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Many myths in Greece involve Naxos as some point. Zeus, the highest god, was born on Crete, but grew up on Naxos. The people of Naxos used to worship him, and a temple was made to his honor at the mountain Zea (Zeus).
When Zeus' mistress Semele died before giving birth to their child, Zeus took the embryo and put it in his thigh. When the baby, Dionysus, was born out of Zeus thigh on Naxos, the nymphs Philia, Coronida and Clidi brought him up on the island, which was to be Dionysus favorite island.
The god made the island fertile and full of grapevines, forever blessing it. Another myth is about Ariadne, the daughter of king Minos of Crete. She had helped Theseus kill the Minotaur, and out of fear for her father, she fled with the hero. On Naxos she fell asleep, Theseus left her and when Dionysus saw her, he made her his wife. According to another version she committed suicide by jumping off a cliff in Chora.
The most characteristic image of Naxos is the great gate just outside Chora. The locals call it the Portara - the great door, and it is the most photographed spot on the island. The gate was built in the 6th century BC by order of the tyrant Legdames. It was to be a temple to the god Apollo, but the building was abandoned when war broke out between Naxos and Samos. Later, Christians built a church on top of the unfinished temple. A very good time to go to the gate is in the evening when you will get to see a fantastic sunset. You can also see Paros from here.
The Metropolitan church of Ag Nicodemus and Nectarius was built 1780-87 which was built partly with ancient remains. It holds a priceless New Testament which was given to the church by Catherine of Russia according to tradition.
The village Apiranthos is also called the marble village, since many buildings and streets here are made of marble. It has many beautiful buildings, and you can go to the tower of Zevgoli from the 17th century and the tower of Bardani. There is also a small museum here with various findings from the east part of the island. You should also try the local wine.
At the village Flerio there is a 7th century statue lying on the ground. It is a Kouros, or boy, with a height of 6,40 meters. If you want to climb the Zea (Zeus) mountain this is the place to start. You can also take a two hour walk from here to the ruins of the monastery Fotoides. The Byzantine capital of Naxos was Halci, and there are still venetian castles there as well as the oldest lemon distillery of the island.
At the village Moni you can visit the monastery of the Virgin Mary with its old wall paintings. The village Koronida or Komiaki is the highest village on the island, built at 700 meters above the sea level. The village Apollona has the remains of an ancient temple to Apollo, with a ten-meter statue lying on the ground.
Naxos is the perfect place for a beach holiday. Many believe it has the best beaches in Greece and there are both sand and pebble beaches. Basically, there are so many places to go that you just should explore it yourself. Amongst the most popular places are Agia Anna
and Ag Georgios
. There is also a beach in Chora
if you don't want to leave the town. Most nudists go to Plaka
The southern coast is the calmest, so if it is a windy day that's the best place to go. Most beaches are connected with good roads, except the ones in the north and south. Surfers prefer Mikris Viglas
. Families with children are recommended to go to Sahara Beach
, where there also is a variety of water sports offered. Kastraki
is excellent for picnicking.
"Finikas" 4* Resort, Furnished Apartments
The only hotel member of Small Luxury Hotels in Naxos, created to become the base for your adventures in the island of Naxos and for moments of complete relaxation at the pool or on the beach in front of Finikas Hotel, or while enjoying our rejuvenating beauty services. Finikas Hotel is located just steps from places that Naxos’s history still breathes the fresh air coming from the sea.
"Glaros Boutique" Guest House
Ideally located right on sandy Saint George beach and just 350 meters from Naxos town centre, offering facilities and services of high quality brands and environmentally friendly standards. Unique handmade furniture, creations from marble, cement and metal, famous design brands, white from the Cycladic light and pale colors.
All inspired by the minimalist style of traditional Cycladic architecture.
"Villa Marandi" Luxury Suites
The ideal destination for the discerning travellers, who seek a tranquil and high quality place for their vacation. Being centrally located, you can, not only enjoy the best beaches of the island, but also explore the beautiful nature and learn the history of Naxos. The comfortable and safe environment makes it an excellent choice for families. It also consists the perfect destination for honeymooners. The Romantic ambience, the privacy and the magnificent view of the Romantic Honeymoon Suites, ensure unforgettable moments and precious memories.