The Island of Naxos – Naxos, Greece

Naxos is not as touristy as some of the other Greek islands, but that does not mean that it is not worth the visit. It is known more for the agriculture rather than the wine, sights or nightlife that some of the islands that are known for, but the dramatic arrival from the ferry port lets you know that you are still in for a treat by visiting this island. As soon as you exit the ferry, you can’t help to look to the left and see the ancient marble doorframe that stands on the edge of the coast. It has been standing there since 430 B.C. when the tyrannical ruler of the island of Naxos commissioned that it be built to create a temple for the god, Apollo. The temple never was finished, but the doorway still remains.

Getting closer to it shows that a little of the foundation was laid as well, but it is more interesting to see the history of architecture by looking at the doorway. It is a simple design that came around long before the Roman arch. It does not mean that it is any less powerful than the Roman arch; it just means that they have not come up with the more elegant design yet. The doorway had still stood the test of time though because here it still stands despite the rain and wind that constantly batters it throughout the centuries.

This is not the only historical place right off from the ferry either. In 1490, a Venetian came out to the small island and decided to build a castle on the top of the hill that sits right outside of the port. Of course, the centuries of weather was not as friendly to this castle as it was to the doorway, but the people of Naxos have come back and restored it to its former glory except now it is a place for families to live, as well as restaurants and shops.

It makes a great place to wander through. They call it the labyrinth, and the name is well deserved. There are a ton of twists and turns with each one giving another surprise. It reminded me on a mini-Venice and a great way to spend the afternoon was spent wandering through it narrow passages. You can easily get lost among them, but you know that you won’t get too lost because there is not that much space to get lost in.

Basically, Naxos is not the island that hits you in the face with its touristy ways, and for that reason many people might dismiss it as a place not worthy of your time. When I first arrived on the island, I fell into that camp, but I have come to find out that there is a certain amount of charm with the island that will grow on you, making it worth your time.