Naxos is a Greek island with an area of 429.79 square kilometers. and is 103 nm. from Piraeus. It is the largest island of the Cyclades, in the Aegean Sea. Traditionally, the first inhabitants of the island were the Thracians and the Pelasgians

The Portara Gate
The Portara, the great marble gate that stands high on the islet of Palatia, now united with Naxos town, is what remains of the Temple of Apollo, who started to be built around the 6th-7th century BC and was never completed. The Portara gate is the first image visitors face when the ship enters the port of Naxos and is of course the trademark of the island of Naxos. On the islet, according to mythology, Theseus abandoned his love Ariadne, after killing Minotaur in Crete. In fact what we see today, is the gate of the temple that the tyrant Lygdamis began to build, wishing to present a larger temple than the temple of Zeus in Athens and the Temple of Hera in Samos. After the fall of tyranny on Naxos although, the temple remained unfinished. Today only the foundations of this majestic temple are visible. The glorious gate was constructed of four large pieces of local marble, each of them weighing around 20 tons. It has a height of almost 6 meters and a width of more than 3.5 meters. Between the 5th and 6th century AD the temple became Christian and it was used until the Venetian era when it was destroyed completely and its marbles were used by the Venetians for the construction of other buildings, mainly for the Castle of Naxos Town (Chora). During the time that it functioned although, a village developed around it. Because of the rising of the sea level from ancient times until today, the shore have been covered by water. Nowadays we know that in ancient times the islet of Palatia was a low hill opposite of the castle and in between there was a flat area.
Apano Castle
The Apano (Upper) Castle of Drymalia stands in the valley of Tragaia. Its location indicates the importance of the castle in ancient times for the whole Naxos island. It is located at a key point and this proves that it served as a fortress to guard the area from pirates. Along the walls of the castle stand the Byzantine churches of Agios Georgios and Panagia Kastriani. The most important monument of the castle though are the two ancient cemeteries. Visitors can find there are the places named “Slaves” and “Little graves of slaves” which are directly connected with the history of the castle and the attacks from pirates. Unfortunately during these attacks, most people captured were brutally tortured by the conquerors. There are many myths and legends in which the pirates ,usually after tricking an old woman, took the keys for the castle, only to capture it and start the killing afterwards. The remnants of that turbulent era, the old ramparts, the arcades, the walls crumbling, abandoned cemeteries and chapels stand imposingly, even today. The castle was rebuilt by Marco Sanudo in order to reside in it, but he finally chose the castle in Naxos Town (Chora). The castle eventually became permanent home of the Duke of the island. A visit to the Apano Castle , is a unique experience that every visitor of Naxos should not miss. The view is unique and the tour at the castle revives stories with dukes and princesses, pirates and lost
Sanctuary of Iria
At the area of Livadi, 10 km south of Chora, stands the Sanctuary of Iria, dedicated to the God of abundance and cheerfulness, Dionysus. The importance of this historic site is confirmed by the exceptional significance of these findings. Apart from that, a number of votive offerings to God Dionysus, indicate the importance given by the residents of Naxos since ancient times, both in divinity and in abundance and fruitfulness that gave them the nature and the earth of Naxos. The temple is built in the 6th century BC and is the cradle of the Ionic style with huge significance, which is confirmed by the great discussions in the international literature. The center of the cult of Dionysus was a temple structure, with buildings in successive layers in the same position and with the same orientation. Generally, the Sanctuary of Iria, attests the role of Naxos in the global architectural history while it also provides an image of uninterrupted cultural continuity in the heart of the Aegean. The restoration of the temple is completed and is now again open to the public. Access is easier for visitors from the village Glinado.
Temple of Demeter
In the village of Sangri, in the area of Gyroula you will meet one of the most remarkable buildings of ancient Naxos, the Temple of Demeter. The temple is build in the Ionic style and is dated back in 530-520 BC. The sanctuary of Demeter and the temple of Iria are considered by the architectural point of view, as the forerunners of the Athens Parthenon. The entire temple is built of white marble in a square format, with columns in front of it.It also had columns in the inside, which supported the roof in a specially designed interior, which was used for worshiping the goddess Demeter and her daughter, as evidenced by inscriptions found in the temple. Today, the restoration of the church is fully completed and operates as a museum exhibition.