Naxos is the largest island of the Cyclades in the Aegean Sea. The island has a rich history, which dates back to the prehistoric era. According to mythology, it is also the place where Zeus was raised. The island is also regarded as the most fertile island in the Cyclades and it is famous for food especially wine and cheese. One of the interesting things about the island is that its highest peak, Mount Zas helps trap clouds, which creates more rainfall for agricultural practice.
The island was also a source of marble, and the Naxian quarries are mainly damaged and incomplete statues that were abandoned for more than 1,700 years. Naxos Town or Chora is the capital of the island, and you will find it on the northwest coast. The island is filled with a wide range of activities to try out, which makes it a perfect tourist destination for all kinds of tourists on a catamaran charter Greece. You will surely be awestruck by its natural beauty and its rich historical and cultural achievements.
The major harbor in Naxos is the Naxos Marina. Yachts go stern or bows to the concrete piers that they are directed while some yachts will be asked to lay an anchor at the harbor. You can head to the anchorage under the breakwater in the NE corner S of the cable to anchor your ship. The anchorage provides shelter from the Meltemi, and it has a convenient depth of 4-7m. You can also anchor on the NE side of the isthmus that joins Nisis Vakkhos to Naxos by taking a long line ashore.
Naxos is a gem in Greece and a top tourist destination not to miss on a Greece yacht charter. It is the biggest and greenest island in the Cyclades. It is regarded by many as the jewel shining on the waters of the Aegean Sea. The island is surrounded by vibrant villages, sandy beaches, and historical monuments waiting for you to explore them. The island is filled with a wide range of activities to try out from nerve-wracking activities to sunbathing on the beach. You will surely experience a long-lasting memory of crewed charter in Greece by visiting this island.
Places of Interest
Archaeological Museum of Naxos
You will find this museum in Chora Naxos, which is the heart of the island. It is situated in a well-maintained Venetian building that dates back to the 17th century. The building is a place not to miss for architecture enthusiasts and history lovers. The museum houses artifacts and objects that date between the Neolithic and early-Christian periods.
The Portara is also known as the Temple of Apollo. It is a famous landmark in Naxos, and it is just beside Chora. It is a large door that is an entrance to an unfinished temple that was built in 530BC. Many people believed that it was built to honor the god Apollo while others believe it was dedicated to Dionysus.
Old Town Naxos
The old town of Naxos is a top destination not to miss for history lovers while in Naxos. You will feel like you are transported back to the past by wandering around the old town. The Old Town is surrounded by stunning white Cycladic houses, souvenir shops, tavernas, prehistoric Cycladic figurines, and so on, which is a perfect destination to learn about the history of the island.
Agios Prokopios Beach
This beach is 5km south of Chora, and it is one of the heavenly Blue Flag beaches. It features a sweep of golden sand with crystalline turquoise water, and it offers mind-blowing sceneries. Seafront restaurants and cafes also surround the beach with large blocks of sunshades and loungers in the south. If you want the beach to yourself, you can head to the northern part of the beach.
Venetian fortresses are regarded to be one of the architectural identity of Naxos. It was built with Naxian stone, which makes it not only for protection but also for cultural monuments. Some of the Venetian fortresses not to miss are the Tower of Fragopoulos in Kourochori, Tower of Glexos in Chora Naxos, and Tower of Agia.
Mount Zas is known as the highest peak in the Cyclades with 1004m height. The mountain plays a significant role on the island and a great place to explore for outdoor and adventure lovers. It is also a great destination to go in Naxos for enchanting sunset views.
Plaka Beach is a picturesque stretch of shore located on the west coast. The beach is long and wide, which makes it one of the top beaches to go in Naxos. It covers 4km areas, and it offers enough space for all kinds of tourists, from sun loungers to water sport enthusiasts. It also offers visitors the chance to take Instagram-worthy pictures.
History of Naxos
Naxos is considered the largest island in the Cyclades, and it is popularly known for its majestic architecture and rich history. According to mythology, it was the place where Zeus grew up hidden away from the ferocity of his father (Cronus) and his son Dionysus (the god of wine). Dionysus cherished the island and made it a fertile land filled with vineyards that produce mouth-watering wines. The locals then constructed a temple to honor him.
The island was also the place where Theseus took Ariadne, the daughter of the Cretan King, Minos, after killing the Minotaur of Crete on his way back to Athens. He then left Ariadne on the island, and Dionysus then fell in love with her. Dionysus then took her to Mount Drios, where they married and gave birth to Oinopion (wine drinker), Evanthia (lovely flower), and Staphylos (grape).
During the ancient period, the island was the most important center of civilization. The island was first inhabited by the Thracians, who stayed for two centuries before the Carians took over. According to archaeological finds that date back to 1300BC, the island was the port of call in the journey from mainland Greece to the East. The Ionians colonized the island in the centuries that followed. During the 7th and 6th centuries BC, the island prospered, particularly in sculpture, arts, and architecture. During 490BC, the island was attacked by the Persians that wanted to control the Aegean Sea. The island did not recover very well from this assault but got back to its old splendor. Naxos joined the Athenian Alliance after the coalition of the Greeks later defeated the Persians. It later became a Roman province in 41BC and was used as a place of exile.
During the 4th century AD, Christianity brought a new lease of life to the island. The Christians then started building churches and monasteries. The Saracens pirates and others fought against the forces of the Byzantine Empire for the control of the Aegean from the 7th century AD. This caused a downturn in the culture and economy as the islands became desolate. The locals then moved to the inland areas, and the Byzantine capital was constructed around Apalirou castle.
The island was captured by Marco Sanoudo, the nephew of the Doge of Venice, in 1207. He also captured 18 other Aegean islands and then founded the Duchy of the Aegean with Naxos, the capital. He then distributed the land with his followers while setting a feudalistic system of government while the locals suffered and became serfs. The Ottoman Turks later got control of the island in 1537 and also maintained its feudalistic system of government.
The island was under Turkish rule till 1829 as it became a member of the newly created independent Greek state. The island experienced another dark period in the ‘50s, as immigration caused the population to dwindle. The island later experiences the development phase in the ‘70s, which was mainly fueled by tourism.