the largest and most fertile of the Cycladic Islands,
lies almost at the centre of teh Aegean. Meadows
running down to vast beaches, cliffs sinking suddenly
into the sea, rocky mountains side-by-side with
fertile valleys, abundant springs and streams
these are just some of the features of a natural
environment marked for its variety.
coastline of Naxos is abrupt on the south side
of more sheltered to the west, with numerous inlets
and sandy beaches. The island is first heard of
in the myths and then mentioned througout every
period of history, though it was a the peak of
its glory during the period of the cycladic civilisation.
Naxos or Hora stands on a nuturally amphitheatrical
site on a hillside on the north-west side of the
island and is one of the most attractive towns
in the cyclades. As the visitor walks from the
harbour high up to the Venetian castle, he will
be struck by the beauty of the narrow winding
lanes and the old stone houses lining them.
monuments from various periods are to be found
all over the town. They include fine Byzantine
churches, the castle itself (with its tower and
battlements), and traces of Mycenean builidings
in the spot known as Grota. The archaeological
Museum of Naxos has some notable exhibits.
that traces of Greek antiquity are to be seen
everywhere, each part of the island has something
of interest. Near the pretty coastal village of
Apolonas, for instance - on the north side of
the island - is a half-finished outsize 'kouros'
(statue of a youth), dating from the 6th century
BC, still lying in the marble quarry where it
was abandoned. Another such statue can be seen
at Melanes. An interesting archaelogical museum
is to be found at Apirathos, a village where a
number of strange customs and habits have survived.
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