Egares village, in the northwest side of Naxos island, is located in a large rich verdant flat valley affluent in natural water. Nestled on the feet of Korakia mountain, it has 2 amazing abandoned neighborhoods: the Lagada with the 7 watermills, and the Mesa Geitonia which is a beautiful area with the ruins of an old settlement and the Foufopoulos Tower. Amazing preservable monuments worth a visit for their appearance and their views are the old marble bridge of double arches, that need repair, the remains of a monastery in the top of Gennisis mountain, and the chapel of “Agias Gennisis” (Nativity) in a cavern. Locals say that here on the hill of Nativity, was the sanctuary of the Nymphs in ancient times.
Two rivers cross Egares village with verdurous riversides. The region is very fertile favoring the long standing tradition of agricultural and stock farming. With a population of 200 permanent residents, they produce olive oil, potatoes, citrus fruits, cheeses, wine and raki.
Egares village is a small village that combines plain valleys, mountains and sea.
Below the plain is situated the beach of Amitis, a nice, virgin and quiet beach, without any human interventions. Next to the sea there is “Amitis” lake where reeds grow up. A plethora of different varieties of fruit and citrus trees exist here and their fresh scents and aromas fill the air and take you instanteneously.
Nearby, about 1 Km away, is located a reservoir, the main water catchment area and supplier of Naxos town and its surrounding area.
The parish church is the Kimiseos Theotokou ( Virgin Mary Dormition), a grandiose church that stands with pride in the center of the village on the main road. A few steps down there is an olive oil museum shop. Find here a few tavernas with delicious local food, a small market, a little cafe, and a marble sculpting open-air workshop exhibition that will catch your eyes as you pass by with the exhibit of a large sculpted “phalus” standing on top a very tall marble column.
The soothing, bucolic aura of Eggares village had captured the famous Greek writer Nikos Kazantzakis’ heart, who was passing his summer vacations during is youth here. He wrote the ‘Report to El Greco” where he refers to this village as a paradise on earth.
“ What abundance, what fruit-laden trees, what beatitude! ”~ N. Kazantzakis
Egares village has maintained many aspects of its old world charm, and has kept its rich traditions and customs alive to nowdays:
- Lovely New Year’s Day Carols with the traditional bagpipes (tsampounes and doubkia, traditional music instruments) take place on the Eve and New Year’s Day. After the end of the Mass, all residents head to the cafes and tavernas to enjoy coffee and treats.
- The Carnivals kordelatoi exchange custom, where residents dressed kordelatoi go with violins to nearby villages of Melanes and Kinidaros, entertain the women of those villages and dance with them, while kordelatoi from those villages come to Eggares and after receiving treats by the locals they entertain them with their own violins. This custom here is a great aquaintance place and meeting point of boys and girls that flert with each other and some times initiates marriages. It serves like an actual dating flerting spot for young generations.
- The Lit Reeds, the Perifanes custom where 15 local young boys lit up burning bundles from canes (named perifanes in the local dialect), go around every street of the village and follow the litany of the epitaph of Christ and Virgin Mary. These customs are taking place every year on the day of Good Friday and on the August 15th
- Also in August 15th is the grand dance of the village where many people from all over the island arrive here to eat and dance.
Egares village is about 9 kilometres from Naxos town and port, a 15 minute drive on a smooth asphalt next to the west coast with beautiful views of the Aegean sea and the adjacent Cycaldic islands.