CULTURE

A slightly different experience of the Cyclades

The largest and most fertile of the Cycladic islands, Naxos’s economy is not completely dependent on tourism, which has only really taken off the past few years, compared to nearby Paros or Myconos. Naxos has a flourishing livestock breeding industry, produces excellent wines, as well as local liqueur and sweets made from the citron tree Citrus medica that has been cultivated since antiquity. Among the archaeological sites worth visiting are those near the island’s capital on the western side of the island. With its huge gate, the Portara is part of an unfinished Archaic temple of Apollo, close by are the Archaeological, Byzantine and Folklore museums, the latter housed in a restored tower. What distinguishes the island’s architecture from that of the other Cyclades, however, are the manor houses or «towers» dotting the island and built during the Venetian occupation from the 13th to 15th centuries AD. Most are found in the central part of the island, such as the Barozzi Tower in the village of Halki and the Markopolitis Tower in Akadimi, and a number of them are on the routes described in the guidebook.