Naxos main attractions
Portara, the 6m high marble Great Door to an unfinished temple of Apollo begun in 530 BC. It’s in front of Naxos chora and one of the first sights of Naxos seen by tourists arriving by ferry. Sadly the Portara leads nowhere!
Naxos was under the control of the city-state of Venice for centuries so there is substantial Venetian influence in the town.
– the old castle fortress quarter called Kastro with its medieval walls and towers built by Venetians, including the famous Tower of Glezos.
– The Naxos Venetian Museum in a glorious 800 year-old Venetian mansion in Kastro replete with original fixtures and fittings and endless rooms. Visits are guided tours and terminate with wine-tasting in the house cellars. Traditional music concerts as well as jazz and classical take place in the gardens in the summer.
– Archeological Museum, also located in Kastro in an ancient Venetian Mansion, displays many interesting artifacts found in the Cyclades since 3, 000 BC and beyond, including marble statues, funeral gifts, gold jewellery, decorated clay pots, terracotta figures from the Bronze Age and much more.
– Churches and Cathedrals are of course elaborately decorated and crowned with fine art. Naxos actually embraces two cathedrals, one Greek Orthodox and one Catholic, as well as a lovely little church called Panagia Mirtidiotissa on a tiny island beside the port and an impressive 17thC Monastery of Agios Ioannis Chryssostomos about 3 kms outside town on a hilltop.
Naxos port and town.