Tuesday 19 September 2023

Naxos - the Hora

As our boat approached the harbour of the Hora (Hora in Greek means town and is often used to denominate the capital of an island) in Naxos we could see the town laid out in front of us 

with its white-washed houses

 the medieval castle above the town

and Portara, Naxos' most popular landmark, Portara which lies on the neighbouring Palatia Islet and is connected with the Hora by a causeway. It's the marble gate of an unfinished ancient Greek temple dedicated to Apollo.

We booked into our hotel which was right in the middle of the Hora, near the waterfront and on the edge of the old town.

We decided to explore the south part of the town first as this is where the town's main beach is located, and we wanted to go swimming the next day

a small church, pareklisi, on the way

Even though I love swimming around rocks, we never explored this small bay

And here it is, the beach where we swam most days

and one of the tavernas by the beach: we ate here one day after swimming but preferred the one next to it.

We headed towards town again, through narrow cobbled streets

bourgainvillea adorns many of the houses on the island.

Good views of the town from here.

The rest of that first morning we explored the old town which will be the subject of a different post. 

The town really comes to life at night when everyone comes to the waterfront, 

to walk, 

to go to bars or restaurants 

or to sit on a bench and people watch (or look at one's phone in some cases).

The whole place is buzzing with life and it is very exciting. The later it gets, the busier it gets.

All of the bars and restaurants were busy

We saw one busker who was there every night

and then there were the boys (at least 6 of them) who were busking with their violins, classical pieces quite often. They intrigued me: they are what? 13 or 14 and it was their age, their number and ... the whole thing really, I found it unusual.

There was the old sailor who sold shells

and of course, the children: babies, toddlers, pre-schoolers, children of all ages, running about, playing,  screaming - no baby sitters here, children go where the parents go, at all times, at any time, even the early hours of the morning.

We loved the whole drama of it, the noise, the crowds, the bustle, the sheer numbers of people enjoying themselves and when we needed a break we walked a few yards and looked at the boats in the harbour


There is the small church perched on an islet in the middle of the harbour

The shops were open way past midnight. We had a look in this one that sells local produce

wines, spirits and liquers

Jams, chutneys, Turkish delight and amygdalota, a sweet made out of almond paste

raki and liquers made out of 

citron, a tree/fruit which is similar to the lemon but with stronger and slightly different taste, grown on the island.

The north side of the town is also by the sea - not much swimming here though, as it can get very windy and the sea quite choppy

the waves pounding on the rocks below the district of Grotta

you can see the Portara from here, sitting proudly on its islet

A small church

A museum dedicated to theatre director and producer Iakovos Kabanellis

On the other side of town, near our hotel and on the way to the beach, is Court Square

full of restaurants and bars.

This town is so alive!

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