Naxos – the biggest island in the Cyclades instantly became our favorite because of its middle of nowhere, rustic charm. Yet to be fully saturated by tourism, though that might inevitably happen in the next few years, it’is worth at least a few nights of stay. In case you didn’t know about it, here are some fun facts about this off-the-beaten-path Greek island!
1. The bigger, the better!
As the center of archaic Cycladic culture, Naxos is also the largest Cyclades island.
Famous as a source of emery, there are approximately 300 people employed in emery mines. Many of the miners are based elsewhere but return to Naxos at the end of summer when mining starts and continues for 3-4 months.
3. Chora or Naxos City.
The largest town on the island goes by both names: Chora and Naxos City. It has 6,500+ inhabitants. Other main villages include: Filoti, Apiranthos, Vivlos, Agios Arsenios, Koronos and Glinado.
4. Naxos is featured frequently in Greek mythology.
Because Zeus was born in Crete but brought up in Naxos. In his honor, the inhabitants named the tallest mountain in Naxos after him: Zeus or Zas. In addition, Zeus, Apollo, Dionysus and Ariadne, Demeter and Artemis are worshiped above all Greek gods in Naxos.
5. Not so much Turkish influence.
Since the Ottoman administration was under the Venetians’ power, not many Turks settled on Naxos hence the influence was not overpowering. Until 1832, Naxos finally became a member of the Greek state.
6. Foodies will love visiting here.
Anthony Bourdain spent a lot of time in Naxos compared to other Greek islands, because…
7. It’s the most fertile Cyclades island.
With glorious supply of water, and Mount Zeus’ high peaks trapping clouds to create more rainfalls, agriculture is the essence of local’ economy. Vegetables, fruits, cattle breeding allow Naxos to be extremely self-sufficient.
8. Must-eat foods:
Cheese, potatoes, and kitron – a local lemon spirit!
9. Ruins & beaches.
Here are quite a few ruins for travelers to check out. Not to mention the beautiful beaches near Chora, including: Agia Anna, Agios Prokopios, Alikos, Kastraki, Mikri Vigla, Plaka, and Agios Georgios.
10. The Windy City for sports!
Considered as a windy place for windsurfing and kitesurfing, there are sports clubs that uniquely feature these activities.
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