Archaeological Museum in Naxos
There are a couple of museums in Chora, but this is one of the most interesting. It is housed in an elegant 17th-century Venetian mansion with five floors which used to be the Jesuit School of Commerce in the late 19th century. It becomes the Archeological Museum in 1973. Inside, visitors can view a fascinating collection of traditional items, tools and various findings from the ancient years such as an impressive collection of marble Cycladic statues, gold, silver and bronze, vessels, marble and clay pots, wooden tools and funeral gifts. It is situated at the central square at the top of the Castle, so be emotionally and physically prepare to walk to the top for about 20 minutes!
Hora Castle or “Fortezza”
This is the island’s most characteristic monument located at the northeast, on the top of a steep mountain approximately 30 meters above sea level in Naxos. In order to access it, you need to climb the 230 steps on the steep hillside. It was built under the lead of Venetian Duke Markos Sanoudos in 1207. The castle has two entrances: Trani Porta (great door) to the north and Paraporti to the left. Inside the castle, you will find many medieval buildings, such as the boarding school of Ursulines, the School of Commerce founded by Jesuit monks, the Kapela Kazatza, a chapel of the Duke, the Catholic Cathedral and the Tower of Krispy or Glezos. So, Walking and climbing around this Castle is a must!
Is the doorway to the ancient Temple of Apollo which was built in 522 BC, a huge marble gate in Palatia with a huge entrance (8 m height, 3.5 meters width) which nowadays connected to Naxos by a man-made causeway. They say if you stand in the doorway and make a wish you can feel the force as the energy of Apollo begins working to make your wish come true, wish is actually true. At least about the energy thing. The door of Apollo is the first thing you’ll see from the boat as you approach the island. The most recognizable landmark of the town, an iconic 6th-century monument that makes the most impression on the visitors becoming the island’s famous symbol and one of the most unforgettable places to see the sunset on the island.
Chora of Naxos
Even if the town is officially called Naxos, most books and residents call it Hora. It is the island’s port and capital and is the arrival point for all visitors. With tiny roads, twisting narrow streets and alleys was originally intended to confuse marauders. There is plenty to explore, from the authentic structures to beautiful landscapes and stroll-worthy waterfront with countless bars, cafes, and restaurants. Naxos has an abundance of scenic beaches that are perfect for unwinding, sunbathing, surfing and long walks! One of the best is Agios Prokopios, located on the West. The soft sand stretches for 1.2 km with golden streams of the sun and gentle winds so its perfect for unwinding under the warm rays of the sunshine. Chora is where almost everything in this small city happens, the shopping, the dining, the coffee, and drinks. You can explore a few rooftop places and also some good coffee spots.
Temple of Demeter
Demeter was the ancient goddess of grain, people used to build temples and then organize their lives around it with a strong believe that dedicating the land to him will make it fertile. It is situated on top of the hill in the middle of an agricultural area called Sangri, a small village about 30 mins from Naxos. This place is one of a kind and not so crowded because just a few people seemed to make it to this particular temple. If you want to sit and write, soak up the history and culture in a different place, this one is for you!
Mezè is not properly from Naxos, is actually a cultural thing from Greece culture in general. Is like a “share” kind dinner where you ask for full dishes made especially for share. A meze is a big part of the dining experience in the Eastern Mediterranean. There is a specific tavern located in the Shora and another one in Plaka beach. It includes fresh seafood, local delicacies, a local wine that is kind like “Antioqueño” and greek traditional dishes mostly. The dishes are made traditional Cycladic style and the tavern decor is inspired by local craftsmen and artists. So, if you wanna try what original local dining is about, this one you can’t miss.