Naxos Town

Sailing into Naxos was a pleasant surprise after the underwhelming port of Parikia, in Paros. Like in Syros, we again had a wall of houses rising up from the harbour front, this time reaching a castle on top.

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Naxos town, seen from the Temple of Apollo

In the distance, high mountains were visible with villages of white houses nestling beneath the peaks. We were staying for 5 nights and were immediately reassured that we had made the right choice in staying so long.

naxos06Our first few days were spent wandering the maze of lanes in the hillside, discovering churches and enjoying views back over the harbour.

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It helps to be low-sized when walking around here

naxos11We learned that historically the castle district was home to the Roman Catholics, while the lower slopes were home to the Greek Orthodox communities. naxos03Our guidebook warned us that we would get lost, and they weren’t wrong, with arched alleyways heading off in different directions, and the only reliable truism being that the castle was up and the port was down.

Several times we visited Naxos’ most famous landmark, the incomplete temple of Apollo that sits on a rock a short walk along a causeway from the harbour. This structure comprises two marble columns topped by a lintel, providing a beautiful frame for summer sunsets over the town.

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The Temple of Apollo, not at sunset, not in summer!

We roamed south along the coast, passing beaches backed by casual cafes and bars that give an idea of visitors’ focus in summer.

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View back to Naxos town from one of the peninsulas we walked to

From every vantage point, the stunning setting of the town was obvious, and it is easy to understand why this is such a well regarded island. The nearby hills are home to churches and monasteries and we trekked up these too, glad of the exertion to warm ourselves as the cool temperatures continued.

naxos12A highlight of our stay here was the fantastic accommodation we were staying at. We had an apartment with kitchenette, with breakfast included, run by a local family. Apart from being a great way to meet some lovely local people, it helped us discover Naxos’ produce. Breakfast every morning included a bowl of Naxos yogurt, the likes of which we never had before. So creamy – like the best ice-cream you have ever had – and so tasty by itself, and absolutely delicious when eaten with Greek mountain honey.

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So creamy!

We also got to sample some home made cakes that were included in our breakfast every day, and discovered a favourite: Greek orange and yogurt cake. Also worth mentioning is that this B&B is incredible value – for both of us we pay 21 Euro a night for everything, including a delicious breakfast so substantial that we don’t eat again until late afternoon. So far we have found Greece to be very expensive – off-season accommodation is really the only exception – and will write more about that, and the daily struggle for Greeks to live, another day.

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From the port, looking towards the hills on the island of Paros

naxos07To date, on our island visits we have not explored far beyond the main harbour towns, content to take things slowly, and reminding ourselves that this is a way of life for us, and not a race to see everything possible. However, on Naxos, with 5 days and the beautiful mountains beckoning, we couldn’t resist the temptation of going inland, and our next blog post will cover that …

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Doris says:

    Hi Clara and Daniel, joyful I read your blog und remember vividly my visit long ago. My trip was in May I would never have thought of going in winter. I was in Naxos, Paros, Folegandros, Sikinos and Santorini and I had great two weeks.the yoghurt with Honey and walnuts was delicious. Enjoy… looking forward to your next blog, all the best – Doris

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Doris! Yes it is definitely a bit colder than your ideal winter here 🙂 Good to hear you had such a wonderful time on these islands long ago. We are going to Santorini today, so you will probably recognise some of the photos 🙂 All the best, C&D

      Like

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