If you want to find a traditional Greek island, complete with mountains, beaches, ancient villages, and friendly people, Naxos is an excellent choice. We spent a week on Apollon beach in the end of March and immediately knew it would be fantastic, even by the rental car man who said, “If you have any problem call me, and I am next to you.”
Yassas! Welcome to Naxos. In the end of March it was cloudy and quite cool, but still stunning. Being this early in the season, some places are still closed, but that also means very few tourists.
This former opera singer, now restaurateur clad in track suit, delighted us with his heavily Greek accented stories. Inside the restaurant it smelled of fish and ouzo, just as it should.
The Greek accents are just incredible. They take me back to parts of my youth I forgot all about: flaming saganaki at the Greek Islands in Greek Town in Chicago and some of Dad’s characters in his Binyon’s Restaurant life. It’s very cold here, but right now the sun is trying to break through a cloudy sky.
The beach in Apollon just before the rain. We were the only tourists here with the winds of Africa blowing in the red dust, and waves crashing on the shore.
Terraced stone walls dividing the land.
We loved meandering through the labyrinthine stone walkways.
A reeking fish monger blaring Greek music
Cheese glorious cheese!
In Thailand these are known as ‘Shiva Eyes’, but here they’re known as ‘The Eye of Naxos’.
Cafe and Ouzeri – Whoo hoo! I can read Greek!…Um…at least those words.
Exploring the port town of Hora, Naxos
Fresh octopus hanging outside a restaurant
Fun with filters in Hora
Real artisan cheese
Salt cured olives and extra long cinnamon sticks
Now that looks like a bag pipe!
Vineyards scattered throughout the island
We drove through a swamp as we attempted to go to the Dionysus temple, which like many things was closed, but Julian found an adorable brown dog who was thrilled that a visitor stopped by. Our detour gave us another opportunity for a hilarious adventure.
Next we wound our way through a little town with Jeremy fearlessly driving listening to Greek music on full volume. We were funneled down narrower and narrower streets until we reached an amiable standoff of a Greek man on a motorbike and a smiling guy in a car. Jeremy had to back up down the narrow winding road so he could pass.
This little guy was adorable. He’s got his own post here
The dog on the wall who wouldn’t let Megan go
We were the only ones on Lionas beach, and the sun made an appearance!
A rock skipper’s paradise
Or a perfect place for a little mandala
Luckily, this restaurant in Lionas was open. Amazing homemade dishes were served with genuine Greek hospitality.
Back in Apollon, Megan and I were invited to a goat roast party.
Wolf, the new arrival and only other tourist in town, and I attempted to go to the goat roast party. We found neither a goat roast, nor party, but just a few Greek people having a drink at their friend’s house.
Fried Winced Balls
Sheep traffic jam
“What are you looking at?”
The castle of the Duke of Naxos
A secret pathway in the castle
The ceiling was made of layers of seaweed (which can’t burn) and sand.
What a wonderful place to watch a concert!
The Duke of Naxos and Jeremy. Living history.
Paper table cloths were put over the fabric table cloths in most every restaurant.
My name in Greek
Ladybug or paschalitsa salad
We were treated like family by Stamatis, the kind owner of the Adonis Hotel in Apollon. Each time he brought us something – a cup of coffee, a basket of bread, or a fresh squeezed lemon juice – in a merry sing song voice he’d say, “Enjoy it.” We always did. And the enormous lemons…
…came from these trees right outside. The divine scent of lemon blossoms wafted by our noses each time we went to our rooms.
We returned to the Dionysus Temple, which was now open. Happy dog, happy boy
Exploring Hora with Wolf
Back to the port
Time to board the huge ferry with escalators inside
Yassas Naxos. Efharisto! We really did enjoy it!