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Visiting MONI village – an underrated village on the Greek island of Naxos

Moni Village

I would like to share about Moni village, situated up to a green ridge of mountainous (central) Naxos. It’s my mother’s hometown and offers a unique cultural experience that is often overlooked by travelers.

Moni is a hidden gem village that stands alone, without any advertisement or promotion. It is often underrated, but offers a unique experience of raw natural beauty, privacy, sustainable tourism, and an authentic glimpse into the local way of life and cultural traditions. With only 200 inhabitants, the village is full of life, but remains non-mainstream and is not actively promoted by locals or residents.  

Moni village is a path less traveled that’s definitely worth exploring

What makes Moni village truly charming is its unspoiled authenticity, simplicity, and peacefulness. Unlike other crowded and popular tourist destinations in Naxos, Moni is not heavily marketed and remains relatively undiscovered. It offers visitors the opportunity to experience a slower-paced lifestyle, as well as the warm hospitality and the sense of connection from the locals. You can leisurely stroll through the narrow streets and alleyways, appreciate the traditional architecture, and peacefully observe the daily routines of the villagers.

Moni cobble streets

Its Views & Energy

Moni village is a place where time appears to have come to a standstill. It’s surrounded by lush greenery and boasts various historic sites, such as the oldest Byzantine Church of Balkans – Panagia Drosiani, remnants of classical windmills and predominantly stone-crafted dwellings. Many people know Moni as the “Balcony of Naxos” since it’s located high up on the undulating hills of the island, providing awe-inspiring panoramas of the stunning surroundings. Situated on the island’s heart edge, Moni village delivers a sweeping vista as far as the eye can see, that spans from the Aegean Sea to the rugged mountains and hills of the interior, making it a sight to behold.

Houses Moni

The natural position is so wisely chosen and harmonic to an environment that constitutes, admittedly, one of the most beautiful natural “balconies” to the Aegean Sea. Α “balcony” is like a non expected, open embrace, that smiles openly to the sun and gazes into the impressive  landscape in front. This landscape, following the bubbling gurgling stream with the old stone bridge precisely next to the village, overflow as a torrent in the roots, shaping initially a green basin full of cultures, while, unexpectedly it tears in two parts the mountainous volume and leads hedonically in the sea, that is visible from Moni, even if it is situated in distance of 18 km. from Chora of Naxos!

Inside Moni village

This incredible view, when the sky takes a clear blue color, reveals everything around, far to the Aegean Sea and allows the observer to see even the opposite at Paros. The view, therefore, this, in connection with the cultivated soil  comes down from the ridge of Moni and extends in a big distance in front, surrounded by a ring of harmonic mountainous volumes in natural shapes of pyramids with protagonist the Zas mountain, the “eagle shaped” mountain that inspired the great poetry Odysseus Elytis who described it precisely in its leading work “Axion Esti”

 …as the shades above in the mountain, with the raise of  sun, 

create the picture of  a proud eagle with open wings 

renders Moni village a unique energy place, that revives the body and the spirit in the minimum time and creates a feeling of euphoria and energy to everyone that experiences this condition.

Moni Square Platsa

Its Residents

As a result of their self-sufficiency, the residents of Moni do not rely heavily on external sources for their food and other necessities. They are autonomous and take great care in producing and preparing their own food, which includes mostly everything a home needs. Visitors to the village can sample these local products and experience the authentic flavors of Naxos.

Gathering of Local Women

The residents of Moni exhibit a strong sense of community, take pride in their self-sufficient lifestyle, and know how to have a good time, which is reflected in their frequent gatherings and year-round celebrations. These simple gatherings often involve a lot of laughter, storytelling, and good-natured teasing. Visitors passing by are welcomed with open arms and are often invited to join in the festivities and experience the local way of life. 

One of the most significant events is the annual raki-making festival in November, which attracts both locals and tourists who come to enjoy free food and drinks. These festivals offer a unique opportunity for everyone to come together and enjoy traditional cuisine, beverages, music, and dancing, while also celebrating the harvest and livestock of the village.

Raki Festival Moni

Its Fertile Region and Produce

The village is known for its sustainable agriculture practices, with its inhabitants using organic and traditional methods to grow their crops and raise their own livestock. The fertile land and abundant water supply of this region coming from the spring of mountain Fanari have helped create a verdant paradise, making it one of the most agriculturally productive areas not just on the island, but in Cyclades. The region is particularly famous for its fruiterer trees, gardens with green vegetables, the most delicious tomatoes you can ever eat, water mellows, its vineyards, olive groves, citrus orchards and other crops that thrive in the sunny and temperate climate. 

Moni village Naxos

The villagers of Moni produce high-quality olive oil, the best organic wine on the island, and have lived in harmony with their land for generations, preserving the traditional ways of life that have been passed down from one generation to the next. 

Two other important occupations of residents of Moni are cheese-making and vines. It deserves you to taste the pure flavor cheeses of pasturages, but also the wine that is produced by the households of the settlement, and not only the wine, but also the exceptional raki (arrack).  You can find all these in the restaurants of the village and you can accompany with their “heady” sweet or peppery flavor, and the traditional mezes (titbit) that you will be served hospitably there.

Do not forget to also order homemade spoon sweets or to buy some. These sweets are usually served as a small treat with coffee or tea or as a dessert after a meal. They’re unbeatable! Pefko, a little tavern located at the beginning of the village, is known for offering incredible spoon sweets and a variety of homemade liqueurs, which are made using local fruits and herbs. The tavern’s spoon sweets are made using traditional recipes and locally sourced fruits, resulting in a delicious and authentic flavor. These liqueurs are a great way to experience the unique flavors of the mountainous Naxos and make for a perfect souvenir or gift.

The Oldest Byzantine Monument in Balkans – Panagia Drosiani

Panagia Drosiani

This place, Moni village, even if it is “burned” by the sun and by the full Greek sky, does never “burn” humans. Ethereal dew overflows from everywhere and caresses the gardens, sending a handful of golden but invisible rain above in the thirsty ground. Perhaps for this reason, precisely in this place, from ancient years, it was the natural place of the Goddess of wisdom, that was worshiped in Antiquity as “Athens Drosos” and that later, when Christianity prevailed, became “Virgin Mary Drosiani” or Panagia Drosiani.  For this, however, remained the tradition that the icon of Virgin Mary of Drosiani (refresh = drosizo), because she diffused dew in the environment, but also she “sweat” moreover, each time that Moni and the residents  were threatened by some danger, warning them thus, in time. 

This icon is situated in a very ancient paleochristian chapel, in a small distance from the village. The church constitutes a very important monument with frescos even from the 6th century, concurrent or even more ancient from those at Ravenna. The older part of the chapel, with the primitive conical room and the three niches in the sides, is built with naked stonework and plates in the roof, while the place of manufacture leads as to the conclusion that there had been, probably, situated a  mausoleum up to a moment in the past.

Housing, Architecture & Sustainability

Besides being a natural “battery” of energy, Moni is a village that deserves to be visited by all that come to Naxos, because it is a traditional village with old quaint homes, narrow streets, cobbled streets, and a strong commitment to sustainability by preserving its natural environment and cultural heritage.

One of the most significant sustainability efforts in Moni is the promotion of eco-tourism, which encourages visitors to experience the natural beauty of the village while minimizing their impact on the environment. The village has a strong tradition of using locally sourced materials, such as stone and olive wood, for construction and crafts, reducing the need for transportation and minimizing the carbon footprint.

Moni village streets

Stone dominates everywhere in the architecture, thus the craftsmen of the stone of Moni were always famous and manufactured a lot of work and other structures that blend seamlessly into the natural environment (bridges, booms, walls, etc) all over the island. The houses are not only beautiful but also functional, with many of them having stood the test of time for hundreds of years. Visitors to the village can admire the skillful work of the stone craftsmen and appreciate the natural beauty of the stone buildings and walls that are an integral part of the landscape.

The renowned village of Apeiranthos was constructed by the talented craftsmen builders of Moni, who traversed the Fanari mountain on foot to reach their destination.

The area surrounding the village is rich in natural stone, providing an abundant and sustainable resource for the stone craftsmen. The craftsmen take great care in selecting the perfect stones for each project, ensuring that the colors and textures of the stones complement each other and create a harmonious overall effect.

Thus, after you reach the war memorial, in the beginning of the village, and after leaving your car, you can walk in the graphic alleys of the village and to see first of all the small  “platza” (square) of the village. On your walk, you will see two old olive presses and a remnant of an old Venetian Tower in the Eastern part of the village and finally, the source of Moni and the well in the other end of the village.

Loom Weaving Textiles created only by the Women of Moni

But not only the men of Moni are famous as craftsmen of stone, famous, for other reasons, are also the women of the village. They are famous all over the world for their art in loom weaving, thus they traditionally practice textile art and they teach it with pious consequences to young girls. The weavers in Moni use a pedal loom to create their fabrics, which involves using foot pedals to raise and lower the warp threads while the weft threads are woven through.

Loom Weaving Textiles

The textiles they produce are often made with natural materials such as wool, 100% cotton, and silk, and feature intricate patterns and designs. Many of the designs are inspired by the natural environment and traditional motifs, such as geometric shapes and floral patterns.

The weaving process in Moni is still done by hand, using traditional techniques that have been passed down through generations. This means that each textile produced is unique and has its own character and history. The weavers take great pride in their craft and are committed to preserving this important part of their cultural heritage. Over 20 women nowadays continue this tradition in the village.

Wood Carving 

Moreover, another very interesting art here is the wood carving, woodcut in olive. 

Visitors can see artisans at work creating beautiful wood carvings from olive wood. There is a workshop located a little outside the village, on the way to Halki, adjacent to Kalliope Taverna.

Olive wood is a popular material for carving in Greece due to its durability and unique grain patterns. The artisans at the workshop in Moni use traditional techniques to carve intricate designs and shapes into the wood, creating beautiful and functional objects such as bowls, utensils, and truly unique decorative items.

Visitors to the workshop can watch the artisans at work, learn about the history and techniques of olive wood carving, and even purchase some of the handmade items to take home as souvenirs. The wood carving workshop in Moni is a great way to experience the traditional arts and crafts of Naxos and Greece.

Local Taverns & Shops

Apart from the Pefko tavern located at the entrance of the village, there are three additional taverns that I cannot recommend specifically, as they are all owned by my relatives. However, I can give you a rundown of what each of them offers, and you can decide for yourself which one to try once you have a chance to visit them. Keep in mind that this is just an informal suggestion.

The Crazy Shrimp – A taverna that specializes in shrimp, crispy fried calamari, and pita souvlaki made with local meat, particularly during summer afternoons. Apart from that, they also have a daily menu board where they offer a variety of other dishes. Summer nights here are a feast. In the evenings, The Crazy Shrimp comes alive with a vibrant atmosphere of live music and locals flocking to be entertained.

*** The owner is my sister-in-law’s sister!

Taverna Panorama – The Panorama is the taverna in the middle that boasts a balcony with breathtaking views. Feast on mouthwatering traditional Greek dishes like moussaka, pastitsio, tzatziki, and a selection of other dishes that change daily, all made with the freshest ingredients produced by the owners. They also offer delectable local desserts. Their pita souvlaki made with succulent chopped meat is particularly delicious. 

*** The owners are my sister’s in-laws!

The Paradisos – During the day, The Paradisos operates as a traditional café- kafeneio, but in the evenings, it transforms into a Café Bar Grill, offering delectable pita souvlaki made with locally-sourced meat, as well as Greek salad and other regional specialties. The restaurant also features a secluded balcony on the second floor, providing stunning views over the island.

*** The owner is my mother’s cousin!

*** Everyone is related.

Marble Exhibition 

The  local sculptors’ marble exhibition is an exquisite display of artistic mastery, showcasing the talent of skilled sculptors from Moni village. Each sculpture is crafted from the finest Naxos marble, renowned for its quality and unique veining patterns that lend each piece a distinctive character. As you wander through the exhibition, you’ll be struck by the sheer beauty and variety of the sculptures on display – from intricate, lifelike figures to abstract forms that challenge your perceptions of space and form. The exhibition is a celebration of the island’s rich artistic heritage and a testament to the skill and creativity of its local sculptors. Whether you’re an art enthusiast or simply appreciate the beauty of finely crafted objects, this exhibition is not to be missed.

Overall – Raw & Pure Life

In addition to agriculture, the local economy in Moni is supported during the summer by discerning travelers who are looking for unique experiences to forgotten spots on the map. The region’s scenic beauty, its rich history, and traditional way of life attracts visitors that are looking for that different vacation with true experiences, those who want to live the real authentic Greek way of living – raw as it is and pure!

Whether you’re exploring the local countryside, savoring the delicious local cuisine, you’re a nature lover, history buff, or simply soaking up the sun, and just looking for a relaxing escape, Moni village has it all.  Don’t miss out on the opportunity to discover this gem of a village, trust me, it’ll be a trip to remember!

In essence, the beauty of an unadvertised village lies in its ability to transport you to a simpler, more peaceful way of life, away from the hustle and bustle of modern society. It offers a chance to connect with nature and with the locals, to experience their culture and traditions firsthand, and to leave feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

So if you’re looking for a place where you can escape, slow down, and enjoy the simple pleasures of life, Moni is a rare destination. This is a village where time has indeed stood still….  

ELaiolithos Luxury Retreat Hotel

ELaiolithos view from Moni

Lastly, I would like to mention that Moni is also home to the ELaiolithos Luxury Retreat, located just outside the village, which is a stunning and eclectic accommodation option for those who wish to immerse themselves in the tranquility and natural beauty of the region.  

On the premises, you’ll find a restaurant open to the public, that is a true culinary gem that serves up delectable healthy dishes made exclusively only from locally organic sourced ingredients. The menu is expertly crafted to showcase the unique flavors of the region, with a special focus on vegan and vegetarian options, as well as an explosion of flavors in each bite. You won’t want to miss out on the best crepe recipes you’ve ever tasted. The homemade jams are simply unbeatable. The restaurant also offers an impressive selection of craft cocktails, each one made with fresh herbs and homemade purees, adding a unique twist to your drink. With a commitment to quality and a focus on showcasing the best of the region, this restaurant is a must-visit for any foodie!

