Trip report continued from page 1:

 Lianos Village Hotel

This would be our final full day at Lianos Village Hotel we would be moving on to Syros the next day

  a villa on Naxos

A private villa just a few steps down the road from our hotel. We have walked past it many times during our Naxos holidays, but have never seen anyone there. It might be a holiday house for someone from Athens or elsewhere in Europe.

apartment building on Naxos

This building, right next door to the villa, appears to contain several separate apartments. We’ve never seen anyone here, either — the windows have always been shuttered. It’s just a 5-minute walk from here to Agios Prokopios beach.

  Naxos Imperial Resort & Spa

The Naxos Imperial Resort & Spa occupies a very large property on the opposite side of the road from the villa and the apartment building. It has a lovely figure 8-shaped swimming pool and separate soaking pool, but we have never seen anyone in the water or on the large terrace. We’ve been told the resort is packed in summer months with vacationing families and tour groups from Italy.

 Naxos Imperial Resort & Spa

The main entrance to the Naxos Imperial Resort & Spa. The hotel usually looks vacant when we visit Naxos (the resort opens in late May and closes at the end of September), but when we passed it today dozens of young Italians filed out the front door and boarded tour buses parked on the road outside the hotel. First time we have seen any guests there!

 road to Agios Prokopios beach

The road from Stelida passes Molos Taverna (center) before reaching a parking area next to the dunes at Agios Prokopios beach

 Villas at Agios Prokopios

Two huge villas occupy the rocky hill opposite Molos Taverna. The one on the right has been under construction since at least 2009. Whoever is building it has been making slow but steady progress

 villas at Agios Prokopios

… as you can see from this photo which I shot during our holiday in October 2013, at which time the exterior walls of the new villa had yet to be painted.

 sailing yacht at Agios Prokopios

The Turkish-flagged sailing yacht comes into view as we approached the shrub-covered sand dunes behind Agios Prokopios beach

 sailing yacht at Agios Prokopios

While I was admiring the yacht, one of the passengers began hanging laundry out to dry on the port side of the boat

 Agios Prokopios beach

Agios Prokopios beach has views toward Orkos (rear left) and Cape Mikri Vigla (rear right) on the far side of the bay

 road to Cape Agios Prokopios

Paros island comes into view as we walk up a dirt road leading from the beach to Cape Agios Prokopios

 sailboat at Agios Prokopios

A view of Paros, a sailboat and the rocky shores of Cape Agios Prokopios

 Cape Agios Prokopios

Looking across the southern side of Cape Agios Prokopios toward Paros

 Cape Agios Prokopios

There’s a wide variety of terrain on Cape Agios Prokopios. Here, footpaths and dirt roads criss-cross wide rolling hills strewn with huge boulders.

  Cape Agios Prokopios

Spring flowers blanket some of the hills on the cape

 Cape Agios Prokopios

A footpath traverses the wildflower-covered slope

Cape Agios Prokopios

Some of the cape’s terrain is quite steep and rocky

 Cape Agios Prokopios

The south side of the cape is quite rugged with cliffs rising above the bay. We tried walking close to the shore, to see if we could reach a coastal area where we could see people fishing, but turned back to follow an easier route when we got tired of climbing over jagged boulders — our sneakers weren’t suitable footwear for the challenging terrain.

 Agios Prokopios Bay

View toward the two sailboats anchored in Agios Prokopios bay

 Agios Prokopios bay

Another view of the shoreline along the south side of Cape Agios Prokopios

 shipwreck at Agios Prokopios

A rusting section of hull is all that remains of a shipwreck on the cape’s south coast. I have read that it’s the remains of a Dutch merchant vessel that foundered on the rocks in the 1980s.

 Cape Agios Prokopios

Sailboats in Agios Prokopios Bay near the shipwreck on the cape

 Cape Agios Prokopios

A man fishes from rocks near the southwestern tip of Cape Agios Prokopios

 Cape Agios Prokopios

Another view of the fisherman on the point

Cape Agios Prokopios

View toward Paros from the coast near the northwest tip of the cape

 western coast of Naxos

View from the cape toward houses on the lower slopes of Stelida mountain, above the western coast of Naxos. Many of the homes were built between 2008 and 2010, and more new residences are under construction.

 a beach on Naxos

Approaching a secluded beach on the north side of the cape

 wild herbs on Naxos

A slope near the beach was covered with waist-tall mounds of wild herbs

 Queen Anne's Lace

There were thousands of Queen Anne’s Lace (daucus carota) growing on the low hills behind the beach

 west coast of Naxos

View toward Paros from the hill behind the little beach

 a beach on Naxos

A view of the beach from a rocky point to the north. I don’t know the name of this particular beach; it isn’t marked on any of my maps of Naxos


Here’s a short video of the beach. Click on the arrow to view it.

