Photo Tour: Naxos Castro
Exploring the Naxos Castro was a trip back in time. The cobbled lanes, Venetian influences and old churches created a beautiful historic ambiance of old world European charm. Here is my photo tour of its places and spaces.
Photo Tour: Naxos Castro
The main town of Naxos is called Naxos Town or in Greek, chora. The Naxos Chora is comprised of a main harbor full of shops, sea facing restaurants and the walkway to the islet where the magnificent ancient Greek archaeological site, the Portara, stands today. You can read about my experience about The Portara here. The Naxos Chora has a special feature called a castro.
Explore Naxos Castro
Many Cycladic islands have a castro, which translates to castle. The Cycladic castles were once part of a walled part of a populated area of town. It was heavily reinforced to protect people from invaders and pirates — that sort of old world danger.
The Naxos Castro was built by the Venitians back around 1200. Today it remains in tact, a place in Naxos worth taking many strolls. It was one of the most fantastic old castle neighborhoods I have explored in all of my travels around Greece’s islands.
I loved walking around the castro, during both day and night. It was located on an elevated area so at some points the view overlooks the harbor, sea and the landmark ancient Greek Portara.
Getting lost in its stone paved, whitewashed alleyways was a photogenic journey where I found peaceful little neighborhoods, historic churches, a scattering of little galleries and gift shops as well as scenic restaurants, cafes and bars.
Violet, red and coral bougainvillea draped the walls complementing the brightly colored wooden doors and window shutters that framed whitewashed buildings.
As I made my way, cute scruffy Naxian cats darted across my path.
Places to Go in Naxos Castro
Here are a list of places to check out in the kastro area of Naxos Chora.
Sit at a picturesque table cornered on a little street in the palia agora or old market section of the Naxos Chora. Famous for Greek coffee by day and honey induced liquor called rakomelo by night. +30 22850 26343
A new Cycladic style bar cafe with a rooftop terrace. Order from a creative menu of Greek cocktails that start with each letter of the Greek alphabet.
Meli kai Kanela
www.melikaikanela.gr /+30 22850 26565
Beautiful design at this traditional Cycladic style bar cafe. Can’t miss its turquoise door! Try the homemade Naxian rakomelo served with a large wedge of orange.
Visit the museum here to get an idea of the 800 year old history around some storied, steady walls. www.naxosfestival.com; +30 22850 22387
The church was by Venetians in the 13th century and restored by the island’s Catholic families in the 16th century.
Naxos Castro Shopping
Two very kind Naxian artists run two shops filled with creative and affordable Greek ceramics, jewelry and clothing. +30 22850 26247
Tsepi – Pocket Gallery
Australian expat artist Tim Wilkinson has an eye for beautiful gifts. Head here for ceramics, cards and paintings. www.pocket-gallery.com;+30 22850 27106
Castro area in Naxos Town.For more about where to stay, what to do and where to eat on Naxos, check out my mini-guide about Naxos island on this blog.
Have you ever explored a Cycladic island castle?