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Naxos

Naxos Holidays Greece - Naxos Holiday Packages

Naxos is the largest island in the Cyclades group, a green, mountainous jewel of an island amongst many barren places. It is a wonderful isle to spend a couple of days exploring as it’s full of history, beauty and culture.

Naxos's history is long and detailed. In mythology, the island was the site where Theseus abandoned Ariadne, who then went on to meet Dionysus, the protector of the island. There are two stories as to how this meeting ended; one stating that Ariadne fell in love with the vivacious god, the other claiming that she threw herself off the cliffs behind the Portara. Historically, the island has been an important trading island, the green hills producing many crops.

The Venetians invaded Naxos in the 13th century, who built much of the old town and the Kastro, the island having its own seat in the Venetian court. Unlike many of the other islands in the group, the Ottoman empire had little influence on Naxian life as few Turks settled there. It became part of Independent Greece in 1821.

The first wonder tourists will notice is the Temple of Apollo, the ancient site that greets visitors as they come into the port. The temple, also known at Portara or the Church of Ariadne is instantly recognisable as it frames the Naxos Town. The shape of a large picture frame, or gateway, the dimensions of the temple are recognisable as the icon for National Geographic magazine, and it is one of the most photographed ancient sites in the world.

Naxos Town is a mix of restaurants, shops and amazing sites. The waterfront bustles with tourists and locals during the day, taking on a life of its own in the evening. Behind the waterfront is the Old Town and the Kastro, a spectacular area build by the Venetians, still inhabited by people of the town. The old town is a myriad of narrow streets and underpasses, a reminder of another time. It is a place to wander about during the siesta, when in the heat of the afternoon; the full impact of the atmosphere can be felt. It is stunningly preserved and a must for all tourists to the island.

Monasteries, churches and ruins are a forte of Naxos. As the island has been continuously inhabited since Mycenaean times, these historic sites are well documented. The Venetian invasion has left a number of castles still in good condition.

Being such a large island, there are many places to visit. There are numerous sandy beaches dotted about the Naxos coastline, indeed, there are over 40 kilometres of beaches to be explored, many with their own towns nearby. The nearest beach to the town is Grotta, to the north of the town, which is by no means the best nor the quietest beach on Naxos. A car or moped is often the best way to get to these out of the way beaches, though many of the local buses service the beaches nearest to Naxos Town.

On the Inland, there are many quaint towns to visit, such as Apiranthos, to the east in the mountains. Settled by Cretan refugees nearly two hundred years ago, the marble lined streets are beautiful. Getting off the main roads of Apiranthos, the back streets are a maze of laneways. Apollonas, to the North East, is a traditional fishing village, where lunch in the taverna and a walk along the beach can be had in the quieter atmosphere. Halki used to be the trade centre of the island, and the architecture of the town, with its towers encapsulating the sky. Koronos appears to be spring out of a crevice in the mountains. There are plenty of other villages to visit, and the public transport on the island means that you can get to other parts of the island and back to the main towns in a day.

Naxos has so much to offer all tourists, and is a place that should not be missed on a trip to the Cyclades islands.

NAXOS BEACHES

THE ENDLESS SANDY BEACHES OF THE SOUTHWEST SIDE
From the bay of St. George, south of Chora up until the bay of Agiassos, there is one magical beach after another; Agios Prokopios (St. Prokopis), Agia Anna (St. Anna), Plaka, Orkos, Mikri Vigla, Kastraki, Aliko, Pirgaki and Agiassos. St. Prokopis and St. Anna beaches are well organized for tourism with shops of every kind. The rest of the beaches offer facilities for the tourist but they are not so crowded.

Agios Georgios (St. George)
This is the popular and busy beach south of Hora and is large and sandy with crystal, clear sallow water, protected from the wind and ideal for children. 
There are shops of every kind and organized water sports.

Agios Prokopios (St Prokopis)
St. Prokopis beach (4 klm. from Chora) with its wide stretch of sand and crystal clear sea, like a huge swimming pool, is very popular. There are many facilities for tourists on the beach and organized sea sports.

