The stunning Cyclades are a group of Greek islands famous for their unique architecture, cosmopolitan nightlife, impressive history, and rocky landscapes. You'll start in Paros, where golden sand beaches and charming villages are yours to explore. Then hop a ferry to neighboring Naxos for a tour of Chora, beautiful whitewashed villages, and countryside filled with churches, archaeological sites, and local distilleries.
- A great place to start is the village of Apiranthos, situated at the foot of Fanari Mountain, the island's third-highest peak. Known as the "Marble Village," you'll twist through the winding streets and relish the traditional architecture. Many buildings and alleyways feature the famous marble, left untouched since the days of the Venetians. The local dialect also seems stuck in time, with its unique blend of Ancient Greek and Byzantine elements.
- While in Apiranthos, enjoy a short hike beyond the village and visit the nearby Agia Kyriaki Church. This former Byzantine chapel is best known for the remnants of its historic murals.
- Next, continue to Chalki, once the island's capital and main administrative and trade center. The town sits scenically in the Valley of Tragea, the primary olive cultivation area of the Cyclades. You'll find numerous neoclassical houses and buildings, all a testimony to the village's bygone days of wealth and power.
- As you stroll through Chalki, admire the old mansions, picturesque churches, and colorful alleys featuring a combination of Venetian towers and Byzantine chapels. Amongst Naxos’ oldest churches, you'll find the Church of Panagia (the Virgin). This chapel dates back to the 9th century and features beautiful Byzantine and post-Byzantine frescoes.
- Depending on your preferences, consider visiting another village or two. Our suggestions include Koronos, Filoti, and Sangri. Most of the towns feature pedestrian-only streets to enjoy their charming squares and streets in peace. Stop for a coffee and match the island's slower pace. Get lost amongst the winding pathways that crawl up and down the mountainside and discover the daily rituals of local life.
Itineraries with Explore the Villages of Naxos
Mix well-known favorites with some smaller spots on this 10-day itinerary. You'll explore Classical history in Athens and Delphi before heading out to the islands. See the pilgrimage sites on Tinos and ancient sanctuaries on Delos, then continue to Naxos to try out the island's many agricultural products and end your trip cruising through Santorini's volcanic caldera.
The whitewashed architecture of the Cyclades is one of the most classic Greek images. Spend two weeks amid this island chain's charms with this family-friendly itinerary full of hands-on activities for school-aged children. You'll start off with games and stories in Athens, then head to Tinos to learn about the art of marble sculpting. From there, you'll visit the villages and beaches of Naxos before you wrap up your trip along the rim of Santorini's famous caldera.
Enjoy a mini Greek experience with even the mini members of your family on this seven-day itinerary for families with school-age children. With just one week, you'll start in Athens to hit the mythology highlights, including the Acropolis and its famous Parthenon, with plenty of games and stories included. Then jet off to Naxos, the largest island in the Cyclades, to take in the beaches and inland villages via biking, cooking, and more.