NAXOS



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Naxos - CENTRAL AND SOUTHWESTERN NAXOS - I.Chora - Melanes - Myloi/Flerio - Kinidaros - Drosiani - Chalki (23km)general

Central and Southwestern Naxos

FOUR ITINERARIES: see map (Chora = 0.0km for dis tances in text.)
I. Chora–Melanés–Myloi/Flerio–Kinídaros–Drosianí–
Chalkí (23km)
Nearly four kilometres from the harbour of Chora, a left branch off the Potamia/Chalki­ road, heads east for Melanes: in the ‘V’ of the junction is the 13th century church of Aghios Isi­doros (A), a barrel-vaulted structure with blind arcades in the interior. The building incorporates marble spolia from an ancient building, visible in the south and west walls, and is decorated extensively with 14th century paintings. The fine overall effect of the paintings exceeds the general quality of the workman ship, even though there are faces of occasionally great beauty. Two kilometres west of here (by immediate left branch) beyond the village of Angi­dia, north of the road is the site of the Early Christian basilica of Aghios Stefanos Fraron, within which a later 11th century church was built. All that remains standing are fluted columns of the structure, believed to have been taken from the Temple of Hestia on Paros.
Taking the main (right-hand) continuation of the road, you come to Melanes (8km). The church of *Aghios Giorgios Melanon (B), beautifully set by a stream in the depth of the valley appears to have been built over a Late Roman structure, and the adjoining chapel on the north side converted from an ancient cistern. A beautifully in scribed fragment of cornice is immured in the exterior of the south wall. There are several layers of painting on the vault and on the north and south walls of the interior: some fragmentary graffiti-like designs dating from pre-iconoclastic times; other aniconic designs; and later 12th and 13th century layers, including a fine Pantocrator whose face has the dignity and presence of a Constantinopolitan icon. A faint Early Byzantine inscription on the north wall is the invocation of a certain ‘John of Melanes’.
   At Kalamisia, 2km west of Melanes by unpaved track, are the atmospheric ruins of the *18th century palatial mansion of Paratrechos, used as a retreat by the Jesu its. The large complex of residences, chapels, byres and out-buildings are set in utter tranquillity among lush vegetation and palm-trees watered by springs. In the lowest level of the main building is the former mill-installation. The site is unexpected and beautiful—with something of the feel of an abandoned stage-set. The track descends to the main Potamia road beyond the ruins.



Naxos Island is part of the Cyclades Island Group, Greece.


access

Naxos Island, Greece.

By boat:
Naxos has on average two or three connections per day throughout the year to Piraeus, and one or two each day to Rafina; the services all take cars, and the journey time typically varies between 4.25 hours (Hellenic Seaways Highspeed & NEL lines) and 5.5 hours (Blue Star Ferries). Nearly all services stop at Paros en route.
There are daily connections south to Ios and Santorini in the summer, either by ferry or Flying Dolphin: this reduces considerably in the winter to twice weekly.
The Express Skopelitis leaves Naxos at 3 pm every day for the Lesser Cyclades Islands, weather permitting.
By air:
Olympic Air currently runs one daily return flight from Athens to Naxos , with small craft only (c. 30 seats). The airport is 3.5km from Chora.

Naxos Travel Guide

eating

Naxos Island, Greece.

Of the myriad tavernas on the harbour front at Chora, the freshest fish and seafood is to be had at the minuscule, "To Steki tou Valetta", where excellent octopus and wine are served.
Of quite different character—elegant and with some carefully designed dishes—is Elli"s restaurant in the Grotta area of Chora.
For beachside eating, just outside Chora, Paradiso at Aghia Anna has good food, served at tables under trees on the sands.
One of the best of all fish restaurants on the island outside Chora is Michalakos at Moutsouna. For its setting by springs in the village of Ano Potamiá, the taverna Pigi is a joy—very popular with locals on Sundays.
Katsalis, under the plane trees in Filoti, is also to be recommended.
And for making a picnic from the best Naxiot wine and produce, the Tziblakis cheese shop on the main Papavasileiou Street in Chora is still excellent—even if in recent years the shop has become more self-conscious than before.

Naxos Travel Guide

further reading

Naxos Island, Greece.

Theodore Bent, The Cyclades (1885), reissued 2002 by Archaeopress, Oxford in the ‘3rd Guides’ series. For an excellent documentation of Byzantine Naxos , Giorgios Mastoro poulos, Νάξος, το ἄλλο κάλλος/ Naxos : Byzantine Monuments, Athens, 1996, cannot be bettered.

Naxos Travel Guide

lodging

Naxos Island, Greece.

For its size and importance, Naxos is poorly provided with good accommodations, outside the resort hotels.
The Chateau Zevgoli in the heart of the bourgo is the most charming place in Naxos, although its name promises more than it delivers and the rooms are small and over decorated (T. 22850 25201, fax 25200). The owner, Mrs Despina Kitini, also possesses a couple of spacious studio rooms up in the Kastro, which represent a good alternative: she can be found at the useful ‘Naxos Information Center’ which she manages, opposite the main ferry quay.
Karabatsi Studios, at Aghia Anna offer friendly, family hospitality of utter simplicity, at a short distance from the Chora (T. 22850 26440, www. dinaNaxos.com).
Of the resort hotels, Lianos Village at Aghios Prokopios, is comfort able and unpretentious (T. 22850 26366, fax 26362, www.lianosvillage.com).

Naxos Travel Guide

practical info

Naxos Island, Greece.

843 00 02
Naxos : area 389 sq.km
perimeter 133km
resident population 17,357
max. altitude 999m.
Port Authority: T. 22850 22300 & 23939.
Tourist information: Zas Travel (T. 22850 23330, fax 23419)

Naxos Travel Guide

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