Citrus groves, vegetable farms, pasturelands, the olive groves of Tragea, the vineyards at the northern part of the island; the goods provided by the fertile nature of Naxos on the one hand and the produce of the farmers inhabiting the mountain villages of Filoti and Apeiranthos (calf, goats and sheep, dairy products, oil, olives, grapes, honey, citrus fruits, potatoes and other vegetables) on the other hand have formed through their longstanding presence the traditional cuisine of Naxos.
Even though Naxos is not such a large island like Crete for instance, what is most interesting is that the cuisine of Naxos did not used to be uniform. Well before there was a road network on the island to link together the villages of Naxos, the Naxian cuisine was divided into three categories. The cuisine of the coastal regions, where fish and sea food dishes prevailed; the cuisine of the plains where vegetable and cattle dishes had a leading role and were people used butter for cooking since the byres were located in the plains and, finally, the cuisine of the semi-mountainous and mountainous regions where goat and sheep dishes prevailed and where olive oil was used for cooking.
Among the products of the island, the dairy products of Naxos, the potatoes of Naxos and the kitron liqueur (a liqueur made from the leaves of citron tree) are famous and consumed throughout Greece. On the island of Naxos you can taste a long list of savoury dishes.
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