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NAXOS: A CYCLADES GEM

Sailing into the harbor of Naxos town on the island of the same name, you are greeted by the Portara, a pillored arch that was the entrance to an unfinished Temple of Apollo, begun about 530 B.C.  The arch is situated on a small islet that has been attached to the mainland by a causeway that also affords protection to the harbor.  It also serves as easy access to the ocean for swimming in the calm water on the lee side.

Portara

Portara

The Portara greets incoming boats

The Portara greets incoming boats

Steps to the water

Steps to the water

On the west side of the islet a massive stone seawall has been constructed to create an anchorage from the meltemi winds and further shelter to the town harbor which has a rather low quay. 

Causeway from islet to mainland

Causeway from islet to mainland

The island of Naxos is the largest of the Cyclades islands, depending on which guide you read, and displays the remnants of its Venetian history in a myriad of tiny alleys and streets that wind through the oldest part of the town.  There are Venetian family crests decorating the buildings.

Venetian Family Crests in Old Town Naxos

Venetian Family Crests in Old Town Naxos

Like all the Cyclades islands, stark white buildings are set against a brilliant blue sky, and trimmed with blue that seems to match the sky.  Flowers abound and are even more dramatic against this backdrop.

Ubiquitous Blue on White

Ubiquitous Blue on White

Bougainvilla

Bougainvilla

Trumpet vine

Trumpet vine

Container gardens line the narrow alleys

Container gardens line the narrow alleys

A portion of a Venetian tower rises above the town, and there is a family owned Venetian museum that is quite an assorted collection of memorabilia from many generations of its inhabitants—much of the décor is whimsical and not particularly old.  The museum also show cases the works of local artists, and serves as the location for nightly summer concerts ranging from Greek folk music to jazz and classical performances under the stars.

Venetian Tower at Dusk

Venetian Tower at Dusk

There are fabulous views from the Venetian Museum as well.

Naxos Marina Island of Paros in distance

Naxos Marina Island of Paros in distance

 There are views from the Old Town to the marina and Paros as well.

Dinner in at Taverna Kastro

Dinner in at Taverna Kastro

Followed by a beautiful sunset. 

Naxos Sunset

Naxos Sunset

A perfect day in Greece.

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