Walking or hiking amidst nature has to be one of the most invigorating recreational activities for the body, mind and soul. And on the island of Naxos and the isles of the Small Cyclades, the choice of freeing your mind on the trails varies from the easy to the more difficult, allowing visitors to take in a bit of exercise and a lot of nature, hard core or soft.
Often called the «green leaf» of the Aegean (because of its fertile land), with the highest mountain peak of the Cyclades, Naxos is a definite winner when it comes to approachable hiking trails in Greece.
Covering an area of 435 square miles, it boasts a mid-section of valleys, ravines, massifs and mountains (highest peak at 1003 metres) overlooking the vast Aegean blue.
Nestled throughout are spiritual, archaeological and historic monuments, geological boulders of wonder and a Naxian bounty of flora and fauna that intoxicates the senses.
Certain trails will take you through charming villages, while others to hills, and mountain peaks, not to mention the childhood home/cave of the mythical father of the Greek gods, Zeus.
Unique to this region of the Cyclades – Naxos and the isles of the Small Cyclades – is the concept of «hike hopping,» or taking in the trails of several islands, namely those on the more mountainous Iraklia (the largest of the Small Cyclades) and Donoussa.
Koufonissia and Schinoussa, more of a flatland in terms of landscape, offer hiking in the form of taking nature paths to beaches, villages, churches and settlements on the island.
Let’s hike to it!