In the heart of Aegean sea, a high island emerges from the seafoam. You think that its mountains are waiving cheerfully inviting the visitors to explore it. Naxos is an island of great history and even greater postcard beauty. Its cultural presence counts from the beginning of Greek civilization until today.
With 103 nautical miles distance from Piraeus port, it’s reachable by ferry within 5 hours, with highspeed catamaran in 3 hours and 30 min or plane in 30 min. Given that it’s the biggest island in the Cyclades you have plenty of options to ensure a well-spent holiday.
According to the archaeological findings the island was first inhabited during the prehistorical era (Bronze Age 3200 BC). Thanks to its abundancy in marble Naxos excelled at sculpture and architecture throughout the ages.
As the myth goes, Zeus, the Father of Olympian Gods, born in Crete but grew up in Naxos. Zeus had bred secretly in a cave of the highest mountain of Naxos (1004 meters) which named Zeus after the god. Nowadays, hikers follow the trail to reach its top or the famous cave.
However, the god who is related to Naxos more than any other is Dionysus. The crazy god of wine and frenzy dancing. Dionysus got married to princess Ariadne who was abandoned in Naxos on her way back to Athens after helping Theseus to kill minotaur in Crete. Their marriage blessed the island with fertile vines and rich lands.
Surprisingly enough, these days, even though Naxos has entered for good in a touristic development plan, the majority of the locals are not occupied with tourism. Agriculture, livestock, stone building and marble quarries employ a pig part of the permanent population. Thus, Naxos oozes the cosmopolitan hue of a touristic destination but at the same time maintains its traditional tone and folkloric soul.
Whether you are an adventure lover, a foodie, a party animal or a culture vulture Naxos is the right place for you.
Naxos is all about diversity. Hence, it’s suitable for a perfectly customizable trip. Golden sandy beaches are followed by pebbly coasts which then lead to rocky coves. Unmanaged mountains making room for cultivated valleys, picturesque villages are hanging from the slopes, medieval castles pop up out of nowhere, byzantine chapels hidden behind centuries-old olive trees, and ancient ruins lay upon forgotten paradises. Concerning activities, the options are various again. You can select among surfing, diving, day-cruises, snorkelling, hiking, sightseeing and cooking classes.
What makes this place so special might have to be attributed to its advantageous source of water. Setting Naxos apart from the typical flat and dry Cycladic island. Its natural springs and the rich soil ensure a sufficient yield. Stretches of silvery olive grow, green fields, and fragrant vegetable gardens are noticeable across the island.
Viticulture is also one of the chief activities on the Island. Vines are to be found all over the island with the main volumes to increase in the mountainous regions. Most families cultivate their own vineyard, which traditionally passed from father to son, and can provide a barrel of wine for the home and the famous “raki”, a strong distilled spirit made from grape΄s peel.