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EXPLORE NAXOS

Naxos Island – A Microcosm of Greece

"If Paradise was on Earth, it would be here." This is what the most renowned Greek author and philosopher of the 20th century, Nikos Kazantzakis, had to say about Naxos. Indeed, Naxos was a beloved island of the ancient Greek Gods and it is no coincidence that the God of pleasure and wine, Dionysius, is the ancient God of Naxos. Dionysus is said to be neither a child nor an adult, but rather the eternal youth, with a spirit of energy and the transforming power of a youthful yet wise mind. Naxos Island will offer you a Dionysian experience of pleasure and boundless energy, as well as physical, mental and spiritual transformation, as you experience its eternal youthfulness.


One can say that Naxos is a microcosm of Greece itself. It is the largest island of the Cyclades and offers a large selection of activities to satisfy every visitor. Colours, images, smells and tastes all conspire to seduce you. With its picturesque traditional villages steeped in history, coastal areas, mountainous regions, golden-grained pristine sand beaches, breath-taking Ancient Temples, unmatched landscape and, of course, authentic Greek culture, one is truly spoilt for choice in Naxos.


The blessed, fertile land of Naxos yields a variety of traditional local products, used in authentic Greek recipes that are guaranteed to gastronomically impress even the most discriminating of palates.


With all the local knowledge you could hope for, the hosts of Ostria Inn Naxos Hotel are able to guide you in making your holiday an unforgettable experience of everything of the best that Naxos has to offer. Here are just a few highlights…


Ancient Temples and Historical Sites


As the ferry approaches the port of Naxos, the towering 'Portara' - the marble gateway of the ancient Temple of Apollo – welcomes you to the unique dynamism of Naxos. The town of Naxos (Chora) with the imposing Venetian Castle on the hilltop will captivate you, as will the many extraordinary features of the island. The castle of Naxos, the Archeological Museum of Chora, the tower of Glezos, the tower of Belonias in Galanado and the tower of Chimaros at Filoti are all worth a visit.


Moreover, do not miss the Temple of the goddess Demeter near the village Sangri. The temple was built in the 6th century BC and has been partially restored. You can also visit the monastery of Fotodotis in the village of Danakos and the restored tower of Bazeos where many cultural events are organized throughout the summer (www.bazeostower.gr).


Beaches

Naxos has a wide variety of exceptional beaches to satisfy any taste. The sandy beach, exactly in front of the Ostria Inn Naxos Hotel, is an ideal choice for families with small children, as the water depth gradually deepens. Within walking distance of the Ostria Inn, there are more beaches to choose from - both sandy and pebble beaches.


Psili Ammos

Within a 10-minute car ride, you can explore the world-renowned, enchanting Psili Ammos Beach, itself one of the most famous beaches of Naxos, with its natural sand dunes. The deep blue waters of the Aegean awaits you. With your spirit rejuvenated by the sea and your senses awakened by the sun’s warmth, you can always find a cool breeze and plenty of shade to relax under the cedar trees. If you are intrigued by unspoiled and unexplored scenery, you can walk across the rocks to explore its secluded small coves.


Panormos Beach

If an eternally calm beach is what you seek, we have a surprise in store for you! At the furthest tip of the eastern coast of Naxos, at the end of the road leading from Ostria Inn, you will find an absolutely tranquil beach called Panormos. Small coves with palm trees and crystal clear, blue-green waters greet you upon arrival, and you immediately feel the soothing effects of this unique sanctuary. Even during the famous 'meltemi' season of high Cycladic winds in August, Panormos Beach always offers you a calm sea without any waves. Here too, you can discover an important part of Naxian culture by visiting the prehistoric Acropolis of Panormos.

Apeiranthos Village

The most traditional village of Naxos is Apeiranthos, nestled at the foot of Fanari Mountain at an altitude of 650 meters. Just a 15-minute drive up from Ostria Inn Naxos Hotel, anyone who wishes to discover the unspoiled interior of Naxos need look no further than Apeiranthos. The village of marble and stone, as it is known, will charm you beyond description.


After leaving your car on the outskirts of Apeiranthos and stepping into the village, you will feel as if you have been transported through history to another time – a time of white marble, stone archways, brilliant light, and breath-taking landscapes - steeped in traditional Greek culture. Built in a semi-circle on the mountainside, Apeiranthos maintains its cool breezes and captures the heart of any guest who visits. The locals are friendly and warm and one feels a traditional Greek welcome.


The entrance to the village is dominated on the left by an outstanding church that is worth your while to visit. Known as Panagia, stepping into the church gives you the sensation that you are standing within in a priceless work of art! Additionally, many Byzantine churches adorn the village.


If Naxos is a microcosm of Greece, then Apeiranthos is a microcosm of Naxos. Every aspect of the island’s history is concentrated in this village. Marble, stone, monuments, museums, towers, windmills and churches all contribute to its unforgettable surroundings.


Among all that you have to discover, you cannot miss the imposing Tower of Zevgoli, dated from the 17th century and built on a rock, as well as the Tower of Mpardani. With a single ticket you can also visit the following museums, all of which are in Apeiranthos:

  • Archeological Museum of Apeiranthos
  • Museum of Folk Art
  • Museum of Fine Arts
  • Geological Museum
  • Museum of Natural History

On the 15th of August, you will have the opportunity to participate in a festival of traditional music and the unique poetic songs of Apeiranthos, which speak of local history, true love and the deepest of human emotions. The festival is organised by the cultural society of Apeiranthos, Fanaria, and takes place in the courtyard of the church. Local delicacies and wines are offered to everyone.


After your cultural tour of Apeiranthos, you can relax and enjoy a coffee and other refreshments while enjoying the spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and fertile valleys. Don't forget to buy some local products such as honey, cheese, wine, raki or memorabilia from local vendors – you will not be disappointed!


Mount Za and the Cave of Za


If you desire to embark on an adventure that is off the beaten track, then you may consider setting off at the break of dawn for a hiking trip to the summit of Mount Zas (Zeus), while also exploring the spectacular Zas Cave. There are essentially two routes to the top of the mountain, with the easier of the two being a well-maintained route starting at the little chapel of Agia Marina (Danakos Village neighbouring Apeiranthos), while the second more challenging and steeper route begins at the natural spring of Aria (between Apeiranthos and the neighbouring village of Filoti), first taking you past the mountain Cave of Zas.


The Zas (Zeus) Cave is found at a height of 603m, with a magnificent interior consisting of a chamber 115m in length and a maximum width of 75m, with impressive stalactites and stalagmites, as well as rare stone formations. Reaching a peak of 1003m, the summit of Mount Zas is the highest point of the Cycladic Islands and on a clear day, one can but only express absolute awe and wonder at the spectacular views across the Aegean and of the neighbouring Cycladic Islands.


According to Greek mythology Zeus (Za), the father of the Greek Gods, was reared in Zas Cave as a child by the nymphs of Naxos, while the peak of Mount Zas is where he was given his symbolic thunderbolt by a giant eagle that held it in its talons. Besides the mythological interest of Mount Zas and the Zas Cave, the scenic routes and breath-taking views and landscapes, make for an unforgettable adventure.

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Ostria Inn Naxos Hotel
Moutsouna Beach
Naxos Island, Cyclades, Greece
Tel: +30 22850 68235,
Mob: +30 6986 70 50 79,
Fax: +30 22850 68235,
Off-Season Tel: +30 6986705079
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Photography by Frank Kotsos
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