Saturday, October 9, 2010

Naxos, Greece

Naxos is a mountainous island. The capital of the island, Hora, has a well-preserved Venetian castle and is full of beautiful whitewashed houses with small windows, surrounded by stone-paved narrow alleys.

The windmills on Naxos are not a trademark of the island like Mykonos but there are some nice ones. Their architecture is similar to the windmills found on the other islands of the Cyclades with a round shape, white colour, and a pointed roof.

Naxos has more than 98 kilometres of fine golden sandy beaches with superb crystal-clear turquoise waters.

Selling seashells by the seashore

We stayed at a family run studio apartment situated only a few minutes walk to the beach and the small city of Agios Prokopios. The apartment had a sea view and the hospitality was incredible – our hosts graciously brought us fresh eggs and vegetables for breakfast every day.

The most famous landmark of Greece's Naxos Island is the Portara, a massive 2,500-year-old marble doorway that leads nowhere.

The Portara is the entrance to an unfinished temple that faces directly toward Delos, Apollo's birthplace. For this reason most scholars believe it was dedicated to Apollo. Under Venetian and Turkish rule the temple was dismantled so its marble could be used to build a castle. The doorway, however, was so large and heavy it could not be used, so it remains standing alone among the ruins.

Naxos is a great island for families. Calm waters for young kids, and great restaurants. Highly recommended!