Emmanuel Vas. Koufopoulos
Driven by the long tradition of cheese making in his island and utilizing the technological advances as a stepping stone, Manolis V. Koufopoulos, a cheese maker from Naxos, founded in 1990 his dairy farm in the area of Agios Isidoros, at Galanados village, in Naxos. The Dairy Farm of Em. Koufopoulos “Naxos Cheese-Making Industry”, despite its small-scale production as compared to the one of the Union of Agricultural Cooperatives of Naxos, is famed not only for its excellent graviera cheeses (either fresh or two, three or five year aged), which have nothing to envy from the Italian parmesan cheese, but also for its thorough and continuous experimentations on new and traditional cheeses that have won many distinctions and awards.
Apart from graviera (a cheese made with a combination of cow’s, sheep’s and goat’s milk), arseniko (a cheese made with a combination of sheep’s and goat’s milk), xynomyzithra (a cheese produced from either sheep’s or goat’s whey), xynotyri (it is the same as xynomyzithra except that it is allowed to dry for several weeks until it is hard), myzithra (a whey cheese made with whole milk) and anthotyro (a lightly salted cheese made with fresh whey), the most representative cheeses of Naxos, the Dairy Farm’s product range also includes graviera made from 100% goat milk, ladotyri (cheese preserved in olive oil), stachtotyri (a smoked cheese resembling a lot to the hard, smoked metsovone cheese from Epirus), melanotyri (hard cheese matured in the lees at the bottom of the wine barrel) and the famous krasotyri (a wine-soaked cheese).
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