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Naxos island news and views

Naxos island is located in the heart of the central Cyclades group of Greek islands. Naxos is a big island but most beaches are on the south-west coast. The fertile Naxos farmland means islanders have kept tourism low key. As a result, Naxos maintains a strong Greek identity and many villages have a traditional character. Naxos offers good beach holidays without the crowds and easy island hopping from the main port.

Windsurfing on Naxos
Naxos hosts windsurf spectacular

The Greek island of Naxos has been showing off it windsurfing skills in style at the biggest freestyle event in Greece. The weekend event was held on the beach at Agios Georgios at the beach hotspot known as the Laguna, close to the Naxos town capital. Naxos is a popular target for windsurfers any time of the year with this marks the highlight of the Greek Freestyle Windsurf Tour that began in May at Drepano in the Peloponnese. Scores of athletes turned out to make waves at the resort that attracted some of the top names in the sport. Naxos island regularly attracts thousand of windsurfers each year with many south and east coast beaches having the perfect combination of shallow shorelines and the strong northerly Meltemi winds. The Laguna has a reputation as an ideal natural windsurfing spot and an excellent location for world-class competitors to display their skills at slaloms, flips and stunts. Event organisers, the Water Board Sports Festival (WBSF) are old hands at these sorts of events and handle many water competitions throughout the year including windsurfing and kitesurfing. This year's Naxos event has been organised with the Laguna Beach Park, the Flisvos Sports Club and Flisvos Watersports and the event was described as ne of the best with clear skies and good winds. Participating athletes have been able to enjoy free accommodation and the possibility of cash prizes at the three-day event that has become one of the biggest in the Greek sporting calendar. Music events, beach parties and dancing added to the atmosphere. The island of Naxos sits at the heart of the Cyclades group. It's a big island where most of the tourist beaches along the south-east coast. Beaches are mostly long stretches of golden sand backed by dunes and fertile farmland. Inland are some impressive mountains with Mount Zas dominating the island.

Naxos_4
Naxos gets new video promo

Despite having some of the best beaches in the Greek Islands and at the centre of the Cyclades group of islands, Naxos finds itself sidelined by other islands in the fight to attract tourists. Lack of an international airport has left Naxos lies just off the main Greek Island tourist trail but it hopes to change that with the launch of a new tourism video. Funded by the Municipality of Naxos and Small Cyclades, the promotional video features the holiday delights of Naxos and the surrounding islets of Iraklia, Schinoussa, Koufonissia and Donoussa. The video is the second in a series of promotional videos aimed at tempting more tourist to choose Naxos for their next Greek island holiday. The video is aimed at the young and young at heart with a fast-paced three-minute overview of the island's top visitor attractions set to a pop music background. Naxos Deputy Mayor of Tourism, Dimitris Lianos said: "Our aim was to promote Naxos in a modern way. Music and dance are part of our rich cultural heritage and inspired us to take a youthful, contemporary musical approach that features a variety of images of the island." The video follows the holiday adventures of a young couple recalling their holiday on Naxos and longing for the summer to come around again so they can return to the island. The couple recalls the fun they had with friends when sightseeing, swimming, hiking, kite surfing, wandering the narrow streets and having fun in tavernas and bars. The video also features island's famous 'gravier' cheese and its Kitro liqueur. Directed award-winning video producer, Yiannis Papadakos, a native of Naxos, it also features popular Greek singer Kostas Doxas. Naxos Greece lies at the centre of the central Cyclades group of Greek islands, the largest of the Cyclades and the most mountainous with a string of beaches stretching along it south-west coast. The beaches are noted for their variety. As well as busy beach resorts like Agios Georgios there are quiet coves such as Agia Anna, long stretches of wild, empty sands at Plaka and Kastraki and famed windsurfing centres such as Orkos and Mikri Vigla. At the centre of the ferry services, Naxos Town has a huge harbour and long promenade packed with tavernas and shops. The much photographed Portaras gate can be seen on the offshore islet of Palatia while the walled Kastro sits above a maze of whitewashed alleyways. The hilly interior is peppered with mountain villages, many set in lush green valleys fed by mountain streams with the area around Mount Zas a particularly beautiful blend of rugged hills and green valleys full of citrus and olive groves. Although it has no international airport, Naxos is easy to reach with daily ferries to Athens (Piraeus), Mykonos and Santorini. The offshore islets are also favourite day trip destinations and there are regular daily sailing to neighbouring Paros.

