NAXOS



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Naxos - CENTRAL AND SOUTHWESTERN NAXOS - south of Apeiranthos

South of Apeiranthos

Four kilometres south of Apeiranthos, just before the main road to Chora begins to descend to Filoti, a sharp turn to the east climbs over the ridge to Danakos and the *monastery of Christos Fotodoti (15), ‘giver of light’, (left branch after 1km) the best preserved of the island’s ‘pyrgi’ monasteries, although in this case the monastery and church existed long before they were ‘encased’ in a pyrgos in the 16th century. The approach to the panoramic site, high on an open mountainside overlooking the east coast, is through an area scattered with magnificent oak trees.

The church here became a dependency of the monastery of St John on Patmos in the 16th century, which may explain the similarity of appearance—a square, castellated, tower with massive buttresses at several points. Its origins however go back to Early Christian times. The synthronon and walls of the three-aisled, original basilica have been preserved, al though the design was radically altered in the 16th century to turn the church into a square inscribed-cross plan, with a dome supported on columns and a narthex to the west. The interior gives a sense of space and unexpected lightness. The building of the high walls of the fortress all round in the 16th century, permitted the creation of an upper level for a refectory and cells, through which the cupola of the catholicon now protrudes somewhat oddly.

At the cemetery of the village of Danakos (26km from Chora, via Filoti), which lies in a ravine with watermills, is the 9th century church of Aghios Ioannis Theologos (X): it preserves a dedicatory inscription, and vestiges of an-iconic decoration in the north side of the apse.


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


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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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