COME SEE Chalkio Village, Naxos. Greece.
CHALKIO VILLAGE: THE GUIDE
REGION: South Aegean
ACCESSIBILITY: Car, bike/scooter or ATV
BEST TIME TO VISIT: Early morning til brunch
LOCATION: 31 mins from Naxos port| Open in Google Maps
WALKING DISTANCE: N/A
TIME REQUIRED: 1 hour
TOURIST RATING: Popular spot for a quick stop
OUR TIPS:Go early, leave early.
COME SEE OUR GREECE GALLERIES
CHALKIO VILLAGE: THE EXPERIENCE
As told by Jackie Te-Aroha
Once you’ve got yourself some wheels the first thing you need to do is get to Chalkio, and that’s an adventure in itself! There are two roads you can take depending on whether you’re driving from Naxos town or further south near Agia Anna with each taking between 25-30 minutes. The roads are steep with sharp corners and immediate drop offs so take the advice of our car hirer and beware of speeding and ‘tdrrunk’ (AKA under the influence) local drivers.
Chalkio is in the centre of Naxos and was once the capital of the island. When you arrive, find yourself a park on along the outside road or dedicated carparks and wonder in via the laneways. No matter which way you venture in you’ll inevitably end up in the middle. There’s a large open square shaded by the foliage of the overarching trees that provides a beautiful environment for an alfresco meal.
Just near here you’ll stumble across what’s quickly becoming an iconic Instagram photo op so get your phone out and grab a quick shot before moving on to browse the stores. Or if your more like us, unfold your tripod get out the mirrorless and spend a good 10-15 minutes trying to capture a pleasing composition, running back and forth every 10 seconds until you nail it. And don’t worry about holding up the Queue because there isn’t one, especially late September.
When browsing the small eccletic collection of stores you’ll come past one called Vallindras Kitron Distillery. Kitron is a liquor similar to that of Ouzo, Grappa or Moonshine but is made from the leaves of the local fruit Citron. The distillery is free to enter and offer tastings and if you like you can pick up a small keepsake in the first room before leaving. Through the small courtyard you’ll see another room which showcases the tools that have been used to distill Kitron since it opened in 1896! Now that’s my kind of history.
After a tasting of Kitron or five you can head back to your car or continue outward to explore the church of Agios Georgios Diasoritis and wait for the blood alcohol levels return to zero. Unless you want to give the restaurant in the centre a try, we suggest skipping the food at this stop because the pastries and coffees we tried were more than underwhelming.
If your planning an itinerary for the island of Naxos then add Chalkio village even if it is just for a quick shot of Kitron or that photo op!
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