Northern Naxos

From Filoti the road skirts the slopes of Mt Zas on its way to Apiranthos, where the Venetian families Crispi and Sommaripa built towers. Many contemporary families, however, claim Cretan blood, descended from migrants who came during the Turkish occupation to work in the emery mines. It is a picturesque village on Naxos, and one of the most traditional in the island.

Visit the small Cycladic museum, devoted to mostly Neolithic finds and a geological museum in the school. A road from here descends to the port of Moutsouna, where the emery used to be brought down from the mountains near Koronos by a rope funicular and loaded on to ships. Moutsouna has a fine beach; from here a road follows the east coast south to the remote beach of Psili Ammos and Panormos bay. Another beach, Lionas, is linked by paved road to the picturesque Koronos village. Beyond Koronos the road leads to pretty Komiaki, highest of the island's villages, with stunning views over terraced vineyards.

The road leads back down to Apollon or Apollonas, a little sea-side village with a beach.

Ancient marble quarries are carved out of the slopes of the mountain, and steps lead up to a colossal unfinished kouros, abandoned in the 7th century BC. Because Apollon was sacred to Apollo, the statue is believed to represent the god; even more intriguingly, the long-vanished temple that stood here is part of the equilateral triangle formed by the temples of Apollo on Delos and Paros. Apollon is as far as the bus goes; by car you can chance the road along the north toast back to Naxos town, passing the isolated beaches of idyllic Abram Bay with a taverna and Pahia Ammos, near the Monastery of Faneromeni dating from 1606.