Messi or Mesi is a small quaint village in the north-eastern area of the island situated 43km from Chora (Naxos town) on the main road between Skado and Apollonas. This picturesque traditional village has approximately 100 inhabitants most of whom are emery miners.
On the way from Messi towards the village of Apollonas you find the summit of Kalogeros (Greek – monk), with it’s castle that was inhabited from antiquity to the Middle Ages. You can also see the old castle from Messi’s seaport, Agios Georgios.
Sights to visit in Messi are the renovated traditional olive oil press (called “fabrika” by the locals) and the Folk History Museum housed in the old primary school. Also visit the Byzantine church of Agia Kiriaki which dates back to the 16th century.
Do take the opportunity while visiting Messi to marvel at it’s renowned natural landmark, a centenarian plane tree (Greek – Platanos) which is next to a water spring. The spring water has been dubbed “the elixir of youth” because the inhabitants of the village are noted for their longevity. A drink from this spring and a few bottles to go may prove this legend true…
The area around this tree is also the venue of all the village’s social events. Messi holds its big religious feast (panagiri) of Agia Paraskevi on July 26th each year, and visitors are welcome to join in the fun.
In the greater region of Messi you will find the cave, Drakondospilio (dragon’s cave), and can marvel at it’s striking stalagmites and stalactites. This cave provided refuge for local people whenever pirates raided the island when piracy was rife.
Do pop in and have a bite at a local taverna; the village produces high quality wine and a variety of very tasty cheeses which are well worth sampling.
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