Let’s travel to Naxos, the largest island of the Cyclades archipelago, mostly known for its pristine beaches, cultural sites, charming villages, vibrant nightlife, and the world-famous attraction the Portara, a massive marble doorway that stands at the entrance of an ancient Temple of Apollo. It was never completed but the Portara, though, still stands as a testament to the island’s rich history welcoming all visitors.
Naxos is home to several picturesque villages, including Chora, the island’s main town. Wander through narrow alleys, admire Venetian architecture, and enjoy traditional Greek cuisine at the many tavernas and local restaurants. For beach lovers, Naxos has plenty of options, with stretches of golden sand that attract sunseekers from around the world. Some of the most popular ones include Agios Prokopios, Agia Anna, and Plaka.
Naxos has a rich culinary tradition, influenced by its fertile land and surrounding seas. It is known for its fresh seafood, locally grown fruits and vegetables, and dairy products, including cheese and yogurt. It has a range of dishes that are unique to the island. Some popular options include potato salad, octopus stifado (a stew made with tender octopus tomatokeftedes (fried tomato fritters), and Revithada (a chickpea stew). The most famous local products you shouldn’t miss are the Graviera cheese and the Kitron liqueur, a sweet citrus-flavored liqueur made from the leaves of the citron tree that is unique to the island. The Kitron distillery in Chalki village offers tours and tastings for visitors who want to learn more about this traditional drink. Naxos has a long history of winemaking, dating back to ancient times. The island’s favorable climate and rich volcanic soil contribute to the production of high-quality wines. They are often enjoyed alongside traditional Greek cuisine, enhancing the dining experience with their unique flavors. The most famous grape variety is the indigenous grape called Citrona, a white grape with a distinct aroma often used to produce dry, semi-dry, and sweet white wines. Some well-known wineries on the island include the Vallindras Distillery and Vineyard and the Moraitis Winery.
Naxos is particularly famous for its rich historical and archaeological heritage. It has numerous archaeological sites that offer insights into its ancient past. Don’t miss out on the Temple of Demeter, one of the best-preserved temples in Greece, situated in Sangri Village. In Apollonas Village, you can find an unfinished ancient statue known as the Kouros Apollonas, carved from marble. Near Chora, visit Grotta where excavations have revealed remains of a prehistoric settlement dating back to the Early Cycladic period. Explore the Castle in Chora and have a glimpse into the island’s medieval history. Built by the Venetians in the 13th century, it features narrow, winding streets, mansions and the impressive Tower of Glezos.
During your next trip to Greece, explore Naxos, a wonderful destination for anyone looking to experience the beauty and charm of the Greek islands. With its history, culture, natural beauty and unique tastes, it’s no wonder why it’s a beloved spot for travelers.
Originally Sourced from Emerging Destinations – Text by Miss More