Naxos Island, Greece
Naxos is the largest and most fertile of Greece's Cyclades Islands. It is relatively new to tourism, with a thriving agricultural harvest of olives, grapes, lemons and potatoes making the tourist industry unnecessary. A new airport and speedier inter-island travel now make it easier for visitors to get here. There are also new hotels in the port and clusters of hotels on island beaches. Naxos is home to a few ancient temple ruins, modern pilgrimage churches, and some unique medieval architecture due to the Venetians who ruled Naxos from 1207 until it fell to the Turks in 1566. The influence of Venetian architecture is obvious in the Kastro in Hora and the fortified Venetian towers, or piryi, that dot the hillsides. Another notable feature of Naxos is a remarkable abundance of Byzantine chapels, even by Greek island standards. Many of them contain exceptional frescoes from the 9th to the 13th centuries.