Region of Tragea in Naxos
The overgrown valley surrounding the mountainous village of Halki up until the village of Filoti is called Tragea, and it is an area not only of unique natural beauty but also of major historical and cultural significance that definitely worths the visit.
The valley of Tragea was a place a special interest even since the ancient era; the fertile soil was ideal for the development of agricultural activities while the nearby Mount Zas was a place of occult worship, indicative in the numerous archaeological findings that are discarded throughout the region. The flora and fauna are rich, while the charming, extended olive groves create an idyllic atmosphere that visitors can enjoy by following the various paths that link the neighboring villages of Tsikalario, Kaloksilos, Damalas, etc.
The area of Tragea is also known as the “Mystras of the Aegean” as, much like the fortified medieval town of the same name in Peloponnese, the valley exhibits exquisite Byzantine churches that cover a wide spectrum of architectural styles, many of which date back as early as the 7th century. Panagia Drossiani is found close to Moni village and is regarded one of the oldest churches in Greece while the church of Agios Georgios Diasoritis is found on the way to Monoitsia settlement and is estimated to date back to the 11th century, while the architectural style is quite rare and has well-preserved, impressive frescoes. The churches of Protothronos and Damniotissa Virgin are worth-visiting since they are renowned for their elaborate wall paintings that indicate superior artistic techniques.
Besides the historic temples, visitors can see the two medieval towers that belonged to the Barotsi family, one of the most prominent and influential ones during the Venetian Sovereignty. Both towers are estimated to date back to the 17th century, Grazia Tower located at Halki and Barotsis Tower located at Filoti. The three-floored buildings were used as summer residences and exhibit the characteristic architectural style of the era.