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Things to do and see

Naxos provides an abundance of places to visit and things to do from water park to historical sights. With the Island being one of the most important in the Cyclades history there is more to see than just the beautiful beaches to relax on.

Listed below is just some of the many places to visit or things to do
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Statues – near Apollonas & near Melanes
There are several remarkable large marble statues that can be found in Naxos, abandoned in their original locations in the marble quarries. Around the period of 6th and 7th centuries BC many of these statues were shipped to other Islands, the workmanship of the craftsman in Naxos were famous in the ancient world.
The best of these is the bearded Apollon Kouros which is 10.5m tall, the others based in Melanes are smaller and just over life size. These statues that were suppose to depict young local heroes have never been moved from their original destination so have remained in the same place for hundreds of years. It is believed the statues which are not complete were left unfinished due to faults in the marble. Remains of ancient temples surround the statues.
 
Wind Surfing / Kite Surfing
Some of the Naxos beaches and bays provide some of the strongest winds in the Cyclades and is perfect for wind / kite surfing.
 
Waterpark – Stelida, 5km from Naxos town
The waterpark remains largely unknown in Naxos and even in the heights of summer remains not too busy. The park is easily accessible by local bus from main bus station in Naxos town, catch the bus to St Prokopios and just after the airport as it climbs the hill, it will drop you exactly outside the entrance. Buses run every ½ hr
The park has 3 main slides, a large swimming pool plus a play pool area for babies. There is plenty of sunbeds, a café, toilets and shop. It can be nice relaxing change to the afternoon on the beach.
In early season it is wise to check if the park is open
 
 
Portara – Palatia islet, port of Naxos
The huge marble frame Portara (built 530bc) stands on the tiny island Palatia which is linked to the port by a small surf kissed causeway. The monument which acts a trademark to Naxos is all that remains of a temple to Apollo and is an excellent greeting on your way into docking at the capital. The gate is around 6 m high and 3.5 m wide built with four separate columns. Each column weighs about 20 tons. However, today of the four columns only three have survived. It maybe a climb to the top of the hill but the experience of viewing the sunset through the Portara (“Great Door”) is completely worth it. Wherever you are in Naxos, your eyes cannot possibly miss the Portara.
Saying has it that if you make a wish standing at its doorway, you can feel the energy as Apollo begins to make your wish come true. For some, it is a marble wonder through which one can see the whole of Naxos as if it were a beautiful image in a photo frame… an image that will last forever in your mind…
 
 
Grotta
The beach north of Chora took its name after the caves that exist under the hill of Aplomata. In the area of Grotta was found the Mycenean city of Naxos one of the most important in the Aegean sea. The buildings continue into the sea. It is speculated that the Acroplois of Mycenaean years was situated on this hill
 
 
Vallindras Distillery – Halki
One of Naxos' finest experiences is a visit to the historic village of Halki, which lies at the heart of the Tragaea, about 20 minutes' drive from Naxos town. Halki is a vivid reflection of historic Naxos and is full of the handsome façades of old villas and tower houses, legacy of a rich past as the one-time centre of Naxian commerce. Since the late 19th century Halki has had strong connections with the production of kitron, a delicious liqueur.
The Vallindras Distillery in Halki's main square, still distils kitron the old-fashioned way. There are free tours of the old distillery's atmospheric rooms, which still contain ancient jars and copper stills. Kitron tastings round off the trip and a selection of the distillery's products are on sale
 