 Naxos Imperial Resort & Spa beach

Approaching a different beach on the west coast. This particular strand is situated directly behind the Naxos Imperial Resort & Spa


This is a short video of the beach and bay behind the hotel

 Naxos Imperial Resort & Spa beach

The hotel has rows of beach chairs and umbrellas under some trees next to the beach. The beach has suffered considerable erosion since I first saw it in May 2009 while we were riding a ferry from Amorgos to Naxos (see photo below).

Naxos Imperial Resort & Spa beach

I shot this pic of the Naxos Imperial Resort and its private beach five years ago.  The hotel had been built during the winter of 2008-2009, and there were no rocky sections or eroded areas on the beach during its first season.

 Naxos Imperial Resort & Spa beach

Another view, from the passing ferry, of lounge chairs and umbrellas on the beach at the then-brand-new Naxos Imperial Resort & Spa in May 2009.

 Naxos Imperial Resort & Spa beach

Although the hotel has had to pull its lounges and umbrellas several meters farther back from the sea because of the erosion, there is still a respectable section of sandy beachfront, and the bay is quite scenic

Naxos Imperial Resort & Spa beach

Shade trees next to the hotel beach. Paros is visible across the channel.

 west coast of Naxos

Herbs and wildflowers along the coastal trail

 west coast of Naxos

The footpath follows beside a series of long fences that mark property lines of some of the private villas on the southern slope of Stelida mountain

Here’s a short video of another sandy cove we passed while hiking along the west coast in the Stelida area. Click on the arrow to start the clip.

  a cove on Naxos

Lounge chairs on the sand in a small cove below the residential development. I saw people from one of the houses walk down the hill to lay on the sunbeds.

 birds on Naxos

Large birds gather on a rocky outcropping on the coast below the houses

 west coast of Naxos

The rugged coastline at the northwest tip of Naxos. We didn’t walk beyond this point; instead, we walked through part of the hillside residential area on our way back to Agios Prokopios beach

 guard dogs on Naxos

These guard dogs barked furiously at us from one of the nearby estates as we made our way up the hillside to a road in the residential development. We were glad they were securely chained — judging by the look of their emaciated bodies, they probably were hungry enough to eat us!

 esidential area on Stelida mountain

We avoided the property with the guard dogs and walked through a field of prickly scrub brush and herb bushes to reach the nearest road. It took us downhill between tall stone walls that separated some of the villa estates.

 a villa on Naxos

One of the villas on the west side of Stelida mountain

 a villa on Naxos

Another villa on the slope above the west coast of Naxos. The properties here all have amazing views toward Paros.

 Lianos Village Hotel

Approaching Lianos Village Hotel (left) following our walk along the cape and the west coast of Naxos. Construction work on the road is finished and the section that had been dug up when we arrived is now paved with fresh asphalt.

a villa in Stelida

A private villa across the road from our hotel


 A final visit to Agios Prokopios beach

The Lianos Village swimming pool looked inviting when we returned to the hotel; only four people were sunbathing on the terrace at the time. We would have liked to take a swim, but there was no way I could get in the water — it felt too cold. We decided to spend some time down at Agios Prokopios beach instead. So we headed back down the hill — repeating the first part of our morning walk — and stopped at Molos Taverna for a snack and drink. After our beach time, we took the long way back to the hotel, walking to the resort area at Agios Prokopios and following the roads up to Stelida and back to Lianos Village.

 Lianos Village Hotel swimming pool

The hotel pool looked inviting, but the water was too chilly for us to swim

 Lianos Village Hotel swimming pool

Another view of the Lianos Village pool

 view from Lianos Village

View toward Agios Prokopios beach from the Lianos Village hotel pool deck. The building in the foreground is a studio apartment complex. Between the building and the dunes is one of three large salt ponds known variously as The Three Lakes and The Red Lakes (because the water often has a reddish hue). The ponds apparently dry up during the hot summer months.

 a balcony on Naxos

A balcony on a house near Lianos Village Hotel

 bougainvillea on Naxos

Bougainvillea outside another house near our hotel

 Molos Taverna at Agios Prokopios

We stopped at Molos Taverna for a snack. The restaurant has a large open-air terrace set back a couple of hundred meters from Agios Prokopios beach.

 Molos Taverna view

Looking across the Molos Taverna parking lot toward the dunes behind Agios Prokopios beach. You can purchase bottled water, soft drinks and beer from the taverna to take to the beach — it’s the closest place to get food and beverages.

