God of Apollo (540-530 BC) is the most identifiable landmark of Naxos. (The mountains of postcards will assure that for you)
You are no longer able to jump around among the ruins - there are now barricades and ropes to prevent you from doing so. One can only fathom the reasons why.
You can swim in the clear waters around the Potara. There are man-made steps along the causeway. It is also common to find couples hugging their own world on these very steps.
You can also catch lovely views of the Aegean as well as the island of Naxos itself from this lovely vantage point.
Exiting the waterfront of Hora and after surviving the maze of alleys of Bourgos, lay the magnificent Kastro (Fort). Its origin is Venetian.
The houses here are starkingly whitewashed and as I meandered my way up on a hot afternoon, I found eeriely and hauntingly silent alley ways awaiting my arrival. If you stand really still, you can just imagine hearing a pin drop.
The scenery is therapeutic. Silence engulfed you, just hugging you but not suffocating you. A cat companied me part of the journey up before it yawned and slinked down a side alley. The entire place felt so abandoned and so much so, I almost jumped out of my skin in fright when a young couple exited from behind a seemingly crumbling door (presumably their home) and we startled each other.
At the top of the Kastro are 3 monuments.
The almost invisible Archaeological Museum is here (entry 3 Euros, circa Sep 2006), housed within the Kastro itself, in a former school, where you'll find Hellenistic, Roman and some early Cycladic figurines as well as weaponry and jewelries. The collection is quite substantial for such a small space though I found myself having difficulties concentrating on the exhibits as I was still perspiring aplenty (Note: There is no air-conditioning)
Step up to the roof top and you'll find colourful Roman mosaics on display.
Exiting the museum, I stumbled upon a very handsome Roman Catholic Cathedral, looking every bit beautiful with the trees around it in full bloom.
Walking down the stairs a little further and close by, lies the crumbling Della Rocca-Barozzi Venetian Museum where according to the signs on display, sunset concerts are held. Standing behind the fence ropes and looking at the concert venue, I could only imagine how awesome it is!