Naxos town. Naxos town is the capital of the Cyclades island of Naxos. The inhabitants of the island call their capital, Chora, a name used on most Cycladic islands for their own capital. Naxos town is a beautiful, traditional town, which is built around a low hill. Here, too, is the major port of the island. You’ll land here if you arrive by ferry from Piraeus or another island.
Naxos town is home to approximately six thousand inhabitants. On top of the hill, there is a Venetian castle, which was once the home of the Catholic aristocracy of the city. The most famous monument of Portara is located on the harbor of Naxos and was built in the sixth century BC. When you arrive in Naxos town, you will see, to your left a little peninsula with the absolutely magnificent Portara.
The peninsula is called Palatia, which means temple. According to the Greek mythology, it was on this peninsula that Ariadne, from Crete, met the God Dionysus and they fell in love. It is a place for lovers and that is evident in summer when hundreds of tourists and Greeks come here to experience the unique sunset and to enjoy the romance and beauty of the surroundings.
Chora Naxos © GreeceGuide.co.uk
The best aspect of Naxos town are the narrow alleyways that surround the castle. A walk through these narrow streets is fantastic. There you will find all kinds of tourist shops, goldsmiths and jewelry shops, bars, small cafes and traditional taverns and restaurants.
At the harbor is a large square with a boulevard, lined with many cafes, taverns, souvenir shops and travel agencies. During high season, the evenings are nice and cozy. Often there are concerts, festivals and theatre performances.
If you are staying in or near Naxos city, you can easily explore the island by car or scooter because of its central location. The beaches of Agios Prokopios and Agia Anna are well worth a visit. You can also go inland, to Chalkio, Filoti and to the mountain village Apiranthos. Also Apollonas, with the big Kouros in northern Naxos is nice to visit.
Text: Yorgos and Wendy Nikolidakis - Edited by Katrina Butzer