Trip Report Naxos

Old Jul 9th, 2005, 07:48 PM
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Trip Report Naxos

Naxos
After returning the rental car at the airport we flew to Naxos as it wasnít much more expensive than what it would cost us to take the metro back to the Monastraki, another night at Attilos and then the ferry the next morning.

In Naxos we stayed at Glaros Studios, an apartment hotel 100 meters from St George beach. The room had a small kitchen, sitting area, bathroom and a loft bedroom. It also had two balconies and a third shared patio. All this for under $50 Canadian per night. [www.hotelglaros.gr]

We quickly entered a routine of sleeping until 9, having a couple of cups of Nescafe coffee and breakfast which was usually a combination of bacon, feta cheese, red onions, sundried tomatoes, Greek spice and eggs. I did all the cooking while Laurel read on the balcony with her coffee.

After breakfast we would head into town for our daily marketing. Naxos town is situated along the ocean, where fishing boats, yachts and ferries come and go at all times of the day. The main street is lined with shops and tavernas, and the city climbs the hill to the kastro walls built by the Venetians in the 1500ís. The city was built in a maze to confuse pirates and tourists alike. I made the mistake of not buying a gift at a little shop and it took me three day to find it again.

In the old part of town we found a bakery that still uses a wood fired stove. The bread there is unbelievable and costs 60 cents for a small loaf and €1.20 for a large one. We visited every day and became regulars. On the way back from the baker we stopped at a little grocery store and purchased tomatoes (that were so sweet they tasted like candy) peppers - red green and yellow - fresh garlic, red onions, cucumber, yogurt and wine. Our supplies replenished for another day we headed back home. My pedometer showed that this little trek took between 4,000 and 5,000 steps. Itís no wonder we come home from a trip like this, having eaten heavily but in fantastic shape. We wouldnít dream of walking more than a kilometre at home for a loaf of bread.

In the afternoon we would head out to St George beach for a couple of hours of sunning and beaching. The late afternoon we would see us back at the apartment for a Greek salad, tzitiki, bread and wine. This would tide us over until about 8 oíclock when we would walk back into town for shopping and dinner at 9 PM at one of our favourite tavernas.

Our very favourite taverna is Taverna to Kastro which sits just under the wall of the kastro. This restaurant is written up in many guide books and itís reputation is well earned for good food and personal service from the host, Soulis. Tricky to find as there are four different approaches. Beside the jewellery store on the main waterfront is a small street with a blue overhead sign that says ĎTo Kastro and Museum.í Follow that laneway until you come to a dead end and turn right, then immediately turn left, to another dead end, turn right and you will come to the bottom of a wide set of stairs. The restaurant is at the top.

In order to change up the routine every three days or so we would catch one of the local buses and head out to one of the glorious beaches on the west coast. Our favourite is Plaka beach one of the furthest out and less populated. Also along this stretch of coast are Aggia Anna and Aggia Procopious. Bus fare was only €2.20 per person. One thing to note about this bus trip, we caught the bus at the depot in the city but discovered that we could also catch it a few hundred meters from our hotel. Unfortunately by the time it gets this far the aisles are jammed full with bikini clad bodies, beach umbrellas and back packs. The fare collector has to squirm her way through this mass of humanity forcing the passengers into positions reminiscent of a rousing game of twister. I am afraid all this squirming may have resulted in my having to become engaged to two ladies I had just met. The moral of the story is get to the bus at the depot and get a seat.

There are numerous hotels and tavernas all along this coast and many people prefer the very relaxed atmosphere here. We do not put a huge priority on long days at the beach so we prefer to stay in the town where there are antiquities, shops, interesting activities and a wide variety of tavernas to visit as well as an excellent beach. Where to stay on Naxos can be a hard decision, but whatever place one chooses to stay it is sunny and peaceful.

Other sites and activities.
There is a private museum just inside the kastro walls called the Dorius Della Rocca Barouzzi Venetian Museum. This is a private residence occupied by the same family for several hundred years. It has recently been turned into a museum and is well worth the visit. Most evenings the museum has a sunset concert on the patio beside the museum. They have local Naxos music and dances that depict tales of the sea, and farming in the hills. Also while we were there they had a classical guitarist and a piano and violin concert.
The symbol of Naxos is the Portara situated on a high point just outside the harbour. It was constructed in the 6th century BC as a temple but was never finished. All that is standing now is two rectangular columns supporting a roof lintel, standing tall overlooking the ocean. People flock to this place for a picture at sunset.

