A short post this time as this is a place for a quick weekend break for those who live in Europe a great place for a quick break away.

Naxos:

Naxos lead2-xlarge

Ancient sites

Impossible to miss is the portal (called the Portára locally), all that was completed of the Temple of Delian Apollo on an islet immediately north of town, now tethered to the mainland with a causeway. It dates from the time of local ruler Lygdamis (c. 525 BC). Even more imposing is the skilfully reconstructed temple of Demeter at Gyroúla beyond Sangrí village, on a hilltop overlooking a fertile valley settled since the Archaic era. The grounds are always open, though a small display of on-site finds works only Tues–Sun 8.30am–3pm.

The lions at ancient Delos were carved from Naxian marble; local quarries sometimes yielded fascinating duds, as in the two Archaic, unfinished koúroi (idealised male statues) near Mélanes, over 5m long and fairly detailed, abandoned either because of a fatal flaw in the stone or damage in transit. From the obvious parking area, walk east along the valley bottom to the lower Fleriós koúros, left lying under a spreading oak. More dramatic is the Farangioú koúros, a ten-minute walk southeast up a hillside covered in autumn crocuses, with an EU-funded step-path where necessary. Though also recumbent, his broken-off feet have been found and displayed upright. There’s another, larger (10m) but less finished koúros, abandoned on a hillside just above the northern beach village of Apóllonas.

Beaches and watersports

The water offshore in the straits with Páros is superb, though there are occasional reefs to cross getting in, and it can be breezy. Ágios Prokópios and neighbouring Agía Ánna at the near end of the main southwesterly beach strip have the lion’s share of facilities and the best bus connections. Ágios Prokópios is also home to Blue Fin Divers (bluefindivers.gr), the most established scuba outfit on the island, offering a mix of cave, wreck and reef dives (€90 for a two-tank dive, €350 for a ten-dive package), though the nearby beach itself is reef-free and fairly wind-protected.

Beyond Mikrí Vígla, with its cluster of accommodation, Kastráki and Glyfáda (backed by a salt marsh) are less frequented beaches. The most scenic, perhaps, are the little juniper-fringed coves tucked into the indented headland of Cape Kouroúpia, pristine except for the ruins of a hotel project begun, then abandoned, during the 1967–74 junta years. Beyond this cape, the ‘beach strip’ concludes with slightly more sheltered sandy coves at Pyrgáki and Agiassós.

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