 Molos Taverna

View of Molos Taverna from the dunes behind the beach

 sunbeds at Agios Prokopios beach

View from the dunes of sunbeds and a lifeguard post on Agios Prokopios beach

 Agios Prokopios salt lakes

One of the three Red Lakes (salt ponds) near the dunes at Agios Prokopios. Naxos residents have been opposing Greek government proposals to sell these and other natural wetlands on Naxos, as well as some beaches and seashores, so private companies can redevelop the properties into luxury resorts and sports facilities.  Large-scale development here would ruin Agios Prokopios — one of my favourite beaches in Greece — so I hope the government comes to its senses and leaves the wetlands and seashores alone. Residents have launched a Naxos SOS — Save our Seashores campaign to fight any sell-off of the public lands.

Agios Prokopios salt pond

One of the “Red Lake” salt ponds at Agios Prokopios. Rather than sell the land for redevelopment into unsightly modern resorts, I’d rather see the government take measures to make the walking areas around the ponds more attractive.

 sailing yacht at Agios Prokopios

The sail yacht has the entire bay to itself

 Agios Prokopios beach

Looking to the east across Agios Prokopios beach

 Stelida mountain on Naxos

Agios Prokopios beach view of one of the salt lakes below Stelida mountain

 Agios Prokopios beach

Looking toward the northwest end of Agios Prokopios beach and the cape (far left) where we hiked during the morning

Here’s a short video of Agios Prokopios beach

 Agios Prokopios beach

Lounge chairs and umbrellas near the southern end of Agios Prokopios beach

 Agios Prokopios beach

Looking northwest across the wide, golden sands of Agios Prokopios beach

 Agios Prokopios beach

View toward Paros from the southern end of Agios Prokopios beach

  Hotel Three Lakes

Hotel Three Lakes is one of numerous properties with hotel and studio apartment accommodations around the eastern end of the salt ponds at Agios Prokopios

 Alykes Studios Naxos

Alykes Studios, on the east side of the salt ponds, is just a short walk from the resort’s shopping and restaurant strip

 Perla Hotel Naxos

The swimming pools at the Perla Hotel near Agios Prokopios beach. The hotel has direct views of the beach and Paros island across the field between the Alykes Studios, left, and Hotel Three Lakes, right.

 Perla Hotel Naxos

Street view of the Perla Hotel front entrance. We saw a studio apartment here; it was bright and spacious and very reasonably priced. We will consider the Perla for a future holiday if we ever decide to stay in a studio rather than a hotel.

 Naxos Island Hotel

Street view of the Naxos Island Hotel on the main commercial strip at Agios Prokopios. A sign said the boutique hotel and its highly-rated The Taverna restaurant would be opening for the season the next day. We still haven’t had a chance to sample The Taverna’s food — the restaurant has not been open the last three times we have been to Naxos.

an abandoned hotel

While we were walking along the main road from Agios Prokopios to Stelida, my curiosity was piqued by an overgrown path leading off the left side of the highway. I walked down the road to discover this small hotel or apartment complex which appears to have been abandoned for years.

 an abandoned hotel

Mother Nature is slowly reclaiming the vacant site, but the blue paint on the building’s doors and window shutters has held up surprisingly well

  Tzivaeri taverna and bungalows

View from the main road of Tzivaeri Taverna and Bungalows, which are only a 5-minute walk from the Agios Prokopios commercial area. The taverna features live rembetiko, a type of Greek folk music. We could hear the music when we walked past the restaurant two nights earlier.

 a Stelida road

Near the halfway point on our walk from Agios Prokopios to Lianos Village Hotel. At right is one of several studio apartment complexes we pass along the way.

 potted plants in Stelida

Potted plants on a staircase at a house we walked past in Stelida

 Hotel Proteas on Naxos

Bougainvillea vines with scarlet leaves reach to the roof of Hotel Proteas

  A walk into town for dinner

It wasn’t long before we were on the move again. After freshening up and then relaxing on our hotel room terrace, we hit the road for another walk into Naxos Town. We planned to have dinner at Nostimon Hellas and then stroll around the Old Market and Castle areas for one last time.

As we approached the junction of the roads to Stelida and Agios Prokopios, near the southern end of St George’s Bay, we caught up with two Australian women who were walking along the highway. They were fashionably dressed for an evening out, and wearing high heeled shoes, so I wondered what they were doing so far from a hotel. One asked if we knew how long it would take to walk to the waterfront of Naxos Town, where they were planning to go for dinner. She said they had thought it would be only a short walk from where they were staying, but they’d been walking more than 20 minutes already and still couldn’t see any sign of the town.

