The village of Halki in the center of the Greek Island of Naxos is well worth a visit. It has great things to discover. It’s like traveling back in time!
The Highlights of Halki
Halki (or Chalki as you will also see it written) was once the capital of the island of Naxos and the buildings and churches reflect the considerable wealth from the region. The area around Halki, Naxos is still largely agricultural, growing olives and citron.
In the old part of the town there are no cars, so it is a very relaxing place to just let yourself go and wander around.
Explore the Old Churches and Venetian Tower
One of Naxos oldest churches, the Church of Panagia (the Virgin), is a beautiful Byzantine church from the 9th century.
Another very old church, Panagia Protothroni, was built in the 6th Century and has been in service uninterrupted since 1052.
You can view the 17th century Barozzi Tower built by the family of the same name.
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Halki is quite central and there are many trails to other villages that leave from the main town. They are sign-posted in town. Be aware that in many parts of Europe the hiking signs indicate the normal time you will need to walk one way, rather than the distance.
It can be quite warm and many of these trails offer little shade so if you go, be prepared.
Browse through the Shops and Galleries In Town
There are a number of old shops in Halki, Naxos, which look as though they have changed little over time. They are worth a look and a browse. A few of our favorites were the sweet shop and the green grocer. It’s like being transported back in time!
There is a general store of sorts where you can buy a souvenir. The black and white postcards here show how little the town has changed with modern times.
There is an appealing art gallery, the Fish & Olive. It contains some great pieces. There are two locations in the town. As well, there are a number of other small artist shops and galleries. It all makes for a pleasant wander through this relaxed town.
Halki is also home to the Vallindras Distillery, which makes citron liqueur for which Naxos is famous. It is free and you can taste the products as well.
Where to Eat
There are a number of cafes, all of which look inviting. The Dolce Vita coffee shop makes good Italian style coffee if you would like a break from Greek coffee.
Galani’s Cafe is famous for its custard filled pastry, or gelakto boureko. Perfect for a mid morning or mid-afternoon snack. It was a highlight!
The taverna in the main square, Giannis or Yiannis, often has meat roasting on the rotisserie. This was a most pleasant lunch sitting under the trees. It’s a great place to enjoy lamb!
Getting There & Away
Halki is located in the center of Naxos, only 16 kilometers from Naxos Town. There is bus service to and from, so if you don’t have a car it is an easy village to reach and explore. While considered a rather large village for Naxos, once you arrive it is easy to explore on foot.
If you have a car or are a hiker you may want to continue on to Fioti, another lovely village with a tree lined street full of cafes. A great place for a drink or dessert and a coffee in the afternoon.
There is a hotel in town if you would like to stay overnight or base yourself here to explore Naxos. Search for the Motel Halki.
If you would like to learn more about Naxos, you might enjoy:
And if you would like to learn more about the Greek Islands you might enjoy all of the content from Compass & Fork about Greece.