Naxos Portara
Naxos top ten award

Greek island voted one of the world's best. Naxos has been placed among the top ten favourite holiday islands in the world by a leading travel company website. The Cycladic island of Naxos has been ranked the sixth best holiday break island in the world in the TripAdvisor 2014 Traveller's Choice Awards in a worldwide vote by the website's regular readers. The awards are handed out every year to holiday island destinations across the world that get the highest ranking for the quality and quantity of its hotels, restaurants and attractions. Site users are asked throughout the year to give marks for their holiday experience after visiting the islands. Naxos is the largest island in the Cyclades group and a big island, although most tourist accommodation is confined to the south-west coastal beach resorts. The long, empty stretches of sand and dunes interspersed with charming beach resorts make for an attractive holiday destination both for those who like busy holiday crowds and those who enjoy an empty expanse of beaches. The main port resort at Naxos Town has an impressive harbour overseen by the offshore islet of Palatia with its famous Portaras gate. Naxos is the largest island in the Cyclades and the most fertile with many crop fields and citrus orchards in the verdant valleys. It has miles and miles of white sand beaches which are considered many to be the best in the Cyclades and, as Naxos is at the hub of the Cyclades ferry system, it is an easy island to reach and an ideal location for a Greek island hopping holiday. Naxos islanders have a strong Greek identity, particularly in the many charming hill villages and many visitors comment on the friendliness and generosity of Naxiots. TripAdvisor describes Naxos: "A spot of white in the turquoise waters ... a unique blend of ancient ruins and beach culture." Naxos came sixth overall in the world rankings of holiday islands beaten by islands in Belize, Caicos, Polynesia, Florida and Scotland. but ahead of the Cook islands and islands off Madagascar, Chile and Thailand. "These winning islands have been highly rated from travellers around the globe," said a spokesman for the travel company. Favourite holiday destination on Naxos are the main town or Hora, which has the huge marble gateway of Portara standing more than twenty feet high on the tiny islet of Palatia and linked to the town by a short causeway. The main town beach of Agios Georgios lies just outside the capital, a long crescent of sand with lots of tourist beach facilities and beyond that, over salt marshes, is Agios Prokopios with a resort village behind. The charming harbour and sands at Agia Anna are visited daily by taxi boats taking tourist to enjoy the family tavernas that lie behind the beach of soft, golden sand. South of here are vast stretches of dune-backed sandy beaches from the famous Plaka beach to the beach resort at Pyrgaki on the south east tip of the island. Naxos island attraction include the charming hillside villages of Chalki, Filoti and Apeiranthos and its fortified towers or 'pyrgi' built either for defence against pirates or as homes for Venetians.

Naxos agios prokopios
Naxos yacht hits rocks

'accident prompts safety fear at Naxos port'. News of a German yacht hitting rocks off the Greek island of Naxos has raised fears for the safety of boat passengers in waters around the island. The incident late last month reminded many of the tragic sinking of the Express Samina in 2000 when it hit rocks near Naxos with the loss of 82 lives. The Greek Coast Guard was alerted when the sailboat 'Paris', sailing from Crete, hit rocks between Naxos and Paros at around 8pm. The vessel ran aground on the notorious 'Amarides' rocks off the coastal resort of Agios Prokopios. The ten occupants of the 'Paris' were rescued and none needed hospital treatment. The Paris was holed and full of water but was safely towed back to Naxos harbour. It was almost exactly a year ago that a sailboat with 38 people of board ran aground on the 'Amarides' rocks about 1.5 miles from Parikia. The sailboat Zeus III broke in two and sank within 15 minutes. The Coast Guard and local fishermen from Naxos went to the rescue and although the passengers, mostly American, were rescued from the sea an 82-year-old man suffered a heart attack and died on the way to hospital. Both incidents recall the horror of the sinking of the 'Express Samina' in 2000 when 82 passengers died after the ferry hit the Portes islets in the same waters and sank. Although no one was hurt in the latest incident. it has highlighted problems with the boatyard marina of Naxos when rescuers were forced to use car headlights to illuminate the port. As the stricken sailboat was towed in at around 9.40pm they found the port in complete darkness and rescue boats had problems navigating into the harbour. Now coastguard officials have asked for proper lighting to be installed in the harbour and they want the inlet to be dredged to take larger boats. The sinking of the Express Samina off the coast of Naxos made world news. The ferry hit rocks just after 11pm resulting in the deaths of 82 people from a total of 533 on board. The first to answer the distress call were fishing boats from Naxos, followed by the Naxos port authorities and British ships, in the area on a a NATO exercise. After the disaster, laws were brought in to ensure ferries over 30 years old comply with strict safety standards, and regular inspections and must now carry voyage recorders, the equivalent of aircraft 'black boxes'.

