1st stop: Galanado. Fusing glass Workshop & Art gallery.
Let’s start our day with something creative, inspiring, colorful and fun as Krasmir guides us through the craft art and beauty of fusing glass.
2nd stop: Sagri (Gyroulas). Late Archaic Temple of Goddess Demeter 530 BC
Next, we enter a sacred and mystic place in a hidden plain at the area of Sagri, the Temple of Demeter, Goddess of Earth and fertility, mother of Persephone or Kore (archaic). As you walk upwards the laurel trees adorned paved stone to the Temple and blooming rosemary bushes rub on you, you become part of an ancient procession celebrating the gifts of Mother Earth.
3rd stop: Tragea. Chalkion or Chalki village
Now we are at Chalki, the first capital of the island which is located in the heart of Naxos and is surrounded by olive tree groves and citrus fruit tree orchards. Walk around a village of fine neoclassic architecture buildings, and admire Byzantine churches and towers of the 6th to 11th century AD. Visit the “Kitron” Distillery, the oldest organized traditional Distillery on the island and go shopping in the small shops where you can find all the local treasures of the land of Naxos, from local cheese and wine to home-made marmalades and liqueurs made from the fruit of the island. Reward yourselves with a coffee or refreshments in one of the picturesque “Kafenia” (coffee & sweets shops) and taste some local home- made sweets that will keep you going with the island’s exploration.
4th stop: Moni. Panagia Drossiani (The Dewy Virgin) Church
We move on to a true jewel of Naxos, hidden amidst the lavish greenery of the island.
This church of the 6th century AD -although there are testimonies that this church has existed since the 4th century AD- is the oldest church in the Balkan Peninsula and the paintings of Jesus Christ and Saint George are rare and unique. Rural myths claim that it is built on an ancient sanctuary of god Apollo and for that reason people can sometimes hear the Apollonian lyre playing at the crack of dawn.
5th stop: Apiranthos village. Authenticity over the centuries
As you enter the village of Apiranthos you are awed by the view, since the village is located at an altitude of 670m and proudly gazes at the Aegean Sea.
The first historical references of the “Aperathou” village, as the local people call it, date back to 1420 AD. You can see it, you can feel it and you can hear it as you stroll on the marble paved alleys and listen to the unique dialect of the locals. The village hosts 5 museums in which History, tradition, folklore and Geology intertwine as a proof of its authenticity. You will admire impressive architecture of stone built towers and originally imaginative craftsmanship of embroidery from the women of the village when you visit the Woven Products Cooperation exhibition.
6th stop: Flerio. The Sanctuary, the ancient marble quarry and the Kouroi.
As you slowly walk in the area of Flerio your senses and feelings overflow by the amazing canvas painted by Nature and History.
In this area, in late 5th century BC people had formed a thriving community by carving the marble of the quarry into the forms of the Kouroi (singular: Kouros), imposing male statues weighing from 5 to 7 tones each, and in early 6th century BC, the equivalent female statues of the same magnitude, the Kores (singular: Kore). These statues were made as offerings to the gods and goddesses of that brilliant era. In this same quarry the famous Colossus of the Naxians, a 9m high Kouros, was carved and shipped to the Sanctuary of Apollo in Delos Island.
Last stop: A traditional tavern
Although full of impressions and photos, still something is missing to wrap up this memorable day tour. Here, the smell of homemade food tickles the nose and stimulates your appetite.
Enjoy your lunch!
Entrance fees to Demeter’s temple, museums and elsewhere as well as snacks and lunch are not included in the price.
Lunch at the tavern can be omitted as per customer’s request. In this case, our snack break will be at Apiranthos village (5th stop) and our last stop will be the Flerio area (6th stop).