The monastery of Saint Irene, Andros

The monastery of Saint Irene was founded in 1780 at Archontas in the village of Apoikia by the Spiridou brothers, both of whom were monks. At that time it was a nunnery, but in 1833 it was abandoned, due to King Otto's Royal Degree which demanded the dissolution of the orthodox monasteries, which numbered about 1000 in Greece, with a smalls number of monks or nuns and the confiscation of their properties.  Gradually, the buildings around the church collapsed, although the church remained in good... διαβάστε περισσότερα

Customs and Festivals of Naxos

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... διαβάστε περισσότερα

The mount and cave of Zas

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 is an evidence that Naxian shepherds worshiped Zeus also as protector of their flocks, “milon”... διαβάστε περισσότερα

Naxos wetlands

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 areas of NATURA 2000 network. Four wetlands of the island have been also included in the list... διαβάστε περισσότερα

Apaliros castle

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 century with the arrival of the Venetians. When Sanoudos came to the island, the castle was dominated... διαβάστε περισσότερα

Naxos towers

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 Tower  It is located right outside Sangri and stands out thanks to its architecture... διαβάστε περισσότερα

Agia Kyriaki festival

The whole island of Delos – the best preserved ancient city in Greece – has been declared an archaeological site and any visit to it has to conform to certain rules and regulations. No one is permitted to stay on the island in the late afternoon to enjoy the sunset and spending the night there is even more strictly forbidden, except once a year, on the eve of Agia Kyriaki (Saint Kyriaki)’s day, the 7thof July. Agia Kyriaki is a small chapel that was built in the 19th century so that the men working... διαβάστε περισσότερα

Virgin Mary’s feast on Tragonisi

In just a few lines Michalis Kounenis from Mykonos, known as Babelis, the top bagpipe player of the Cyclades, paints a loving picture of the feast of Tragonisi. The church of the Virgin Mary’s feast day falls on that of Saints Barnabas and Bartholomew, the 11th of June. Departing from Kalafatis, in half an hour you arrive at a little inlet, somewhat protected from the north wind. Tall cliffs surround you, inaccessible shores, no sign of a pier. After the craft tie up onto the rocks, one next... διαβάστε περισσότερα

The festivals of Mykonos

My friends are rendered speechless, those who will listen to me at least, when I tell them that the festivals of Mykonos are among the most vibrant in the Aegean. They can’t grasp that behind the ‘lifestyle’ façade of the island lies authenticity and that the people of Mykonos still value their festivals. The religious character of the festivals of Mykonos does not differ much from that of the other Aegean islands. In the days before the feast the churches are whitewashed and decorated... διαβάστε περισσότερα

Mykonos dishes

Mostra Made of two of its most characteristic products, kopanisti and rusks, Mostra is one of the island’s best known mezedes. While spicy kopanisti was relished only by the locals and a few connoisseurs until recently, the Mykonos Dairy Factory (Tyrokomeio Mykonou) using modern packaging and marketing has succeeded in placing this exotic product in most city supermarkets. Rusks, though popular throughout Greece, remain humble. And yet for centuries ‘twice baked’ breads sustained not only... διαβάστε περισσότερα