COME SEE Filoti, Naxos. Greece.

FILOTI: THE GUIDE

REGION: South Aegean

ACCESSIBILITY: Hired vehicle, buses available during summer.

BEST TIME TO VISIT: 10am-6pm.

LOCATION: 33 mins from Naxos Port | Open in Google Maps

WALKING DISTANCE: N/A

TIME REQUIRED:  1 hour max, unless you plan to eat.

TOURIST RATING: Not as busy as their other hill villages

COST: N/A

OUR TIPS: Its still has all the charms of a small town which means the locals are friendly.

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FILOTI: THE EXPERIENCE

As told by Jackie Te-Aroha

Filoti is a small town with a population of less than 1500 located right at the foot of Mt Za or Mt Zeus as its more commonly known. Initially this village wasn’t on our itinerary as we had a big mountain to climb but after seeing the roadside cafes we definitely thought twice about stopping .

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The next day we found ourselves passing Filoti once again and decided this time we would stop. After chucking what could have been the tightest u-turn in the world I spotted a park on the left side of the road (remembering that in Europe we drive on the right side). I pulled up on the wrong side of the road and began reversing when we noticed two older gentleman making gestures at us. One of them was waving his arms back, back, stop, forward, stop, forward, forward. It took a minute, but we realised he was just helping us get in as close as possible to the curb and car in front. We were thankful and amused and walked towards them as soon as we got out. One man, Theo then began to show us his traditional shop. We looked around at all the old things for a minute and just as we were leaving the other man asked if we could take his photo. I was more than happy to do so! Theo handed me his card and asked if we could email them so I sent them off wishing them both health and happiness.

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After our brief interaction with Theo and his friend we walked towards what looked like the main square. But just before reaching it we spotted a donkey. Zades inner animal lover had us walking up a random street to see the sad eyed animal standing right at the edge of a raised platform. I kept my distance and tried to get a shot but as soon as it heard the shutter it’s eyes turned towards me. I had flashbacks of being chased by a bull-like cow in a field back in South Australia. I hastily began insisting we leave!

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We got back on track and arrived at the square that had initially intrigued us. Being relatively early in the morning few of the local stores were open so we had a quick walk around some of the small lanes before turning back towards the car.

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A little bit further up from where we had parked there was a tiny little church wedged in between two roads. It was incredibly detailed as if it were a full size church complete with alter, miniature photo frames beside it and the prettiest little interior decorations.

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Whilst Filoti wasn’t a planned stop on our visit to Naxos it was definitely a memorable one due to Theo, his friend and that angry/sad donkey. So, key take away point here is that when you’re out in the world it’s ok to be spontaneous as these are generally the moments that remain with us long after we leave a place.



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