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