Agia Anna (St.Anna)
The beach of Agia Anna (5 klm. from Chora) is a continuation of the beach of Agios Prokopis. Agia Anna beach offers many facilities for the tourist and there are organized sea sports. There is a rare kind of cedar tree, which grows along the beach, which is like the Lebanese cedar and thrives in hot sand.


Plaka
Further on from the beach at Agia Anna, is Plaka, a sandy beach several kilometres long. A dirt road separates the beach from some tavernas and bars, which are spread out along the beach.


MIKRIVIGLA
The rock of Mikri Vigla (16 klm. from Chora), separates the sandy beaches of Parthenos and Mikri Vigla. Because of the perfect weather conditions the beach of Parthenos has become a meeting place for surfers from all over the world. Mikri Vigla beach with its crystal clear water stretches as far as the eye can see.
There are few tavernas.

Kastraki
Carrying on from Mikri Vigla is Kastraki beach (15 klm.from Hora) with it's white sand and clear water. In this area there are some ancient remains and the Tower of Oskelos.
There are few tavernas.

Aliko
Aliko is a sandy beach with sand dunes, cedar trees and exotic atmosphere. It is not a well-known beach and it is quiet. In the area there are few tavernas. 

Pyrgaki
The circular road, which starts from Hora, ends up in the south at Pyrgaki, a magical sandy beach with cedar trees. There are tavernas.

Agiasos
Agiassos is a sandy isolated beach with sallow clear water. There are two dirty roads leading to Agiassos. One of them starts just outside Sangri and the other just before Pyrgaki.
There is a taverna next to the sea.

THE EAST COAST

On the eastern side of Naxos there are also magical beaches, far away from the tourist development and the tourist crowds. Apollonas is the exception. On the east coach you can find a peaceful place just for you and your company even the summer months.

Apollonas
Apollonas (54 klm from Chora) is a beautiful, green, seaside settlement on the northeast side of the island, with picturesque tavernas and cafes. There is a large beach made up of small white marble pebbles and an area of sand. Just outside the settlement, you will see a half finished "Êouros" (male statue) lying on the ground, which has never been moved from this spot.


Lionas
Just outside the village of Koronos there is a road, which leads to the beach of Lionas (40 klm. from Hora). It is a small quiet, beautiful pebble beach, perfect for those who want to get away from the crowds. There is a settlement and few tavernas next to the sea.


Moutsouna
Outside Apiranthos there is a road which leads to Moutsouna (39 klm. from Chora) a beautiful little seaside settlement with picturesque tavernas situated right on the edge of the beautiful beach. Moutsouna is the port from where emery was shipped during the period of thriving commercial activity.


Psili Ammos
From Moutsouna starts a seaside road, which leads south to the wonderful beach of Psili Ammos. It is a fine sandy beach with sand dunes, cedar trees and idyllic atmosphere.


Kalados
On the southern tip of Naxos is the bay of Calados, a magical place sheltered from the wind, where the land meets the sea. Calados is reachable only by boat (there is a very rough dirt road, which starts from Filoti and leads to Calados but we do not recommend it unless you have a suitable vehicle. It's necessary to take supplies if you decide to visit the beach.


THE BEACHES OF THE NORTHWEST SIDE

On the northwestern coast of Naxos there are some quiet beaches, ideal for swimming, but exposed to northerly winds.

Ambram
Ambram beach (25 klm. from Chora) is a wonderful beach for swimming, with crystal clear water. There is a taverna next to the sea. Close to the bay is the monastery of Phaneromeni (17th century), with rare icons.

Amitis
From Galini starts the road, which leads to Amitis, a long sandy quiet beach. 
On the road stands a monastery - tower dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

Office:
Tourlos, New Port, 84600
Mykonos Town
Cyclades Islands, Greece

Tel. +30 22890 28020 to 22
Fax: +30 22890 28023
E-mail: info@matt-holidays.com

EOT number (MHTE): 1144E61000085201

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