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NAXOS TOWN
 
  • Naxos town (Chora), view from portara hill
  • Naxos Town (Chora), view from port
  • Venetian tower at the castle of Naxos in Chora
  • Streets inside the castle
  • Road to the port by the sea
  • Road to the port by the sea

At a glance...

Naxos town is called “Chora”. Known for its lively coastal road, the castle and the “Portara” landmark, Chora is packed with history, tradition and entertainment options.
Views of Naxos
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Views of Naxos
Naxos town is called Chora and is located in the north-west part of the island. It’s the main gateway of the island, hosting both the port and the airport.

It’s a lively city, especially during the summer months. Combining beautiful sightseeing spots, lovely walks, tempting shopping options, and a handful of restaurants, coffeehouses, bars and clubs, Chora has something for everyone...

You will find plenty of excuses not to leave Naxos Town upon your arrival.

Catching your attention from the moment the boat arrives at the island port, you will find the famous, imposing monument of Portara. It’s a huge gate, built from 3 marbles, each of which has a length of 6 meters and weights around 20 tons. Its construction dates back to the 6th century BC. It is believed to be the gate of an ancient temple dedicated to the god Apollona. Situated in the islet of “Palatia”, Portara offers spectacular panoramic views of the island at sunset and is a popular walk amongst visitors.

Just north of Portara, is an area called Grotta. Grotta derived its name from the Italian word meaning cave, since it has a number of caves under the hill of Aplomata. Grotta was also the site of an important Mycenaean city, from around 2,000 BC. The ancient ruins are partially submerged in the sea.

The coastal road to the port is considered one of the main hubs of the town. It is lined with shops, cafés, traditional taverns, restaurants, pastry shops and bars. After 8pm, the road is closed to traffic and gets busy with pedestrians strolling by the sea. If the aromatic smells from the taverns don’t tempt you, a cool glass of beer or a shot of ouzo or raki will.

While walking across the Naxos Town beach, feel tempted to take one of the many paths that crisscross the old town and will eventually lead you to Chora’s castle. The area surrounding the castle is unique and worthy of exploring. There, you will find numerous small shops selling unusual items, giftshops, delightful cafes and restaurants, interesting art spaces and museums. The castle itself was built in 1207 by the Venetian conqueror, Marco Sanudo. Materials used to construct it were taken from an ancient citadel that had been destroyed by pirate raids. Of the original twelve towers built to protect the castle, only one survives today. The narrow up-grate streets lead us at the highest point of the Castle, where the Commercial School is situated, next to Capella Kazatza, the School of Oursoulines, the ruins of the tower that the local narration “wants” it to be the tower of Mark Sanoudos, the Catholic Episcopal Palace and finally the Catholic Diocese.

On the other side of Chora lies St. George’s beach. It’s the closest beach to town and is only a 10 minute walk from the harbor. To reach it, we suggest you pass through “Protodikiou” Square. This pretty part of town is full of shops, charming little taverns, cafes and bars.

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