Naxos posters
Naxos posters

Naxos wall posters create litter problem. Residents of the Cycladic island of Naxos have called for a crackdown on posters and leaflet advertising on the Greek holiday island. They are fed up with the hundreds of posters and stickers that are plastered all over Naxos Town to advertise forthcoming events. Now they want new laws to stop posters being stuck on walls, trees, doors, poles and windows every time a new event is promoted in Naxos Town. And they want those that stick up posters to pay for the clean-up afterwards when posters turn into street litter long after the events have passed. Recently a theatrical group from Athens put on a performance at the Naxos Town primary school that was warmly welcomed and enjoyed by all. But the town was covered in posters advertising the event and when the theatre group left they left the posters behind too. The municipality has now been urged to take action against companies that litter the island with posters and fines for those that fail to remove posters from walls, poles, trees and other places after the event is over. Objectors say the island of Naxos already has too few green spaces as pavements and squares are take over by tavernas and cafes, illegal parking is rife and the main roads littered with commercial signs. Allowing the island to be littered with posters is adding to the pollution and will not only affect local people but will eventually drive away holiday visitors too. Naxos is located in the heart of the central Cyclades group of Greek islands and it's one of the most mountainous. The miles of white sand beaches are considered the best in the Cyclades.

Nude on Naxos beach
Naxos beach nudists

Naxos beach holidays attract more nudists. Nudist sunbathers on Naxos holidays should have their own designated Naxos beach areas on which to sunbathe, it is suggested. Many Greek island holidaymakers in Naxos head to the long beach areas of Plaka and Kastraki where sheltered dunes and empty sands encourage sunbathers to strip off. But the recent growth in nudism on Greek island beaches, especially on Naxos island, has prompted calls for tighter controls on nude sunbathing. The laws on nude sunbathing in Greece remain unclear. Although police can clamp down on illegal campsites they can only act on beach nudity if they receive an official formal complaint from someone who is offended by the presence of nudists. As a result, nudist beaches in the Greek islands tend to be more remote and isolated, away from places where passers-by are likely to lodge complaints. There are currently 11 beaches on Naxos where nudism is tolerated. Nudist bathers can be found on Naxos beaches at Agia Anna, Plaka, Agios Prokopios, Lakouna, Mikri Vigla, Kastraki, Pyrgaki, Agios Mammas, Limenari, Psili Ammos and at Panormos. Hotel and taverna owners say they have many customers who only come to the Greek island of Naxos because of the freedom to strip off and that a ban would bring considerable financial hardship to local businesses. As remote beaches on Naxos have become more popular with families the nudist sunbathers have moved to even more remote areas in order not to cause offence. Now some Naxos locals want special sections of beach demarcated for use by nudists. One Plaka beach taverna owner said: "Our mistake is that there has been no clear delineation of the area where nudism is allowed. We should demarcate the part of the beach where nudism is allowed. I believe nudists will welcome such a move as it will provide them with a greater sense of security."

Alexander Papadiamantis
Greek writer

Naxos celebrates Greek island writer. Naxos island is to celebrate the work of renowned Greek writer Alexander Papdiamantis on the centenary of his death in 1911. Events in the village of Foliti, the largest village on Naxos, include readings from his works, an exhibition and film shows as well as other cultural events. Celebrations start on the weekend of July 29 with the opening of an exhibition and events run until the end of August. Although he was born in Skiathos, one of the Sporades islands, Papdiamantis has links with Naxos, in the Cyclades island group, and his novel 'The Merchants of the Nations' refers to the first years of the conquest of the island of Naxos. The 'Merchants of the Nations', was serialised in a newspaper in 1882-1883 under the pseudonym of 'La Boheme' and is considered one of the major works by Papadiamantis and an icon of Greek literature. Many of his works have been turned into films including 'The Merchants of the Nations' in 1973, 'The Murderess' in 1976, 'The Gypsy Girl' and 'Easter Chanter in' 1985 and 'The Homesick Wife' in 2004. He is best known for his book of short stories 'Tales from a Greek Island' which were written between 1887 and 1892 . After his death in 1911 of pneumonia, he was acclaimed as the best Greek author modern Greece had offered and dubbed the ' saint of Greek letters'. Filoti is the biggest village of Naxos and, in the summer, attracts many tourists. There are wonderful views along the Tragea valley while Mount Za dominates the skyline and, at over 1000 metres, is the highest mountain on the island of Naxos. Filoti's long, narrow street is lined with shops and a few roadside cafes offer refreshment. Filoti has an interesting church, Panagia Filotitissa, built in 1801 which has some fine icons, a marble iconostasis screen and a nicely carved bell tower.