It was on Naxos that an ungrateful Theseus is said to have abandoned Ariadne after she helped him escape the Cretan labyrinth. In keeping with even mythic soap opera, she didn’t pine long, and was soon entwined with Dionysos, the god of wine and ecstasy and the island’s favorite deity. Naxian wine has long been considered a fine antidote for a broken heart.
The island was a cultural centre of classical Greece and of Byzantium. Venetian and Frankish influences have left their mark.
Naxos is the largest island of the Cyclades, it has the shape of a diamond and it covers 435 km2 and the length of coasts is 91 km.
The land is impressive, the mountains, the plains, the rock formations, the green valleys, the arid areas and the dreamlike beaches contribute to its uniqueness. Naxos has the highest mountain in the Cyclades, Zas (Zeus), rising to 1004m.
In the mountainous interior you find enchanting villages such as Halki and Apiranthos. There are numerous fine beaches and the island is a wonderful place to explore on foot, as many old paths between villages, churches and other sights still survive.
Geologically the island is noted for its marble and emery. Naxian marble was used in the building and sculpture on the sanctuaries in Delos and Delphi. There are still marble quarries on the northeast of the villages of Koronos and Apeiranthos.
The fertile lands has permitted the Naxians to be independent, most of the people are farmers. Only in the last 20 years tourism has developed. The main products are apricots, potatoes, vegetables citrus fruits, olive oil and wine. There is also large variety of soft and hard cheeses products.
The climate in Naxos is mild and dry, the Aegean north wind sweeps during the summer (the ‘Meltemi’).