I said the walk would take about 30 to 40 minutes for us, but considerably longer for them — if they could even make it all the way into town in their fancy footwear. I suggested they flag down a taxi or take the bus, whichever came along first. They walked with us for about 10 minutes, but declined to take a taxi that I waved down. It was out of sight by the time they realized they wouldn’t be able to walk much farther. Fortunately for their feet, the bus came by moments later. We waved for the driver to stop, and the two ladies hurried aboard after thanking us for the company and conversation during part of their trek toward town. We continued on our way — it was a beautiful evening and we were enjoying the walk.

 a Stelida road

We got our first glimpse of St George’s Bay and Naxos Town (center rear) from this road in Stelida, about an 8-minute walk from our hotel

 a road in Stelida

This road leads downhill from Stelida to the south side of St George’s Bay, where it merges onto the main road between Naxos Town and Agios Prokopios. It will take us about 10 minutes to walk to the junction of the two highways.

 road from Stelida to Naxos Town

A blue sign (center) indicates where the Stelida road meets the highway from Naxos Town to Agios Prokopios. You can barely see them in this small picture, but the two women we met have nearly reached the junction — one is standing in front of the sign, while her friend is across the road, taking a photo.

 Naxos countryside

The Naxos countryside basks in the golden glow of the low evening sun.  From this point, we can see houses on the mountains behind Naxos Town. We’ll reach the outskirts of Town in about 15 to 20 minutes.

 Stelida mountain

Looking toward Stelida, where we had started our walk over half an hour earlier

highway on Naxos

Trees along the highway near the outskirts of Naxos Town. We can see St George’s Bay and will soon approach the beach.

 a road near St George's beach

Almost there! An hour after we left our hotel, we’re about to walk down this dirt road, which will lead us to hotels near the southern end of St George’s beach.

St George's beach Naxos

Sunbeds cast shadows on St George’s beach in the glare of the evening sun

 St George's beach

View toward Naxos Town from the southern end of the organized section of St George’s beach

 a street in Naxos Town

Bougainvillea and azaleas on a Naxos Town street close to St George’s beach

 a street in Naxos Town

Looking down the same street, from the opposite direction

 a street in Naxos Town

We see our shadows as we walk down a quiet street in Naxos Town. The streets near the beach are lined with rental studio apartments and small hotels.

 Nostimon Hellas restaurant Naxos

Street view of Nostimon Hellas restaurant at the corner of Tripodon and Ioannou Paparigopoulou Streets in Naxos Town, where we had a fabulous meal. This building housed the popular Yiayiaka’s Kitchen until the owners of that restaurant retired last fall.  (I wrote about Yiayiaka’s in my post Our best food & drink experiences of 2013.) I’ll tell you more about the wonderful food at Nostimon Hellas in an upcoming post about our meals on Naxos in 2014.


A night-time stroll through the Old Market and Castle

After dinner we took a long walk in Naxos Town, strolling through the Old Market area and the Castle. After a walk along the waterfront, we headed to Protodikeiou Square, where we hailed a taxi for a ride back to our hotel. We had walked enough for one day, and weren’t going to hike back to the hotel in the dark! We felt sad that we would be leaving Naxos in only 12 hours, but we had thoroughly enjoyed our sixth visit to the island. We will be back!

 a street in Naxos Town

This street leads from Protodikeiou Square to the waterfront paralia, which is lined with dozens of shops, cafés, bars and restaurants

a street in Naxos Town

A pedestrian street in Naxos Town

 Sarris Taverna

Sarris Taverna is popular for its seafood and Greek cuisine

 Flamingo Restaurant

The sign outside Flamingo Restaurant advertises a bargain-priced dinner special — a salad, tzatziki, moussaka and a dessert crêpe for just €10.

 church gate in Naxos

The elegant arched entrance gate to a church in Naxos Town

 Taverna To Kastro

Taverna To Kastro tables in Braduna Square

  Naxos Castle entrance

The Naxos Castle entrance off Braduna Square

  art shop in the Naxos Castle

An art and souvenir shop inside the castle entrance

  Naxos Castle

A street inside the Castle

 a street in the Naxos Castle

Steps in a lane in the castle

 Naxos Castle

A tall stone wall along a lane in the castle

 Naxos Castle

Passing through a quiet square in the Naxos Castle

  Naxos Castle wall

A window in the castle’s outer wall

 Naxos Castle at night

The imposing stone wall of the castle exterior

 Naxos Castle

A spooky-looking corridor in the castle

a lane in Naxos

A cobblestone lane leading to the Old Market area of Naxos Town

 Naxos Cafe

Tables in Old Market Street outside the cozy Naxos Cafe

 a street in Naxos Town

A passageway in the Old Market area

 Naxos Town paralia

Along the waterfront paralia in Naxos Town

  [Full-size versions of all of the photos in this report can be viewed in the Naxos May 23 2014 album on the MyGreeceTravelBlog Flickr page.]


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