Naxos: the Heart of the Cyclades
The amazing island of Naxos is the largest and greenest of the Cycladic islands, which combines its authentic charm with the true Greek hospitality. For a long time Naxos was not a destination for mass tourism, so it managed to retain untouched its impressive nature and crystal clear sea.
According to Greek mythology, the supreme Greek god Zeus was brought up in Naxos and the god of wine Dionysus was born there.
The first gave his name to the Mount Zas (Zeus) and the second awarded his homeland with fertile land and rich harvests, as well as with great wine, reminiscent of nectar of the gods. It was Naxos where Theseus left Ariadne, which, according to one version of the myth, died of her grief of being abandoned, and according to the second version - became the wife of Dionysus.
A Bit of History
With regard to historical facts, the island has been inhabited since the 4th millennium BC and it was the centre of the archaic Cycladic culture. The first inhabitants of the island were the Thracians and Pelasgians, later came Kares headed by Naxos, from whom the island got its current name.
Chora is the traditional name for capitals of Greek islands. Chora of Naxos with its imposing Venetian Castle (Kastro), is an old castle - town with kalderimia (stone paved streets), which represents a unique blend of the Cycladic and Medieval architecture: Venetian mansions, narrow streets with arches, Catholic churches and fortifications.
Being the most fertile island of Cyclades, Naxos boasts a great number of local quality products: olive oil, potatoes, sweets, kitron (the island’s famous liqueur), delicious wine and above all the renowned cheeses of Naxos: graviera (hard cheese), xinomyzithra (sour myzithra, made of goat or sheep milk, yeast and salt), xinotyro (sour cheese), arseniko (tasty hard cheese made of goat and sheep milk), filiko (cheese made of cow milk).