Naxos island has been popular among Greek and international tourists for several reasons. Most of all, the island has escaped being bought over by the sharks of mass tourism. It comprises the largest island of the Cyclades group and boasts numerous beautiful beaches, historical sites, ancient churches, marble quarries, traditional villages, and a charming capital town, all of which add to the allure of the Cycladic Island.
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One of the first stops in your Naxos vacation is the capital town, Chora. The setting constitutes a unique combination of the old and the modern. It lies close to the airport, which receives direct flights from Athens. The harbor is also a busy point, especially for travelers proceeding to the southern islands of the Cyclades. Chora has plenty to see and do; great food, lively nightlife, and shopping areas make it an enchanting place to visit.
The major landmark of the island is Portara, a huge marble doorway that dates back to the 6th century BC. Standing on a small islet next to the harbor, the Portara is connected to Naxos by a man-made causeway. Archaeologists believe that the ancient gateway was built as an entrance to an unfinished temple of Apollo meant to face Delos, the god's birthplace.
Another sightseeing in Naxos is the Old Town or Kastro, a Venetian fortress that dates back to the 13th century. Located on the highest point of the region, Kastro is surrounded by a heavily fortified town, from which rises a labyrinth of streets. The alleys were built that way to help the inhabitants of the town hold up against the Ottoman attacks. Some of the streets are narrow passageways, and in some areas, one has to bend to get through the other side.
Naxos also offers a great variety of beaches to suit all tastes. Sandy, pebbly, cosmopolitan, remote, nudist-friendly, with watersports facilities, and the list goes on; there is a beach for everyone. The sparkling clean waters of the Aegean are a paradise for swimmers, and most beaches offer sun loungers and umbrellas for shade.
Agios Georgios, Agia Anna, and Agios Prokopios are some famous beaches close to Chora and can make your Naxos vacation an amazing experience. Popular with families, they are easily accessible from Naxos Town. In addition, they are lined with restaurants, cafes, and bars. Concerning watersports, Mikri Vigla is the perfect destination for windsurfing and kitesurfing during your vacations in Naxos.
Although the island bases a part of its economy on tourism, agriculture and cattle breeding are also important sources of income for the inhabitants. If you rent a car and tour around the island on your Naxos vacation, you will see many groves and greenery. In fact, it is the greenest island of the Cyclades. In addition, another strong point of Naxos is its splendid villages scattered all over the island: over 60 of them, some mountainous, some coastal, and some in fertile valleys, but all of the unsurpassed beauty, and set in some of the most picturesque and tranquil surroundings.
Surprisingly, many villages have become major attractions and it is not uncommon to see tourists making their way into some of the interior villages, which have succeeded in putting together the basic infrastructure to cater to tourist needs. Lovely cafes with amazing views, family-run taverns with tasty local cuisine, and cute shops selling local produce and handicrafts are available in almost all settlements.