Tour of Naxos by car Saturday 5th June, 2021.

Ariel of Hamble
Jim and Valerie SHURVELL
Wed 6 Oct 2021 12:37

Saturday 5th June, 2021.

Jim hired a car as we wanted to see as much as we could of the island. Trisha and Clive said they would like to come and be our guides as they had done the bus tour two days before.

Our first stop was Dimitras Temple near Sagkri. This temple was made of marble and dates back to 6th century BC. As Dimitras or Demeter some say was the ancient goddess of grain and people use to build their temples close to hers to fertile the areas. There has been lots of excavations in the area that shows the area was used for religious purposes since the late Mycenaean Era and a temple was built around 530 BC before the temple declined after the 3rd century B.C.  Archaeologist Nikolas Konteleon in 1949 found remains but the work didn’t start until 1976 and lasted until 1995. Ruins were found all over the area and unfortunately much has been stolen but bit by bit the Temple is taking sharp.

The coffee stop was Apeiranthos which was colonised in the 17th and 18th century by Cretan refugees fleeing Turkish oppression and coming to work in the nearby emery mine. The marble paved streets and beautiful 14th century towers built by the Venetian Crispi family. Beautiful coffee and the best orange cake ever!!!!!

Jim drove over the mountains with wonderful views to the east and the island of Dououssa to the top of the island and the village of Apollon. It was once a strong fishing village now a holiday resort with lovely little tavena’s overlooking the bay.  The water is still cool (cold) for us but one or two people ventured into the water for a swim. An excellent lunch at a very low price set us up for the drive along the coast road back to Naxos town.

Just above Apollon is the large unfinished statue which was has been abandoned since 600 BC.  The bearded marble figure is believed to represent the god Apollo. The figure is 35 feet or 10.5 metres long and weighs 30 tonnes. It looks like its neck was broken and then it was forgotten.

Jim was pleased to see several Peregrine falcons flying over land and flying down looking for prey between Apollon and the two dams near Amiti beach.

A quick stop at AB supermarket while we had the car helped us to stock up for the next week or two.

Once back at Ariel we unloaded and Jim took the car back just before the most beautiful sunset.  The people who had walked up to the unfinished Temple of Apollo were very pleased.