3000 years of history

Naxos History

Naxos, the largest island in the cyclades group, is famous for its beautiful architecture and rich history. Zeus, the king of the greek gods was living in Naxos. It was the most important center of civilisation of the Cyclades in the ancient period.

Known for its incredible natural beauty, rich musical tradition and impressive rock formation and history, Naxos is the perfect place for all types of holidays.

Mystic Naxos

According to Greek mythology, the young Zeus was raised in a cave on Mt. Zas ("Zas" meaning "Zeus"). Homer mentions "Dia"; literally the sacred island "of the Goddess". Károly Kerényi explains:

This name, Dia, which means 'heavenly' or 'divine', was applied to several small craggy islands in our [Aegean] sea, all of them lying close to larger islands, such as Crete or Naxos. The name "Dia" was even transferred to the island of Naxos itself, since it was more widely supposed than any other to have been the nuptial isle of Dionysus.

One legend has it that in the Heroic Age before the Trojan War, Theseus abandoned Ariadne on this island after she helped him kill the Minotaur and escape from the Labyrinth. Dionysus (god of wine, festivities, and the primal energy of life) who was the protector of the island, met Ariadne and fell in love with her. But eventually Ariadne, unable to bear her separation from Theseus, either killed herself (according to the Athenians), or ascended to heaven (as the older versions had it). The Naxos portion of the Ariadne myth is also told in the Richard Strauss opera Ariadne auf Naxos.

The giant brothers Otus and Ephialtes figure in at least two Naxos myths: in one, Artemis bought the abandonment of a siege they laid against the gods, by offering to live on Naxos as Otus's lover; in another, the brothers had actually settled Naxos.

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During your walks, you will hear the legends, stories, history about our land and its people and you will feel closer to the real concept of Greek culture!