Right everyone, let’s get straight into since this was a very long day.
We got up, ate and got ready. We walked into town to a rental shop we’d been in yesterday. Quads are are between €5-15 cheaper than a car so it’s personal preference what you choose to drive. We like the quad because it’s easy enough to zip about on and the main attraction is you can park it almost anywhere. After being on a 50cc quad on the other islands we knew we wanted something with more power. Our options were 150 or 300 and the price difference was negligible so we opted for the 300 considering Naxos is the biggest island and has a lot of hills. Unfortunately they were out of the 300cc so they offered us 400 for the same price! This seemed like a great idea until the woman behind the desk put the fear of god into me about not going too fast in case we tip it or get caught by the police and fined €2000.
So thoroughly quaking in my Birkenstock’s we set off to some of the villages in the center of the island.
We drove half an hour to get to this village specifically to see Panagia Drosiani Church. It’s the oldest church on Naxos and is a recommended must see while on the island. The church is very old (about 6th century) and still has some of the original artwork. You’re not allowed to take photos inside the church. Outside there was a lady who was selling her textile work that she hand crafts on a loom. She didn’t speak any English so her granddaughter translated for her; we bought some as gifts.
After this we drove onwards towards a village called Chalkio. On the way we passed an open cut mine. We think they’re mining stone or marble judging by the shape.
Chalkio is tiny. Pretty much just restaurants and cafes interspersed with pottery and textile shops. It’s pretty much just for tourists.
We stayed long enough to wander and see Church of Agios Georgios Diasoritis. It takes about 10 minutes to walk on a little stone path that passes hundreds of olive trees and surprisingly eucalyptus trees. The church dates back to the 11th century and still has many of its original frescos intact. Bonus: we were allowed to take pictures.
A quick 5 minute drive to Filoti is where we stopped for lunch. It’s another tiny village nestled in the mountains. The views from the drive are spectacular and make up for the lack of things to do in the villages. We had a club sandwich for lunch and Greek bruschetta which is brown bread, olive paste, olive oil, garlic, feta and tomatoes. So tasty, will be on the search for olive paste when I get home.
Although we had been told by the rental agency that there not much point in going to the East of the island. We ignored this and powered on 45 minutes down some very winding roads to reach Psili Ammos beach. Psili ammos translates as “fine sand” so this beach didn’t disappoint. We swam in the warm water to cool off from the bike and it was bliss! The water is crystal clear it doesn’t even look like sea water.
We were sufficiently topped up with our dose of “vitamin sea” so we started the drive back up the mountains towards home. It’s an hour to go from the very east to the very west for those curious. We ended up stopping at Mikri Vigla purely because we spotted lots of kite sails and I was curious.
This is the beach for windsurfing and kite surfing on the island. We were both a bit transfixed watching all the surfers passing each other at amazing speeds and still manage not to collide or get tangled up. I would love to be able to do it but also think I’d be terrified; although there did seem to be a few beginners wearing helmets so who knows. There does seem to be benefits being harnessed into a parachute as you don’t really fall in the water since the parachute (kite) just pulls you straight back up again.
We finished our day with Mexican food at a place called Picasso. It’s down the coast from us where all of the beaches are. The food was really good and came; no word of a lie; 5 minutes after we ordered. The fun part of this evening came when we went to drive back only to realise that our headlights gave us about a foot of light in front of us and the entire drive back to the city has absolutely no streetlight. So Mitch being the passenger had to pull out his iPhone torch and we used that as headlights. We had a few passing cars which helped a lot but once they passed we were back to 10km/h and only iPhone light.
Lesson learned to be back in the city before sundown – Katy xxx