Naxos Village Trail

Walking the Naxos Village Trail: Melanes, Myli & the Kouroi

Julie Greece Leave a Comment

The center of Naxos is mountainous and dotted with small, picturesque villages. It is a beautiful area and it looks remotely different from the landscapes we saw on Mykonos and Santorini. Naxos is green, forested, idyllic, and much quieter than the other islands.

If you are looking for a very nice, easy walk that takes you through several villages and to one historical site, this is perfect for you. Start and end in the town of Melanes, walk on ancient marble paths, visit the Kouroi of Flerio, and enjoy the views along the way. This wonderful walk only takes a few hours of your time and it is a great way to explore this part of Naxos.

Walking the Naxos Village Trail

Quick Facts about the Walk

For most of the time you will be on marble walking paths and dirt roads. Occasionally, you will walk on dirt trails and through grassy fields. A pair of good walking shoes is ideal but I did this walk in a pair of sandals.

Distance: 6.1 km (3.8 miles)
Total Ascent: 300 meters (1000 feet)
Difficulty: Easy
Length of Time: 2 to 3 hours

Getting Here

This walk starts and ends in Melanes. From Naxos City, it takes 15 minutes to drive here. There is a very small parking lot in town (GPS coordinates: 37°05’26.9″N 25°26’14.7″E) and this is where we parked. Parking here is free.

This parking lot is located on the top of the hill in Melanes. The trail starts at the bottom of town. It’s a downhill walk to get to the trailhead (GPS coordinates: 37°5’24.473″ N 25°26’20.771″ E).

Getting to the trailhead can be a little tricky. The roads in Melanes are unnamed and staircases connect the roads as they switchback through the town. You can wander through town until you get down to the lowest road or walk along the roads from the parking lot to the trailhead as I marked them on this map.

Map of Melanes, Myli, and the Kouroi. The route from Melanes to Myli and the detour to Flerio Kouros is not included on the route because Google does not yet have the data for these two walking trails. However, we have lots of photos from these trails so you know what to expect.

How to Use This Map: Click the tab in the top left hand corner of the map to view the layers (points of interest and the walking route). You can click the check marks to hide or show layers. If you click the icons on the map, you can get more information about each point of interest.

If you click the star next to the title of the map, this map will be added to your Google Maps account. To view it on your phone or computer, open Google Maps, click the menu button, go to “Your Places,” click Maps, and you will see this map on your list.

Walking through Melanes

Walking through Melanes

 

Melanes Naxos

In Melanes

 First Trail Sign

Trail marker on the edge of town. To get to the trailhead, continue on this lower road until you get to the trail marker in the next photo.

 

Melanes Trail Sign

Start of the trail in Melanes

Walking to Myli

From the trailhead, continue the walk downhill on the stone path. You will walk through a dense grove of bamboo, past old stone walls and the small yards and farms of the people who live here, and past old, crumbling buildings.

The path changes from an easy-to-follow stone path to faint, dirt trails that wander through fields of wildflowers and grassy fields. At several spots, a faint trail will break off from the “main” trail. These forks in the trail are unmarked, which had us questioning which way to go. We always stayed on the more distinct trail and this got us to Myli. If you take one of these detours, it might lead you to Kourounochori, another town that can be included in the villages walk.

Stone Trail

Old Stone Wall

Old House on Naxos

Faded Trail in Naxos

The trail can be very faint in some spots.

 Old Building

Walking to Myli

Naxos Hiking Sign

Pink Building in Mili

When you reach this pink and green building you made it to Myli.

Once in Myli, I made a quick detour into the town but didn’t see much that was interesting. Feel free to detour if you are curious…it won’t take long because Myli is tiny!

Myli to the Kouroi

Once past Myli, the views open up a little bit more. You trade the forests and bamboo for olive groves, giant clusters of cacti, and views of the rolling hills.

The path is much easier to follow here. For most of the time, you are on a stone path and you walk along stone walls. Occasionally, a sign labeled “6” marks the trail.

Naxos 6 Trail

Hiking on Naxos

Hike Naxos

Walking to Kouros Naxos

The Kouroi

The trail ends at a small parking lot. This is the lot where people park to visit the Kouroi, if they are not touring the area on their own two feet. Follow the signs to Kouros.

Kouros Parking Lot

At first, you will walk on a wide, concrete road. Take a right turn and follow the signs to Kouros of Flerio.

In this area of Naxos, craftsmen in the 6th and 7th centuries BC quarried rock and sculpted statues. The statue that is lying on the ground here dates back to 570 BC.

Kouros Naxos

Walk back to the wide concrete path and turn right to continue to the second statue. Near the end of the path, you will turn right to walk on a dirt path. The path is very easy to follow and ends roughly 200 meters later at the second statue. It’s easier to spot the two feet than the giant statue lying on the ground, since it blends in with the surrounding rock.

Naxos Quarry

Trail to Kouros

Flerio Kouros

The second Kouros

 

Naxos Hiking

The view from the second Kouros.

Return to the parking lot.

Return to Melanes

Once at the parking lot, follow the signs for Melanes. This final leg of the walk is on a rocky, dirt road. It’s a very nice walk and the best part are the views across the rolling hills and the views of Myli and Melanes.

Road to Melanes

Naxos Village Walk

Melanes is the small village in the distance.

 Melanes

Melanes

 

Best Walk on Naxos

Blue Dome Church in Naxos

Blue dome church and a horse on the loose in Melanes.

 Hike Naxos Greece

Restaurant Recommendation: O Vasilis is a great traditional Greek restaurant in Melanes. We ate lunch here before starting the walk.

O Vasilis

Have More Time?

The walk I just described is part of a bigger loop through the area. You can also walk to Ano Potamia and Kato Potamia before returning to Melanes. Since we did not do this, I do how difficult it is to follow the trail between these towns.

We ended up driving to Ano Potamia and then hiking to Apano Kastro, the ruins of an ancient castle. It was wonderful, maybe even better than this walk through the villages. I will be writing about this soon so stay tuned if you are interested.

If you like the idea of doing this hike, or something longer, and prefer to have a guide, check out NaxosHiking.com.

When We Did This

We did this walk in mid-April. It was a very windy day and temperatures hovered around 15°C (60°F). We saw one other group of people on the trail and several families at the Kouros.

Hiking on Naxos

A hike not to be missed on Naxos is the hike to Mount Zas (Mount Zeus). This is a true hike with a hefty amount of elevation gain on rocky trails. Along the way, visit the cave where Zeus was raised. Once at the top of Mount Zas, enjoy the view and get bragging rights that you hiked to the highest point in the Cyclades.

How to Hike Mount Zas


Are you planning a visit to Naxos? If you have any questions about this walk or if you want to share your experience, comment below!

More Information for Your Trip to Greece:

Planning a trip to Greece? Read all of our articles in our Greece Destination Guide.

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Naxos Greece Village Trail Hike

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