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Introduction to Naxos

 


  Naxos has much to offer, both to the first time visitor, and to the returning traveler.
The island is fortunate in many ways.
Naxos has a good supply of water; there is one permanent and several semi-permanent rivers, and many natural springs.
It is a very fertile island, and has supported itself independently throughout history by agriculture. The island is not dependent on tourism and retains its essential character.
 
     
  Tourism has developed gradually on the island and although this has affected the main town and the coastal areas, the interior of Naxos retains its essential agricultural identity. There are many mountain villages, each with their own character. The mountain terraces are still intensively cultivated as they have been for countless generations.
The central area, the Tragea, has an abundance of ancient olive trees.
Ancient footpaths, many of them dating to Byzantine times, lie between the villages and the many small churches in the area.
     
 

It is a beautiful island to explore on foot in the spring or the autumn.
In the spring there is a profusion of wildflowers, in the autumn the island turns bright green after the autumn rains and soon after small wild cyclamen and narcissi appear in the olive groves.
Footpaths and mule tracks lead past olive groves and orchards, offering a complete sense of peace and solitude.
Small Byzantine chapels are found in many parts of the interior of the island.

     
 

During those periods there are hardly any visitors on the island.
Naxos has also some of the best beaches of the Mediterranean, especially those on the Southwest coast. There is a succession of sand beaches with crystal clear water, sheltered from the prevailing North wind, the Meltemi.
Underwater rock areas reveal a rich variety of fish when snorkeling.
The beaches of St. George near Naxos town, some parts of Mikri Vigla, Aliko and Pirgaki are popular with wind surfers. There are several wind surf and kiteboarding schools on the island.

 
This is a very brief introduction; a first time visitor will soon discover a beautiful island with a rich cultural history dating back to the mists of time. It takes time to discover the many different aspects of the island.