ELaiolithos is a fantastic destination to savor breathtaking scenery, indulge in mouth-watering regional dishes, relish in the pleasant atmosphere, experience sincere hospitality, connect with fellow human beings, and have fun!

We are waiting for you, and not only wish, but we are sure for your pleasant stay here, with the beautiful mountainous embrace, with the good company, but also the natural energy, the health, and the celestial dew!

Article written by Copyright © Helen Marakis. All rights reserved

Farm-to-fork Food in Naxos – We Know the Hens that Lay Our Eggs

Farm-to-fork Food in Naxos

Have you ever experienced a true “farm-to-fork” experience in Naxos? If you haven’t, then you are missing out on one of the most memorable culinary experiences out there, and if you haven’t experienced ELaiolithos yet, today you will learn more than one reason why we should meet soon. 

The island of Naxos is a hidden culinary treasure in Greece, with a rich history of high-quality food production and enviable Mediterranean beauty. Known worldwide for its potatoes, unique-smelling cheeses, and high-quality meat, Naxos is a self-sufficient island that produces everything, and exports its products throughout Greece and abroad.

Farm-to-fork Food in Naxos

At the heart of this wonderful island is ELaiolithos, our luxury eco-hotel that incorporates sustainable practices and a focus on local, fresh, and organic food. Here, the farm-to-fork trend is more than a trend, it’s a lifestyle philosophy and a commitment to sustainability and local production. We’re organic by default.

Farm-to-fork Food in Naxos

At ELaiolithos, the local food doesn’t travel far before it reaches your plate. The ingredients used in the kitchen come directly from farms located within a 5 Km distance of the hotel without intermediaries, and the food is prepared on site. This means we know the farm owners and know where the ingredients we use in each meal come from. The locals here all share the same value system: they spend many hours each day tending their fields and animals – humanely raised, sustainably, drug free, stress free, and raised with love. This falls in line with our slow food philosophy, attention to detail, and as we say in our menu: “We know the hens that lay our eggs.” 

ELaiolithos’ food is authentic and culminates in mouth-watering farm-to-fork meals. Everything you order from our menu is sustainably sourced to help protect our natural resources.

The hotel is unique because it makes use of ingredients ONLY from the surrounding area which is the most fertile region of Naxos; locals produce products here without the use of herbicides, artificial fertilizers or preservatives. These are seasonal products that are watered with fresh spring water, and what’s in season and at the peak of ripeness naturally tastes better. 

Farm-to-fork Food in Naxos

Our restaurant complements the healthy lifestyle with many nutritious organic meals and delicious homemade desserts, offering a wide variety of vegetarian and vegan options.The farm-to-fork philosophy for us also means growing food sustainably. We get most of our fruits and vegetables from the owner’s brothers who are renowned farmers and one of them is among the best cheese-makers on the island. Sheep and goats from his farm are grass-fed and pasture-raised livestock. We treat our farm as an ecosystem, we care for the soil, air, and water, and we treat animals and people humanely. The direct relationship with our community farm owners creates transparency that results in fresher and higher quality food. 

Authenticity for us is art, it’s a virtue, and it’s more than just being true to ourselves. It’s how we face life in general—with sincerity, transparency and dignity. This is what you will experience with us. 

Food at ELaiolithos is more than just a simple lunch or dinner, it’s a vibrant culinary journey through Naxos’ gastronomic culture. Each ingredient has its own story, tradition, and by sharing a table and moments with the local people, you will have the opportunity to learn more about our culture and establish real connections.

Farm-to-fork Food in Naxos

Travelers seeking interactive vacations and a true taste of rural life can visit us to enjoy a unique immersive experience in Naxos, either eating in our facilities or working for a day or a few days on the fields with the locals, during the wild cherry season in June, the potatoes in July, the grapes at the end of August or during the olive harvest season from October to December by separating olives from branches and leaves, then moving them to the mill above the hotel to make the oil we then use in our meals. Those who dare to experience this will be part of the traditional hand-picking process.

Farm-to-fork Food in Naxos

The contact with the locals and our chefs is part of the gastronomic experience that you can enjoy here. You  will feel the connection to the land and our cultural identity through the foods we prepare. With us you enjoy real food! Taking a personalized cooking class will allow you to learn to prepare Greek local food, acquire a unique perspective on our cuisine and how it relates to the local economy and environment. 

We’re passionate about food – the tradition of it, cooking it, and  sharing it! 

At ELaiolithos, we want to invite you to experience authentic living firsthand with us. To conclude this article, I will quote Madison who came to experience our cuisine and took away much more than that. “All the food used at ELaiolithos comes from within 5 Km of the hotel. If it weren’t for the roaming goats, it would be 1 Km. This is a truly local way of eating. Many of us probably don’t even have fresh vegetables growing within 1 Km of us, let alone enough produce and animals to entirely sustain us. When living like this, you know the name of the person who is growing and making each ingredient you consume. You are closer to the producer when staying at ELaiolithos than you probably are to your local Whole Foods.”

Farm-to-fork Food in Naxos

Read Madison’s complete story  here

We look forward to seeing you here….

Oraia ELeni (Helen of Troy) – The Charming Beautiful Helen – BELLE HELENE

Oraia ELeni (Helen of Troy) The Charming Beautiful Helen

Luxury and History – A Mythical Stay: The Helen of Troy Suite in Naxos!

ELaiolithos’ new themed suite “Oraia ELeni” – Helen of Troy – The Beautiful Helen – becomes the opportunity for us to dive into the myth, the riddles, and the reality of the Trojan War, and its heroes.

Facts and legends are surrounding one of the most enigmatic and famous figures of all times – the Oraia ELeni (Helen of Troy). A mythical and well-known person, the Beautiful Helen – the myth of the “fatal woman” has been the favorite subject of many stories from the depths of history. The first written record of Helen is in Homer’s Iliad. However, the origins of the myth that surrounds her date back to the Bronze Age. Hesiod awarded her the title of the most beautiful woman in the world: even today, the Bronze Age princess remains the epitome of flawless female beauty. The beautiful Helen of Sparta, Helen of Troy, of Theseus, of Menelaus, of Paris, of Deiphobus, of Odysseus, of Achilles. 

Helen is a name that has been associated with royalty, and with a slew of legendary people over the centuries. She is potentially the best known and most frequently painted woman in the West, aside from the Virgin Mary and Eve. Artists throughout all times have repeatedly envisaged Helen through a contemporary lens, shaping and reshaping her to suit current ideologies concerning beauty, sexuality, marriage, and feminine power.

Oraia Eleni of Troy

Meaning of Name:

According to Greek legend, Helen of Troy was supposedly born in 1214 BC. Helen of Troy, (Greek:  Helen, Helena / Ancient Greek: Ἑλένη Helénē, pronounced helénɛ), in Greek legend, is the ultimate in human beauty, the personification of ideal beauty. Even Aphrodite herself identifies Helen as the most beautiful woman in the world. The name Helen (Ἑλένη) means: The Shining Light, Torch, Sun Ray, Bright (could also come from the Greek selene, meaning “moon” or “hlios” meaning “sun”.) She represents the unknowable and mysterious quality of women, the archetype of goddess and lover. 

Helen of Troy is a character in Homer’s classic epic poem, the “Iliad,” written in the 8th century about the Trojan War, imagined by the Greeks to have occurred about 500 years earlier. Her story is one of the most dramatic love stories of all time, and is said to be one of the main reasons for a 10-year war between the Greeks and Trojans, known as the Trojan War. The English playwright, Christopher Marlowe, called Helen, “the face that launched a thousand ships” because of the vast number of warships the Greeks sailed to Troy to retrieve Helen.

Who was Eleni after all?

The public imagination of Helen of Troy has been continued virtually uninterrupted to the present day, inspiring countless books, films, television shows, and artistic pieces. She has gathered around her a multitude of praisers as well as critics. Even the modern international expression “Serce la femme” (= seek the woman – as a cause) brings the memory back to her. 

In the world of art, as in literature, Helen emerges as both the epitome of feminine beauty and enigmatic persona, and as a potent symbol of the destruction the irresistible beauty can wield

Five marriages, several children, two wars and an interesting afterlife. 99 suitors —including Odysseus—came from all parts of Greece. Helen chose as her husband the king of Sparta, Menelaus, Agamemnon’s younger brother.

An Estimate of Dates in Helen’s Life:

  • 1214 BCE – her birth to Leda
  • 1202 BCE – her intimacy with Theseus and possible birth of 1 child.
  • 1201 BCE – her marriage to Menelaus and subsequent birth of 5 children.
  • 1195 BCE – Paris abducts her against her will – she had 5 more children with Paris
  • 1186 BCE – Start of Trojan war
  • 1176 BCE – End of Trojan war – she leaves with Menelaus
  • 1168 BCE – She arrives back at Sparta after 8 years in Egypt
  • 1166 BCE – Telemachus visits her for news of Odysseus.
  • 1146 BCE – Her death at an old age.

Was she a goddess or a mere mortal? 

Homer has told in the Iliad that Oraia ELeni is an erotic goddess petitioned for romantic and domestic happiness. She is also invoked for fertility and assists conception. 

To the Greeks, she was Helen of Sparta. What is known about Spartan women is that they enjoy several freedoms: the opportunity to be economically independent, they could ride, they were trained in music and poetry recitals. Their education included racing, wrestling, throwing the discus and javelin, as well as trials of strength. The girls enjoyed the same food rations as boys and drank unwatered wine.

Did she go to Troy with Paris or not? Was she the cause of the Trojan War?

Helen the Beautiful was famous for her beauty and was the wife of the king of Sparta, Menelaus. However, when she abandoned (or abduction – there is a contradiction about either one) him and ran away with Paris, the Trojan War began, which lasted 10 whole years – until the resourceful Odysseus thought of making the Trojan Horse, a hollow wooden horse and hiding inside it. This is how the Greek army managed to win the war with this trick.

The legends of Helen during her time in Troy are contradictory. Ultimately, Paris was killed in action, and in Homer’s account, Helen was rescued and reunited with Menelaus. In classical Greece art, her abduction by Paris or escape with him was a popular motif. In medieval illustrations, this event was frequently portrayed as a seduction. In Renaissance paintings, it was usually depicted as rape and abduction by Paris.

Every self-respecting novel contains all the ingredients of human passion: love, hate, intrigue, war, uprooting, adventure, blood, scandal, mystery, punishment. And mostly heroes. Rather, the archetypal novel of this world. The Trojan War gave birth not only to the Homeric epics, but also to Greek writing and world theater (with ancient tragedy) and much more.

Homer in the Iliad does not have any kind of description of Helen the Beautiful, if she is blonde or brunette, short or tall. He lets every Greek dream of the Beautiful Helen as he wishes 

Did Troy ever rise again? 

Troy was destroyed by war about 3200 years ago – an event that may have inspired Homer to write the Iliad so many years later. But the famous city rose again, reinventing itself to fit a new political landscape.

Greek Mythology and Helen 

  1. Homer calls that the Olympian king of the Gods Zeus seduced Leda and fathered Helen thus acting according to this myth as a blood sister of the Dioscuri Castor and Polydeuces.
  2. According to another legend-version he had transformed into a goose, and seduced Nemesis, the daughter of Night.

** Whoever is the mother, in both versions, Helen is born from an egg in Sparta. 

The basic myth in which Zeus becomes the father of Dioscuri and Helen is accompanied by wonderful incidents, parts of which are also found in foreign mythologies. In particular, the main heavenly power, Zeus, in order to conquer the beautiful Leda, transforms into a white swan, directing his pursuit by an eagle transformed into the goddess Aphrodite, (anthropomorphic concept of beauty). Faced with the pursued white swan, Leda immediately took him in her arms. From this meeting, Leda gave birth to two eggs where, after nine months of hatching, one gave birth to the brilliant Dioscuri and from the other the Beautiful Helen, who would become luminous deities.

In this myth, Leda becomes the personification of the night when, at the last stage, she emerges towards the east as if chasing the white swan (the white shade of the sky at twilight) where, taking him in her arms, a little later the two stars that illuminate are born the world as well as their luminous energy (Helen) which affects nature accordingly.

Some Interpretation and Understanding:

In wars, nothing is quite as it seems, at first glance. Here we are dealing with a dominant superpower (the Bronze Age and the mighty Mycenaean civilization, around 1200 – 1250 BC of Europe which ends up threatening the dominance of Asia, which belonged to the Persians. The new – scrutinizing the ancient sources and the strategic – historical research, that’s where they end up, in two words. Thus, the Persians got the right to “retaliate” with the Persian Wars, on the land of Europe at the time at the Battle of Marathon, Battle of Salamis, Battle of Thermopylae, and the destruction of the Acropolis of Athens.

How Homer “saw”, poetically, the Trojan War? What is the essence, the message, eternal and universal of his primary novel?

That the winner shares humanity even with the most vulnerable of the vanquished.  And, above all, that pure and unadulterated victory in war does not exist.

The Iliad teaches us that in War there are no winners and losers. A war epic condemns war! A message to which the ancient tragedians came to bid, like Euripides, in the words of Poseidon in his iconic, anti-war “Troys”: “He who conquers cities is a fool. After desolating temples and sanctuaries and tombs, he himself then perishes.” 

Or Neoptolemus in Sophocles’ Philoctetes: “War prefers to kill, not the coward, but always the brave.”

The Greatness of “Beautiful Helen”

What is another version of  the above reality – the abduction of Helen the Beautiful by the Trojans, by Paris, and the reaction of the Achaeans, according to the novel? 

We’re talking about the primary novel of the civilized world (if we consider that the next one, of universal radiation, was the birth of Christ, which divided History into before and after, with the largely arbitrary year “0”). Which also had heroes. Delineating the protagonists of the Trojan War takes up almost half of the 15,693 Homeric verses of the Iliad.

The abduction of Helen by Paris reflects the ancient idea of women as trophies that can be taken from an enemy. Victorious soldiers commonly took the women of their fallen enemies as slaves, in the myth, but Paris actually provokes a war by taking Helen with him while Menelaus is away.

