Naxos is the largest of the Cyclades islands also, a place of exceptional beauty and remarkable tradition, which has some of its loveliest beaches (windsurfers' hot spot) and its most dramatic scenery: rocky mountains, lush terraced valleys and, perched in between, some of the Cyclades' least spoiled white-washed villages.
Naxos is one of the most central islands in the Cyclades, with quick ferries to Paros, Mykonos, Ios, Santorini and others, not to mention daily flights to Athens (but not internationally). All of which make it an excellent choice for those who've done Mykonos and Santorini, or want to combine them with something more authentic, and more authentically priced.
A few things to do in Naxos :
1. Visit the numerous archaeological sites. For history lovers Naxos is a cultural paradise. The long presence of the island on the history and the development of the Aegan’s Sea civilization was significant. The Portara, the trademark of the island, part of a temple dedicated to the God of Light, Apollo, the ancient temple of Demeter (6th century BC) in the village of Sangri, the big statues of Kouros are just some of the main archaeological sites of Naxos.
2. Discover the towers and the mansions since Naxos was considered to be a very important place during the Byzantine era. The old part of town in the capital of Naxos along with many tower buildings and mansions scattered throughout the island are parts of a very interesting historic period.
3. Discover and swim in amazing sandy beaches of the island. To the south, the sandy beaches of Ayios Prokopios, Ayia Anna and Kastraki have soft dunes, shallow warm waters, great winds for kite- and windsurfing.
4. Hiking especially in May, June and October since it is less hot. Naxos is great island for hiking providing a large number of designated routes in order to discover the diversity of the island’s landscape and small picturesque villages. The dramatic mountains of Fanari and Zas dominate the interior, both offering fabulous hiking. On the far slopes of Fanari is the delightful village of Apirathos, tumbling pueblo-like down the hillside. It boasts 4 tiny, sporadically open museums of folklore, archaeology, natural history and geology - the latter exhibiting crystals from the island's rich seams (emery was mined here until recently). At the centre of the island lies a plateau of ancient olive groves, with the white-washed villages of Chalki (Halki), Moni and Filoti tucked higgledy-piggledy among them. Follow flower-lined paths and you'll stumble upon Byzantine chapels (some with notable frescoes, if you can find the keyholder), as well as 3000-year-old grave circles, kouros statues and a crumbling hilltop castle built by the island's 13th-century Venetian ruler. Tiny Ano Potamia is a real oasis, with a lovely taverna for lunch. In Moni you can watch ladies weaving, and buy their lace doilies and woollen rucksacks if you like that sort of thing.
5. Food and drink. Visit a traditional distillery and cheese factory. The Citrus that grows on the island of Naxos is unique. There are distilleries on the island making the famous liquor along with creameries that make the delicious Naxian cheeses. Naxos competitive advantage in gastronomy products is its variety of cheese. Try the savoury "arseniko kefalotiri" (hard white cheese), "ladotiro" definitely accompanied by raki (an oily cheese made after putting arseniko kefalotiri in a container with oil for more than three months), sweet mizithra (cheese without salt with very low fat), "anthotiro" (similar to mizithra but slightly salted), "ksinomizithra" (sour mizithra) with an added pinch of pepper for a special savoury ending and, the most popular, the graviera of Naxos with its delicate & exceptional taste.
6. Enjoy the delicious traditional products. Apart from Citrus liquor and cheese Naxos has a large number of traditional tastes like the local meat, fresh fish, vegetables and fruits, potatoes and many more. Pies (sefoukloti or tourtes), lamp on the oven (patoudo) and a range of desserts are among the tastes you should try once being on Naxos island.
7. Indulge in water sport activities. Naxos is windsurfers' hot spot. Naxos island’s beaches are ideal for water sports such as ski, kite surfing, wind surfing and diving.
8. Visit the Chora of Naxos, which is one of the most picturesque island towns in the Aegean and combines ancient ruins with a medieval parts and a lively day and night life. Naxos Town (Hora) is deservedly popular, a photogenic seafront town capped by a well-preserved Venetian castro. In the old town it is easy to get lost among delightful, labyrinthine alleys winding between white-washed houses, clothes boutiques and seasonal bars.
9. Discover the inland small picturesque villages, more than 40. Follow the serpentine road down to the isolated fishing village of Apollonas for a swim, a fish lunch and a gawp at the island's largest kouros statue, before returning to Naxos Town via the long but scenic northwest coast road. You'll probably want a hire car to explore the island - it's 2 winding hour's drive from tip to tip - though the bus service is good if you're patient.
10. Island Hopping. Naxos has a frequent connection with many Cycladic islands. Do not miss the islands of Small Cyclades, aka the islands of Koufonisia, Schinousa and Donousa. Santorini and Ios are also close and have daily ferry connection throughout the year.
11. Don't miss the two cultural festivals of Naxos. The "Naxos Festival" (Mid-July – early Sept, typically 10–12 events ) with concerts, theatrical presentations, film screenings and art exhibits, staged at the 17th-century Bazeos Tower, just beyond the two Sangrí villages, 12km southwest of Hóra on the road to Halkí. And the second one is the "Domus Cultural Festival" ( June–October) with evening chamber concerts (Greek, jazz, classical) or film screenings in the atmospheric courtyard of the Della Rocca Barozzi mansion in the Kástro of Naxos Chora.
12. Visit the remote monastery of St John Fotodoti, perched on a small spur in the lee of Mt. Zeus and shaded by a huge oak tree. The monastery built defenses around in the Middle Ages to look more like a Crusader castle, but the Orthodox church (which is usually open) is all incense and icons. Stuning views over the rocky hillsides to the east coast. To find it, head from Filoti towards Apirathos, turn right towards Danakos and at the ridge-top chapel of Ayia Marina, fork (or walk) left for 2km.
13. Discover the Kouros statues a really amazing experience, since is not common meet a 5-metre long, 2500-year-old statue in the middle of the field where it was quarried. Two of the statues are near Melanes, just head towards Kinidaros, turn right where signed and walk the last 100m through citrus groves. A further 20 mins' walk brings you to the second and a third - larger but cruder - lies just above Apollonas, at the island's northern tip.
13. Enjoy a tailor- made stay in Valea Villa. With our concierge services you can personalize your stay in Villa Valea making your days in Naxos a memorable experience. Arrange a private dinner with a chef that will create the tastes of your choice, book a massage with partnered therapists, a yoga session or ask for anything that might make your vacation a truly relaxing and pleasurable experience.
|Hotel Information||Recommended For|
|Type:||Mid-Size Hotels||Beach/Seaside :|
|Rooms:||30||Family hospitality :|
|Pool:||Yes||Quality of service :|
|Dining:||Yes||Nice atmosphere :|
|Closed:||November to March||Young Couples :|