Naxos

The largest of the Cyclades, Naxos packs a lot of bang for its buck. Its main town of Hora has a gorgeous waterfront and a web of steep cobbled alleys below its hilltop kastro and fortified Venetian mansions – testament to three centuries of Venetian rule. You needn’t travel far, though, to find isolated beaches, atmospheric mountain villages, ancient sites and marble quarries.

Naxos was a cultural centre of Classical Greece and Byzantium, and Venetian and Frankish influences also left their mark. Its high mountains form rain clouds, and consequently Naxos is more fertile and green than most of the other Cyclades islands. It produces olives, grapes, figs, citrus fruit, corn and potatoes. Mt Zeus (also known as Mt Zas; 1004m) is the Cyclades’ highest peak and is the central focus of the island’s mountainous interior, where you will find enchanting villages such as Halki and Apiranthos.

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Just back from: Naxos, Greece

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