Naxos Melanes

General information

Melanes Naxos: Melanes is one of the oldest villages in Naxos, located 8 km southeast of Chora.
It comprises a mountainous village built at an altitude of 63 meters, with a population of about 500 permanent inhabitants. The main occupation of the locals is cattle breeding and agriculture.

Legend has it that the village's name originates from a sibling conflict: in the past, two brothers dueled for the governance of Naxos and were eventually killed in the places where Agios Georgios church lies today. Their sister ordered them to wear melanas chitonas (black tunics); that way, the village is named Melanes ever since.

A walking distance from Melanes, in the location of Flerio, there is a Kouros statue. It is an oversized statue of 6,4m in height, lying on the ground among the olive trees. This statue remains at the exact location where it was found, and archaeologists believe it represents either a mortal man or the god Dionysus. In a 200-meter distance, one can encounter a similar Kouros that dates back to the 7th century. Another sculpture of that kind lies near the village of Apollonas. For some reason, those statues were left unfinished in ancient times.
At Flerio, guests can also find the entrance to the ancient aqueduct of Naxos.

In addition, the Jesuit Monastery of Kalamitsa is situated 2 km from Melanes. It is surrounded by vegetation and was initially used as a meditation place for monks. Nowadays, guests can admire its elegant design but have to be very careful since it hasn't been restored.
Around Melanes lie many towers scattered here and there. Those were used as homes or summer houses by the noblemen in Medieval times.

The village's main church is Agioi Apostoloi, celebrated on June 29 every year with a 3-day-long feast that features music, food, and wine.

Melanes is a frequent destination for hiking, too. Many hiking trails start from Chora and lead to the region of Melanes, passing through lovely valleys, small settlements, and ancient sites.

Things to See & Do

Map

Reviews

4.5/5.0
2 Reviews
  • ablutsauger 07 Dec 2015
    Nice place
    At first, we didn't plan to visit any of Kouros statues due to lack of time, but we saw a sign for Melanes Kouros on our way back from Zeus, so we decided to stop by.
    There is a nice path, sort of in the woods, leading to upwards path that leads to the statue, so it made it a mysterious place. The statue is just ok. Don't expect to stay there more than five minutes. If it's not on your way and you don't have time, no need to come. But if you have car and go to Zeus, for example, stop by.
  • George_B 14 Jun 2007
    A greek authentic village with modern details
    Hello, I'm Greek and I'm 42 years old. In the summer of 2006 I visited Naxos Island.
    I was staying in Agios Prokopios and I visited Melanes village, as it was recommended and known as one of the most beautiful villages on the island.
    I got there by scooter that took me about 30 minutes. The roads need to be reducing, quite good.
    I very much enjoyed the trip there, it was beautiful. I used a map and it was perfectly indicated.
    The village is picturesque, modern and authentic with labyrinth streets and small cubic houses. It has beautiful architecture, is clean and perched on a hill. It also has blue and white houses. It is a great village and quite.
    It also has mini markets and restaurants.
    My favorite thing about it was the authentic greek cooking, that is typical and traditional.
    The only thing that could be improved is the roads that have no good indications. Also the wind was too much.
    A tip for future visitors of Naxos would be to go to this greek authentic village and eat the traditional food.
    Another village I would recommend is Agios Prokopios.

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