In the heart of the Aegean Sea is Naxos Island, a place full of tradition and history. The long beaches and breathtaking beauty captivate the senses of every visitor. Naxos is the largest island of Cyclades, and the largest settlement on the island is Chora. In the picturesque alleys are shops, taverns, bars, and restaurants. The houses built with the traditional Cycladic architecture have white walls and blue windows.
However, Naxos has, except for Chora, many other villages that are worth visiting. In fact, on this island, you can find some of the most picturesque villages in Greece, where the traditional and folklore elements take you on a trip back in time.
You can make short road trips to the villages, where you will find, a warm atmosphere, hospitality, good food, and the best background for your Instagram stories. In this article, I will give you some tips about the best villages to visit in Naxos.
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6 Charming Villages to Visit in Naxos
Apiranthos or Aperathos is a village in the mountains of Naxos, about 26 km from Chora. It is a charming village that you easily fall in love with. The Venetians, who once occupied Naxos, influenced the architecture of the settlement.
The marble-paved streets and squares, the houses with ornaments of their doors and balconies will charm you. You must visit the church of Panagia Apirathitisssa, which was built centuries ago and still stands, reminding people of the great history of the village.
But the historicity of Apiranthos is also exhibited in the three museums: the Archaeological Museum, the Museum of Folk Art, and an interesting Geological Museum. There is also a Venetian Tower on the top of the settlement. Do not leave the village without trying food in one of the traditional taverns or enjoying a cold coffee under the trees.
You might be interested in the Village of Apeiranthos Food Tasting and Guided Tour.
Apiranthos has a rich music tradition, and many great musicians and violin players were born here. They also have their local songs, in which they sing at their traditional feast (panigiri) on the 15 of August.
Want to visit the villages of Naxos but don’t want to drive? Then I totally recommend this Naxos Island Full-Day Historical Bus Tour that includes a visit to the villages of Halki, Apiranthos along with a visit to the big Kouros in Apollonas Village and the temple of Demeter.
In about a 30-minute drive from Chora, you can find the village Halki, another treasure of Naxos. This village was once the capital of Naxos, and it keeps the nobility of its old glory. The Byzantine churches, the arched doors, the Venetian towers give an essence of a past time.
The architecture of most houses follows the neo-classical style. Visit the church of Saint George and the Gratsia Pyrgos, which is a traditional tower house. Visit the Vallindta distillery, where they produce the Kitro liqueur of Naxos.
Among the highlights of this village is the church of Panagia, built in the 9th century, full of beautiful old frescoes, and the church of Agios Georgios Diasoritis built in the 11th century.
Halki is a place with a long tradition of art. At the Folkore Museum of Florios Chorianopoulos, you can admire local art. There is also an art gallery called Fish & Olive that has great pieces of contemporary artists.
Filoti is a village, built amphitheatrically on the highland of Naxos. It is 18 km away from Naxos capital. It is connected to the mythological past; According to the myth, Zeus, the father of Gods was born in the Zas cave, close to the village. Filoti attracts tourists because it is charming and picturesque.
Among the spots of interest is the Church of Panagia Filotissa. On the 15 of August, there is a big feast honoring Virgin Mary. On that day people eat, drink and dance to the traditional music of the islands. Except for the church, visitors admire the Barozzi Tower, standing there since the 17th century.
The square of the village is called Gefyra. The cafes of the square serve coffee, ouzo with meze (the typical Greek side dish), and sweets. Tourists love to rest at this picturesque spot after walking around the village on hot summer days.
Apollonas is a small fishing village in the northeast part of the island, 40 km away from the capital. What brings tourists here is, among others, the gigantic statue of Kouros. It is 10.5 meters tall, and it stands at the entrance of the village. It dates back to the 6th century BC and what makes it even more interesting is that it is half-finished. In the area is the ancient marble quarry as well as the Tower of Kalogeros.
Apollonas has a quiet and calm cove. The beach has crystal clear waters, protected from the wind. Nearby are traditional taverns, where you can have a filling lunch after the swim.
Tripodes or Vivlos
On the highlands of Naxos, there is one more village that is worth visiting. Tripodes, also called Vivlos, was only recently discovered by tourists, and for that, it keeps its original, authentic colors. According to the census, it is one of the most populated villages of Naxos. Since 1988 it has been characterized as a traditional settlement, and all its houses are protected.
The windmills that dominate the landscape are connected to the history and wealth of the village. The village has a historic church dedicated to Panagia Tripodiotissa, built in the 16th century AD. The feast of the village, organized every summer on the 23 of August, brings islanders and tourists to Tripodes for the celebration.
Check out my other guides on Naxos island:
Things To Do in Naxos Island, Greece
Portara Naxos: The Temple of Apollo
Kouros of Naxos
Where to stay in Naxos
Best Beaches in Naxos
How to get to Naxos
A guide to Chora, Naxos
Islands close to Naxos
Naxos or Paros? Which Island Is the Best for Your Vacation?
Best Ιslands to Visit Near Naxos
Melanes, one of the mountainous villages of Naxos, got its name from the dark (melanos) color of the soil. It is a small settlement of 500 people, mostly farmers, with small activity on tourism.
However lately more and more people visit the village. The area is surrounded by Medieval towers, which once belonged to the noblemen of the island. Just like Apollonas, in Melanes there is a 6,4 meters tall statue of Kouros lying on the ground. The origin and the purpose of the statue are unclear to the archaeologists, but there are theories that it represents Dionysus.
Today the village attracts people who want to discover the rural and traditional side of Naxos. It also attracts hikers, as some of the main trails of the island pass through Melanes.