Commentators-agree on Helen of Troy’s powerful erotic appeal and her potential to cause havoc, but they differ wildly on questions about the nature of her character and adultery. Helen understood that words are the most important things in the world.  

She was imagined to be a direct avatar of the kalon kakon – the beautiful evil, from whom even so many thousands of years later we turn to be caught, in the difficult times. That always vibrates and moves us. From the same novel the emblematic ancient tragedies were born, which in fact stepped on the epics of Homer to describe the eternal human passions.

For millennia, Helen of Troy has been many things to many people 

Helen is a symbol. She represents honor. She represents glory. She represents valor. By owning her, one owns all those things. She is only an object to both sides of the way. Their fighting will continue until they unarguably possess Helen and any other women they demand belongs to them. The possession of a woman valued as highly as Helen is necessary meaning a man possesses valor and other masculine virtues.  Valor is why they fight. Honor is why they fight. Dignity is why they fight. They use Helen as an excuse, with some even hating her for what they believe she has done, but others see this as a fortunate opportunity. Battle separates those with valor from those that do not have it.

The beautiful Helen looks like how each of us perceives the beautiful. It is not imprisoned in any preconceived description. We, everyone, have the ability to create it in our minds as each one wishes. Helen of Troy  represents not a real woman but an idea

Beyond serving as an index of the prevailing ideals of beauty and femininity of each generation, Helen’s liminality allowed painters in every period to have interpreted, modified, and embellished her character in disparate and contradictory terms to appropriate her story and its meaning, and project onto her pervasive male anxieties and fears surrounding the threatening power of female beauty and sexuality. Though the guises Helen takes on vary widely depending on the cultural context in which she is created every time, her function has and will remain largely the same: to incarnate femininity at its most desirable and most destructive.

What is the message and spiritual meaning of Helen of Troy, the Trojan War and its heroes:

Helen, the stake of the war, belongs to the lineage of Sparta, that of the resurgence of what is new. The Trojan War represents the inner human battle with the aim of discerning the best path for reaching a greater freedom brought by the intuitive mind, and the pursuit of  the process of separation of spirit and matter  (they’re the Trojans), or that of aspiration allied to the purification of the depths (the Achaean coalition supported by Achilles’ Myrmidons).

Agamemnon is the greatest aspiration because he is the one hesitated but did not intervene at the end in favor of his brother Menelaus. He is the directing movement and he represents the search of a betterment of man towards a superior wisdom who is represented by Clytemnestra, who is not able to conceive that the new must orient itself towards a radical transformation. Agamemnon is the only one who is able to discern the best path towards freedom, who is Helen, that is the one who is an unwavering will fixed on its goal.

Helen is the most beautiful of mortals, and she represents the truest evolutionary path towards ELeutheria (liberty.) As the daughter of Leda, she belongs to the lineage of Protogenia, that of the adventurers of consciousness. She has Zeus as divine father and Tyndareus as human father, which places her within the lineage of the Pleiad Taygete which is the symbol of the plane of the intuitive mind or intuition which precedes the overmind, and that is the last plane being incarnated by the Pleiad Maia, the mother of Hermes god.

Helen represents the highest conception of evolutionary truth accessible to the spirit, a truth which remains governed by the world of the gods, that of the overmind. It is only by the light that the seeker will become the light to himself  equal to that of the gods 

Helen’s suitors therefore represent a number of paths seeking to put themselves forward as the best able to lead to this greatest freedom. This indicates and it’s obvious that the seeker and his path towards greater freedom includes a rejection of the human dimension. Given this, it is therefore of little importance whether it was Helen or Paris who was first seduced.

The Trojan side represents the most advanced state of spiritual progression in the ascension of the planes of consciousness, that of the liberated in spirit, which is near to equality and to the state of joy. This state allows a liberation of the vital to a certain degree, allowing access to non-duality in the vital or the perfection of sainthood, although this is not wholly acquired because the horses of Trojans were not immortal.

The Trojan war illustrates the rejection of a sole personal accomplishment, represented by the Trojan coalition, and a quest for a higher truth incarnated by Helen, who was married to Menelaus, a hero of the Achaean coalition. While this illustrates an inner battle, it also expresses an opposition between different currents of Greek spirituality of that period. Ulysses, is the one who strives for the union of the two currents which unite the spirit with the matter and therefore also the equilibrium between the masculine and feminine polarities.

What can you learn from Helen of Troy? Here are some invaluable lessons from the Troy War, some common morals that most people agree on:

  1. Carry out reconciliation carefully
  2. Always tell the truth.
  3. Have courage.
  4. Keep your promises.
  5. Treat others as you want to be treated.
  6. There would be opportunists everywhere.
  7. Disregarding a mistake is more dangerous than making it.
  8. Never judge a book by its cover. 
  9. To make someone do something for you, tell them how they will be benefited.
  10. Assess your opponent before getting into a fight with them. 
  11. You need to serve in order to lead.
  12. High achievers have clear vision and conviction. 
  13. Vision/Mission of glory creates fears and needs strategies.
  14. Never underestimate the power of your enemy. 
  15. Make short term and long term plans.
  16. Irrational predictions may lead you to doom.
  17.  Always leave room for the surprise element.
  18. Greed and fear plays a prominent role throughout ages.
  19. We should learn how to respect even those whom we dislike – The real Integrity!
  20. No one wins in a War.
  21. Nothing is absolute. 

ELaiolithos’ Luxury Suite:  Oraia ELeni (Helen of Troy) Suite

Oraia Eleni of Troy

The authenticity, beauty and novelty form a holistic fabric of the ELaiolithos Luxury Retreat. If you’re looking to walk in the footsteps of a legend, set foot in the Oraia ELeni suite, take a trip back in time, and indulge in the incredible mythological atmosphere that lingers in the air!

Oraia Eleni of Troy

Our opulent luxury Oraia ELeni suite is a new addition to our establishment that is paying tribute to the days gone by. Your stay in our “Oraia ELeni Suite”  takes you on a trip back to around 1200 BC, in an era we call the Mycenaean age of Greece. Escape to the magic and world of HELEN OF TROY: A SYMBOL OF GREEK CULTURE, and be captivated by Helen and her fabled beauty! Spend lavish days and nights in this imposing suite, authentically designed with en-suite vaulted  bathrooms, an artistic interior, and a large balcony-outdoor space with stunning sweeping views of the untouched island, Zeus mountain, the greenest  valley of Cyclades, and the Aegean Sea.

Oraia Eleni of Troy

You truly immerse yourself in the Helen of Troy experience in ELaiolithos’ Oraia ELeni suite that oozes romance and intrigue, charm, and sensuality. The “Helen of Troy’s” huge oil painting on canvas that dominates the suite portrays the face that was said to have launched a thousand ships. The supersized King size bed is a complete indulgence, as such, the enormous bedroom that helps you feel pampered every single day. Whether you simply want to curl up with your loved one or just desire more space to spread out, pamper your senses with this bed that is beautifully designed to maximize space, aristocratic luxury and comfort. What’s more luxurious than that? 

Oraia Eleni of Troy

Ready for the most stylish of naps? Blending traditional design with a hint of contemporary city chic, the enormous bed is based on a Cycladic style, handcrafted from cement along with its  frame. The stunning built headboard compliments your local experience by depicting the scenery of the 8 pyramid shaped mountains of Zeus mountain tail you face on the horizon.

It’s a perfect suite that truly delivers the elements of its legendary name Helen of Troy. Its romanticism and spirit vibes, full of fine details and touches will forever be remembered as part of your honeymoon, your anniversary or simply your special Greek vacation!

Oraia Eleni of Troy

The Oraia ELeni suite is truly a feast for the eyes, an ultimate holiday suite that sets the mood for a sensual experience, and it will definitely make you feel like you’re living in the lap of luxury in that era where the myth co-exists with the modern. Also the suite boasts impressive sustainability ethics. Every single element here is traceable, ethical and environmentally responsible. 

You enter the world of “Oraia ELeni” (Helen of Troy) and sleep in her Palace.  An elegant space to enjoy your privacy. Romance is spread everywhere! 

Article written by Copyright © Helen Marakis. All rights reserved

Eating Beyond Local in Greece

Eating Beyond Local in Greece

Two traditional recipes and a way of living that can’t be beat.

Before heading off on a two-week vacation to Greece, I was finalizing the details of my trip. I was going to spend the first two days in Athens, three days in Naxos, five days in Santorini, and two days in Milos.

Being that Naxos is the gastronomy capital of Greece, I wanted to take a cooking class while I was there. While I was looking for a cooking class on this island, I came across a place called ELaiolithos. I was searching for farm-to-table dining, or maybe even looking for guided hikes, and came across the hotel. I liked everything they were sharing on their website, so I decided to check out their Instagram and contact their owner.

After messaging her back and forth, I booked a cooking class for my friend and I for our second day in Naxos. When we arrived at our Airbnb, the owner even called the hotel to ensure the cooking class was still on. They were looking forward to having us!

In my tiny little rental car, I drove through the mountains of Naxos to arrive at the hotel, just outside the village of Moni. We had driven past it during our adventures the previous day, seeing it sitting upon the hillside, overlooking a valley of olive trees.

When we arrived we were greeted by the lovely Pamela who made us some delicious coffee to enjoy with the view. While sipping on my freddo cappuccino and taking lots of pictures of the mountainside view, I read ELaiolithos’s menu.

Read the complete story here.

“Art of Living” Yoga Holiday Retreat

ELaiolithos Exterior

The only word that comes to our mind to describe our retreat is: Release!!!

We invite you to join us on a 4-day journey to breathe deeply on the most energetic spot of Naxos – “the pearl of the Aegean, “among thousands of aged olive trees, divine mountains, the most vibrant lush green valley of Cyclades, and the pure clean mountainous air.

Let’s detoxify our bodies, rejuvenate, open our hearts, and connect with nature and ourselves.

Our trip will host the certified Eco and Hikers-friendly ELaiolithos Luxury Retreat located in the center of Naxos, and the center of Cyclades, in the village of Moni – or otherwise known as “The balcony of the Aegean” because of its incredible views over the island and the Aegean horizon!

The sustainable construction and building’s distinctive design, without detracting from the landscape, contribute to the feeling of absolute harmony with the natural environment. Also, ELaiolithos’ therapeutic raw natural setting at the ideal altitude of ~500 meters (1,640 ft) makes it one of the most popular relaxation destinations for thousands of cardiologists

The retreat includes yoga classes (Hatha, Iyengar, aqua, face yoga), meditation, breathing exercises and mindfulness practices, aimed at paying attention to the inner self, acceptance, love, and above all – Release! 

The practices take place at the outdoor areas of the accommodation, including the serene olive groves immediately below that offer the feeling of well-being and relaxation away from the stress and obligations of everyday life.

Our days will be full of creative and beautiful activities such as:

  •  Hiking
  •  Cooking class with Naxian traditional products
  •  Learning traditional island dances
  •  Watching loom weaving textiles art
  •  Swimming in the island’s crystal clear blue waters
  •  Visiting picturesque villages, Byzantine monuments & local attractions
  •  History lessons
  •  Especially if you haven’t discovered Naxos yet, it’s a wonderful time to explore!

At the end of the retreat we will leave with the most beautiful experiences, revived, more healthy, full of energy, calm and peaceful, inspired, and ready to welcome the new we wish to implement!

Investment in Self: 1650€

Payment in advance 40% until September 1, 2022!

Τransportation costs are not included!

Room availability is limited! Small group of no more than 11 participants ensures individualized attention on this unique retreat in the Naxian mountainous side. Instructions will be offered in English and/or Greek

The dates are flexible. If you need to arrive before the official starting date or stay further after the end, just ask. We provide you with a 10% discount.

Yoga instructor: Yianna Drousia

Host: ELaiolithos Luxury Retreat (info@elaiolithos.com)

WhatsUp # +306988327674


  • Arrival at any time
  • Stunning nature surroundings
  • The beach day has yoga session
  • 2 daily yoga sessions (6 in total)
  • Daily Bio & Organic healthy breakfast & antioxidant smoothies 
  • Daily delicious vegetarian/vegan organic dinner
  • Unlimited coffee, and tea
  • 4 Days / 3 Nights accommodation

Skill level

**Τhe retreat is aimed at everyone

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced


ELaiolithos Luxury Retreat has been created as a center for sustainable, creative, eco friendly and conscious living. Spread over enchanting olive groves, pristine landscape, and organic farmland, it is a unique, energetically powerful, healing, and intensely beautiful place.  You’re welcome just as you are, whether you want to connect socially or feel more like enjoying quiet time, or a mixture of the two.

Take in the Olympian Zeus’ strength, let your soul wander, draw in inspiration, and capture it all – me time at its best!  At 500 meters above sea level, there’re 500 reasons to be here!

Extended Stay Promotion

July Offer for both Rates: July 1st until July 31st, Stay more than 9 nights and enjoy 10% discount on your room rate!

Your smile is our happiness! Take your time to explore all the wonders our destination has to offer. Come in as guests, and leave as a family. 

ELaiolithos Luxury Retreat offers this special hotel deal, a discounted rate for the summer 2023 through our website only.

Every day we’ll give you a  reason to smile. Take advantage of our amazing great hotel deal, and fully enjoy your stay with us:

Stay longer, save more!

Book a 4 – nights stay in our Luxury Suites and get an extra 5% off!  Just enter during checkout the code: ELAIOLITHOS into the Voucher box to see the discount.

In addition, those staying will also enjoy 10% off selected spa treatments, and 10% off from our restaurant bar lounge. 

Book by:  any time till October 25, 2023 

Minimum stay requirement: 4 nights
Stay period: 23 April 2023 – 25 October 2023

Offer terms: Rate includes à la carte Bed & Breakfast with Organic Local Products (+Gluten, +Vegan, +Vegetarian options), free Wi-Fi & VAT, free access to our state-of-the-art Gym.

Rates also include:

  • Use of our new heated swimming pool equipped with stimulating hydrotherapy foot spa and body massage jets, and an inspiring state-of-the-art outdoor gym with breathtaking views of the region (are free of charge to use)
  • Welcome local delicacies upon arrival & everyday of your staying,
  • A bottle of virgin olive oil and vinegar,
  • Regional wine & homemade liqueur in your suite
  • Surprise local gifts upon departure and
  • All applicable taxes & legal surcharges & are valid for all reservations booked through our official web site.

