Tourist Places To Visit In Naxos
Naxos is a Cyclades island south of the Greece mainland. It is situated almost halfway between the islands of Mykonos and Santorini and opposite its twin - the island of Paros. Naxos is popular for its gorgeous beaches, rich history and culture. Its soil is also one of the most fertile in the region and it is home to the largest mountain peak in the archipelago - Mount Zas. It is also famous for its marble, wine and potatoes! The kind of tourist places to visit in Naxos is very varied from picturesque villages with Venetian architecture to a galore of magnificent beaches and some very interesting historic sites.
Portara is the symbol of Naxos. It is also the first thing you see as you near the island by sea. The prominent marble door frame is an incomplete temple of Apollo, strategically located to overlooking the island of Delos which is believed to be the birthplace of Apollo. This archaeological site is a must-visit and is highly recommended especially during sunrise or sunset if you want to capture some incredible photographs.
Old Town & Kastro
Hora is the capital of Naxos and the alleyways of its Old Town quarters is absolute heaven to get lost in. Beautiful white and blue houses, cobbled pathways and streets lined with colourful shops will have you enchanted in no time. You can spend hours walking around here and not mind at all. After exploring the old town, stop by the 13th-century citadel which is located above the town. You can still see some of the Medieval walls and inside the Kastro are churches, monasteries, churches and noble mansions.
Mikri Vigla Beach
Mikri Vigla is a hidden gem in Naxos and is great for water sports like Wind Surfing and Kite Surfing. It is perfect if you are looking for some privacy as it is not as crowded as some of the other beaches. It's got lovely golden sand, turquoise waters and beautiful scenery. It is located in the south-west cape of the island. The north side of Mikri Vigla's cape is popular for its watersports while the south side is more raw and scenic and has shallow water, making it perfect for swimming.
A perfectly sandy carpet with the bluest waters is what welcomes you when you visit Plaka beach. It is located on the west coast of the island and is a wonderful spot for amazing sunsets. It is partly an organised beach which means there are sun-beds for you to relax in. You can also enjoy some watersports like stand up paddleboarding and windsurfing. Have a drink at one of the local taverns there and you can enjoy a relaxing evening here.
Agios Prokopios Beach
Probably the most popular beach on Naxos, Agios Prokopios is located only 6 km from Naxos town and hence is frequently visited by tourists. The beach has actually won many awards on both national and international levels. There are plenty of bars and restaurants on the beach and in the surrounding areas. Towards the north of the beach, is what remains of an old salt pan.
Mount Zas is the highest peak, not only at Naxos but also in all of the Cyclades islands. It has an altitude of 1004 meters. You can hike up this towering beauty - exploring its caves and a spring along the way. During the spring and summer seasons, the sides of the road are beautified with wildflowers. If you make the climb just before sunset, you will not be let down - as the view from up is quite spectacular. There are 2 trails, one which is direct and demanding, the other which is longer but easier - choose wisely!
Kouros of Apollonas
One of the few surprising sites is Kouros of Apollonas, an ancient marble quarry located towards the north end of the island. Here, an unfinished 10-meter high statue lies, that is over 2000 years old. The status is of a man and you can make out a few details of its head and uncarved pieces of marble placed as arms, legs and body.
Temple of Demeter
The temple of Demeter, located near the town of Sangri, was built in 6th century BCE and is one of the earliest Ionic temples in Greek history. You can visit this partially restored structure and marvel at the dedication these men who built it must have had for their gods, as the structure is truly wonderful. There isn't much else to see on the site so you won't need to spend too much time here - but it is well worth the visit and you will certainly get a good set of pictures!