Julie Greece 6 Comments

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) loop
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.

Greece Travel Guide

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 is the view across the rolling hills and the view of Myli and Melanes.

Road to Melanes

Naxos Village Walk

Melanes is the small village in the distance.




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 not know 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. 

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.

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

NAXOS: Learn how to plan your visit to Naxos in our article Best Things to Do in Naxos.

SANTORINI: For a full list of things to do, read our article Best Things to Do in Santorini. In our Santorini Itinerary, learn how to plan your visit, whether you have 1, 2 or 3 days. In our Santorini Hotel Guide, we list the best hotels in Santorini, organized by location and budget.

GREECE ITINERARY: Learn how to visit Athens, Santorini, Naxos and Mykonos in our 10 Day Greece Itinerary.

ATHENS: Plan your visit to Athens with our 2 Days in Athens Itinerary and our guide to the Best Hotels in Athens. We also have a detailed list of Things to do in Athens and a guide to the Best Views of Athens and the Acropolis.

EUROPE TRAVEL INSPIRATION: For more great ideas on where to go in Europe, check out our article 30 Beautiful Places to Visit in Europe and the 20 Best Hikes in Europe.


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



Naxos Greece Village Trail Hike


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Comments 6

  1. Avatar for Katherine

    We did this loop this morning and the first .9 miles were a slog. First down all the steps and dirt trail on a hillside to get to the trail. Then down slippery smooth stone steps to the bamboo part of the trail where we had to cross the streaming water twice.

    But the absolute worst part was just after the bamboo when it was a constant incline up rocky jagged steps (occasionally broken up by a steep dirt path with jagged rocks poking out of the dirt everywhere). It was miserable despite the pleasant temperature and breeze. At .7 miles, we seriously considered turning around because of this was the definition of “easy” we knew we couldn’t make 3.8 miles on that kind of trail.

    But then at .9 miles, we reached the first “road” and it never got that difficult again. We followed the signs for trail 6 all the way to the Kouri parking lot. And we never encountered areas with a faint trail walking through fields before Myli. The trail was always very clear and sometimes paved or stones, although there were many steep inclines both up and down.

    The dirt road back to Melanes was a long steady incline for about half of the way. Then a very steep grade down. Fortunately the last, steepest part was cement, but it was still challenging. I was incredibly grateful we ended up at the same level as the parking lot and we didn’t have to hood it back up through the steps of the town.

    For someone whose website is named “earthtrekkers” this might have been easy. For mere mortals who do not hike on the regular, the first part was really brutal.

  2. Avatar for Zoe

    My husband and I did this hike yesterday and loved it!! Thank you so much for the very post, the pictures and instructions were super helpful. It was very cool to see the villages.

    A few small notes in case helpful for others (the other comments were helpful for me):
    – We got a little confused at Myli, I thought we were supposed to walk past the pink and green building in the photo to continue on the trail, I didn’t realize that was the detour through Myli and to continue on the trail you just keep going straight.
    – There are two portapotties at the parking lot in Kouros that were actually pretty clean.
    – On the way back to Melanes, after leaving the parking lot and following the sign to Melanes there was a fork in the road after ~5 min or so with no sign, we stayed to the right here which took us in the general direction of the parking lot (but at higher elevation)

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
  3. Avatar for Kathy Creutzburg
    Kathy Creutzburg

    Hi I just walked part of the trail on July 6, 2023. I saw this article and thought it sounded intriguing. It was so worth it! We only walked from Melanes to Myli but it was because of a slow start- our ferry from Paro arrived two hours late so it was quite hot in the afternoon. Also, we did not realize the red markings and number 6 arrows were trail markers to follow. The markers actually begin on the sign in Melanes and will route you through to Myli and ultimately to the Anciet Quarries. We spent much time hiking to dead end points so the temperature was extremely hot by the time we hit Myli. Along the way, we saw many orchards overflowing with plums and mulberries. It was such a lovely walk to see this type of small and local terrace farming. I am so glad I took the hike. I would have hiked the whole route under other circumstances .

  4. Avatar for elena

    Hi there! Just to confirm-does this loop back to the car/original parking lot? It doesn’t appear to , but A from B doesn’t seem far- do you happen to know that distance if you walk directly?or if you can? Or do you follow the path back and if so, is the total 3.8 miles one way for total? THANK YOU!!!!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Yes, the original parking lot is the starting and ending point for this walk. The entire distance is 3.8 miles from start to finish. The map does not show the full loop because Google does not have the walking trail that connects Melanes and Myli but you can follow our text and photos for this section, plus there are a lot of trail signs along the way. Have a great hike! Cheers, Julie

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