Deposit: * Depends on the Rate you have chosen

Cancellation policy: ** Depends on the Rate you have chosen.

** If you don’t show up, up to  2-nights stay will be charged to your card.

** NO refund is given in the case of earlier departure.

La localización espectacular, unas vistas increíbles

La localización espectacular, unas vistas increíbles

Al vivir en un mundo que cambia constantemente a una velocidad asombrosa, la necesidad de unas vacaciones de calidad es más importante que nunca. Teniendo en cuenta la situación en la que se encuentra el mundo, los viajeros buscan experiencias que los acompañen durante toda la vida. ¡Estas experiencias se pueden encontrar en ELaiolithos Luxury Retreat en Naxos! Grecia es el lugar ideal para que los viajeros de todo el mundo busquen la paz interior, exploren playas solitarias, vivan como un lugareño y recopilen fotografías y experiencias para llevarse a casa. Una de las islas de Grecia con una larga e importante historia es Naxos.

La isla de Naxos se encuentra en el centro del complejo Cyclades y ofrece muchas oportunidades, no solo para unas vacaciones vibrantes, sino más importante para unas vacaciones llenas de experiencias, tranquilidad y calidad que son muy necesarias hoy en día. Si busca relajación y lujo en un lugar donde el propietario se ha ocupado personalmente de cada detalle para ofrecer una experiencia única, ELaiolithos Luxury Retreat es el lugar que está buscando. El retiro está ubicado en el centro de la isla en una ubicación única y premium, entre olivos eternos, vistas impresionantes y protegido de las multitudes.

Con vistas a la montaña Zeus, Panaghia Drosiani, los pueblos de los alrededores, incluido el famoso Chalkio (la antigua capital y centro de la isla) junto con el telón de fondo azul del mar Egeo. ELaiolithos adopta el estilo de vida ecológico y la filosofía verde de la naturaleza al mismo tiempo que proporciona un oasis de alojamiento de lujo. ¡Experiencia gastronómica con el toque del propietario!

ELaiolithos Luxury Retreat tiene una filosofía única para ofrecer el desayuno mejor preparado y una experiencia gastronómica única. Usando productos de la isla y los pueblos montañosos locales, le da un valor único a los ingredientes locales donde los viajeros experimentarán los sabores de los pueblos griegos vírgenes. La cocina tradicional naxiana con énfasis en ingredientes saludables, locales y de temporada, de la granja a la mesa, es el motor del propietario, y Helen sigue eso para ofrecer excelentes sabores gastronómicos a sus invitados. Su creatividad y pasión por la comida siempre están en el menú. Ella dice con orgullo: “Conozco a la gallina que puso los huevos y ofrezco platos increíbles para una experiencia gastronómica auténtica” . Los huéspedes de ELaiolithos tendrán la oportunidad de disfrutar del desayuno, el brunch, el almuerzo, la cena, pero también varios bocadillos, bebidas exclusivas y delicias locales que no se encuentran en ningún otro lugar de la isla.

Por último, pero no menos importante, los increíbles quesos locales están disponibles del hermano de Helen, cuyo nombre está asociado con la calidad y la singularidad: sus cabras y corderos solo se alimentan de pasto y frutas de la tierra de Naxian. ¡La excelente ubicación ofrece innumerables posibilidades! Dado que ELaiolithos se encuentra en el centro de la isla ya una altitud de 500 metros, brinda a los viajeros la oportunidad de explorar el interior de la isla a gusto, dar largos paseos a los pueblos y olivares naturales; y pruebe su resistencia en el trekking hacia la montaña Zeus, el pico más alto de las islas Cícladas. Los alrededores del refugio ofrecen muchas opciones para practicar senderismo.

La localización espectacular, unas vistas increíbles

También debido a la ubicación del retiro, los viajeros disfrutarán del distanciamiento social, pero dentro de un ambiente tranquilo y apacible. Además, los viajeros tienen una vista magnífica de la llanura de Traghaia – la meseta Drymalia, única en las Cícladas por sus innumerables bellezas, la iglesia de Panaghia Drosiani, la iglesia bizantina más antigua de los Balcanes, y muchas más para explorar y descubrir. Una estadía en ELaiolithos es la mejor manera de restaurar, relajarse, revivir, reconectarse y explorar. Disfrute de sus vacaciones, pero la seguridad es lo primero. El año pasado fue muy duro para todos nosotros, por lo que este año queremos viajar, pero ELaiolithos valora la seguridad como una de las principales prioridades para su personal e invitados. La ubicación del retiro junto con su arquitectura ofrece el máximo distanciamiento social y seguridad para todos.

La localización espectacular, unas vistas increíbles

ELaiolithos cuenta con todas las certificaciones y protocolos de salud con el fin de ofrecer la mayor seguridad posible a los huéspedes y miembros del personal. Tenga la seguridad de que Helen hace todo lo posible para garantizar que sus vacaciones sean sin preocupaciones y sin complicaciones, para que pueda relajarse y disfrutar de la cultura, los lugares de interés y las personas que conoce durante su viaje. Todo lo que rodea a ELaiolithos contribuye a su tranquilidad durante su estancia.

La localización espectacular, unas vistas increíbles

Eco Turismo – Eco Stay – Senderismo Paraíso ELaiolithos es el primer hotel en Naxos en ser galardonado con el Nivel Oro por la red de senderismo griega conocida como “Hikers Friendly Hotels”. Los increíbles senderos para caminatas que comienzan justo afuera de la puerta del retiro llevarán a los huéspedes a explorar las tantas atracciones de la zona, incluidos los pueblos, sitios arqueológicos que tienen miles de años, cascadas, valles, iglesias y muchos más que están listos para ser explorado. Por otro lado, el pueblo cercano de Moni tiene una fuerte tradición de tejido y el taller de tejido de mujeres es muy recomendable para los visitantes que quieran fomentar este raro arte.

Go Green es más que un concepto, es una filosofía que Helen implementa en cada detalle de su propiedad. Helen siempre menciona que la propiedad ofrece alojamiento de lujo y subraya la importancia de la ecología y la vida ética. Materiales de construcción bioclimáticos, diseño de inspiración griega y cicládica, agentes de limpieza ecológicos, respeto por el medio ambiente circundante, materiales de construcción locales (incluida la piedra y el mármol de la propia isla), mecanismos de ahorro de agua e incluso el antiguo eco griego. -La innovación del mortero de cemento prensado es parte de la filosofía ecológica de la propiedad. ELaiolithos apoya a los artistas locales y es por eso que los viajeros pueden ver varias piezas de arte únicas que le dan un tono único al retiro.

¡Visite Grecia, visite Naxos! La historia es rica, el paisaje hermoso, las playas abundantes y los lugareños son cálidos y acogedores con todos: no sueñes con tu próximo viaje, visítanos y descúbrelo por ti mismo. Helen da la bienvenida en persona a cada huésped y se asegura de que tengan una experiencia increíble en ELaiolithos Luxury Retreat. Si viaja con intención y ganas de experimentar unas vacaciones revitalizantes, que se convierten en recuerdos notables, ELaiolithos le ofrecerá una auténtica experiencia de viaje junto con todas las comodidades de un hogar, las indulgencias de un hotel de lujo y la autenticidad de un griego. ¡destino!

¡ELaiolithos convierte viajes en experiencias!

Which other island should I go near Santorini and Mykonos

island near santorini and mykonos

Looking for another island to visit near Santorini and Mykonos? Naxos island is an excellent choice! Different that the other Cycladic islands with a large mainland, many picturesque villages and a plethora of things to do and see. If you love adventure, exploration and discovery, then Naxos is the ideal choice.

Do you want to island-hop from one island to another? If you’re visiting Santorini or Mykonos and would like to choose another island, then Naxos is the ideal choice.  Mykonos and Santorini are great islands indeed, but Naxos is incomparably different. It’s the largest island in Cyclades, and offers plenty choices and unique experiences. ELaiolithos Luxury Retreat is a perfect destination on the island, and a destination of itself, situated around the most important region of Naxos. Its great location is an ideal base to explore the whole island at ease. ELaiolithos in Naxos island, a hideaway hotel with spectacular views, amazing healthy cuisine, plenty hiking choices, secluded beaches and close to most major attractions.

 ELaiolithos Luxury Retreat stands for passion, authenticity, culture and tradition. Thanks to its characteristics, it becomes an enclave of great interest for guests 

Escape to an uncrowded place where mind and spirit have space to wander. Let the lure of both nature and the sea, and the moments of serenity to revive your sense of well-being. Experience Naxos island in its purest form at ELaiolithos Luxury Retreat, where the road is less traveled. Enjoy an unforgettable Greek island getaway, in a unique environment where nature becomes the protagonist and the perfect travel companion. Here you travel inwards to a place where life’s simplest and greatest pleasures are fulfilled, where you can comfortably indulge in an exclusive experience surrounded by elements that are essential for your mind, body, and soul to find the right balance.


Which other island to go near Santorini and Mykonos? One of the best islands in the Aegean Sea is Naxos. Globally famous for its beauty, unique culture, history, tradition, culinary delights, and amazing endless beaches. You’ll come across ancient Greek history, rich culture, amazing traditional recipes, and plenty of local music festivities. You’ll instantly fall in love with the hospitality of the local people and the traditional food flavors. Naxos is known as the Hawaii of Greece for its natural beauty and the god of wine, Dionysus. Once you step here you will love the mixture of nature and traditional Cycladic buildings on the island.

There’re many amazing spots that you can visit in Naxos. Where the Greek culture lights shine, so do the small wonders on Naxos island with its fertile grounds, unusual for a Cycladic island, its beautiful islanders, its regional traditions, and amazing diverse landscapes. Entering the harbor, you’re greeted by the ancient Portara, the massive marble gateway, identical to the logo of the National Geographic, and the sight of the medieval castle above the town. You can walk up to the castle-topped main town with its Cycladic cobblestone labyrinth streets.

With a long history starting in the midst of the Mesolithic period, Naxos, modest and hospitable, unexpectedly beautiful and serene, welcomes everyone. Naxos island is a living fairy tale, and it’s inviting you to experience it together with its hospitable open-heart residents; an island ready to be fallen in love with.

Many stay forever devoted to this island of white light, with its crystal-clear water, historical heritage and hospitable residents.



A stunning secret gem in Naxos island that seduces its guests every year according to the reviews posted. It’s an unspoiled beautiful diamond in the mountainous side of Naxos, a true Greek beauty. So much “hidden” beauty and authentic Aegean character, with just a short hop by ferry, really close to Athens, Mykonos, Paros, and Santorini. Its view is an eye-catching landscape with generous natural landscape. The region has rich history and endless attractions that make ELaiolithos one of the most popular holiday destinations in Naxos. The island’s most renowned attractions are within a short distance.

Purity, tranquility, warm hospitality, beautiful beaches and hidden treasures: The ideal place for a true relaxing holiday! Here you’ll realize just how diverse, wild and exciting this island is. Experience days drenched in sunlight, genuine delights, and witness innocence and unspoiled environment. The hotel can also arrange boat trips, and offers free transfers to and from the port or airport.


A Unique Destination between Mykonos and Santorini

ELaiolithos is nestled in the heart of the island, between Halki and Moni village, in the center of the mainland, in a very convenient location that offers you the opportunity to explore this large island at ease. The particular geographical position of ELaiolithos in the island coincides in a 3-road fork, that favors heading in any direction, East, South, North or West without repeating the same road again; thus giving you the opportunity to discover the whole island easily. Here you find yourself on an island, in the mountains, with numerous beaches all around you in every direction. You can discover many secluded beaches within a 20 minute distance. The rugged beauty is a refined refreshing escape for anyone and a perfect place to spend idyllic and refreshing days.

Make your next Naxos’ getaway an adventure you’ll never forget with tailor-made experiences to help you discover Naxos’ wilderness as you bask in ELaiolithos’ remote luxury and natural tranquility.


Relatively undiscovered by the tourist masses, the area is one of the highlights of Naxos, and is full of surprises. It’s the greenest area in the Cyclades with high mountains and fertile valleys. The vast and rich hinterland gives its visitors one lifetime of experience. This region specifically, the Drymalia valley, is the most fertile region in Cyclades, with over 400,000 aged olive and citrus trees, all laying on the feet of ELaiolithos.

Enjoy spectacular sunsets between the breathtaking sights of the 8-pyramid shaped mountain tail of Zeus mountain and the Aegean sea. Visit untouched beaches with crystalline waters nearby, creeks, waterfalls and abandoned watermills, well-marked hiking trails and dramatic cornices. For all its wealth, the area is laid-back and discreet, away from mass tourism, awaiting discovery by the discerning traveler. ELaiolithos will make you wish your holiday here could last forever.

The surrounding landscapes will stun you with their colors and scents, their aromas of oregano and thyme, the goats with their bells, the local people, and its stories that sweetly mix legend and myth with history, all proving that majesty is often found in simplicity!


A Unique Destination between Mykonos and Santorini

Total bliss is yours in ELaiolithos, a gorgeous Naxian treasure with high aesthetics is ideal for an ultra-pampering holiday. With breathtaking beauty, luxe accommodations, and spectacular cuisine, an extraordinary vacation awaits you here. Perched in unspoiled surroundings is a highly lauded romantic paradise uniquely situated at a magic spot of Naxos’ heart. Apart from its exceptional facilities, the retreat features separate spacious and contemporary guest suites, all with uninterrupted panoramic vistas.

Live life luxuriously! You’ll encounter stirring views, remarkable amenities, and exceptionally warm, caring and curated service. An oasis of refinement and comfort enhanced by vibrant local artworks in the interior and exterior. Soothe your senses and rejuvenate your spirit with en-suite massage therapies. Outside there is an outdoor art-filled restaurant with alfresco dining on the spacious dazzling terrace with unbeatable striking views, which makes a fantastic area for lounging, dining, and spending time together. The ideal spot to relax your mind and soul while enjoying the serenity of the tranquil landscape.

