A surprise of archaeological interest awaits you as you reach the village of Apollonas on the northern side of the island of Naxos: An unexpected meeting with the unfinished Kouros statue of the ancient Greek god Dionysus. Just before the road starts to descend to reach the seaside village, a sign indicates the site of the ancient quarry which you’ll reach through a short passage of a few chiseled stairs. The 6th century marble statue is unfinished yet impressive: it’s 11 meters long and laid on the ground, with unclear characteristics and a mystical charm. At the top of the quarry a carved sign indicates the space where an ancient temple of god Apollo of the Greek mythology, probably stood. That’s also where the village of Apollonas takes its name from.
As you’ll be walking down the stairs, take a moment to enjoy the view towards the village and to breathe in the intense smell of wild thyme bushes all around. Apollonas is a charming, lively seaside village, known since ancient times as the most important port for marble shipments that were carried from there to the island of Delos as well as other destinations. The setting today is all very charming with the narrow bay open towards the Aegean Sea and yet quite protected by strong northern winds. Simple taverns and cafes, with friendly cats running all around waiting to be fed, occupy the pier to its length, while a couple of benches at the jetty’s edge offer beautiful view towards the village. It’s here where fishermen stock up their nets and where all children meet to compete in diving. Just behind the small, sandy beach and the taverns you can visit the beautiful church of St John, in Cycladic style of bright white and blue. Behind it, a small maze of locals’ residences and rentals extends, which is interesting to walk through. It will only take you a quarter of an hour to explore the whole village on foot, but this is part of its charm and authenticity. Apollonas is certainly a welcoming village, worth the 45km drive from Naxos town.