Information about the excursions in Naxos
At the Egares' valley there are many orchards with fruitful trees. In this valley we meet four built-up-areas: Galini, Mitria, Messi, Gitonia and Lagadia. At the valley it is situated the monastery of Panayia Ypsilotera. Primarily, it had been built as a tower and it had been dedicated to Panayia Ypsilotera. It is the strongest fort in the island and protected the inhabitants in their battles against Franks feudal lords. After
Egares it is situated the monastery of Faneromeni which was built in the 17th century. It is in the northwest side of the island and the road goes through steep coasts with small bays and lovely beaches where one can take a rest, can eat and stay for a few days. After this way, we reach to the monastery of Ayias, which is between planes and running waters.
The fifteenth of August, in the feast, in the old days, they were coming worshippers, especially women covering big distances barefooted, fulfilling in this way, their vow. The tower of Ayias shows the strategic importance of the island through the centuries. After Ayia, the road goes to the north, to Stavros. For your return, you may choose the road Apolonas - Chora.
Melanes and Potamia are ideal for a short excursion. At the valley of Melanes - which took its name from its blakish colour (melanes = blakish) - they are situated the villages Kourounohori and Ayioi Apostoloi. The tower of Fragopoulos and an inscription on a marble table that mentions that there, stayed the king Othonas, they are samples of the island's importance. Further to, we go to Flerio or "Ellinas" where there are quarries. The place took its name from the "Ellinas" (= Greek) Kouros (7th century B.C.) and length 6.40 m.
We return to the central road and we meet Kinidaros, known for its waters and its songsters. After Kinidaros we meet the Moni. Moni is the church of Panayia Drossiani which was in the past a catholic monastery. According to specialists, Drossiani is one of the most important churches in Balkans.
We meet also the villages Moni and Sifones. Moni has been built in a high place and for this reason has got a beautiful view. Sifones has no inhabitants any longer. We return from the same way and at the crossroad we follow the road that crosses the orchards of Paratrehos, we meet the tower of Markopoli's family and we go up to Ano, Messi and Kato Potamia. Potamia is famous for its fruits and its excellent jams made from them.
In the way Ayios Georgios - Ayios Prokopios - Ayia Anna, you have the possibility of moving from Chora coastally. Starting from the seashore of Ayios Georgios we pass the dantelated beaches of Naxos. The road for Ayios Prokopios goes through an old port where the waters are always calm. Ayia Anna is the small gulf after Ayios Prokopios.
In Ayia Anna there is production of potato seed.
Starting from Chora and following the National road till Apolonas, before Granado we follow the branch of the road towards Glinado, Tripodes and Ayios Arsenios. In the meadow we will see the farmers to collect potato, the primary wealth-production of Naxos and the factory, which produces the gruyere of Naxos.
The beach of Plaka is the continuity of Ayia Anna and Ayios Prokopios' beaches. The fascinating beach with the thin sand reaches till Orkos, Parthenos, Vigla, Kastraki, Alikos and Pyrgaki. Vigla was an observation post in the era of raids. From here, they sent messages for the pirates' approach. In connection with it, there is the tower of Noskelos.
This way covers the biggest part of the inhabitable Naxos. From Chora and Agidia the road crosses Livadi. From Livadohoria we go to Galanado. We meet the tower Belonia and Ayios Ioannis. It's a temple, the half catholic and the other half orthodox. Then we continue crossing the mountains Za, Fanari and Koronou's mountains.
Below you can see the Ano, Messi and Kato Potamia and the church of Ayios Mamas (9th century) patron saint of the shepherds. Then we meet Sagri with the Apaliros' castle and the monastery of Timios Stavros. Gradually, the landscape changes and we enter to the basin of Tragea.
Here is the centre of the island and for this, Tragea, was a commerce centre. Its villages: Damalas, Vourvaria, Damarionas, Koutsoherado, Tsikalario, Chalki, Akadimoi, Kaloxithos, Metohi and Monoistia. Its castle is situated higher and from there you can look far away to Filoti, Moni, Potamia, Sagri and the sea. The castle was used as observation post in antiquity and in recent years.
At the foot of Za, there is Filoti, which has a great development the latest years. Going up we meet Fanari. Here we must stand still because there is a wonderful panorama to enjoy. You can see almost the entire island, Paros and Syros.
The village Apiranthos has taken its name from someone unknown man of letters and it gives the village an archaic looking. There is also the possibility of coming from the name Perathos. The village was called also "marble village" because of the use of marble, which was used for the constructions of houses. Here there are the towers Zevgolis and Bardanis and the Archeological museum. There are finds from the 3rd millennium B.C.
North to Apiranthos we arrive at Koronos stopping a little in Stavros of Keramoti. At the mountain's side are built Skado, Messi and Komiaki. After a little, we meet the bay of Apolonas. We return to Chora from the same road.
Following the central road from Chora we go Galanado and we reach at Sagri. Here we meet the monastery of Ayios Eleftherios. The area was characterized as a small Mystras.
Here, they found out an important building dedicated to the goddess Dimitra (6th century B.C.). Dimitra's temple in Gyroula it is a unique - for the ionic architecture - monument, similar to the temple of Afea in Aegina.