Searching for the Kouroi statues on Naxos island

Standing in front of one of the Kouroi

After arriving on the Greek island of Naxos we rented a car with the idea of seeing as much of the island as we could in a few days. One ancient feature that took a little exploring but was well worth the time was a drive/hike to see the three statues called the Kouroi. They are tall unfinished stone statues that represent noble male youth and were popular around Greece. Many have been lost over the ages, but these Kouroi survived in partial form. They were left where they were quarried, likely because they had been damaged while being cut from the surrounding stone. Luckily, they are still accessible today so on our first full day on the island we decided to take them all in.

To see all three Kouros statues we needed to go to two very different locations on the island. One was located on the northern part of the island, through tiny villages and narrow cliff roads. It was a long, winding drive to get there. We even had to watch out for sheep.

Waiting for the sheep to cross

Eventually we we arrived at the statue location by the side of the road.

Sign to the statue about 30 metres from the road

This was the Kouros of Apollonas. This statue was easy to reach, and was quite tall at almost 11 metres.

Near the statue is a small village called Apollona which provided us some time for lunch before looking for the other two statues.

Town of Apollona
Outdoor cafes at the waterfront
Break for lunch, including Greek yogurt and fresh bread with olive oil
This was our paper tablecloth at the restaurant. I’ve marked the town’s location as well as the location of the other two statues closer to the centre of the island

To get to the other two statues, we had to drive back to the centre of the island from the coast. After a going up and down hills and through small villages we reached the spot. There was a parking area some distance from the location of the two statues and it was time to walk.

An ancient cistern where water was stored
At the parking area near the ruins

Nearby the ruins was the town of Melanes, one of the oldest villages on the island. There were some other ruins in the area including the remains of an aqueduct, quarries and other structures.

Ruins near the town of Melanes
Some of the signs explaining the ruins are in need of repair!

The other two statues are called the Kouroi of Flerio. One of the statues was a relatively short walk from the main parking area.

Getting to the first statue

Getting to the final statue took much longer, as it requires going through a series of gates and up and down a few hills. But it was worth the journey as we enjoyed the views during the hike.

We went through a series of gates. It was important to keep the gates closed and locked as we went through…
…to prevent the sheep from escaping
Getting closer

Finally we arrived at the location of the final statue. This one had fallen forward and there was still a pedestal where one foot stood.

It took the better part of the day, but we saw all three of the Kouroi statues and took in a nice part of the island as well.

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