From the thumping night clubs to the calm villages, from the sandy beaches to the winding hill paths, from the ancient Portara (Apollo Temple entrance) to the top of mountain Zas (Zeus) there is always something to do or see on the beautiful island of Naxos.
Scattered with castles and towers, churches and monasteries, Naxos holds firm to the history that shaped it. Little white chapels perched atop hills or standing in the middle of fields are everywhere, while ancient ruins are a common sight, from temples devoted to the dodekatheon to statues of kouroi carved in the rock. Numerous museums exhibit the rich cultural history of Naxos. Archeological, geological, folk art, venetian are just some of the museums that proudly display historical findings, guiding the visitor through the history of this blessed land. The birthplace of the god Dionysus according to mythology, Naxos remains to this day an archeological and architectural wonder, with influences from the Venetocracy, the Ottoman empire and the Cyclades.
For the more adventurous spirits, Naxos offers a plethora of activities. From mountain biking to deep sea diving, visitors can explore the island of Naxos and discover hidden gems of unparalleled beauty. Hike to the top of mount Zas, standing proudly at 1004m, overlooking the whole island. Visit the cave of the mountain where legend has it that young Zeus was raised. Dive off the cape Kouroupas and reach the wreck of the allied Bristol Beaufighter, downed by enemy anti-air fire during World War II. Or ride your bike through Naxos and discover ruins, streams or secluded beaches.
For those looking for a gourmet experience, Naxos can offer an experience that will leave satisfied even the more refined palates. The vast local produce (fruits, vegetables, dairy, fish and meat) ensures that every meal served, be it in a restaurant in Chora or a fish tavern by the sea, is made with local and home grown ingredients from the land of Naxos, fresh and of the utmost quality. Sample the local cuisine and do not forget to taste the Naxian potato, known worldwide and number one exported product of the island.
And of course, the birthplace of the wine god Dionysus would be nothing without a bustling nightlife. When the sun goes down Naxos comes to life. Take a stroll through the old market, a maze of paved alleyways surrounding the Naxos Castle, a fortress that stands sentinel in the heart of Chora. Discover hidden, little bars and enjoy a drink on the steps of some old mansion. Have a cold beer at the foot of the majestic Portara or enter one of the many night clubs for some thumping beats and a cocktail. Dance barefoot in the sand of some beach party or visit a village hosting its own festivities for some local folk music and wine.
Rich in history and tradition, an island truly blessed by the gods, Naxos is the crown jewel of the Cyclades, a sunny paradise on earth in the middle of the Aegean sea, waiting to be discovered and explored.
"-Naxos! I said.
I liked the shape and the name, how could I have known at that moment what a decisive influence would have on my life this random, fateful choice.
-Naxos! I said again and looked at my father."
Nick Kazantzakis, Report to Greco