Having dabbled our toes in the fancy Myconian way of life, arriving to Naxos was incredibly refreshing. It's an island that feels very rustic, authentic and down to earth.
The first thing you notice when you get off the ferry is how incredibly clear the sea is. Walking down the dock, we spotted a group of people swimming amongst the colorful fishing boats and picnicking along the bay. We sat down in one of the restaurants, ordered frappes and booked our hotel by Agios Prokopios beach.
The sun started to set behind the Portara, a massive 2,500-year-old marble doorway built to honor Apollo, the Greek God of Music and Art. We hopped onto a quadbike and stopped to enjoy these incredible views.
The next days were spent lounging around Agios Prokopios. We had heard good things about this beach, but it truly surpassed all expectations.
We spent a day exploring the island on our quad bikes. We drove 10 kilometers to Sangri to see the Temple of Demeter which was built 6th century BC. Demeter was the ancient goddess of grain and guaranteed fertility on earth. It was magical being surrounded by such extravagant ruins without a soul in sight.
Next, we traveled to Halki which used to be the capital of Naxos back in the day. It is a Venetian styled village with handsome facades of old villas, tower houses and Byzantine Churches filled with frescoes; all reminders of its wealthy past. Halki is also the biggest olive cultivation area of the Cyclades, so you can imagine how beautiful the drive here was.
Lunch was an al-fresco affair by the beach.
We then visited Panagia Drossiani in Moni which is the oldest Orthodox church in the Balkans. We met a lovely old lady in front of the church who was selling scarves and table covers which she had hand made. The way she showed us the fabrics so lovingly portrayed the care and time which had gone into these pieces. She took my hand and called me "koukla," which I laughed at, as it is the same word in Russian for doll. My boyfriend understands bits and pieces of Greek so he was continuously translating for me, as she told us about her family and that we should cherish each other. Such a sweet soul.
For the last bit of our trip we drove up to Apiranthos to see the mountains which the town extracts marble from. The views from Zas mountain were breathtaking as you looked across the infinite valleys and hilltops. It is insane to see some of the mountains literally cut in half to expose the gleaming white and pink marble underneath.
Truly the most spectacular couple of days surrounded by nature and kind-hearted locals.
I just wish we could have stayed for longer, but Santorini was calling!!