ELaiolithos has an abundance of space making this the perfect retreat for honeymooners, family, solo or female solo travelers, friends looking to travel together. Completely away from all with superb exclusive facilities and in-villa staff such as chef and concierge. Private check-in, free airport/port transfers, complimentary local refreshments, GPS files for hiking, telescopes for stargazing, and pre-arrival concierge services are at your disposal for free.


Explore the richness of the Naxian core. The area offers rich flora, and stimulating trails for archetypal hikers where there are lots of secrets to discover. Nature lovers with a sweet tooth for the good life will be spoiled by the rewarding footpaths, cascades, ravines, olive groves, elm, and cedar trees. Apart from assured peace, tranquility, and lovely local restaurants in each village, Naxos island is a fantastic destination for hiking where there are plenty of pathways for hiking, trekking, and cycling adventures.

Discover worthy spots and views of the emery mining tunnel entrances reaching deep into the mountainside. Climb Zeus, the tallest mountain of Cyclades, Mount Fanari, and numerous other trails with pristine landscapes.


A Unique Destination between Mykonos and Santorini

Culinary adventures await you here. Here is all about local produce, farm to table food, with the freshness and the quality of the regional ingredients within a radius of 5 Km only that offer alluring traditional taste and scent, and satisfy the unrelenting craving for culture and good food. Savor elevated epicurean dishes and enjoy local music inspired by nights under the moon. The region is very fertile, and produces everything.

This hidden gem in Naxos island will fulfill all your culinary wishes. Its mission is to showcase the best products from Naxos’ mountainous side so that people can enjoy mind-blowing meals, including a large variety of vegan dishes, amazing local cheeses, signature dishes, artisan cocktails, smoothies and drinks. Tradition with a twist is on the plate here. With an emphasis given on reinvented classics and super fresh ingredients that are cooked in traditional techniques, ELaiolithos puts its own stamp on the Naxian cuisine.


If you’re even remotely interested in antiquities and culture, then you might not want to miss a visit to the Apano Kastro (Upper Castle) which is arguably one of the islands’ iconic attractions formed millions of years ago with lots of rare geological marvels, including a church close by. The local people often refer to the scenic landscape of Upper Castle as Lunar landscape. Huge rocks are coming into amazing shapes often compared to a moonscape. Without a doubt the Upper Castle is one of the most photographed landscapes in the Aegean.

Other monuments worth visiting include Panaghia Drosiani, Moni Fotodotis, Temple of Demeter, and make sure to see the two giant Kouroi – statues of young men – lying down in the open. The Bazeos Tower, built in the 17th century, functioned as a monastery of the True Cross (Timios Stavros) for decades. Today it hosts a wide array of cultural activities, such as the Naxos Festival. The famous Naxian marble quarries and the largest folklore museum of the Aegean are within 3 Km distance. See here details for these sightseeing


A Unique Destination between Mykonos and Santorini

The timeless villages around the retreat are very romantic and charming, perfect photography spots that will take you to an old era. You can spend a few days discovering these isolated laid-back white painted villages, concealed by wild olive groves and hills. A kaleidoscope of stunningly gorgeous concealed villages: Moni, Kinidharos, Keramoti, Koronos, Lionas, Skado, Mesi, Komiaki, Apollonas, Apeiranthos, Filoti, Kaloxilos, Chalkio, Damalas, Apeirathos, Cheimaros, Chikalario, Potamia, untouched by time, all are iconic for their remarkable geology, old stone arched bridges, dazzling natural beauty, and very unique scenery.

ELaiolithos is surrounded by over 35 scenic villages that boast narrow streets of cobbled stone and porches full of flowers, interconnected with modern roads that are a must-see. Also you’ll have the chance to discover chapels emerge humbly from rocky hills and forest glades, small fish, meat taverns, and local “kafeneia”. You’ll meet spectacular inlets and little bays towards the north and east, the sprawling coastline reveals a hundred of those, coves, and caves that make the ideal hide-holes, all suitable for swimming.


A Unique Destination between Mykonos and Santorini

Naxos is one of the richest islands in Greece for its ruins from every era, and religious and historical monuments. The locale is surrounded by important sites of inestimable value that touch the visitors’ soul. It’s distinguished for its very important and interesting cultural heritage with many Byzantine monuments, such as the Panagia Drosiani (4th c.), the remarkable Demeter temple archaeological finds, over 30 venerable Byzantine churches with magnificent architecture and history, lofty towers, Venetian castles, major artifacts, and monasteries. Amazing monuments for everyone, whether a believer or non- believer.

You have the opportunity to visit them and admire their cultural significance, architectural importance, aesthetic beauty and historic value. Enjoy a stunning collage of natural scenery, spiritual exultation, tranquility, a very human touch and intimate contact with past tradition. These are the elements that comprise the rugged and attractive charm around ELaiolithos, encouraging eco-friendly and sustainable travel by remaining true to the island’s origins. Here religious, historical, cultural, and architectural interests flow together.


Unique Destination between Mykonos and Santorini

If you’re a sun worshiper, Naxos’s endless stretch of gorgeous white sandy beaches will keep you blissfully happy during your holiday. The beaches here are among the most beautiful in Greece, long and sandy, perfect for swimming, and relaxing. Having your base at ELaiolithos, offers you the opportunity to visit a different beach every day and enjoy a different beauty, all within a 20 minute drive. Here you might find yourself alone on the beach. The southwest offers perfect conditions for windsurfers and kite surfers.

WHY ELaiolithos?

  • Rigorous health protocols are developed for the health and safety of its guests and its staff.
  • Because you travel safely and in style
  • Because paradise is personal. A Serene Escape for an Ultimate Relaxation.
  • Because Authentic experiences create Authentic memories.

Go and experience it all for yourself…. Discover your moment….Connect to what matters most..

It’s impossible not to fall in love with ELaiolithos, really, as it has a beauty all of its own! It creates an experience that becomes indelibly etched in your mind!

Which other island to choose near Santorini and Mykonos then? The right choice is Naxos island…..

Article written by Copyright © Helen Marakis. All rights reserved


Fanari mountain

The Fanari mountain towers over ELaiolithos Luxury Retreat, on the east side along with the village of Moni. Moni village has a great tradition in the craft of handmade loom weaving, excellent stone builders, very fertile region with plenty water, famous for its quality organic vegetable produce, excellent wine varieties, olive oil, raki and cheeses. Also the oldest Byzantine church of Balkans, Panagia Drosiani, which is one of the most popular visiting monuments of the island after Portara is here.

Fanari Mountain and Fanari Suite is an ideal destination for your holidays on Naxos island, Cyclades, Greece


Fanari mountain (903 m) rises between two high mountains: Mount Zas (1004 m) in the south and Mount Koronos (992 m) in the north. While Zas (Zeus) and Koronos are big and jagged, Fanari mountain is smooth and jolly. It’s surrounded by the picturesque villages of Apirathos in the east, Kaloxilos in the west and Moni in the northwest. These villages have been lying on the slopes of Fanari mountain since the Middle Ages and piracy times. Their active and creative inhabitants raised their animals here, cultivated their land, carved their rocks, sang and danced to traditional bagpipe music, fell in love and passionately savored life.


Up until the late 1700s, among forests, lush gullies and bubbling streams, the Fanari mountain area was home to deer, roe deer and other animal species, beautiful birds, rare swarms of bees and colorful butterflies, vineyards, olive groves, fig trees, almond trees, orange trees, apple trees, pear trees and sour cherry trees.


Numerous little Byzantine and Post-Byzantine churches were built in the region, the most prominent one being Panagia Fanariotissa, the church of Virgin Mary in Fanari. Today, these churches still exist, and they’re of central attraction to our visitors.

Fanari mountain is very popular to trekkers. You can reach the mountain via several different paths but you get to admire the most magnificent views as you ascend from Moni village. One of the top must Naxos’ hiking paths is the Fanarimountainhikingtrail. 

ELaiolithos is the ideal starting point for the hiking path that takes you through Moni village, continues through forests, streams and majestic hillsides, then you climb Fanari mountain and you end up in the picturesque village of Apeirathos, one of the most famous villages of Naxos. Admire what is unfolding in front of you: This area is quite unique from a geographical viewpoint.

For those interested, here is a link for this hiking trail


The whole region of Moni village is among the most fertile area in Naxos island today, full of vegetation and water springs. ELaiolithos gets its tap water from Mountain Fanari spring above Moni village. This is our source of fresh tap water which is drinkable and 100% safe.

Fanari mountain in Naxos can guide you to ELaiolithos like a lighthouse, it can inspire you, and its views can bring the artist, poet or creator out of you. And somewhere there you end up in ELaiolithos’ Fanari Suite….

We have dedicated one of our luxury suites to honor this neighboring mountain, and named it Fanari. It’s an indoor version of the mountain with its color palettes and overall accents. Its artistic interior is decorated with natural earthly objects and organic materials that exemplify au naturel decor.

We know that nature has a profound effect on our overall well-being, both physically and emotionally, and our aim was for anyone staying in the Fanari Suite to entail its theme, embrace the earth’s simplicity, and bring the feeling of the outdoor experience into its indoor spaces. With the infusion of natural elements and colors into the suite’s interior, we make every visitor to be connected with the story of Fanari mountain even when they’re inside, and feeling calm. Upon departure we know that our guests have taken with them a piece of our region, a story, a scene, and a memory from our beautiful island!

Fanari Suite is like a local landscape-inspired wall art 

 ~ Article written by Helen Marakis

Komiaki (Koronida) – The most scenic traditional flower village & another hidden gem in Naxos – by Helen Marakis

Komiaki (Koronida) - The most scenic traditional flower village & another hidden gem in Naxos

This highest village in Naxos, at an altitude of 700 meters, is one of the most beautiful but underrated villages of Naxos. It offers timeless appeal and the feel of authentic Naxos with its picturesque landscape, and its rustic and charming vibrant village culture. This village is blissfully unspoiled.

When talking about flowers, Komiaki village in Naxos certainly comes to mind. I would definitely call it the “Garden Muse” of Naxos and it is a must visit in my opinion (along with Koronos village). Located in the northern part of Naxos, just before Apollonas, 34 km from the capital Chora (Naxos Town), is surrounded with both natural and cultivated greenery. With an estimated population of 450 inhabitants, the village is located on the ridge of Mt. Koronos, overlooking the Sea of Icarus (named from the myth of Icarus and Daedalus and their wax wings).

My visit to Komiaki was about 3 hours and it left a lasting impression. I’ve traveled to many islands and visited many villages but the minute I stepped onto this pretty village I was in love! Everywhere I looked, flowers are in bloom and full of life and color!

I headed uphill through the narrow cobblestone streets and old stone whimsical houses, to browse them and engage with the locals. The stone houses – many not been restored but you can understand their former glory – seemed to accentuate the colors of the flowers,  and I found myself  enjoying the colors and scents, and stopping every few meters to take yet another photo of this magnificent scenery.

Wandering through the village you can certainly see the role that flowers play in the lives of those that live here. The steep narrow streets with their arches that lead you uphill in the village are filled with a riot of color – flowers spill their colorful blooms from the walls, verandas, balconies, streets and houses that are etched out in a terraced manner. Here you truly connect with nature with such an abundance of colors found nowhere else in the island. This village is so colorful, that definitely is a sight every photographer should see. It’s as if someone had spilled paint instead of planting flowers, these flower streets seem like a color palette. The photo opportunities are endless here.

The village oozes character and provides a tranquil place to enjoy the colors, scents, sounds and textures of the plants. Wandering the colorful flower -filled streets, I almost felt like Alice climbing the rainbow – and no wonder. As I walked along the stone paths and interconnecting stairways I came across to so many flowers that I believe if you gather all the flower pots of the rest of Naxos’ villages will be less than the ones found here!!!

After all, Komiaki is a little pot of gold just waiting to be discovered.  

The mountain village has retained it’s home style, postcard vibe, with its Cycladic style houses, several well dispersed local cafes (kafeneio), surrounding soaring mountains and magnificent abundance of flowers and green landscape. Locals embrace their cultural heritage through folk dance and song, and commonly enjoy country life by playing simple games together like cards or tavli, and or gathering-talking outside their houses. There are a few cafes busy with locals, men and women, that tempt the passerby to sit for a while, drink in hand, talk with them and admire how they enjoy life in this laid back mountainous village.

Just when you think you’ve seen the best display you turn a corner and more color bursts into view. The pride with which the village’s residents care and respect for their living environment, the way they maintain social cohesion, their care for the visitors’ well-being, so many plants and greenery in all public spaces, and the way they have managed to maintain bio-diversity will leave you thrilled.

Once in Naxos, if you’re looking to experience the scenery of a bygone time, Komiaki is one of those places that one has to see and I highly recommend it. Get your camera ready. Reaching this Naxian beauty requires extra effort, yet the rewards are dazzling. Your eyes will thank you. A scenic narrow mountain road, an exhilarating zip line ride leading to the village, offers a splendid view of the amazingly grapevine fields and old bridges with numerous age-long plane and oak trees will connect you with nature. The region has dense vegetation and running waters. Here the feel of old traditions and local culture are apparent and thriving.

Welcome to the good life!

Why Go to Komiaki?

Life has a different pace in the mountain of Naxos. Visiting Komiaki is to immerse yourself in living local culture and tradition and enjoy amazing hiking!

 What to See and Do in Komiaki

  • Follow the signs. Leave you car at the end of the road and continue for about ten minutes in foot. It is worth to stop at the Byzantine church of Agios Georgios, while in the north side there has revealed the Dateless Vaulted Mycenae Tomp of the 15th century B.C.  In the main church an ecclesiastical museum is in operation
  • Wander the streets and browse the houses, admire the colour explosion all around you, and visit one local cafe at least
  • Visit the Frankish fort in the center of the village, the post-Byzantine Church of Theoskepasti and the nearby restored buildings of the watermill, the olive mill and the traditional wine press
  • Enjoy the beautiful natural and historical landscape by hiking old tailored footpaths and discover forgotten ones. Amazing hiking is the path Komiaki to Myrsini

Best time to visit Komiaki:

April to November

Useful websites

Visit the unspoiled Naxos and reach the true spirit of the island by booking at www.elaiolithos.com  a great base for exploration and adventure.

