Music, dancing with traditional costumes, songs, arts, feasts and festivals are part of the Naxian daily life. The island is famous all over Greece for its rich musical tradition and there are important composers/musicians from Naxos, including Konitopouleoi, Fyrogenides, Stamatonanolides, Vrontogiorgides, Koukoularides, Hatzopouloi. “Kotsakia” (folk poems of two or eight verses that were created in times of joy or sadness and could be instantly sung) are well-known thoughout Greece. In many feasts and festivals organized on the island, it is necessary to have local musical instruments, such as “tzampouna” and “ntoumpaki”, to accompany the celebration.
Especially the mountainous villages of Naxos have a great musical tradition (Apeiranthos, Kinidaros, Koronos, Filoti).
Theoskepasti, in Komiaki and Potamia (September 8)
Panagia Drosiani, in Moni (September 8)
Timios Stavros (Holy Cross), in Tripodes and Moni (September 14)
Agios Nikolaos, in Kinidaros (December 6)
Agios Thalalaios, in Thalalaios (May 20)
Panagia Argokoiliotissa, in Koronos (Holy Friday)
Agii Apostoli, in Melanes (June 30)
Agia Kyriaki, in Potamia (July 7)
Agios Prokopios, in Prokopios (July 8),
Agios Nikodimos, in Chora and Glinado (July 14)
Agia Paraskevi, in Kinidaros (July 26),
Sotiros, in Glinado, Damarionas and Koukounochori (August 6)
Panagia, all over the island, especially in Filoti (August 15)
The Novena of the Virgin, in Tripodes (August 23)
Agios Ioannis, in Apeiranthos, Apollonas and Agersani (August 29)
Carnival: The celebration culminates in the last days before Clean Monday and many people are dressed up in memory of the Dionysian festivals. Characteristic figures are “koudounatoi” in Apeiranthos and “foustanellatoi”.
Ai Giannis: Jumping over the fires – to make the evil spirits and the diseases go away – is characteristic of the feast of Agios Ioannis (June 23) in Klidonas. Housewives prepare salty pies, which are considered to have “magical powers”.
Stavrou (Holy Cross): The good harvest is important for the residents of Galanado, who in the feast day of Timios Stavros (Holy Cross, September 14) leave out of the church a few seeds wrapped in a cloth, so as for the priest to bless them.
Trygos (vine harvest): It is a special celebration for the inhabitants of the island in the autumn. The barrels are washed and grapemust is collected to go to the presses. The pressed grapes (tsamboura) left in the barrel are used for raki: Rakitzia is an occasion for people to gather, sing, eat and have fun.
Music, dancing with traditional costumes, songs, arts, feasts and festivals are part of the Naxian daily life. The island is famous all over Greece for its rich musical tradition and there are important composers/musicians from Naxos, including Konitopouleoi, Fyrogenides, Stamatonanolides, Vrontogiorgides, Koukoularides, Hatzopouloi. “Kotsakia” (folk poems of two or eight verses that were created... Read more
This is the highest peak of Naxos, usually covered with clouds and named Myti of Za (Nose of Zeus). It has namely the name of Zeus and maybe this was also its name in the antiquity, as they used to worship the father of gods on this very mountain. The archaic inscription carved on a rock in the path that leads to the top of the mountain says “Oros Dios Milosiou” (Mountain of Zeus of Milon), which... Read more
The small wetlands, salt marshes and dunes of Naxos are a haven for birds, fish and reptiles. The most important wetland is that of Alyki which comprises a large lake southwest of the airport runway. It is the largest salt lake in the Cyclades and retains enough water. The vegetation includes reeds, aquatic plants and clumps of cedar trees. 166 bird species have been observed and it is enlisted in the protected... Read more
This is a very important castle, built on a steep hill in the fields of Sangri and Agiassos. According to researchers, it took its name after the abundant “apaliries”, a kind of bush that sprouts there. It was erected in the first years of the Byzantine era, though probably there was already a fortification in the antiquity, because part of the wall is prehistoric. It was abandoned in the 13th... Read more
Today about 30 towers are preserved in the countryside of the island. They have been built by feudal Venetians in particular (and other Latin nobles) who used them as a base to exploit the real estate of the field they held. Their defensive line included battlements, murder holes, turrets, huge doors and small windows to protect the defenders. They were made of stone and had many floors and thick walls. Bazeos... Read more
Gardoumia is a special meze from lamb intestines that is made on the island of Naxos, just like in Crete; besides, the strong connections between the two islands are well-known. Meze holds a special place in the Greek culinary tradition and could be described as an appetizer, a treat to share with friends in a relaxed environment. Gardoumia is a popular dish among mountain and pastoral farming/shepherds’... Read more