From the island of Ios, we set sail for Naxos, the largest of the Cyclades islands. Once a cultural center, the island is now a popular tourist destination. Although not as well known as the party-island Mykonos or the geographically unique Santorini, Naxos is beautiful in its own right. The streets of Naxos town are picturesque as they wined their way up to the Venetian Castro at the center of the old town.
The (slight) hike to the castle is well worth it. Take time to explore the shops, everything from touristy knickknacks to antiques, along the way. There is also a small archaeology resume at the castle, but you can also explore around the outside.
The symbol of Naxos is the remains of the never completed Temple of Apollo. The landmark you see standing is the Portara, or the lintel of the temple.
Welcoming visitors as they arrive on the island, the Temple is prime for sunset viewing. The temple itself was never completed but the framed lintel stands as a reminder of Naxos’ power in the region.
After watching the sunset, we wandered down the streets to Taverna Apostolis. This restaurant has a beautiful courtyard for warm weather dining. We started the meal wtih fresh baked bread and olive oil. This was followed by a Greek salad was served in a fresh bread bowl!
It wouldn’t be a Greek island adventure without a plethora of sea creatures. We also had the grilled octopus appetizer, soft and succulent. For my main course, I had the pasta with prawns, which did not disappoint. A delicious meal al fresco.
The final stop on our island tour was Paros. One of the sites central on the island is the church of the Panagia Ekatontapiliani, dating back to the Byzantine era. Lemon trees dot the courtyard.
The streets of the quiet island can only be described as picture-perfect (photo credit: Theresa Lloyd).
Along the main streets of Paros, you can find plenty of cafes and beach areas for relaxing.
Sail boats bring in the fresh catch for the evening’s meal.
There are plenty of places along the coast to watch the sunset.
The island of Paros is a great stop while visiting the Cycladic island. From there, we set sail back to Athens!