It’s worth the visit of this unbelievably charming village. It is a challenging hike but offer a worthwhile view.  Reconnect with nature, immerse yourself in centuries of history and learn intriguing local customs in this beautiful village in the world, all while taking in authentic rustic, romantic small village vibes first hand.

Article written by Copyright © Helen Marakis . All rights reserved

Why it is important Not to skip Naxos Island in your next Greek holiday – by Helen Marakis

Why it is important Not to skip Naxos Island in your next Greek holiday

Naxos –All in One…..A little Greece….A microcosm of local life is revealed….Naξος Ολα σε Ενα…

It is important to have Balance in Our Life in order to Achieve Our Goals. In order to function at our best, we definitely need to balance taking care of ourselves physically, mentally and spiritually.

Life balance is about successfully and joyfully managing and living our lives. It is about balance between the extremes – between order and chaos, moving and standing still, work and leisure. It is about having a feeling of control over knowing when to shift from one to the other and being able to do so.

And as the ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus said: everyone can attain the happy, tranquil life, characterized by ataraxia which literally means “freedom from all worry” by living a self-sufficient life surrounded by friends. The combination of these states constitutes happiness in its highest form.  And in Naxos Island you experience all of the above.

Naxos: Stepping out into the real world of a self-sufficient island.

Why it is important Not to skip Naxos Island in your next Greek holiday

Naxos is an amalgam of myths and history, of tradition and spirituality. You can feel the vibrations of those energies by the minute you step your foot on the ground of the island.

If your idea of vacation heaven is to sip mojitos on a white sandy beach for two weeks, or to stay within the confines of a five-star hotel or on the sun deck of a pool or a cruise ship that’s ok – it is wonderful…..But for those who luxury is only part of the holiday experience and also love to enjoy and to discover the delight of meeting new people and sharing their corner of the earth, then Naxos is a top destination because it combines everything. Naxian people live the “now” in all means. Their general belief that Life is too short for not having good time every day, all the time, any season and under any circumstances is met everywhere.

If you are fascinated by cultures, history, society, and you liberate yourself and step into the real life of the place you visit in order to have a real experience; then your visit in Naxos  will reimburse you in many different ways.

Here are a few tips:

Self-sustained culture rare in the globalized world

See your destination by driving in the mainland or by foot, enter the Naxian hinterland and discover its gems, by experiencing the local life, the spirit of the natural world and have access to the cultural and agricultural riches that this island has to offer. Here you will come in contact with the authentic side of Naxos, the remarkable sights, the amazing smells, and its mesmerizing sounds.

Why it is important Not to skip Naxos Island in your next Greek holiday

This self-sufficient island produces everything and supplies also many adjacent Cycladic islands. Its people are very proud and hardworking. Every house has its own production of oil, meat, vegetables, fruits, poultry, cheese, raki and wine. Visitors can have this experience by going to the field with locals and pick with their own hands whatever each season produces. Therefore is wise to visit the local villages and taste each one’s special delicacies and sweets. Every village is a different experience in food and wine. Everything on your dinner plate is grown and produced here, from root vegetable and greens to fruit, olive oil, herbs, preserves, traditionally made small batch cheeses, and certainly meats. The island unlike most in the Cycladic archipelago has a source of fresh water and fertile soil, so everything is organically grown and served on your plate.

Why it is important Not to skip Naxos Island in your next Greek holiday

Naxians believe that life is meant to be lived to the fullest in the simplest of ways – peacefully and respectfully with a profound love for family, nature, and friends both old and new. Having such a vibrant culture and wild nature that offers so great diversity around every turn, this lively island is the ideal destination to discover your very own piece of “pura vida.” And indeed you will not miss the “kerasma of raki” which is the raki drink on the house. A passing by a local tavern- kafeneio (traditional village hang out place) always hides secret surprises and lots of laugh.  Locals are very hospitable and friendly and love to open conversations with the tourists where the jokes play a major role of having fun and be happy.

Happiness is not a private affair: it can be more readily achieved in a society where like-minded people band together to help inspire one another’s pursuit of happiness, and Naxians are just like that, this runs on their DNA.  Local life is diverse and people are remarkable in every way, so you will enjoy your journey in the mountainous villages.

Amazing attractions and magnificent Sights

Once you arrive to the Drymalia/Traghea area you will see over four hundred thousand of olive trees over a millennium old. This area still holds many remnants of the indigenous culture, creating a unique personality that delightfully differs from the rest of the island.

Chalkio and the area around it, called the Byzantine Mystras because of its numerous amazing churches, is a world apart in distance and atmosphere – from the rest of the island. Chalkio, Moni, Kinidaros, Filoti, Apeirathos, Koronos villages are ideal destinations for immersing yourself in nature. Here hiking, marble quarries, springs, emery mines, olive groves and citrus fruits reign supreme.

Chalkio village is a treasure trove of history, culture, and art just waiting to be explored. It is a historic district that shines with its neoclassical architecture and grand Venetian towers with many galleries, taverns, cafes, boutiques, local delicatessens and loom weaving shops-exhibitions.

Why it is important Not to skip Naxos Island in your next Greek holiday

Naxian hinterland offers visitors the rare opportunity to walk or drive among wild nature and have a long fulfilling day.

Driving the road from Potamia to Chalkio, one can see the imposing Upper Castle which is among the most photographed landscapes in the Aegean, similar to the Sarakiniko in Milos, where the landscape resembles a scene from moon with the giant rocks and their amazing shapes.

Just off the road between Ano Potamia and Melanes villages there is the “Kalamitsia” – The Jesuit imposing Palace worth a visit from all aspects.

A vibrant culture, eco-adventures and local organic cuisine around every turn, Naxos is the ideal destination to discover your very own piece of “pura vida.” Climbing Mountain Zeus, the highest in Cyclades with a peak of 1004 meters, is a fascinating experience with all the Cycladic islands visible. Reaching the top feels like you conquered the world. And no one can leave the island without a visit to the Great Door of Cyclades, the imposing Portara. It picturesquely overlooks the Archipelago, so that with a bit of imagination it might be a portal to another world. The experience of viewing the sunset through the hill of Portara is completely worth it.

Life in Naxos goes slowly in everything. Here you don’t just see the people but you meet the people.

Naxos is a big island with lots of things to do and see and someone needs at least one week in order to get a feeling of the island. The striking thing about an island as big as Naxos is the sheer, overwhelming variety that it encompasses – of landscapes, even Natura, cultures, language, remarkable personalities, old wise locals, cuisine, festivities, and relaxation.  Memorable would be a contact with the locals. They are very friendly and hospitable, they invite you to sit down and eat with them, drink, joke and laugh. Do not lose the offer if they invite you. Just tap into a beautiful, peaceful and authentic village tempo in Naxos. It would be an unforgettable experience!

Naxos is ideal destination for families, lovers, photographers, artists, yoga lovers, writers, adventurous, and for solo visitors also. They have a lot to see and explore. The coastal line has beautiful long sandy beaches, and clear crystal waters but the mainland has to offer the most and it is for those travelers looking to escape the everyday and indulge in the finer things in life. Naxos can be easily called the Natural Holiday Destination and those who love ethical living will witness the nature’s serenity and tranquility here. A traveler-explorer may constantly discover a virgin and eerie place by approaching it through land.

Why it is important Not to skip Naxos Island in your next Greek holiday

The raki making in November is a magic ritual. If you find yourself in Naxos you should come in contact with a local, preferably in Moni or Kinidaros village and attend at least once this ritual. Moni village organizes also every November “The Raki Festival” event with live music open to the public. All locals and visitors gather together for the raki making; they drink, they barbecue fresh meat right at the point and they dance all night.

The festivities in Apokries (the celebration of carnival in Greece) that start two weeks before the 40-day lent period of Easter are amazing. Every village has its own tradition and festivities are at non-stop. Naxos produces also music, has hundreds of local musicians of folk music and the traditional festivals here are an experience just themselves with the locals dancing till late morning hours. Always visitors enjoy the spectacle.

Why it is important Not to skip Naxos Island in your next Greek holiday

Unlike most Greek islands, Naxos has transportation through Piraeus daily, all year around, by boats or plane. It is a safe island where you can go around without fear and feel complete relaxation and freedom in every means. Here you worry for nothing. You let yourself relax, lay back, move slowly, get into the rhythm of the locals, witness inner tranquility and joy and enjoy!

Naxos – an exciting, enlightening, enriching and safe experience…..

One Inseparable Whole

Article written by Copyright © Helen Marakis . All rights reserved

May Offer – Stay 5 nights and get the 6th night Free!

May Offer - Stay 4 nights and get the 5th night Free!

Seeking quiet time to lie back and watch nature bursting to life? May is a fabulous time of year to find yourself in Naxos. It is the most beautiful month and a delightful time to visit Naxos because the island’s landscapes are at their most colorful and climate is mild. The island’s hinterland is the sweet spot. May is ideal time also for pushing new boundaries, explore the blossom-covered landscape on foot, bike, or by car.

In addition, those staying on these days will also enjoy 10% off selected spa treatments.

Get the most out of your spring getaway with  this offer here when you

Book by: 25 May 2019 

Minimum stay requirement: 6 nights    (You pay for 5 nights and you stay for 6)
Stay period: 01 May 2019 – 31 May 2019

Offer terms: Rates include welcome local dish & drink, fruits & homemade sweet upon arrival, a bottle of virgin olive oil and vinegar, surprise gift upon departure and all applicable taxes & legal surcharges & are valid for all reservations booked through our official web site.

Deposit: Full payment upon booking.

Cancellation policy: Non-Refundable

Easter Offer – You stay 5 nights and you get 2 nights Free!

Easter Offer - You stay 5 nights and you get 2 nights Free!

Book your next delicious getaway by April 15th and experience life in the village in Easter. Stay 7 nights and pay for 5, this Easter with exclusive treats, local wine and breakfast included. In addition, those staying on these days will also enjoy 10% off selected spa treatments.

Book by: 15 April 2019 

Minimum stay requirement: 7 nights   (You pay for 5 nights and you stay for 7)
Stay period: 15 Apr 2019 – 30 Apr 2019

Offer terms: Rates include welcome local dish & drink, fruits & homemade sweet upon arrival, a bottle of virgin olive oil and vinegar, surprise gift upon departure and all applicable taxes & legal surcharges & are valid for all reservations booked through our official web site.

Deposit: Full time payment upon booking.

Cancellation policy: Non-Refundable

ELaiolithos: The first hotel on Naxos island officially certified as Gold “Hikers Friendly Hotel”


We are proud to inform you that ELaiolithos Luxury Retreat is officially certified as a “Hikers Friendly Hotel”, the first hotel on Naxos island that has been awarded with the Gold “Hikers Friendly Hotels” certification for its services relating to hiking activities. We look forward to welcoming you in this new alternative adventure!!!

ELaiolithos Luxury Retreat in Naxos Island, Greece – Discover the Undiscovered, Explore New Destinations, EXPERIENCE UNSPOILED LOCAL L!FE, Feel Like a Local, Live the continuous holiday experience of wholeness.

What Makes ELaiolithos Different? It does NOT have pretense….. A 30 year dream came true stone by stone and filled with it’s creator-founder’s love, heart and soul in every little detail inside out. ELaiolithos has Style, Character and it is a Reference Point in Naxos island– an Authentic Naxian Cultural Experience. Tradition is the essential element that allows ELaiolithos to connect with people on an emotional and intellectual level. ELaiolithos embraces the Eco-friendly lifestyle and Green Philosophy of nature while providing an oasis of luxurious accommodation.

Naxos: The "ELaiolithos Luxury Retreat" - Hikers Friendly Gold Awarded Hotel. The first hotel on Naxos island officially certified as a “Hikers Friendly Hotel”

ELaiolithos epitomizes the adventurous spirit of Naxos; everything here revolves around nature and green and barren landscapes, most unknown gems of Naxos and interesting hiking paths/trails are around here. It is the only spot on the island that you can arrive from 3 different directions, making it a perfect starting point to explore the off road and road trails by Hiking, Trekking, Bicycling, Quad-Biking, You will travel back in time, witness beautiful scenery, numerous ancient temples and ruins, a medieval fortress, Cyclopean rock formations, stunning mountain quarries of marble, Byzantine churches, picturesque villages with white washed houses, dramatic coastal scenery, secluded beaches in the East and North, and a wild coastline with exotic beauty, all while enjoying the world wide known Naxian culinary delights in ELaiolithos, or in beautiful taverns in the adjacent villages with eclectic local fresh ingredients and encounter the spirit of local people.

ELaiolithos is a sanctuary for travelers who want to unwind and enjoy the simple natural beauty of Naxos’ hinterland. Marvel at the dramatic orange, grey and yellow hues in the early morning or evening sky – with a drink in hand – as the sun rises or sets over the mountains.  From breakfast, lunch, brunch time on wards, enjoy the afternoon destination to relax and detox with a smoothie, tea, coffee or share some Signature cocktail or local wine and famous Naxian cheeses on the huge terrace or Open Air Cafe-Snack-Bar. Eat Well, Fresh-Cut, Healthy, Nutritious and tasty….

Naxos: The "ELaiolithos Luxury Retreat" - Hikers Friendly Gold Awarded Hotel. The first hotel on Naxos island officially certified as a “Hikers Friendly Hotel”

Top reasons that make ELaiolithos a great choice for travelers – hikers to Naxos:

It is a Luxury Accommodation that impresses on a whole load of levels. One of the many things that really sets ELaiolithos apart from the rest is its privileged location, where authenticity in all means exists. Brilliantly nestled in the heart of hinterland, in the core of Naxos, on one of the most scenic and enchanting areas of the island between Chalkio and Moni in an altitude of 450 meters, with splendid uninterrupted magnificent ethereal views and scenery . Enjoy the amazing sunrise, the day and the night no matter which Suite you book…. A bit of a treat for you…..

