Tuesday, August 8, 2023


Today we awoke at Naxos anchored off Agios Prokopios, apparently the most popular beach of the island.  We looked out and saw a long beach with rows and rows of sunbeds.  After a family conference we decided we would stay on the boat and rest and relax as we had a lot for our afternoon and evening planned when we made it to the Chora.  So we donned swimsuits and grabbed our books and headed to the upper deck for reading and even a snooze.

After lunch aboard we would be docking at this port and have the ability to walk on and walk off.  We had a nice laugh after we docked because a few nights prior we docked and were right next to a yacht that rents for $900K-$1.2M for 12 days and they put out a carpet on the dock.  Tonight our crew put out a logo'ed carpet as well and a flag, like you would see at a soccer game...all logo'ed as well.  After a few minutes a mini-bus appeared as we had booked tour because Naxos is the largest of the Cyclades islands with a lot going on in the interior.

Our first stop was a the Eggares Olive Press which had a museum with all the ways they have extracted oil.  The mill dates back to the 1800's and is the oldest remaining of all the mills.  Many of the Lianos family was manning the store where we tried all kinds of oils, including infused as well as jams and olive oil cake.  I was able to get one of the items I had planned on purchasing which was salads spoons made from olive tree wood.  

Next we stopped at the statue of of Kouros in Melanes which lies at the exact position that the archaeologists found it. It is six meters long and dates to the 7th century.  It was a little walk in from the bus, but as it was a low lying area it was cool due to natural springs.

Next we stopped in the village of Chalki and the Vallindras distillery, which has pioneered Naxos’ renowned citron (kitron) liqueur –one of three Greek aperitifs marketed with a Protected Designation of Origin.  It all began in the second half of the 19th century, when Grigorios Vallindras founded a workshop for producing the traditionally local citron-flavored spirit (kitrorako) –already in common use.  In 1896, his son, Markos, decided to develop the business, creating a new distillate with alcohol and citron leaves –the citron liqueur of today.  It was a super cute village.  Unfortunately the distillery was closed but we had eyed a Kitron Bar down at the wharf...we assume an outlet of sorts.  As we drove the hills we also saw lots of marble quaries and learned the marble for JFK's bust in DC is from this island.

Then we stopped at the Church of Panagia Drossiani is the oldest Christian church of Naxos and our tour guide claimed the oldest Byzantine in all the Cyclades. Located near Moni, it is considered one of the most important Byzantine churches and, therefore, is of immense historical significance.  Unfortunately this was also our rudest encounter in Greece.  What we can only imagine was a nun of sorts was livid with our group despite following the rules of donating a few euros for photos, etc..  She literally yelled at us as we departed and this experience would become a running joke the rest of the trip.

And lastly another hoped for stop and therefore purchase...some art from the person who created it - Limpertas Manolis Pottery.  The gentleman we saw at the potter's wheel was 3rd generation and he literally worked by feel.  Never looking at the piece on the wheel.  Amazing and beautiful works.  They showed us several traditional pieces used for common purposes.

We then proceeded to drop our guide off at his village.  So full disclosure.  This guy LOVED his island and loved what he was talking about, but he was completely memorized and recited his information with little emmotion or impromptu effort, so while information filled it was often monotone and hard to stay interested.  Our driver however busted loose after the drop-off and cranked the music and our group was singing and clapping again.

Next we were off for our dinner reservation I had had to reschedule twice due to our changing schedule due to the winds, but we were warmly greeted by Alekzander who I had corresponded with and ushered to a table right on the water for sunset and a spectacular meal including the ability to do butter pasta with cheese for Ally.  She was in heaven.  Dal Professore.  I had selected it to give a bit of Greek for the adults and Italian for the kids.

Next we were off for a few more must stops.  Waffle House for desserts.  The kids loved it getting all kinds of variations of waffles including one that looked like a hamburger.  The required stop for me was Pagonis Sandals a family run business since 1940

.  We were greeted by a young woman who had us look for our favorite style and then helped size us.  We wound up with a lot of pairs.  And of course the Kitron Cafe to try that liquor mentioned earlier.  Three colors and three proofs.  Green, Clear, and Yellow.  Ally and I tried and likes the green.  Andy went straight for the yellow.  There may or may not be a few bottles coming home.

Back on board at just after midnight we needed sleep for another big day ahead, which included Delos and an evening on Mykonos.

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