Towers – Various
There are many magnificent towers around the island, a couple listed below
Tower of Bellonia - Galanado
This tower is located in the village of Galanado, a few kilometers away from Naxos Town. It was the residential mansion of the Venetian noble family that lived there namely the Bellonias. From the tower, you can see a spectacular view of the whole of Naxos island. A local family still lives in the tower today. Next to this tower is the Church of St. John which has two altars separated by a double arch, one for the Greek Orthodox and one for the Roman Catholics of the island.
Pyrgos Chimarrou – Near Zas, Heimarros Petronia
The monument is situated on the southeastern side of the Island, half way between Zas, Heimarros and Petronia. This tower stands 15m tall and externally is well preserved where as internally large parts of the masonry have fallen or about to. The walls are made of marble and have a thickness of 1.20m and built without the use of mortar. Internally marble steps lead to the upper floors but the lower steps have been removed.
Venetian Castle / Kastro – Naxos Town
This historical district lies within the very heart of the town and was once home to a thriving Greek community. Next door is the medieval, hilltop Venetian Castle, which dates back to the very beginning of the 13th century. The area around the castle is referred to as the Kastro (Castro) district and this walled old town is where, historically, the Venetian Catholics once lived. Sightseeing around the Kastro is an especially pleasant way to spend an afternoon, with many beautiful alleyways just waiting to be explored, and around some corners, some superb harbour views. This medieval area of town is very peaceful and quiet, particularly during afternoon siesta. In this part of Naxos town you can find galleries with hand-made arts and crafts as well as restaurants and coffee shops.

Archaeological Museum – Naxos Town / Kastro
Open 08:00 – 14:30 situated at the central square at the top of the Kastro inside a beautiful venetian building. The contents of the museum include Hellenistic and Roman terracotta figurines, there is also more interestingly home to the largest public display of early Cycladic figurines. In addition the museum houses an impressive collection gold jewelry, vessels, marble and clay pots, wooden tools and funeral gifts that were found from the sites of these places. Many of the vessels are hand-made consisting of coarse grain clay sometimes decorated with a herringbone design. The Cycladic civilization was at its peak and Naxos was at the centre of art, these exhibits identify this period well. An outside courtyard is home to a large mosaic and sculptured coats of arms salvaged from Kastro buildings.
Old Town – Naxos Town
Leave the waterfront at Hora and turn into the backstreets of the old town. Here you will find winding alleyways, white washed houses and some handsome venetian dwellings many with well kept gardens. Take a stroll around the old town during siesta to experience the hushed medieval atmosphere.
Church of Panagia Myrtidiotissa – Naxos Town port
Built on a small islet at the harbor within Naxos town,
Outdoor Cinema – Agios Georgios
The films show at 9pm and 11pm , the cinema shows new release mainstream films and has a bar.
Temple of Goddess Demeter – Saggri
The most noteworthy building / site outside of the capital, it lies a 3km walk from the village of Saggri. It was constructed around 530bc made up of marble beams and thin marble tiles that allowed a diffused light into the interior. The magnificent temple which has been recently restored was built close to fertile area of Saggri and is dedicated to Demeter, the ancient goddess of grain. The remains of the ancient temple of Demeter were discovered in 1949 and the excavation works lasted from 1976 to 1995. Ruins of the temple were found all over the area, although much of its precious marble had been stolen. In the middle 1990s,it was restored to its ancient glory. Today, the Temple of Demeter is one of the most beautiful ancient temples, set in a picturesque environment.
Cave of Za – Filoti
The cave comprises of various interesting materials and objects dating back to the pre-historic times. This is evident of the fact that this cave was used in the pre-historic era. Tourists can get to see here tools made of obsidian, which were used in the ancient days.It not only provides an insight into the geology of the earlier ages, but also let the tourists know more about the life and culture of the ancient people. It is a perfect place for the nature lovers too.
The walk from the village of Filoti to the mountain takes in the cave of Zeus. Relatively shallow it is a sloping cavern 150m deep and is home to a colony of bats and large yellow crickets. Many visitors don’t venture past the entrance due to the need of a torch. The walk can be quite stiff so ensure you have walking gear and are quite fit.
 
