Gilly Cameron Cooper
OVER THE TOP ON DAY 4 OF THE NEW HIKING TRAIL ON NAXOS ISLAND
This 11.5km section of the cross-island trail bridges the limestone massif commanded by Mount Fanari. Before leaving Apiranthos have an early kafedaki (small coffee) on the village’s marble terrace and bone up on island geology and pre-history at the small but revelatory geological and archaeological museums. The village is stacked up the steep flanks of Mount Fanari, and you can divert to the peak for an eagle-eye view of island and surrounding seas. The route is high in mountain bastion of the east, where it plummets to the coast, then surfs a crest of age-old marble path to the island’s west side.
It’s wild, remote and magnificent. Drop to deep green valleys with crumbling traces of a once-thriving rural settlement, to Keramoti on a pinnacle of rock in a deep valley of streams, and over the geological crossroads of Stavros and down to the (relatively) lively village of Koronos cradled beneath Mavrovouno (Black Mountain). #naxosisland #greekislandwalking #europeanlongdistancetrails #E4 #naxosislandtrek #hikinggreece @ciceronepress.co.uk
cover pic: abandoned settlement on the top of Naxos world, looking over the island to the W coast
1. The path to Koronos village
2. Flight of marble steps lead up through Apiranthos village
3. Out of Apiranthos, look down over the E coast of Naxos and the minor Cyclades
4 and 5. Rising above the land that falls to the E coast of Naxos
6. Tavli the dog surfs the crest of the Fanari range to look W
7. A collapsible-ruler of a marble path winds down from the Fanari spur
8. You're unlikely to see anyone else on this remote section on the flanks of Fanari
9. The oasis of Keramoti in the northern mountains
10. A solitary spot of cultivation above the abandoned village of Sifones
11. Arrive in the mountain village of Koronos, where, in the platsa (square) you can find tavernas open all year, and rooms to let.