When in Naxos, Greece make sure to visit the Kouros near the picturesque village of Melanes. During our September 2021 trip, after we explored Kalamitsia Monastery, we spent the rest of the morning walking the trails that lead to the Naxos Kouros at Melanes.
What are Kouros?
Kouros is the name given to Greek statues of a young male that represents youth. In Naxos, the Kouros are very large statues and are made of Naxian marble. There are three Kouros in Naxos, two near Melanes and one near Apollonas. They are all lying down, unfinished and abandoned. This blog page is about the two near Melanes. Built in the 6th century, one statue is near the village and called the Flerio Melanes Kouros. You will find the other Kouros a bit further in an ancient quarry referred to as the Faragi Kouros.
The Kouros are located South East of the village of Melanes (A). To drive there though, head North first to the main road and then turn South East. There is a small parking area (B) where you can leave your car and easily follow the signs to the first and second Kouros.
Path to the First Kouros
You will find the path to the Flerio Kouros well marked and also easy to follow. Just a short distance from where you park. It was not at all crowded when we were here, just a few other people.
The Flerio Kouros is 4.7 meters long and weighs about 5 tons. It is an unfinished statue as it lacks detail. He lies in a shady garden and has broken legs and no feet. Most likely why he was never finished.
Path to Second Kouros
The path to the Second Kouros is also well marked. You will reach a gate after a short walk. Go through the gate, closing it behind you and continue up the trail. It is a very lovely trail and also has some great views. You can also see a marble quarry in the distance. Marble is all over Naxos.
The Faragi Kouros is just up the hill from the gate. Not too far and also not very steep. This giant is 5 meters long and and he also weighs 7 tons. He too is unfinished and missing his feet, but his feet are located near him. He is laying up a hill, however, he looks like he had been dropped or he fell.
Where We Ate
After a busy morning we were hungry so we stopped in Melanes to eat lunch. We ate at Arolithos. It was a great choice as the food was fantastic and the view was especially awesome! We loved that instead of photos on the wall there were mirror! I enjoyed a baked eggplant dish. Steve had breaded fried cheese with a spicy sauce. We also had bread and dip and orange cake. We especially enjoyed the ambiance. As a matter of fact, this was one of our favorite places to eat.
To sum up, the Kouros of Melanes is a must do in Naxos. In fact, I would hightly recommend it. All in all it was a fun time.
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