This day we had a plan to hike to the second highest mountain on Naxos, but when we came closer we could see the fog covered the top. So we decided to drive to the Monastery of Argokiliotissa which we planned to visit the first day we were driving around. It was also fog here and it was so much colder than in the marina in town.
When the pilegrims comes they need a place to stay…
Inside the small church. It is hard to find something about this place, the only thing is that they found an icon here many years ago, and thats why they build the church,
Many pilegrims is coming here to see the icon.
The small church from the outside.
It is many buildings here, and also behind me there is a church.
Because of the fog it was no place to be so we decided to drive to the south side of the island, on the eastcoast. On the photo below you can see the fog on the mountain we wanted to hike to.
We drove to Panormos at the end of the road.
A short walk from the parking you can see Panormos Acropolis were an old town was build 2500 BC. On the hill behind the Acropolis there is a castle.
We had a short lunch break at the beach. We thought it would be nice to anchor here in the right wind direction.
Panormos is a small place and not much to see, even in the summer.
Monastery of Kaloritsa
The next day we went first to Monastery Kaloritsa, which is build into the mountain. It is an easy walk from the parking, a little bit steep at the end.
The natural cave, which measures approximately 30m in length and 10m in width, was likely converted into a church in the 4th century because, according to tradition, an icon of the Nativity of Christ was found by a shepherd inside it.
Ruins from the monastery.
Outside the cave are found the remains of monastic cells, a bakery and an atrium with suspended arches which date to the post-Byzantine era.
The entrance of the church in the cave.
We walked back to the car and drove further south. Look at this amazing colour!
We saw a Norwegian tv-program some weeks ago about Apaliros Castle and wanted to check that out. On alltrails they write it is a difficult hike and it is some places hard to find the trail. But that doesn`t stop us! We park close to the main road and walked first 1,5 km on a gravel road.
Here you can see the Profiti Ilias mountain were we visited the Monastery Kaloritsa. We wanted to hike to the top of that mountain as well, but it was a little bit cloudy and the trail was hard to find and really steep. (and I was already sweat and cold…)
At the end of the gravel road you have to watch up. Look at the map and for marks. Because we walked to far and had to walk right up the hill, and then we went the wrong way and it took a while to find back to the trail.
When we came up the first hill we had more view and it was easier to see where to walk. I wanted to foollow the alltrails track, but Astor saw some red dots right up the hill and wanted to try that trail instead. It was STEEP!!
But we came up to the castle and took a lunch break were we found the first ruins.
Not a bad place for lunch!
The view over to Profiti Ilias.
According to recent research, Apaliros castle was not only a defensive bastion against pirate raids but also, especially during several centuries during the Byzantine empire, the center of a lively city with a relatively large population.
The castle was the acropolis of the capital of the island in the Byzantine period which was located at the foot of the hill of Apaliros.
Though no record detailing the city’s founding exists, abundant ceramic remains and coins found here suggest it was established before the 7th century. It is certain, however, that Apaliros was abandoned in the 13th century when Naxos island was invaded by the Venetians of Marco Sanudo, in the years following the Fourth Crusade.
Apaliros stands as an excellent example of early Byzantine town planning. The remains of fortification walls, water tanks, storage facilities, ovens, churches, roads, an olive press and scattered evidence of some 250 homes are seen in and around the castle today.
Astor was filming with the drone, it was better to have the view from above!
I was tired after this hike, but it was so satisfying that I have been there.
I was really thinking about how they could build 250 houses here in this steep hill. There are no roads or even good trails. It is just rocks everywhere.
We went the other way down. We walked up on the left side of the wall and came down on the right side. It was no marks on that side but we tried to follow alltrails tracks.
A video from this hike!
On the way back to the marina a old Greek guy was hitchhiking and we gave him a ride. He gave us two eggs for that!
Kourounochori – Ano Potamia
Then it was time for a hike together with Jo-Anne and Adam and the girls. We parked one car in Ano Potamia and drove the other one up to Kourounochori. I didn`t take that many photos or making a video here because Astor and I did this hike earlier. When we came to the restaurants with all the cats we needed a stop, also because of the girls, they loved the cats.
It is hard to leave the cats when they are so cuddly.
We walked further on to the Kouros and the kids was not that interested in old stuff, they would rather play! Unfortunately Isabelle one more time hurt her leg and Adam decided to stay with the girls while Jo-Anne, Astor and I went to the car.
Happy New Year!!
Next day it was New Years Eve and we invited our friends for dinner – taco.
Astor and me! (and Olivia outside :-))
Jo-Anne, Adam, me and Astor celebrating New Years Eve!
After dinner, a bit later, we had dessert and hot chocolate! A little bit strange, but no firework here!
We started 2024 having a walk along the beach south of the town. We met a woman from Bulgaria and she wanted to take a photo of us (she asked us first if we could take a photo of her)
Koronos – Lionas
So it was time to take a longer hike together, now without the kids. We started in Koronos at 600 masl and walked down to Lionas at the beach. The trail was easy to follow, the hardest part was actually through Koronos!
Adam and Jo-Anne
Me and Astor
We walked down a valley, it was beautiful landscape!
It was a nice trail, a bit slippery in the beginning because the stones were wet, so we had to be careful.
Different terrain towards Lionas.
If we turn around we can see Koronos up in the hill.
The last part we followed a gravel road, but at the end we walked on an overgrown trail.
A small village but they had a couple of restaurants open.
We had a plan to take a swim when we came down to the beach, but only Adam and Astor was brave enough!
We had a delicious lunch together at one of the restaurants.
Here is a video from this hike:
Our stay on Naxos is almost coming to an end, just a couple of days of exploring before heading south.
What will 2024 give us??