Naxos, the largest of the Cyclades islands, has very quickly made its way to the top of Troy’s “Favorite Places on Earth” list.
Hugged by crystal clear shallow beaches at its edges and anchored by Mount Zeus – like the god, because Zeus himself is said to have grown up here and received the famous thunder from an eagle at the top of this mountain – at its center, the island’s story is shaped by its fertile soil and prime position in ancient Greek mythology.
While Troy could not stop talking about the strange stories of love-gone-wrong and desertion trickeries of gods and goddesses, I most enjoyed the quieter, more relaxed atmosphere. Our fellow beach bums ranged greatly in age, speaking mainly Greek and German, and, rather than shop after shop of beautiful but expensive souvenirs, store fronts were decorated with beach rafts and mounds of locally made leather sandals.
We took the hints and spent all day on the beach laying under sun umbrellas, building sand castles and playing “up and over” with the occasional waves that rolled into our amazingly clear and shallow waterfront. E napped in the room or under the shade while Troy and I enjoyed a bit of peaceful sunshine on the porch most days. And though we tried desperately to order E’s birthday presents and dream about what life with two kids was going to look like while she slumbered, those famous Greek sirens (heard in forms of warm sun rays, fresh air, and fruity drinks from the bar), along with little to no internet access, lulled us away from our efficient desires and further into vacation land. Another dip in the pool, quick showers and off we’d head into town for sunsets, the most delicious progressive dinners (Scirocco and Mythodea Restaurant made our taste buds sing and our tummies so embarrassingly full it was incredible) as we wondered village streets and sandy, late night strolls under the moonlight as we made our way back home.
The last day in Naxos had us homeless and in need of killing time before our 5pm ferry to Athens, so we rented a small car and ventured into the hills for a tour of the Vallindras Distillery and a glimpse of the bright mid-day sun hitting the fields and seas at new angles, each turn revealing more beautiful views.
Knowing our days on this vacation island would again be followed by an intense 1-day tour of the great city of Athens allowed us to intentionally sit back and just enjoy the flow of life. Naxos was inviting and lively, pleasantly located and overflowing with great food and sights. If Troy has his way, this will be his annual vacation destination for life!