Villages
Naxos is dotted with lovely villages like Chalki (where they distil the local liquor Citron a unique tasting treat), Aparenthos (a town where the streets are paved in marble blocks), Filoti and Apolonos (where one of the 6th century Kouros statue still lie where they were abandoned in a marble quarry.) and lastly Melanes where there is a Venetian tower house and an abandoned Jesuit Monastery built in the 1600ís

Most impressive is Demeterís Temple. This was at one time an ancient temple, and then a series of Churches. It was destroyed; however unlike many other parts of Greece the ruins remained mostly undisturbed. The local authorities have taken most of the original stones and rebuilt parts of the temple and the churches creating a remarkable site.

Etcetera
No story of a Greek visit would be complete without some sort of an adventure with a Greek toilet. Those of you who have been there will know what I am talking about.
Greek toilets do not accept toilet paper. You are supposed to dispose of it into a basket that the maid removes daily. If you forget, the toilets are designed to do a dozen swirlies and fling the sodden mess up on the side of the bowl. The guilty party is always faced with the problem of disposing of the evidence. Repeated attempts to flush are futile. For sure one will never forget proper toilet protocols ever again. I apologize if I have gone too far with this description however I have noticed that most polite guide books donít tell you about this vital piece of information.

To see pictures of our trip go to www.webshots.com and click on the Community Page. In the 'Find Member' window type lollypeter100 and you will be taken to our home page and the Greece 2005 album. Hope you enjoy the pictures. Leave us a note in our guestbook!

Bruce and Laurel June 2005










stanbr is offline  
Old Jul 9th, 2005, 10:43 PM
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Bruce, great report and photos! I enjoyed it a lot and will be using this info while first time on Naxos in September.
One question - I booked the Glaros hotel room, not the studio. Is it the same property? Is the room good enough, or I should change to studio?
Thank you!
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Old Jul 10th, 2005, 08:06 PM
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Glaros hotel is a different property from the Studios. The hotel is situated 10 meters from the beach with every room having an ocean view. It is a very nice property with the rooms having a small balcony, a double bed and a single bed and a frig. We have stayed there 4 times on previous visits and loved every minute, however on the last two visits we decided to stay for two weeks and wanted cooking facilities. The studios are larger most with at least two rooms and a kitchen, however it is 120 meters from the beach with no view of the ocean. For us the studios are great, but we still love the hotel and it's view of the ocean.
If you go to our home page on Webshots you will see we have a few picture of the Hotel on a previous album.
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Old Jul 10th, 2005, 08:12 PM
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Bruce, thanks for the clarification. I saw the pictures, and I thought you recommended the hotel previously (and actually that's why I booked it), but just got confused when you mentioned the studio in your last report.
Thanks again for all information you have provided, it is a big help!
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Old Jul 10th, 2005, 08:16 PM
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Say HI to Alex and George for us when you arrive.
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Old Jul 10th, 2005, 08:18 PM
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I will!
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Old Jul 11th, 2005, 12:04 PM
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The link you provided for your hotel appears to be for a hotel in Crete? Or am I just confused? Thanks. Great report BTW.
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Old Jul 11th, 2005, 06:16 PM
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Sorry about that, you are correct. We should have checked it first. In fact it is hotelglaros.com
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Old Jul 12th, 2005, 01:27 PM
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What a wonderful post! We are planning our first trip to Greece in September for three weeks, and are planning on spending several days on Naxos. Your post and the pictures are so helpful. A question to all - could we arrive in September on Naxos without reservations? I'm thinnking of staying at Glaros, or the Galini Hotel, but want to be flexible in terms of when we go where. Also, how do you like Nafplion, I see you've been there a few times? We are thinking of adding that to our trip (Athens, Naxos, Santorini, Hydra) to get some other mainland flavor. Again, wonderful post - thanks!
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Old Jul 12th, 2005, 08:42 PM
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We have always booked our Naxos hotel in advance for May and June, and I know the Glaros is pretty heavily booked throughout the season. It is clear though that there are many hotel rooms available, because there are lots of hotel owners down at the ferry dock greeting visitors. I'd suggest you research a few hotels, know where you want to stay and just visit them on your arrival. Glaros and Galini are about 25 meters apart at St George beach and there are many other hotels along the beach in the same area. ( I highly recommend this area for a hotel because it is quiet at night.) I would think you will be able to arrive without a reservation and still get a good hotel in September.
With respect to Nafplioin, we love it. It is so different from the Cyclades, more sophisticated and the pastel colours and archetecture are charming. There isn't much of a beach but there is lots to do and some interesting day trips from there. I have no doubt that we will always make sure there is a stop in Nafplion on future trips.
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