Apollonas, a quaint seaside settlement on Naxos’s northeastern coast about 36km from the island’s capital (Chora – Hora), is a charming fishing village inhabited since antiquity, probably on account of the marble quarry. In days past, it served as the port of the village of Koronida (Komiaki) from where Naxian marble was exported. Remnants of the ancient port have been found at Marmara. It is a lovely drive to Apollonas as the road snakes the entire north-west coast offering magnificent views.
In the village itself, picturesque whitewashed houses are dotted around a small sandy beach which stretches on to a larger beach strewn with smooth pebbles. The beach is lined with tavernas, cafes, souvenir shops and a mini-market. Apollonas is the ideal base for exploring the surrounding areas and there is a variety of accommodation available from rooms to let to hotels. Do book early to avoid disappointed as accommodation is limited.
An unfinished 10.5 metre statue of Kouros was discovered just a few metres outside the entrance to the village. The statue dates back to the 6th century BC and archaeologists believe it represents the god Dionysus. By following the signs to the top of the village you will see another unfinished 7 metre Kouros statue still lying there (others have been stolen). It is said that these statues were left on Naxos Island because of mistakes that occurred during their sculpting.
Towering on a hilltop above the inlet, don’t miss the ruins of the prehistoric fort atop Kalogeros.
Agios Ioannis (St. John) is the patron saint of Apollonas and is celebrated on August 29th. Vespers on the eve of the celebrations are followed by a litany procession of the icon of St. John, and then by a traditional feast, music and dance (panagiri) in the local tavernas. Visitors are welcomed with open arms.
On June 28th the village holds the annual Fisherman’s Festival when the blessing of the waters and boats takes place, followed by a joyous celebration of wine, food, music and dance.
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