Although Lionas Beach and the Apollonas Kouros were not part of our original plans when we visited Naxos, Greece, they turned out to be a fun addition to our trip. I had heard about both places, but they were further north than we had originally planned on venturing. The captian on our Naxos boat trip told us about this area, as he had family there. He spoke so fondly of the the area we decided to see it for ourselves.
Lionas Beach and the Apollonas Kouros are located in the Northeast tip of Naxos, Greece. It is about an hour drive from Chora and also about an hour drive from where we were staying on Plaka Beach.
The Drive There
After hiking on Mt.Zas, we headed for Lionas Beach. The drive was very pretty on the way, but the road down to the beach was quite narrow and curvy. I was very glad Steve was driving!
Lunch Time at Lionas
Of course, by the time we arrived, we were starving and as always, we were ready for something to eat! There are two tavernas at the beach almost next to each other. The one closest to the beach was recommend to us and that was where we ate. We were so glad we did. This family taverna was exactly what we have come to love about Greece! Trip Advisor Loves it too! The name of the Taverna is NTOYZENIA.
The Mrs. cooked in the kitchen and the Mr. grilled outdoors! Iman was one of the choices being cooked that day and that is what I ordered. Steve wanted seafood and shrimp is what had been caught that morning so he was very happy and ordered it grilled! While waiting, we were given bread, nuts and wine. I think the wine may have been homemade. All of the food was amazing! They spoke mainly Greek, which I am trying to learn, their son was there and spoke English well so he filled in what I didn’t understand.
Our lunch was spectacular and after lunch the gentleman brought fresh grapes and an aperitif to our table. They were the most delicious grapes I ever had! Even though we were in Naxos, I am almost certain the aperitif was Raki which is popular in Crete. We really enjoyed lunch here, and even with the language barrier loved the friendly and hospitable atmosphere.
This was not your typical soft sandy, touristy beach. Lionas Beach like many beaches in Greece is covered with rock. This particular beach is relatively small and covered with large beautiful smooth rocks. We walked the beach past the tiny village along the coast for a short while. There were very few people out and about. Actually, other than us, we only ran into one other couple while wandering about. We did not stay as long as we would have liked at Lionas Beach as we did want to stop at Apollonas and see the third Naxos Kouros.
Apollonas is another small village in Naxos, Greece, just over 20 km from Lionas Beach. Although it took us about 45 minutes as we had to drive back up from Lionas and then back down to Apollonas. The drive down to Apollonas was not as curvy or steep as it was to Lionas, all in all, a much better drive.
Apollonas is much larger than Lionas and was busier than we had expected. I wouldn’t say it was crowded, but definitely busier. It was hot, therefore a Freddo Cappuccino and Freddo Espresso were perfect before meandering around the waterfront.
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 also one near Apollonas. They are all lying down, unfinished and abandoned for unknown reasons.
The Apollonas Kouros is the largest of the Kouros on Naxos Island measuring around 10 meters! He was much easier to access than the other two Kouros we visited. Just outside of Apollonas, off the road, up a few steps and there he was! Very magnificent! You can click on this link to read about the Kouros of Melanes which is about the other two Kouros of Naxos.
Although out of our way and a bit of a drive we did enjoy visiting both Lionas Beach and the Apollonas Kouros. I was glad we were able to see all three Kouros on Naxos. The drive was quite beautiful and on our way back as we drove along the west coast of Naxos.
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