Aside from its exceptionally clean white beaches, Naxos is also known for its lush, fertile terrain. It’s perfect for people who like hiking and low-key evening entertainment without the pretense of Mykonos or the partying of Kos. On Naxos, you’ll also find ancient sites, gorgeous mountain villages, and great family taverns.
What you will find in this article
1. Temple of Demeter
The Temple of Demeter is one of the most important archaeological sites in the area. It was built in the 6th century, together with other temples by the will of the tyrant Ligdami, who wanted to prove Naxos’ supremacy over all nearby islands thanks to a large urbanistic development. Later, during the domination by pirates, Venetians and Turks the temple was plundered for the construction of new buildings. So, the Temple of Demetra is an important piece of Naxos’ history, and a visit is essential!
In an islet near the port of Naxos stands the Portara, a magnificent marble portal 6 meters high and 3.5 meters long. The tyrant Ligdami, after assuming power, began an ambitious city planning expansion, which should have brought Naxos to dominate over the nearby islands. The project of the edification of the largest temple in Greece is attributable to this ambition, but only the Portara was realized, and the history of the temple is still a mystery. Today the Portara is the symbol of the island: if you are in Naxos you can’t miss it!
3. Agios Prokopios beach
Blu Flag since 1985, Agios Prokopios is one of the most beautiful beaches in the Mediterranean Sea, thanks to its crystalline sea and its magical atmosphere. The name comes from the small church dedicated to San Procopio, located right on the beach!
4. Church of Panagia Protothroni
The Church of Panagia Protothroni, dedicated to the Annunciation, was probably a proto-Christian Basilica; only the synthronon and the episcopal throne are visible today. The traditional square-cross shape dates to the Byzantine era. Inside there are some beautiful frescoes that are worth visiting: five different layers are visible, belonging to different centuries. Some of these frescoes have been removed and repositioned, so that artworks of different eras are now visible.
The island of Koufonissi, together with its twin Kato Koufonissi, is a truly paradise on earth, which attracts more and more tourists every year. Crystal clear sea, incredible beaches, this island offers to tourists a truly varied landscape: fine sand, suggestive sea caves, large green spaces and a generous countryside.
6. Mount Zas
The wonderful Mount Zas, or Mount Zeus, encloses nature and history: it is the highest peak (with its 1004 meters above sea level) and offers to visitors an amazing panoramic view; in addition, the mount conceals myths of ancient Greece… a paradise to discover!
Cycladia is an independent non-profit organization conducted from Naxos’ inhabitants. Its first goal is to offer a multidimensional site, also usable as a meeting place and collaboration for artists and scholars. It is such a special place that deserves a visit during your stay in Naxos!
All the experiences in this article
The attractions of Naxos don't end here.
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