The isle of Naxos

In the second week of our odyssey we spent it on two islands. First stop: the enchanting isle of Naxos.  Here Lisa cannot take a smile off her face as we experienced one of the absolute highlights of our trip (more on this in this post).

Naxos is the largest island of the Greece Cyclades group – and often overlooked by tourists for some of the more popular island destinations. It has many untouched villages, medieval architecture, goats (!) and some of the best white sand beaches of all the islands. This is a beach photo of Chora, the capital town of the island that serves as its main port.

The Portara – “The Great Door” – is the ancient stones that date back to 6th century BC are renowned. This marble doorway is all that remains of an unfinished temple to honour Apollo. Situated near the port, it greets all visitors to the island.

We found the streets of Chora very colourful…

Lisa fell in love with the trees and flora adorning the whitewashed stone of the buildings throughout the town.

This is an enchanting island we hope to come back to….

It is where I channeled my Zorba…

… and ate my first goat. DYK that on Naxos goats outnumber people 4 to 1?! This meal was delicious – a specialty of the house, goat in lemon sauce.

Our meals on Naxos were second to none. I can honestly say that I have not had as tasteful souvlaki ever on the Danforth.

Our hotel, the Alkyoni Beach Resort, was great. Located on Agious Georgios it was one kilometre via beach walk to town. It had a lovely pool and our room had a very comfortable patio.

One highlight of our vacation was a 8 km hike in the mountains we completed between the two villages of Chalki and Moni. (I’ve posted a dozen photos of this hike to give you an idea.)

The path took us past olive groves and vineyards…

… through villages…

…buildings that date hundreds of years…

… we saw many Byzantine churches, some dating as far back as the 13th century…

This is the mountain village of Moni that we were hiking to. Along the way we saw…

… the farm fields separated by rock-pile fences…

… and farm animals.

Sheep and goats. On our hike, we saw shepherds moving the goats from one rocky field to another.

Lemon trees.

Midway point in the hike we entered Moni – an ancient village with narrow stone streets.

This was an amazing hike. It is one of 13 that are featured in the hiking books for Naxos and, unfortunately, the only one we had time for while on the island.

When we returned to Chalki we stopped for a beer and crepe at a town taverna. Alexander, like his mom, couldn’t take the smile from his face.

In Chalki we also found the bakery and here we shared a delectable piece of baklava.

The boys took advantage of the beachside resort and braved the cooler weather and water to swim in the sea.

And that is the wondrous NAXOS!

Back to the menu: Our Family Odyssey to Greece

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