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Day 13 and 14 – Naxos

As I write this we’re on our way to Siros, and it’s good to be back on the water after two days in Naxos.   We were both looking forward to Naxos, partly because of what our Greek friend Nancy had told us but also after watching Francesco Da Mosta in the TV series Mediterranean voyage in which he charts the route of his venetian ancestors from Venice to Istanbul.  One episode called the white islands, a name the Cyclades are sometimes called, stopped off at Naxos town.

Naxos is steeped with venetian history and architecture with an imposing Venetian castle at the top of the chora.  Even more interesting are the maze of tiny random streets and alleys below the castle where it’s very easy to very lost.  These were built by the venetians to help defend against pirates who would either get lost or dissoriented and then be much easier to deal with.

The alleys and streets now have a more Greek feel to them with the typical white painted grouting around random shaped stones on the floor.  The alleys have a myriad of shops, bars, cafes and tavernas but behind that you can still see and feel the venetian history.   There are pieces of venetian architecture everywhere, for example the odd lintel or arch that dates back 700 years and venetian symbols such as the winged lion dotted here and there.   All this topped with the castle and venetian palazzi lived in by the very few richest venetian families.   Naxos is quite touristy, but as with other cycladian towns retains much of its charm and the history is inescapable.

For some reason I was expecting a big harbour and marina at Naxos, but neither is the case.   For sailing chums the marina really just consists of two arms for private boats which seem to be pretty constantly full.  There was a harbour master there when we arrived who moved a couple of boats so we could scrunch in.   He will also put boats out at an angle from the end of the pontoon.  The harbour is tight and mostly an anchor drop.  So unless if your boat isn’t terribly well behaved in reverse you’re as well reversing in to the harbour.   There are also a very few spaces either stern too our side too at the harbour entrance.   If the marina is full there is a yacht basin the other side of the ferry dock where you can anchor and dinghy into Naxos.  This looked OK, and a pretty viable alternative.

Shortly after arriving we spotted a fuel tanker which was an opportunity to re-fuel.  I knew we wouldn’t mange to get back on one tank and calculated we had used somewhere between 60 and 75 litres so far.  Yachts have fuel gauges, but they’re generally unreliable so it’s always a good idea to log your engine hours so you can calculate how much fuel you’ve used.  In our case a Volvo Penta 55hp probably consumes about 2.5 to 3 litres an hour.   It actually turned out to be 63 litres or 2.52 oer hour.  The fuel man was a really nice chap, drove his mini tanker to the end of the pontoon and fueled the boats using the longest host in the world (30 yards ish).  Should have taken a picture but will next year 😊😊

Two days in Naxos goes pretty quickly, exploring the streets and alleys, the castle and this morning walking to the huge arch on the hill by the harbour which is all that remains of the unfinished temple to Apollo.  Of course we’ve much enjoyed the cafes, bars and tavernas add well, none of which let us down.  As with the rest of the trip so far we’ve been met with the friendliest and most helpful people.  You do also see some odd things, in the back streets of Naxos we were nearly run over by a moped the driver of which was clutching a container of some sort and had an old man as a Co pilot carrying crutches.  Needless to say they were going at pace!

Looking forward to Siros, which had been described by a local as the most beautiful island in the Cyclades, mind you he was born on Siros 😉  in the meantime a couple of piccies of Naxos.


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