Greek Islands Guide

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Naxos is the largest island in the Cyclades group, and is also the most fertile. With cultivated valleys, a mountainous centre, that contains Mount Zas, which is the highest mountain peak in the Cyclades, rising to an altitude of over 1000 metres.

The island has more than forty villages, with a number of them containing some unique architecture, plus some amazing, often deserted beaches. Naxos has rightfully become a very popular holiday destination.

Naxos town, within recent years have completely redesigned  its waterfront area. There is a bustling town centre, with an attractive town square, and standing above, but still integrated with the town is a Kastro that contains a number of mansions that still bear their original Venetian coat of arms on their entrances.

An ancient causeway to the north of the port, connects the town to the islet of Palatia on which sits a monumental gateway to a Temple of Apollo called the Portara. The Temple was abandoned, never to be completed, what does remain, has become one of the symbols of Naxos. According to myth, it was on this little islet that the Minoan princess Ariadne was abandoned by her lover Theseus when they stopped off here on route to Athens after the slaying of the Minotaur at Knossos on the island of Crete.

Situated on the western edge of Naxos town can be found the  long beach of Agios Georgios. Near the town end of the beach can be found sun beds and sun shades for hire but the further away from town you go, the more quiet it gets. about half way along the beach there is a windsurfing school, you can continue walking if you wish as the beach stretches all around the bay.

Naxos is well known for the quality of its marble. Near to the marble quarry at Flerio, lie two sixth century B.C. male statues known as kouroi, both in a part finished state. The smaller one, pictured above has more detail, and is 18 feet long, with the other larger one being 26 feet long. One lies in a private garden, the other, in a nearby field.

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