The opportunity to enjoy both the vibrant mountains of the island and its wonderful beaches in a short proximity, gives to ELaiolithos a great advantage for someone who seeks a little adventure in this Cycladic island plus the deep blue of the Aegean. While you indulge in ambient luxury in any one of the generous five Concept Suites, aside from their grandest local inspired decor, you can also admire the idyllic setting: an interesting panorama of the Drimalia/Traghaia Valley with its 400,000 olive trees, the only green valley in the Cyclades region, with infinite precious Byzantine churches and imposing Venetian Towers, Moni village famous for its handmade loom weaving textiles in 1.5 K, the Zeus Mountain – tallest in Cyclades (1004 m.), Fanari Mountain, the Panagia Drosiani –the oldest Byzantine church in Balkans in 350 meters, the cosmopolitan Chalkio village in 3.5 Km – the oldest capital of the island where is the Citron Distillery Museum, many other adjacent villages, the 8-shaped pyramid mountains complex with the sea and Sikinos and Ios island seen in the horizon, all visible from every Suite and the terrace. Within 2.5 Km is also the historic Kinidharos village with its rich history, monuments, traditional music, and its quarries with the famous Naxian Crystalline marble. In a few minutes from here you will be able to reach the most beautiful monuments and landmarks of the island, or beaches, all accessible at equal time.

Naxos: The "ELaiolithos Luxury Retreat" - Hikers Friendly Gold Awarded Hotel. The first hotel on Naxos island officially certified as a “Hikers Friendly Hotel”

ELaiolithos – an imposing rebirth of the Spirit of Naxos and the ultimate getaway to a wild natural wonderland! Here time meets with history, culture, and tradition. If you want to avoid mass tourism and surrendered to oblivion and to silence of the hinterland and the wonderful local food, then ELaiolithos is the perfect destination for your Naxian holiday. A natural landscape, awaits to be discovered step by step….Follow it, hear it, smell it, live it, take it all in!!! Here the page of a special story of hospitality will be written….

Choose the best time for you and….come to meet this wonderful venue where the mere presence of nature is enough to make an impact on the human psyche. ELaiolithos is a simple step in attempting to strengthen the long forgotten bond between the Human Soul and Mother Nature. We believe that an amazing hiking experience starts with great hospitality! Enjoy your stay, explore the trails of the area and have a fantastic hiking experience.!!!

For more information see under Activities Hiking Naxos  and Hikers Friendly Hotel

 Article written by Helen Marakis

 October 2018



Naxos brings the poet out of me. Here she comes again after so any years. It’s time for her to describe her nostalgia and love for this island and its landscapes. Nostalgia feels bittersweet — mostly happy and comforting, but with a bit of sadness. This is the feeling that motivated me to return to my native island and village, and create ELaiolithos.

This is where I grew up. In the heart of Naxos, in Drimalia valley. Here are the roads-journeys I walked during my childhood. I wish everyone to be able to take a lot of journeys throughout your life, lift yourself up, go beyond the limits of the possible and relish the beauty of each one of them!! I personally believe that a few things in life are as transformative as the people and places you encounter when you travel!

Η Νάξος της καρδιάς μου - Της Ελένης Μαράκη

Do you dream of visiting the Sahara dessert? Then come to Naxos and take the road from Sagri to Agiassos. The landscape will make you feel like you are in the Sahara!

Do you dream of visiting Mexico or the Grand Canyon? Then come to Naxos and take the road from Potamia to Tsikalario. The lunar landscape will make you feel like you are in Mexico or in the Grand Canyon. Huge rocks and stones create a unique scenery similar to the surface of the moon.

Naxos has a lot to offer to its visitors. Every road is a different journey and a different inspiration to the traveler. Every path takes your mind and your senses to faraway places, but they all end up on this wonderful island. On Naxos you can’t just have a quick look at the views of the surrounding countryside; you need to indulge yourself, take a closer look and try to analyze what your eyes see. Only if you comprehend the scenery around you, you will be able to feel its magic.

Η Νάξος της καρδιάς μου - Της Ελένης Μαράκη

The barren rocky landscapes on Naxos reflect wild beauty and peaceful tenderness at the same time, greatness and sweet simplicity. Nature there can touch you rather than astonish you. It gives you vibrations rather than a thrill. It is spontaneous and intense. There are plenty of mountains, wild, imposing and yet enchanting, a few plains, small isolated pieces of land, oleanders everywhere and light coming through the diverse colors of the landscapes. They all teach the observer a simple but strong lesson of peacefulness.

The beauty of Naxos is plain and purified. It can’t be taught; it is spontaneous and indigenous. Just like a geometrical shape by Euclid, the leafy oleanders are found symmetrically along several roads producing an abundance of colors and feelings.

I believe Naxos is beautiful because it successfully combines striking contrasts and a relaxed rhythm of life. There is always some roughness in the scenery, which you can feel rather than see. Huge rocks in countless shapes can relate to anything humans have seen. Mountain ranges pop up next to each other like pyramids under the blue sky, which gives them a sense of perfect harmony.

Η Νάξος της καρδιάς μου - Της Ελένης Μαράκη

Everything is part of something else. Travelers experience sheer joy as much as they can. They enjoy the stunning views of the island, views which they admire, judge, study and feel. There is a mystery underlying the wild natural beauty of Naxos which unveils like a tapestry.This mystery liberates the soul and brings happiness to life; it comes through the light shining on earth, it exists within nature and it releases overwhelming emotions that have remained invariable over the years.

Η Νάξος της καρδιάς μου - Της Ελένης Μαράκη

Naxos is pure and exciting at the same time with its secluded mountains and its fragrant underbrush that sparkles in the sunlight like precious jewels. The solitary trees you come across now and then look like human shadows swaying in the wind like souls do.

Η Νάξος της καρδιάς μου - Της Ελένης Μαράκη

Here, in this island you experience personal growth. Its humble sacred nature touches you to the bone and overwhelms you with its smile. Every mountain provokes a different emotion and takes you to a further dimension.

Η Νάξος της καρδιάς μου - Της Ελένης Μαράκη

One needs to have a deep soul and an agile mind to be able to experience this feeling appropriately. However, those who do experience such feelings will take a long sip of life itself and will have the privilege to attain a precious ideal, the consciousness of earth. They will feel obliged to protect and preserve this holy land. Here, time moves slowly as you soak in the hinterland’s environment with al five senses.

Η Νάξος της καρδιάς μου - Της Ελένης Μαράκη

That’s why all travelers who visit Naxos come back again and again. All these inspire awe and respect to them.

Η Νάξος της καρδιάς μου - Της Ελένης Μαράκη

Personally, I love these journeys. They gently touch the heart and open the soul. They have always been and still are pure magic to me! They fill you with freedom and you feel like a carefree bird flying. You become full of desires, you live like a kid, you laugh easily, you take in the beauty of life and creation, you see differently, you hear differently and you speak differently. Every single journey broadens your horizons; every single kilometer touches the whole of you…

Η Νάξος της καρδιάς μου - Της Ελένης Μαράκη

And there is even more to discover and feel….!!! All you have to do is visit Naxos island….

Article written by Helen Marakis

Summer 2018- Events In Naxos Island, Greece

Summer 2018- Events In Naxos Island, Greece

Calendar of events for the Naxian Culture, History and Tradition, information about products or services, awareness about social issues,  news, themes on family, travel, food, fun, style tips, information sharing about any subject or purely passion for writing and connecting with others.

Here are the resources to see some:

Naxos Festival

European Music Day

Loom Weaving Tradition…

Loom Weaving Tradition

HANDMADE JEWELS:  Experience the Tradition of the Art of the Loom Weaving in Naxos…. Cotton artifacts made of original, environmentally friendly, Greek cotton…

An art that romanticizes the handmade….

Travel Moments to Inspire…….Discover local eco-arts and crafts on your holiday travel..… Hand-woven, beautiful, artful and sustainable…..

Simplicity and responsible consumption, especially in textiles, always has been fascinating to me. One of the first objects we came in contact with when we were born was a blanket or gauze that we were wrapped in – all hand made by our mother…..When I think about hand-woven textiles I think about source and resource. I think about sustainability. What role can I play and what you – as a traveler of the world – can do. The loom weaving tradition shows care for our environment and natural resources and maintains the integrity of our biodiversity and ecosystem.

ELaiolithos supports and promotes cultural curiosity and a sense of discovery by offering a sophisticated tour on handmade artisan crafts to the audience seeking authentic, responsibly sourced local crafts with high aesthetics. The fascinating reality of this local tradition is dating back to antiquity…Hand-loom weaving in Naxos would instantly take you with its exotic charm and high aesthetics.

A loom is a device used to weave cloth and tapestry. The basic purpose of any loom is to hold the warp threads under tension to facilitate the interweaving of the weft threads. The precise shape of the loom and its mechanics may vary, but the basic function is the same. Loom weaving is among the most sophisticated and time consuming jobs in the world.

Loom Weaving Tradition

Naxos is among the remaining islands of Greece that has a significant tradition in textile weaving and still produces organic textiles coming from the genius of its master women weavers. The world has lost the hand-weaving and loom process, along with all natural and organic processes of creating textiles. One place in Greece and specifically in Cyclades is Naxos island, that still keeps this tradition alive with the women of Moni village to play the first role now days in this artistic handmade production of the loom weaving artifacts.

The striking thing about an island as big as Naxos is the sheer, overwhelming variety that it encompasses – of landscapes, tradition, language, cuisine, Natura and natural heritage sites. Naxos is a very diverse land, full of surprises. One of the most unique experiences and a must-see for anyone visiting Naxos is a visit to a Workshop-Exhibition of the hand loom weaving – a tradition that is still alive to present day and it is of extraordinary beauty, quality and technique expertise. All of the textiles are handwoven and hand-embroidered and reflect the highest standard in artisan excellence. The structure of the weave and the visual appearance of the fibers collectively reflect the superior quality of these textiles. Each textile features individual yarns and varying patterns woven with intricate cohesion.

The origin of weaving goes back to the dawn of civilization to at least 8000 years ago. Weaving began about 5000 BC with flax. Spinning was developed first with weaving later. Weaving was an important tradition for women in ancient Greece and it is still an alive tradition in many parts of Greece with Naxos to be among the active ones in current days. In the Naxian culture, weaving textiles with the loom is considered a craft creation, an art, a commodity, a form of self-expression, and a symbol of life and tradition itself. It is a complex and difficult art that tends to disappear in most villages, but the women of Moni village continue this tradition to nowdays.

Loom Weaving Tradition

In Greece the Moirae (the “Fates”) are the three crones who control destiny, and the matter of it is the art of spinning the thread of life on the distaff. Ariadne, the wife of the god Dionysus, possessed the spun thread that led Theseus to the center of the labyrinth and safely out again. Helen is at her loom in the Iliad to illustrate her discipline, work ethic, and attention to detail. Homer dwells upon the supernatural quality of the weaving in the robes of goddesses where a composition of patterned stripes, figured bands, ornamented borders, and plain fabrics are seen.

The loom is a machine that is 100% hand curved by a local skillful wood craftsman. There are looms of many sizes, types, and degrees of complexity. Most looms are like operated with treadles or levers. Weaving with a loom is pure art.  Weaving is an extremely long repetitive process which requires a great deal of patience, and focused attention, it is creative, and it is very rewarding at the end when the creations are completed. When you weave, you bring together different yarns and fabrics and unify them in a single, unique artifact. You can make clothes, accessories, and home decor in cotton fibers from plain to fancy and elaborate. The raw material used is pure Greek cotton and also silk – all are entirely natural products and come primarily from northern Greece.

Loom Weaving Tradition

Working on a loom is a demanding and difficult task. You need to be calm to weave properly on the loom. Both mind and body must be focused on it. It requires continual counting when working, while the moves required are physically demanding for the entire body. There’s no way that you can work for more than eight hours. The proper use of throwing the shuttle, calculating the correct yardage, setting a tenterhook and maintaining an even beat needs great attention and focus as well as the proper finishing of the woven piece.   You have to know how to use different fibers and colors in one project, and a range of finishing techniques with trims and fringes. Textiles are made with different patterns, colors, textures and densities for all different purposes. All these are time consuming and they need great patience and love for it.  The most important thing is that if a thread is broken or missing, weaving is not possible with the Loom.

But it’s a magical feeling to be making something completely new on an old loom, Mrs. Maria Maraki explained – one of the oldest women from Moni village, an incredibly talented weaver, very knowledgeable in the subject that continues the loom tradition since 1960. She has been a teacher to the new generations for keeping this tradition going on over the years and she has created the Weavers Association of Women of Moni and she is the president of the Association. She maintains also her own Exhibition-Workshop in Chalkio village, Naxos, with a great variety and a wonderful selection of these unique artifacts and accessories. She says: “my reward is the thousands of tourists that pass by every day and buy my creations, and my work travels around the globe. My textiles of contemporary styles of this uniqueness, sophistication and quality travel from Alaska to South Africa and from Europe to New Zealand, and I am very proud because my creations travel the world.” For her, weaving is not just a skill; it is a ritual of love for the art itself, admiration towards the beauty of the handmade artifacts with tenacity that comes from the heart.

She started her loom journey at the age of 15 when she learned how to weave. Later, her passion was to teach the women of her village and the adjacent villages to learn the technique, help them grow and embrace new skills. Hand-loom textiles need constant innovation, new designs and styles and Maria Maraki with her long experience and skills is a master on that, able to create astonishing pieces with intricate designs and embroidery; all adapted to the modern tastes and perceptions as well.

ELaiolithos offers unique shopping experience to its guests with visits to Chalkio and the Exhibition – Art of the Loom Gallery and Shop of Maria Maraki or her daughter’s Anastasia Maraki shop named “Nature and Art” where a stunning and extensive collection of these handmade artifacts can be seen. Handbags, wallets, place mats, tablecloths, curtains, runners, coasters, towels, centerpieces, scarves, pillow cases, bracelets, sofa throws, and many more….whatever a house needs to be decorated and adorned either for every day or for special occasions. One-of-a-kind pieces with unique patterns in different colors and artistic designs – all created by fantasy and talent.  There is no way you would not find something to delight you, and you can choose the piece you like and matches your style and preference from their shops. Treat yourself to one of a kind local textile to accent your house decor, and to remember your trip to Naxos, Greece or find the perfect gift for your loved ones!

