Naxos is a Greek island of continental origin and is located in the southern Aegean. It is part of the group of Cyclades Islands. Some of the most famous islands in the region of Naxos are Paros, Mykonos and Santorini. Naxos is located at 36-37° north latitude and 25° east longitude. In the longest part, from north to south the island extends less than 33 km.
Nature of the island of Naxos. Naxos has a varied relief – mostly mountainous in the east and hilly-plain in the western parts. Here you will find the highest peak in the Cyclades Islands – Mount Zas (mean Zeus), 1001 meters high.
The coastline of Naxos is moderately indented with numerous small bays. With their azure waters, they are a real paradise for the lovers of sea entertainment. The beaches are extremely attractive with light sand or rocky and almost never overcrowded.
One of the most beautiful beaches not only in Naxos, but also across Europe you will find on the west coast of the island in the small but very picturesque village of Agios Prokopios. It stretches more than one kilometer in length.
If you come here the bright sand and clear sea will make you feel like you are on the Caribbean. Also very beautiful is the beach in the village of Agia Anna, which is located south of Agios Prokopios. South of Agia Anna is located Plaka Beach.
This is the longest beach of Naxos. Its length is about 3.7 km. The vegetation on the island of Naxos is thermophilic Mediterranean. Here grow mainly cypress, palms, citrus trees, olive trees and dry-loving shrubs.
The vegetation is relatively scarce because of the hot and dry climate. Rare Mediterranean forests cover only the northernmost mountainous parts of the island.
Climate. Naxos Island has a subtropical Mediterranean climate. Summers are long and hot, and temperatures are above 20°C from mid-April to mid-November! From early May to late October conditions are favourable for swimming and sunbathing.
The hottest month of the year is August. In this part of year the average daily temperature does not falls below 28°C, but on behalf of that often exceed 30°C. Winters are short and quite mild.
Even in January, daytime temperatures remain around 15°C and night temperatures are around 10°C. Rainfall on the island of Naxos is generally scarce.
The rainy season lasts from November to March, with maximum rainfall in December and January – between 80 and 100 mm. Snowfall on the island of Naxos is not impossible, but is very rare. If it still happens however, the snow cover is usually very thin and non-lasting.
Population and settlements. The population of Naxos is around 19.000 people. About 7,000 of them live in the capital of Naxos.
The town is typical Greek with narrow, shady streets. The buildings are snowy white, mostly lower on two and rarely three floors.
Almost all buildings have flat roofs and thick walls which to protect the inhabitants from the summer heat. Along the narrow streets have many cafes and restaurants that are exceptionally attractive place for recreation for many tourists.
The biggest attractions of the city are the numerous churches, showing that Greeks are among the most religious people in Europe. In the northern part of the city is situated the port.
It is very important for the transport connections and actually connects Naxos to most major cities and islands in Greece. South of the capital is located the airport, which is very important for tourism development.
Most tourists arrive at the island of Naxos using this airport and therefore during the summer months the workload is greater. The capital of Naxos, however, is far from being the only settlement on the island.
Among the dried and roasted by the scorching Mediterranean sun landscapes are nestled numerous worth seeing charming and idyllic villages.
Economy. Naxos economy is developed mainly in two directions – tourism and agriculture.
Despite the large influx of tourists and the serious interest of the foreigners to Naxos as a tourist destination, you will not find large resorts and high-rise hotels, designed to accommodate hundreds of guests.
The island is dominated by small family hotels, where the kind hospitality and guest service is a family tradition. This is one of the reasons that make Greece a favourite vacation spot for tourists from the highly developed northern parts of Europe.
Besides tourism, the island also relies on well-developed agriculture, whose products except for export are commonly used in local restaurants.
On the island of Naxos are grown grapes, citrus and olive crops with amazing taste and nutritional qualities.
The island is known for the production of some high quality agricultural products such as honey. Naxos is famous also for its great variety of delicious and healthy vegetables – tomatoes, cucumbers and potatoes.
As you will see in local restaurants, fishing is very important industry for this beautiful Cycladic island. On the island of Naxos are kept farm animals such as cows, which are the basis for the production of high quality dairy products.
Except for cows here are grown sheep and goats, and in smaller and remote villages, donkey, which is still important mean of transport for people and goods.
Naxos Island has a good base for development of culinary tourism, especially for people who want to eat quality food products. Local fruits and vegetables combine in themselves the life force of the warm Greek sun and large variety of vitamins and minerals.