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Apiranthos Village
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Apiranthos (or Apirathos), Naxos Island

The mountainous very well known traditional village of Apeiranthos is situated at a distance of 26 kilometers eastern to the town of Naxos (Chora). The village is found at an altitude of 600 to 800 meters on the mountainside of mountain Fanari. The locals call their village “t’ Aperathou” or “Marmarino Chorio” (“the village of marble”) and according to the local tradition the origin of its residents is from Crete; their ancestors settled here in the 10th century, a movement that was repeated several times ever since. As a result, even today the idiom, the customs and the costumes of Apeiranthos strongly remind Crete and more particularly the villages of Sfakia and Anoghia, well known for the rebellious character of their people. The most famous family from Crete is the family of Protopapadakis, several members of which became well known politicians of the Greek State.

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Several intellectual personalities are also originated from this village as the eminent professor of History in the University of Athens Vassilios Sfyroeras, the sculptor Polykretis, the scholar George Zevgolis, the poetess Dialechti Zevgoli-Glezou and most of all the famous partisan of the World War II, Manolis Glezos who, in the night of the 31st of May 1941 had removed the nazi flag from the Acropolis and who, later on, excelled both in political and social struggles and in letters; he was also elected president of the village council and contributed a pioneering work not only for Apeiranthos, but also for the rest of Greece.

Today the village counts more than 800 permanent residents who are mainly occupied in stock breeding, agriculture and manufacture.

Facilities for accommodation are few in the village, however the impressive settlement with the medieval features not only is worth the visit, but it is recommended that you spend at least a whole day to stroll about and see it.

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The whole village is worth seeing. Strolling about the narrow streets of the old settlement you will see several two-storey stone houses, some of them mansions, and you will pass below nice narrow arches. But what is the most striking is the extensive use of marble in the constructions; it is exactly to this feature that the village owes its local name. Don’t miss to see the mansions of the Venetian governors of the island, Sommaripa, Castri and Bardani, as well as the impressive tower-like house of Zevgolis, built in the 17th century and standing on a high rock at the entrance of the village. There are several interesting churches of the Byzantine, Post-Byzantine and more recent times, both within the village and in the area around. Among several others we should notice the church of Panaghia Aperathitissa dedicated to Virgin Mary, with the excellent icon screen of marble, the church of Aghios Antonios, built in the 19th century and Aghia Paraskevi on the higher end of the village, from where you will enjoy a breathtaking view.

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As it happens with other villages in Naxos, Apeiranthos is very active in culture. The village has five museums gathering the rich finds of the area. The Archaeological museum houses exhibits mainly dated in the Early Cycladic period (3rd millennium b.C.), found in the ancient cemeteries and sites of the area. There is a Geological museum housed in the building of the elementary school and a Folk museum, where you may see several objects of the traditional every day life of the area, along with a collection of nice sets of clothes. In the museum of Natural History you will see interesting samples of the fauna and flora of the island. Finally, don’t miss to visit the original museum of the Culture of Children of the Aegean, where you will see very interesting exhibits. After all this, tired from your strolling around and watching the never-ending sight seeing of the village, choose one of the scenic squares of the village and have your coffee or your aperitif under the shade of the big trees. Before leaving the village, don’t miss to buy a sample of the famous traditional hand woven clothes still produced in the village.

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If you are still looking for interesting sightseeing, it is worth seeing the old windmills, the Memorial of the Struggles of People and the building of the Cultural Center with exhibitions all year round.

If you are fan of hiking, you may follow the footpath leading to the Byzantine church of Aghios Ioannis Theologos (St. John the Theologian), where you will arrive after some half an hour of walking and the church of Aghia Kyriaki after one hour, both at the Northeast.

At a distance of some 3 kilometers southwestern to the village it is situated the small country church of Aghios Ioannis; once there you will enjoy a breathtaking view and take excellent photos.

Being in the inland, the village obviously does not offer a beach for swimming, but the nice sandy beach of Moutsouna at the eastern coast of the island is not far away. Moutsouna is also the unique natural port of Naxos and in the past it was here that the ships were loaded with the emery extracted from the mines high on the mountain and brought down through a system of cable railway still preserved today. Apart from Moutsouna you may also swim at the more remote beaches of Psili Ammos (meaning “fine sand”) or Lionas, both at the eastern coast of the island.

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Two religious local feasts (“panighyri”) take place in the village on the 15th of August celebrating the Assumption of Virgin Mary and on the name day of Aghios Ioannis (St. John), celebrated on the 29th of August.

In case of health problems a local Medical Center is available in the village. For other services you should return to the town of Naxos (Chora), 26 kilometers far from Apeiranthos to the West.

Access to the village is easy by bus from the town of Naxos (Chora), as well as by rented or private car and motorbikes.
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