What is the place you go to hide from the world when you need to and to recharge?
With various beaches, mountains, gorges, rivers and waterfalls, Naxos offers so many natural hideaways that it takes some serious thought to answer this question.
I guess that growing up so close to the sea, inevitably turns you into more of a beach than a mountain person, so my quiet place is most often some beach setting. It’s not a specific one, though. Depending on how far I wish to drive and most importantly on where the wind is blowing from, I’ll find my safe haven for the day.
Naxos is blessed with a beautiful coastline near and far. One can find beautiful, golden sand beaches that stretch for kilometers, just 10 minutes away from Town while if you’re willing to drive a little longer, you’ll find some hidden gems to make you richer in experience, awe and gratitude. Secluded bays are waiting to be discovered on every corner and provide the perfect hideaway every now and then.
And when I don’t have much time to spare, my childhood’s memories setting or my “neighborhood beach” as I like to call it (aka St. George Beach) will always be a great choice for some quick relaxation and recharge fix.
If Naxos had a taste, what would it be?
It would be impossible to choose just one! Being a lush, farming island, Naxos boasts a variety of flavors and quality products in so many different categories.
Kitron, the local liqueur made from the leaves of the kitron trees, is one of the Naxian trademarks for almost two centuries now. Wine making is a long-standing tradition, dating back to the ancient times when, according to the myth, god Dionysus taught Naxians all the secrets of vine growing and wine making, thus making their wine so delicious. Olive trees, some young and some of thousands of years of age, are found virtually all over the island and produce many different kinds of olives and olive oil of exceptional quality. Our fertile soils and the farmers’ mastery are responsible for some of the tastiest fruits and vegetables I’ve ever had. But I guess that if I had to choose one representative taste, it would be cheese. Be it arseniko, xinotiro, anthotiro, or even the now famous graviera of Naxos, I can never say no to a slice or two of some homemade, artisanal cheese.
We are so spoiled by the quality of produce that I had to leave Naxos after finishing school to realize how well we actually eat back home.
In fact, long before Naxos attracted international interest in such a large scale, it was always famous among Greek tourists for two things: the beaches and the food. And you know you can trust the Greeks when they talk about good food.
You haven’t met the real side of Naxos if you haven’t…(continue the sentence based on the 3 things you believe everyone should experience in Naxos)
You haven’t met the real side of Naxos, if you haven’t visited one of the hidden villages in the mainland, wandered around its narrow streets, randomly running into a local, that will wish you a heartfelt “Kalimera” and will most probably offer you something delicious to eat or drink!
You haven’t met the real side of Naxos, if you haven’t seen people dance to the upbeat music of violins! “Nisiotika” (=music of the islands) is a category of Cycladic folk music, very well-known within Greece. Naxos boasts the fact that many famous artists of this type of music come from here. With every village having its own songs and dancing style, it’s no wonder why Naxians seem to be born with an innate talent for music and dance. And, for a next level experience, by all means, join in and dance with them! No need to worry if you don’t know the steps, the locals will be happy to teach you.
You haven’t met the real side of Naxos, if you haven’t hiked in the mainland, where you’ll witness the island’s history, diversity and abundance first hand. While hiking or trekking around Naxos you’re bound to stumble upon precious findings scattered all over the island: ancient temples and ruins, farmlands, early Christian and Byzantine churches, olive groves, Venetian towers and castles and much more, under the ever-watching eyes of Zeus, who invites you to the peak of his very own mountain where you can watch the sun rise or set over the Cyclades.
You haven’t met the real side of Naxos, if you haven’t made cheese alongside a local farmer and then tasted it, still hot from the cauldron!