Speaking of Greece doesn’t only evoke the sun, the beach and the sea. Sometimes, it makes you think about the tales related to these places. In fact, have you ever wondered which one of the Ancient Greek gods do you like the most? There seems to be so many of them and they all have their sad and important duties, the only one whose work is generally considered as pleasing is Dionysus – the god of wine. According to mythology his nuptial isle was one of Cycladic islands – Naxos.
This mythical place is ideal for relax and water sport activities. Of course one should not forget the qualities of the inland, including mostly the admirable land- or seascapes and some impressive sightseeing. Although the harmonious atmosphere of the nature around you, makes you want to stay outdoors. Be it on the beach, hiking, windsurfing or kite surfing – the biggest and the greenest island in Cyclades seems to encourage you to enjoy its natural splendors.
Exactly as one could imagine, the land of Dionysus is filled with long sandy beaches, lush green gorges and marvelous openhearted people. These people living perched high on the mountaintops, make the magic of the island. They stick to their traditions with an exceptional strength: wearing their traditional dress and living of the fruits of their homeland like figs, melons and peaches. The one overwhelming feeling is the safety of the island; even the strong wind cannot frighten its inhabitants, constantly full of energy and joy. Every person coming here may learn this ability to go firmly through life, without bending in front of one’s fears. Coming to Naxos is above all a human experience, given in the most splendid conditions of the Nature.
Upon entering the port the islet of Palatia drags your attention and seems to welcome you to Naxos with its gates wide open. In fact, at the entrance to Hora of Naxos, a magnificent marble gate Portara stands with pride. It is said to date back to the 6th century BC and represent the remains of the temple of Apollo. As you may suppose, with the monuments as old as this one, the Greek mythology has its word to say. The Portara is to be the place of encounter between the god Dionysus and Ariadni abandoned by Theseus.
The Giant Kouroi
Visiting Naxos may bring you a few surprises and make your imagination work really fast. In the middle of the remains of an ancient temple next to Apollonas lies the statue known as Kouros. This 6 meter long statue made of marble and stone lies at the exact position that it was found by the archeologist. Historians suppose that it may depict god Apollo or god Dionysus, meanwhile others like to believe it represents a local hero. However this statue is not the only one on the island. Outside the village of Melanes there is another one! Colossal, half-finished statues left lying on the ground look as if a rushing need to take a nap caught them on their way through the woods. Some say they are just waiting for their creators to come back to finish them so they can stand tall again, but you can make your own story around it for the view is unusual and remains unexplained.
The Mount Zas – the mountain of the Cyclades
Who would have thought that such high mountains happen to exist on a Greek island! The Mount Zas (another name for Zeus) reaches 1400m and represents the highest peak of the Cyclades. Its name comes from the local legend, according to which, Zeus, the ruler of Olympus was born in one of the caves on your way to the top. A hike to the supposed cradle of the most important Greek god is not an easy one, but once you have reached the top, you will not regret it; the panorama will blow you of.