To the Gate of Apollo and beyond.

After a wonderful visit on Paros with V’s sister-in-law and her family, we took an evening ferry to Naxos. No front row seats this time, though it mattered less as it was dark out. I’d been to Naxos before, but it was great to travel there with a local.

We stayed at Studios La Fontana which was across the street from the sea. Is there anything better than falling asleep to the sound of the waves? That evening we had a nightcap in a castle, high above Chania, the main port on Naxos. In the morning we went for a stroll around the streets of the town. It’s exactly what you expect on your Greek vacation: whitewashed buildings, narrow winding streets, the occasional ancient building or ruin, views of the impossibly blue Aegean.

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Gate of Apollo, said to be the inspiration for the National Geographic logo
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Castle of Naxos, with the blue Aegean beyond
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White houses, bougainvillea, narrow winding streets… are you noticing a theme?
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Nice veranda for your morning coffee…

We also stopped at the Naxos Archaeological Museum which holds a manageable but impressive collection of Cycladic artifacts. I never had much interest in ancient Greek art but as I get to know the location, I have really grown to appreciate it.

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Vases… lots of vases…

In the afternoon we set out for the beach. I like a secluded beach as much as the next girl, but there’s also something to be said for a lounge chair, an umbrella, and a waiter bringing you a cocktail.

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The beach at Agia Anna, with a view toward Paros

Naxos is a huge island and the next day we set out to explore it with a rented car. It is quite mountainous, with accompanying narrow roads and switchbacks. I was glad to be the passenger… sometimes it pays to be unable to drive a stick.

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Airport and salt flats in the middle distance, Paros in the distance across the channel

The town of Chalkio boasted more bougainvillea and an ancient monastery a short hike outside of town.

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The weather was cooler up in the mountains and we stopped for a morning coffee break in the town of Filoti.

The town of Apiranthos had streets paved of marble. Beautiful but a bit slippery! The ER doctor in me was nervous to think of all the possible head injuries and broken ankles that could result from a walk on these steps.

We enjoyed a lovely couple of hours at the remote beach at the southern tip of the island.

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In the evening we ate a delicious dinner of grilled octopus, Greek salad, and fried calamari at a restaurant near Agios Prokopios. The view, though, was even better than the food and we were right at the water’s edge. An idyllic setting for dinner.

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This was my view in one direction… not bad, right?…
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…and this was the view when I turned my head to the right. Not bad at all!

Kali nikta, Naxos… (Good night, Naxos…) You are a Greek treasure.

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