Located in the southern Aegean Sea, Naxos is recognized for its clear waters, ancient treasures, and cheese production. The largest of the Cycladic islands, Naxos is home to a number of villages, of which the most traditional is the scenic mountain village of Apiranthos. About a half hour drive to the northeast of Chora between two valleys some 650 meters above sea level, Apiranthos was built on the eastern side of the Fanaria Mountains.
The village was once occupied by the Venetians and this is evident in its architectural flair. Exploring the village, you will notice it is full of marble, as the white stone was chosen to line streets and decorate buildings. In addition to this, the overall architectural style here includes balconies and coat of arms signs above doors.
Due to its distance from the main port of Naxos, you may be surprised to find that Apiranthos is host to a number of museums, as well as the church of Panagia Apirathitissa, one of the oldest churches of Naxos. When visiting the village, you’ll have a choice of exploring the Folk Art Museum, the Visual Arts Museum, the Archeological Museum, the Geological Museum of Apiranthos, and the Nikos Glezos Library.
Housed in a small building, the Archeological Museum of Apiranthos features artifacts found during excavations in the area, including prehistoric weapons, funeral columns, and figurines dating back to the Proto-Cycladic Era. The Apiranthos Folklore Museum houses a collection of items from village life donated by locals. Exhibits here include traditional utensils, machinery, musical instruments, home furniture, costumes, books, artwork, and more. At the Natural History Museum you’ll find a small aquarium and collection of flora and fauna, while at the Geological Museum you’ll see some interesting and rare digs.
Apiranthos is also home to a a 17th-century tower that dates back to Venetian times. Built on a rock, the Zevgolis tower stands as the village’s most impressive monument, and leads to the stone-paved streets and residences that characterize this village. At Apiranthos you can relax amidst tradition, picturesque squares and old buildings, while you take your seat at one of the area’s tiny eateries and cafes to enjoy the various local delicacies. We suggest you try the cheese!