Paros to Naxos
After a swift ferry ride to Naxos, we picked up the rental car and drove Hotel Grotta to drop off our luggage. The hotel was near the top of some hills along the coast and it was hilariously windy on this day. We could barely open our car doors with all the wind.
Then we left to get some sun at Plaka beach just a short 10 minute drive away. Naxos was more touristy than Paros and we constantly found ourselves on the road stuck behind tourists on slow ATVs.
After the beach we drove back to hotel, just in time to watch the sunset from the patio along with a nice glass of ούζο.
For dinner this evening we wandered through the old market — a maze of narrow alleys with tiny shops and restaurants strewn along.
The next morning we set on a road trip to visit several χωριά (villages). The first was Halki, a mountain village in the heart of the Tragaea region, known for largely untouched old villas, kitron distilleries and small shops.
High up on these mountain roads we consistently saw mountain goats, usually under trees getting shade or near fig trees trying to grab a snack.
How many churches can you spot in this photo below? More often than not you'll find a tiny chapel atop most mountain peaks near Greek villages.
We followed the mountain roads 30 minutes to visit another small village, Apiranthos, nestled next to Mount Fanari. We wandered around the streets for a while and sat down for a limonada before heading back out in the heat.
The mountain roads around here were a bit treacherous. Narrow and only certain segments had guard rails.
The last and furthest village we visited this day was Moutsouna. By this time we had driven across the entire island to get to this small, secluded fishing village and beach.
The old rusty cranes hark back to a time when this port was used to transport marble from nearby quarries in the middle of Naxos.
On the hour or so long drive back home we came across a lovely golden hour near a mountain top church. I had to pull over.
The Portara, a large marble gate, is the most well-known Naxos landmark. It's the entrance to and only remaining piece of Apollo's Temple, built around 600 BCE.
After a quick nap, we came down to the limani around 10pm to stroll around then find dinner and drinks.
Our last day in Naxos was predominantly a lazy beach day. Our 3pm afternoon ferry to the next island was delayed until past midnight due to extremely high winds.