Tag: Naxos Town (page 2 of 3)

Our Top 15 reasons to visit Naxos


The centuries-old Portara monument greets visitors arriving at Naxos by sea

The enormous marble entrance for the never-completed Temple of Apollo greets visitors arriving by sea at Naxos island in the Cyclades.  Also known as the Portara, the monument is an internationally-recognized symbol of Naxos island.


Something for everyone: If you’re trying to find a Greek holiday destination that ticks practically every box on even the pickiest traveller’s checklist of “must have’s” and “must see’s,” take a closer look at Naxos.

The largest island in the Cyclades, Naxos is equally big on the number of activities and attractions it offers visitors of all ages and lifestyles. From beautiful beaches to mountain villages; a vibrant port town with an historic castle and Old Market district; monuments, ruins and museums; excellent dining and nightlife; accommodations to suit any budget; walking trails, water sports and mountain biking; stunning scenery and sunsets; plus sightseeing excursions and tours both on and off the island, Naxos has it all.

Whether you’re planning to visit for three days or three weeks, you’ll never run out of things to do — if anything, you’ll probably wind up wishing you had more time to spend on the island.


What’s more, Naxos is surprisingly easy on the pocketbook, with reasonable prices for food, accommodations and entertainment.

All those are precisely the reasons why we named Naxos as our Greek Holiday Destination of the Year for 2013 (see our December 31 2013 post for more about that).

Click on the link below to continue reading and to see dozens of photos that illustrate our Top 15 reasons to visit Naxos, including:

♦ Ease of getting to the island;

♦ Wide range of accommodation options;

♦ Suitability for travellers of all ages and holiday lifestyles;

♦ Its fascinating main town, built below a medieval castle;

♦ Dozens of beautiful mountain villages and seaside settlements;

♦ Historic archaeological sites, monuments and museums;

♦ An extensive array of places to eat delicious local specialties and Greek cuisine;

♦ Hiking, adventure sports and recreation opportunities galore;

♦ Spectacular scenery and sunsets;

♦ Cultural events, entertainment and nightlife;

♦ Fantastic beaches;

♦ Shopping and local products;

♦ Good local transportation services;

♦ Friendly residents

♦ Tours and boat excursions to other nearby islands



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Pic of the day: A beach view toward Naxos Town


Approaching Naxos Town from the south end of St George's beach on Naxos

Naxos Town, as seen from the south end of St. George’s beach on Naxos. We walk to Naxos Town from the Agios Prokopios area at least once each time we visit Naxos, and this is one of our favourite views during the final 20 minutes of our hike. Click on the photo to view it full size.



Greece holiday pic of the day


plant on a windowsill in Naxos Town

A succulent plant decorates a rustic window frame at a house in Naxos Town



Greece holiday pic of the day


 Naxos Town

Hotels and houses above the coast in the Grotta area of Naxos Town on Naxos


Monumental sunsets at the Portara on Naxos


The Portara on Naxos at sunset

The Portara monument is a superb sunset viewing spot at Naxos Town


Golden globes: On Naxos, it’s easy to combine history and culture with a bit of sightseeing and sunset viewing all in one free self-guided excursion just a few minutes’ walk from Naxos Town.

All you have to do is take an evening stroll along the short causeway leading to the peninsula on the edge of town (an area known as the Palatia district). Climb the hillside, and you’ll find yourself on one of the island’s best sunset viewing spots, right next to one of the most famous monuments on the island — the giant stone door frame known as the Portara. (If you arrive at Naxos by ferry, you will probably see the Portara as your boat approaches the port.)

Dating from the 6th Century B.C., this remnant of an Archaic temple is described in some guidebooks as the Temple of Apollo, while others call it Ariadne’s Arch (apparently, historians and archaeologists can’t conclusively establish the Greek god in whose honour the structure was originally built).

Though its origins might still be a mystery, what’s beyond question is that the hillside around the Portara is an excellent place to watch sunsets and to enjoy superb views of Naxos Town, its harbour, and its nearby coastline.

Below are some of our photos of the Portara and the peninsula, and of course the sunsets and views from both.


Naxos port

I snapped this photo of the Portara and the Palatia peninsula when our ferry arrived at the port at Naxos Town, on one of our trips to Naxos.


Naxos Town harbour

A view of the Portara from the marina at the bustling Naxos Town waterfront


Tourist sign in Naxos Town

This sign near the harbour points the way to the Palatia peninsula


sculpture at Naxos Town

You’ll pass this replica of a sculpture while you walk toward to the causeway; it stands on the right-hand side of the walkway.


The Palatia peninsula on Naxos

Looking toward the Palatia peninsula from the stone-paved path on the causeway. Locals like to swim in the bay just below steps at the bottom of the hill.


The Portara monument on Naxos

The Portara comes into view as I approach the top of the hill


The Portara monument on Naxos

The Portara has numerous names, including the Temple of Apollo, The Doorway to Ariadne’s Palace, and Ariadne’s Arch


The base of the Portara monument on Naxos I

The base of the giant doorway


Naxos Town viewed from the Portara monument

A view of Naxos Town from the base of the monument


The Portara monument on Naxos

Another view of Naxos Town and the harbour area behind the Portara


The Portara monument on Naxos

There isn’t much that remains of the temple besides its famous doorway. Most of the ruins, including the arch, are roped off so tourists can’t walk on them.


The Portara monument on Naxos

Most tourists try to get one of these “I was there” photos of themselves framed by the giant stone doorway …


Portara monument on Naxos

… but some people just don’t like to have their photos taken


The Portara monument on Naxos

 The giant monument dwarfs tourists walking on the hillside behind it


The Portara monument on Naxos

The Portara stands like a sentry above Naxos harbour and St George’s Bay


Stelida mountain on Naxos

The peninsula offers a good view of Stelida mountain on the far side of the bay …


The Grotta area of Naxos Town

… and, in the other direction, the Grotta district of Naxos Town


Tourists on the Palatia peninsula at Naxos

Some tourists stand or sit at the top of the hill to await the sunset …


Portara monument on Naxos

… some enjoy a cold beer and check out the scenery while they wait …


Tourists on the Palatia peninsula on Naxos

… while others find a comfy spot above the sea offering a good direct view to the west, facing nearby Paros island …


Tourists taking photos in Naxos

… so they can get photos of the sun setting behind the distant island mountains …


Naxos view of a sunset behind Paros island

… much like this photo I snapped …


Tourist photographing the Portara at sunset

… while others prefer to photograph the Portara with the sunset behind it


Palatia peninsula overlooking Naxos Town

Two tourists begin the walk back to Naxos Town after viewing the Portara


Naxos Town harbour

Overlooking the Naxos waterfront and harbour from the Portara


Naxos Town

A view of Naxos Town from the hillside next to the Portara


Naxos Town

Hillside view of the causeway and Naxos Town


Naxos Town

Looking toward Naxos Town from the causeway. Locals like to swim off the right-hand side of the walkway.


The Portara monument on Naxos at sunset

A sunset view of the Portara from the causeway


The Portara monument on Naxos

A sunset view of the Portara from the seashore below the Grotta district

Greece holiday pic of the day


shopping street in Naxos Town

Feet street: footwear displays outside fashion shops in Naxos Town


Greece holiday pic of the day


Ferry departing Naxos port

A Blue Star ferry pulls away from the port at Naxos en route to Paros



Greece holiday pic of the day


Naxos Town viewed from Stelida Beach

Naxos Town viewed from Stelida beach on the west side of Agios Georgios Bay


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