Looking at traditional textiles throughout the world is also a way to aesthetically define culture, geography, and social structure.  Here with this article I try to give you an idea about the multitude of the weaving tradition in Naxos. Weaving connects people through time and within the community. There is not an art so central, and so fully shared among the people, as the loom woven textile art. The exquisite and complex motifs of these creations have been around for thousands of years, and their power and longevity contribute substantially to the Naxian culture.

Weaving is about living in harmony with the earth because it is a man made art created from the elements available in the steppe landscape. It is an amazing craft art which utilizes beautiful wooden tools: looms, shuttles, frames and more.  These tools are works of art in themselves, and of themselves. From table clothes to runners, aprons to rugs, wedding veils to curtains, and hand towels to yoga blankets, shawls, sofa throws and place-mats, textiles surround us, continue to be in our everyday life just like housing, food, and water, and accentuate our personal spaces distinctly.

Loom Weaving Tradition

In Plato’s Republic, the three Fates (Moirae) are the female personifications of human destiny, each playing a different role in the weaving of the fabric of life:

  • Clotho spins the thread of life from her distaff onto her spindle,
  • Lachesis measures the length of the thread of life with her rod, and
  • Atropos is the cutter of that thread, determining life’s end.

This art is at risk of disappearing in the shadow of urbanization and importation of cheaper commodities. That’s a reason why all of us must value and support the loom weaving craft tradition. It serves as a connection between generations, where these women are in reality artists of the loom weaving, which step on an old tradition and come up with their own interpretation of the past.

Traveling to Naxos is a joy. Naxos is rustic, historic, and full of intrigue. What more could you want from a place? Buying a loom weaving textile is something worth bringing home & something worth supporting….because these hand-made artistic creations not only romanticize the pre-industrial life, they also offer in a way, a return to our childhood.

Why buying these artifacts?

  • Hand-woven loom artifacts have an invisible stamp of uniqueness and authenticity
  • They are functional. They are usually designed with an end user in mind, who would put an object to a test by wearing it or carrying it, storing things on it, touching it. It can be put on display for others to admire, but unlike a piece of fine art, it will have an aesthetic as well as utilitarian value.
  • They are locally produced items. That means they have a smaller carbon footprint in terms of transportation and, in general, it’s good to know where the items you surround yourself with are coming from.
Loom Weaving Tradition

ELaiolithos also offers loom weaving classes for those who show an interest in the art. You can contact us for further details on the subject. Discover local eco-arts and crafts on your holiday travel..… Hand-woven, beautiful, artful and sustainable…..

Article written by Copyright © Helen Marakis . All rights reserved

The Poetic World of ELaiolithos Voices of Nature – Birds and Wild Life

The Poetic World of ELaiolithos Voices of Nature – Birds and Wild Life

Escape into an intoxicating world of tranquility where the melodies of nightgales, swallows, blackbirds, sparrows, woodcocks, thrushes and other birds will fascinate you. ELaiolithos – a great destination for peace and nature lovers.

Stone by stone, a dream came true and a completely handmade settlement of authentic Naxian hospitality was born, where love for nature, art, history, tradition and culture make real sense.

ELaiolithos is a different type of accommodation, a hillside retreat, a refuge for those seeking beauty in nature. It is built in a prime location on a peaceful olive grove setting away from the crowds, in the picturesque center of Naxos Island, 3.5 Km from the vibrant village of Chalkio and 1.5 km from Moni village which is known as the “balcony of Naxos” because of its position and its panoramic views. ELaiolithos has four luxurious suites to cater for every need and all with superb views to the mountains including Zeus mountain (the tallest in Cyclades islands 1004 m ), Panagia Drosiani Church (the oldest Byzantine Church in Cyclades), the lush Drimalia/Traghaia valley, the sea and the fields extending as far as the eye can reach.

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The brand new suites are autonomous residences build with stone. They are exclusively designed and decorated by the owner Helen, and completely functional while offering the intimate warmth of a discreetly luxurious home.  ELaiolithos is an excellent starting point for hikers, for anyone who wants to visit the enchanting villages of the Naxian hinterland and a place for those wishing to experience nature at its best while having top quality facilities and sumptuous amenities available to them.

The Poetic World of ELaiolithos Voices of Nature – Birds and Wild Life

ΕLaiolithos has the added benefit of being secluded, so it is ideal for those seeking a house rental where privacy is paramount. It is a peaceful location with warm spaces and exceptional design inspired by the surrounding nature and tradition and blends beautifully with its setting. Relax in the lovely terrace, gaze the scenic views of the dense olive grove valley and the spectacular panoramic views and hear the beautiful and graceful birds’ chirping sounds that are Elaiolithos’ highly desirable visitors.

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At the feet of ELaiolithos, just in front of the establishment, starts an amazing pristine ravine with dense vegetation that goes all the way down to the charming Chalkio village. This ravine is abundantly stocked with flowering and scented shrubs, olive and fruit trees, and other deciduous trees with dense undergrowth and climbing plants. It is known as the green heart of Naxos, and the only one in Cycladic islands, and impresses every visitor with its very special light, spreading peace and relaxation. The energetic purity that surrounds you and the amazing bird songs will sooth your soul.

The Poetic World of ELaiolithos Voices of Nature – Birds and Wild Life

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A variety of birds become residents in this pristine ravine and they make your staying an amazing time. Here you enjoy the day, night and dawn chorus.  Their singing fascinates our guests who appreciate the delicate tones and melodious tunes of their songs. Imagine having a glass of wine in the evening or drink your coffee in the morning when you wake up while sitting on the terrace and listening to these amazing musical pitches and rhythms. You find yourself in a natural paradise!

By mid-April, as soon as the harsh, leafless winter is over, when temperatures become warmer, huge flocks of nightgales and swallows are arriving in this huge ravine area that becomes their courtship and territory. Spring has sprung, the days are getting longer, the weather is getting warmer, and the birds are getting louder! And this will go on until September. By gazing at this splendid view, and listen to these beautiful masters of the air that show up in mass, you stay inspired and experience the essence of a hotel like no other.

The Poetic World of ELaiolithos Voices of Nature – Birds and Wild Life

All year around you can hear also the magnificent chirping of sparrows, blackbirds, woodcocks and thrushes that would get your attention and in combination with the idyllic scenery will make you dream!

Some Facts:

  • The nightgale, known for singing in the night time, hence the name, though it sings during the day as well, is the embodiment of love and greatness. The nightgale is probably the most lyrical of all birds and may have 300 different love songs. Nightgales teach their offsprings to sing and so are often symbols of education and good teaching. This bird is also a symbol of beauty, immortality, and freedom from the world’s troubles.  Its song is loud, with an impressive range of whistles, trills and gurgles, and is particularly noticeable at night because few other birds are singing. The nightgale’s song is cherished around the world and considered to be a good omen for poets, writers, and singers.
    Coleridge and Wordsworth saw the nightingale as an instance of natural poetic creation: the nightgale became a voice of nature. John Keats’ “Ode to a Nightingale” pictures the nightgale as an idealized poet who has achieved the poetry that Keats longs to write.
  • The sparrow is a symbol of rebirth, resurrection, and the mother goddess. Sparrows were associated by the ancient Greeks with Aphrodite, the goddess of love, due to their perceived lust-fullness, an association echoed by later writers such as Chaucer and Shakespeare. Jesus’s use of “sparrows” as an example of divine providence in the Gospel of Matthew (234) also inspired later references, such as that in Shakespeare’s Hamlet(231)and the Gospel hymn His Eye Is on the Sparrow.
  • The thrush’s song is distinctive, airy and flutelike and much admired, being penetrating and musical. The hidden power of a thrush is that it brings new thoughts, new ideas, and newness of life. The thrush has been depicted in the movie, The Hobbit, described as pitch black with yellow spots on its chest.
  • The swallow represents love, care and affection towards family and friends. This bird also represents freedom and hope, good luck, everlasting love and loyalty, related to the fact that swallows mate for life. Six swallows were the first lovely visitors of ELaiolithos, where they arrived in spring of 2017 and built 3 nests. We post some pictures of their babies and their nests.
  • The blackbird’s song is a melodious and distinctive low-pitched fluted warble voice. Blackbirds are among the most beautiful summer birds with some of the sweetest songs, mellow songs that send a shiver through the body. Aristophanes’ Birds and Callimachus both evoke the bird’s song as a form of poetry.

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ELaiolithos is an ideal destination for writers, poets, authors, singers, musicians, artists, photographer lovers, birdwatchers and anyone who loves and appreciates nature and its graceful beauty.

Your stay in ELaiolithos will reward you. Here simply be and appreciate the diversity of avian life you see and hear. Cheer its solitude with sweet sounds and be entranced by the birds’ melodies.  Listen to their sounds that will offer you relaxation, read your book immersed in this serene environment, have a peaceful sleeping, do yoga or meditation and go into yourself and see how deep the place is from which the life flows; be in touch with its source. ELaiolithos and its enchanting surroundings emit a feeling of peace, comfort and tranquility that will take hold of you….

The Poetic World of ELaiolithos Voices of Nature – Birds and Wild Life

At an altitude of 500 meters:

  • Lose yourself in the wonder of nature with so many different bird species and their melodies.
  • Experience spectacular views of the lush green valley
  • Witness majestic refreshing sight of sunrise and sunset
  • Enjoy of being in the lap of nature
  • The best walking natural trails in Naxos are around ELaiolithos. You can go down in the ravine to explore, walk through groves of olive trees, and visit ancient ruins and monuments on your way. We ensure you that this would be a therapeutic long relaxing and pleasant walk through undulating narrow walkways in pristine areas with unique views, and you would love the smell of nature.

ELaiolithos – A Haven of Leisure

ELaiolithos is like a sanctuary, a sacred space where you feel safe, where you feel free, it is where people can allow themselves to trust and be guided into a truly unforgettable experience.

If ever you need a place to unwind, to enjoy friendship and fellowship, to recapture that unique and much needed sense of peace and harmony, and to experience authentic Naxian hospitality, you have come to the right place… because ELaiolithos embodies the very essence of its own destination.

A Note by the owner, Helen

“I feel blessed to be able to do what I love and be able to share my passion with others. My love for my village and its surroundings resulted in an accommodation that integrates everything in my life and I offer it to the world to visit and experience. For me, ELaiolithos is like a treasure chest of amazing gifts and wonder that is just waiting to be opened and all to be revealed. When you are willing to see yourself that way you are allowing life to unfold through you in wonderful ways. Because what happen today will become the memories you hold onto forever.”

Arrive and enjoy the vacation!

Article written by Copyright © Helen Marakis . All rights reserved

Early Spring Offer – Stay 4 nights and get the 5th night Free!

Offer: Free Night

Spring is around the corner, do you have any travel plans yet? When the clouds of winter break and the nature begins to bloom along with the promise of much smaller crowds, Naxos is at its most beautiful. As well as enjoying excellent weather with mild Mediterranean temperatures, experience the beauty of Naxos’ hinterland as it bursts into life in spring. Also in Spring you get the best of both shoulder and peak seasons: It’s lively but not crowded, warm but not scorching. The weather is best (not too hot, not too cool), and the crowds have not arrived yet, making this a perfect time to get to know a large slice of Naxos intimately and thoroughly.

In addition, those staying on these days will also enjoy 10% off selected spa treatments.

Get the most out of your spring getaway with  this offer here when you

Book by: 09 April 2019   

Minimum stay requirement: 5 nights   (You pay for 4 nights and you stay for 5)
Stay period: 01 Mar 2019 – 14 Apr 2019

Offer terms: Rates include welcome local dish & drink, fruits & homemade sweet upon arrival, a bottle of virgin olive oil and vinegar, surprise gift upon departure and all applicable taxes & legal surcharges & are valid for all reservations booked through our official web site.

Deposit: Full time payment upon booking.

Cancellation policy: Non-Refundable

Summer 2017- Events in Naxos Island, Greece

Summer 2017- Events in Naxos Island, Greece

ELaiolithos’ blog would be about various topics and calendar of events for the Naxian Culture, History and Tradition, information about our products or services, awareness about social issues,  news, themes on family, travel, food, fun, style tips, information sharing about any subject or purely passion for writing and connecting with others.

Here are the resources to see some:

Panyghyria (Folk Festivals)

All year around but mostly during the spring and summer season, Naxos island is full of cultural and religious events and fairs. The most common traditional festivals take place throughout the year, being tied in with the Greek Orthodox Church calendar, the celebration of each village’s Holy Saint and protector. Many celebrations take place out in the countryside and the atmosphere is very unique. But the most celebrations’ main spots for feasts are the taverns or the main square situated on each village. Traditional music, a lot of local food and wine is tasted  and a lot of dance takes place all night long. Visitors are welcome and may even be given priority seating. While in Naxos it’s a must visit to any of these festivals, where the Authentic side of Naxos will be witnessed. Apart from the religious festivals, various cultural events are scheduled constantly at the island’s restored Towers.

You will find below the most popular festivals-events, so be sure to update your agenda during your stay!

  • May 20th: Festival of Ag­ios Thalaleos, in Agios Thalaleos
  • June 30th: Festival of Agii Apostoli, in Melanes
  • July 7th: Festival of Agia Kyriaki, in Potamia
  • July 8th: Festival of Ag­ios Prokopios in Agios Prokopis
  • July 14th: Festival of Ag­ios Nikodimos in Hora and Glinado
  • July 17th: Festival of Agia Marina in Agidia and Koronos
  • July 25th: Festival of Agia Anna in Agia Anna
  • July 27th: Festival of Agios Panteleimon in Ag­ersani
  • August 6th: Festival of Christ the Saviour in Glinado, Damarionas and Kourounochori
  • August 15th: Festival of Panagia (Holy Virgin) all over the island and particulary in Filoti
  • August 23rd: Festival of the Holy Virgin’s no­vena in Tripodes
  • August 29th: Festival of Agios Ioannis in Apiranthos, Apollonas and Agersani
  • September 8th: Festival of Theoskepasti in Komiaki and Potamia