Ancient site of Iria –
The Iria Ancient Site, is one of the more popular tourist attractions in Naxos. A tour to the Iria Ancient Site, steeped in rich history and culture, provides an insight on the glorious heritage and artistic excellence of the land.
One can get to visit four temples of Dionysus in the Iria Ancient Site in Naxos in the region of Livadi. It is considered that those temples were constructed in the ninth and eight centuries B.C. The artistic works of those four temples hint at the fact that the cultural excellence of the island of Naxos, which has contributed greatly to the Greek art and architecture. The artistic skills as revealed by the temples are something to be marveled at. The Iria Ancient Site, Naxos is one of the most notable archaeological spots in the island of Naxos. It is here where the visitors will get ideas about the ancient culture and history associated with this island.
Another distinct attraction in the Iria Ancient Site, Naxos is Iria Sanctuary. Located at an approximate distance of about 10 kilometers in the southern part of Hora in the Livadi region, this sanctuary was constructed in the honor of Dionysus. This was the conventional sanctuary of the city of Naxos. As time passed by, the site underwent various changes. Many old buildings were demolished and replaced by new ones. Research works and excavations led to the conclusion that with the construction of the fourth Iria temple, the classical Greek architectural involving the use of marble, came into existence
Zevgoli Castle – Apirathos
The Zevgoli Castle, is one of the impressive tourist attractions in Naxos. The Zevgoli Castle in Naxos was constructed during the seventeenth century. It is situated in the village of Apirathos in the heart of the island of Naxos. Built on a rock, this castle can be viewed at the entranceway to the village of Apirathos.
A visit to The Zevgoli Castle, Naxos will provide the tourists ideas and facts related to the history and tradition of the land. During a tour of the castle, one might get transported to the ancient era. The glorious heritage and the rich culture of the area is also associated with this remarkable castle. During their visit to this amazing castle in Naxos in Greece, tourists will also get to learn and know about the exquisite art and architecture of the then period. The splendid and admirable structure of the castle is indeed something to be marveled at.
Without a trip to The Zevgoli Castle, Naxos your tour to Naxos will remain incomplete. So one must include this castle in the travel schedule and make the trip a memorable affair.
Byzantine Museum – Naxos town / Kastro
A free museum. 08:00 – 14:30. Museum consists of a long gallery with photo displays of art and inscriptions found on the Island. This leads to the circular tower with a well, and a terrace looking over the shoreline of the capital.
Tour of Naxos by Bus
Its a great way to see the untouched beauties of the island, contact Naxos Tours www.naxostours.eu for more information who also provide excellent walking tours.
  
Bazeos Tower – Sangri
The handsome towerlike building of Bazeos Castle stands prominently in the landscape about 2km east of the village of Sangri. The castle was built in its original form as the Monastery of Timios Stavros (True Cross) during the 17th century, but monks abandoned the site in the early 19th century. It was later bought by the Bazeos family, whose modern descendants have refurbished the building and its fascinating late-medieval rooms with great skill and imagination.
The castle now functions as a cultural centre and stages art exhibitions and the annual Naxos Festival during July and August, when concerts, plays and literary readings are held. The price of admission to these varies,
 
 
Churches – All Naxos Island
The church of Saint Mamas is one of the oldest to the island. It’s built at the 9th century. It is in a location with luxuriant vegetation.
Panagia Droisiani is near the village of Moni. It is an Early Christian, tri-apsidal church with a dome. Three single-room chapels are incorporated along the northern side. The interior wall surfaces have wall paintings.The earliest layer of wall paintings, which dates to the end of the 6th and beginning of the 7th centuries has been revealed in the dome, the sanctum and in the northern apse. The latest layer on both dome and apse is datable to the 13th and 14th centuries.
 
 
Walking
Naxos is a paradise for people who like to walk and trek across beautiful places. There are dozens of paths spread all over the island which lead to undiscovered areas, orchards, abandoned areas and historical monuments.

Just some of the walks are:
Chalki - Ap.ino Kastro - Potamia (approximate!/ 5-6 klm) 3-4 hours
The view from the top is wonderful. Epano Kastro (Castle) was in use during several historical periods, from ancient times up to the Venetian rule.
Kinidaros- Egarres { almost 7klm) 4-5 hours
On top of Zas (Zeus) mountain
On the way up some of the items passed include a water spring and an inscribed marble rock. Once at the top of Zas Mountain Naxos town can be seen plus other islands and on a good day even further.