Naxos Kastro (Castle)

Location: Town

Naxos Castle (Kastro) is the old Venetian Town of Naxos. It served as a protective shield to the impregnable fortress of Sanudo in Chora.

It was built under the supervision of Marco Sanudo (the Venetian conqueror after whom it was named), who came along with the establishment of Venetian sovereignty over the Aegean Sea in 1207.
Materials from a preexisting ancient acropolis were used for its construction as long as some marble columns and blocks from the Portara.

Note: There is an elevator that allows visitors to reach the highest point of the Castle. The elevator takes you to the Avaton Cafe, which offers some great views.

The fortification system adjoining the fortress is conspicuous thanks to its pentagonal shape. It has three gates, the biggest being Trani Porta ("Great Gate").

The Glezos Tower stands like a sentinel in proximity to the northwestern gate. It used to belong to a complex of 12 towers, commonly referred to as the Crispi and is the only one that has survived. Certain parts of the tower extend to the western and northern sides of the fortress.

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Top Tours and activities

  • Best Seller

    Full day historical bus tour

    Category: Island, Day Trips, Shore Excursions

    This full-day bus tour takes participants around historical points of interest of Naxos, both ancient and more modern ones. It is the perfect opportunity to learn about the island’s culture and history in a comprehensive and fun way.

    8 hours Map
    from € 30.00
    Book now
  • Best Seller

    Castle walking tour and sunset at the Portara

    Category: City, Walking

    The Island of Naxos is not only about beaches, it is also about the history and local experiences waiting to be discovered. The capital town (Chora) has two emblematic sights that definitely worth your attention – Naxos Castle and Portara. Put on some comfortable shoes and clothes and enjoy the ...

    2.5 hours Map
    from € 30.00
    Book now

More info about Kastro

The Castle consists of four levels and is the only castle in Naxos with a round shape. The fortress circuit towers, particularly the Glezos tower, are impeccably preserved, even to this day. The tower's entry stands out for its coat-of-arms that once belonged to the Crispi family.

As for its use, in addition to fortification purposes, it played a huge role in local politics, education, and religion during the Venetian period, housing several buildings still open to the public, such as the Catholic Cathedral, the Archaeological Museum, and the Ursulines School.
Moreover, many mansions still belong to renowned Venetian families, while others house shops and cafes.

Restoration Works: The tower was handed over to the Archaeological Service by Mr. Petros Glezos, who believed that the prestigious institution would undertake its preservation.
Restoration work is still in progress and the Archaeological Society intends to build a Museum there as well. Upon the successful completion of the work, it will become the biggest Byzantine Museum in the Cyclades. According to the Ephorate of Antiquities of Cyclades, objects from the Middle Ages and Byzantium and the most important collection of detached Byzantine frescoes in Greece will be on display in Glezos Tower.

How to get there

The Kastro (Castle) of Naxos is located in Chora.

Private transfers: We recommend using an online pre-booked transfer service, which provides transfer by taxi, minibus, or private VIP car and arranging a pickup directly from the port, airport, or your hotel. Alternatively, there’s the option of arranging a pickup by a local driver directly at the following numbers: 0030 22850 25835, 0030 22850 24829, or booking your taxi online.

Car rental: There's the option of renting a car and picking it up directly from the airport, port, or your hotel. Using a rental car allows visitors to discover the Castle of Naxos and many other places of interest at their own pace.

Public transport: The central bus station of the island is located at the Port of Naxos. There are bus connections between Chora and most areas of the island. Consider that time schedules might change according to the season. Check the official timetables here.



2 Reviews
  • ablutsauger 10 Dec 2015
    I was completely stunned by Naxos, and I can say the same for its fortification part. The complete old town is beautiful, ancient, funny, strange, magnificent and original. I could walk here for ages.
    Nice tower, nice surroundings, nice museums, streets, houses... Everything is stunning!
  • lenasel 15 Oct 2010
    Cozy taverns but old houses
    A very picturesque quarter, this is actually the heart of Naxos Town! This is the oldest quarter of the town and its name means "castle", as in the past this part of the city was protected by strong walls. It has paved streets and nice arches on the way.

    Houses are old and seemed a bit depressing to me because they are small in size and had narrow windows. Some houses had turned into hostels, but I doubt if people really liked them. They may be cheaper than rooms by the sea, but seemed very old buildings.

    I liked the gift shops in Kastro and bought many souvenirs from there. The small taverns were also very cozy, but didn't seat in any of them. They had great smells, but there is nothing in Greece like a meal by the sea!