Naxos Sightseeing

Hora - Portara

Naxos capital town called Hora, is built amphitheatrically on the west side of the island and is one of the biggest ports of the Aegean Sea. Hora has numerous shops, bars, cafés and restaurants which attract the majority of locals & visitors. The emblem of Hora is the little island that extends from its coast, Palatia, with Portara, the remains of the ancient temple dedicated to god Apollo. Portara is a monument like a door standing alone without a wall attached at its sides. A visit to Portara is advisable, especially after your swim, right during sunset time.

Hora – Castle of Naxia

On the top of Hora, you will find the Castle town called Kastropoliteia, built by Marcos Sanoudos, the Venetian conqueror. The Castle, which used to be his palace, is the remaining sign of the class discrimination during the Venetians' reign. The lords lived there, completely detached from the lower class ("the people"). Kastropoliteia is an imposing intermixture of Venetic & Cycladic architecture, full of narrow alleys, mansions & small tower-houses.

The Castle had three main entrances (doors), from which only two are saved today: the "Grand Door" at the north side, used by the honoured inhabitants & guests, and the "Side Door" called Paraporti, at the south side of the settlement.

Nowadays only one tower is saved, the Tower of Krispi, also known as Glezos or Aperathitisas tower, which operates as a Byzantine Museum. In the place of Sanoudos Palace, Ursuline School and Monastery was built, hosting today several cultural events.

Except for those monuments, you should also visit:

  • The Jesuits' Commercial School, today's Archeological Museum of Naxos
  • The Della Rocca Barozzi Tower, which operates as a Venetian & Popular Arts Museum
  • The Catholic Cathedral at the centre of Castle's square, a specimen of the Medieval era
  • The Church of Panagia Theoskepasti & the Metropolitan Orthodox Temple
  • Kapela Kazatza which is supposed to have been the chapel of Marcos Sanoudos

Hora – Venetian Mansions
Within Naxos Town, the visitor has the chance to walk among exceptionally renovated mansions, having served as the residencies of nobles, the upper-class. They are a magnificent evidence of the wealth and power the upper class possessed in those faraway times. Having been perfectly restored, the mansions present the typical interior décor and authentic character, with art pieces and furnishing of the Venetian conquerors' residencies.

We indicatively propose some of them:

  • Domna Sommaripa Mansion - one of the best restored mansions with exceptional Venetian furnishings and a magnificent view of Hora

  • Koronelli Palace or Residence of Dominique Mertroud - Koronelli - The family's coat of arms adorns the marble of its east window and the garden still gives out scents from the past

  • Greque - Delarokka Mansion - The coat of arms of Frangopoulos, the English consul and the coat of arm of England are just a piece of art and the monumental decoration preserved perfectly takes the visitor through time

Naxos Villages

Apart from Hora, Naxos has a number of villages and small settlements to delight its visitors. Alpine, lowland or coastal villages, whichever you choose, you will discover unique environments and traditions. We suggest you start the island's exploration with the beautiful alpine part.

  • Apiranthos

At a distance of about 30km from Hora, Apiranthos is called the "marble" village, due to its alleys paved with marble. A village with its own distinct folkways and dialect, it is best set apart by its residents' inclination to arts & culture.

There is strong indication that Apiranthos has been inhabited since ancient times, a fact that contributes to its deep and outstanding tradition. Take a stroll through its fairytale alleys, have a Greek coffee in one of its traditional coffee houses called kafeneia and make sure to try out the local products.

  • Filoti

Divided in two parts, on two separate slopes and traversed by a creek at the bottoms of mount Zas (the tallest mountain in Cyclades), Filoti is a central-inland village, near Apiranthos & Halki. Its view from far away is imposing and impressive. You can combine your visit to Filoti with hiking or climbing on mount Zas in order to see the natural water springs at about 1km distance from the settlement. Then, follow the indicated path to Zeus' Cave and take a look at its stalactites. As you are coming down from your walk, the several restaurants, cafes and shops will be waiting to refresh you with their specialties. Don't miss to visit Barotsis tower and the churches of Panagia Filotitissa and Panagia st' Aria. On your way out of Filoti have a look at Himarros Tower.

  • Sangri

Sangri is situated at about 12 km distance from Hora on a small hill overseeing the plateau beneath it. Sangri is not only a significant sample of the island's architecture and history, with the Folkloric Museum operating in the old church of Aghios Eleftherios. The island's most important Archaeological Site of Giroulas lies at the south side of Sangri, with the archaic Temple of the goddess Dimitra and the Archaeological Museum. In the same area is located the Castle of Aparilou, an indicative Byzantine structure.

Sign in Sign up

Forgot your password?
After the coronavirus crisis, Greece is ready to welcome travelers from abr...
Read more