Tout ce que vous devez savoir avant de venir dans notre merveilleuse île

Discover Filoti: Naxos’ Hidden Gem

Naxos stands as the most expansive and eclectic island within the Cyclades, presenting visitors with an extensive array of attractions. Its offerings range from pristine beaches and time-honored monuments, to the vibrant life of Naxos Town and the quaint charm of its villages. Among these, Filoti emerges as a must-visit, embodying a blend of natural splendor, cultural richness, and authentic local interaction, making it the archipelago’s largest and most charming village.

Positioned at the island’s core, against the backdrop of Mount Zas—the Cyclades’ loftiest point—Filoti is cradled by olive groves and vineyards. This village’s amphitheatrical layout on the mountain’s steep inclines presents an awe-inspiring view over the lush Tragea valley. Filoti’s legacy is profound, tracing back to ancient times as a hub for Zeus worship. Nowadays, it vibrates with life and community spirit, allowing visitors to immerse in local hospitality, savor homegrown delicacies, and partake in dynamic cultural festivals throughout the year.

This blog post aims to unveil the key attractions and activities Filoti offers, showcasing why it stands as an essential visit for those eager to experience the authentic essence of Naxos. So are you prepared to uncover the hidden marvels of Filoti, the gem of Naxos? Let us embark on this journey together!

Unveiling Filoti: A Cultural and Historical Overview

Filoti, a picturesque village, is steeped in a rich history that stretches from ancient times right up to our present day. In this overview, we delve into both the historical and cultural fabric of Filoti, offering insights into its enduring legacy and contemporary character.

The Rich History of Filoti

The name Filoti traces its roots back to ancient Ionian civilizations, signifying the village’s inception by Asian Minor settlers on Naxos around the 10th century BC. Central to Filoti’s historical significance is its association with Zeus, the supreme deity of Greek mythology, believed to have been born in the Zas cave nearby. The village bears marks of Venetian influence, notably the Barozzi tower, a 17th-century fortification erected by the prestigious Barozzi family. During the Greek War of Independence, Filoti emerged as a strategic base for revolutionary leader Marcos Sanoudos in his battle against Ottoman forces. Today, the village’s Greek Numismatic Collection Museum showcases a swath of rare and valuable coins that span the epochs of Greek history.

Local Traditions and Celebrations

In Filoti, a profound sense of tradition and culture pulsates through its customs and festivities. The village revives ancient rituals through celebrations like the Chirosfagia, the Klydonas, and the Plitheri, marking the winter and summer solstices, and the harvest season, respectively. Embodying the spirit of local heritage, Filoti also hosts the island’s grandest traditional feast on August 15, in honor of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. This three-day spectacle blends dance, song, and the savoring of local fares like lamb, goat, and cheese. Central to these festivities is the church of Panagia Filotitissa, a majestic basilica constructed in 1718, standing as Filoti’s crowning jewel.

Exploring the Natural and Architectural Beauty of Filoti

Filoti, a treasure trove of culture, history, breathtaking natural scenery, and astonishing architecture awaits your exploration. This guide will illuminate the paths to scenic landscapes, invigorating hiking trails, and the architectural wonders that make the village and its surroundings unique.

Scenic Landscapes and Hiking Trails

Dotted with olive groves and vineyards, Filoti’s rich natural environment offers ample opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. These lands yield some of Naxos’s most prized products, including olive oil, wine, and cheese. Perched on the slopes of Mount Zas, the highest peak in the Cyclades, Filoti boasts spectacular views of the island and the sea beyond. Mount Zas is renowned among hikers for its well-marked trails leading to the summit or the mythologically significant Cave of Zas, the supposed birthplace of Zeus, which features stunning geological formations like stalagmites and stalactites. Adventurers can also embark on the circular trail from Filoti, passing historical sites like the Agia Marina chapel, the Levgasa spring, and the Arion fountain. Additionally, Filoti is a stone’s throw away from some of Naxos’s most charming beaches, including Kalandos and Rina, perfect for swimming, sunbathing, or cave explorations.

Architectural Marvels: Churches and Historic Buildings

Filoti’s rich architectural heritage mirrors its lengthy and vibrant history. The village is home to numerous churches and chapels, with some dating back to the Byzantine era, adorned with original frescoes and icons. The most notable is the Panagia Filotitissa basilica, constructed in 1718, featuring a three-bell tower embellished with exquisite carvings. Opposite the church, visitors will find the Ecclesiastic and Folklore Museum of Filoti, offering a glimpse into traditional living while showcasing relics and icons. Another impressive structure is the Barozzi Tower, a defensive fortification erected in the 17th century by the Barozzi family, notable rulers of Naxos during the Venetian era. This tower, with its marble wall and historical inscriptions, stands as a vivid reminder of the island’s feudal history. Other must-visit sites include the Chimaros Tower, a well-preserved ancient monument dating back to the 4th century BC, and the Greek Numismatic Collection Museum of Nikolas Moustakis, home to a prestigious and extensive collection of Greek coins from various historical periods.

Filoti’s Heart: The Community and Local Life

Filoti is more than its breathtaking natural landscape and architectural gems; it embodies a warm, welcoming community. This section dives into the heart of Filoti, shedding light on the vibrant local life, the people, their products, and the rich gastronomy that defines this place.

The Warmth of Filoti’s People

The people of Filoti are celebrated for their friendliness and generosity, welcoming both visitors and fellow locals with open arms. They take immense pride in their village and its traditions, eager to share their tales and experiences with the curious. The sense of community and identity here is palpable, echoing through their diverse social and cultural activities. With a lively cultural scene, Filoti hosts numerous associations and clubs, orchestrating events and festivals all year round. Highlights include the Chirosfagia, the Klydonas, and the Plitheri—time-honored rituals marking the winter solstice, summer solstice, and the harvest season, respectively. Moreover, Filoti celebrates the island’s most grand traditional feast on August 15, honoring the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. This three-day gala is a spectacle of dance, song, and the savoring of local delicacies such as lamb, goat, and an array of cheese products. Central to the festivities is the church of Panagia Filotitissa, a stunning basilica constructed in 1718, representing the heart and soul of the community.

Local Products and Gastronomy

Gifted with fertile lands, Filoti is the proud producer of some of Naxos’s most esteemed goods, including grapes, wine, olives, and olive oil. The village is acclaimed for its livestock, yielding exquisite lamb and goat meat, alongside an impressive selection of cheese products like kefalotyri, anthotyro, xinotyro, arseniko, and myzithra. These ingredients are the foundation of Filoti’s mouthwatering dishes such as rosto (pork cooked in tomato sauce), patoudo (lamb stuffed with rice and herbs), and melachrino (a sweet cake enriched with honey and nuts). Furthermore, Filoti boasts a cooperative of local women who craft and market homemade sweet preserves, featuring flavors like quince, cherry, and fig. The village’s gastronomy is a testament to its cultural heritage and the bounty of its lands, offering a unique opportunity to indulge in the richness and diversity of its culinary traditions.


Filoti, often perceived as Naxos’s hidden treasure, is a village that promises an extraordinary journey to those who visit. By choosing to explore Filoti, you’re set to embark on a venture that skillfully blends natural beauty, cultural richness, and the genuine essence of local lifestyle. Traverse the enchanting landscapes and pathways of Mount Zas and the Tragea valley, be awestruck by the splendid architecture of the churches and historical edifices, and feel the unmatchable warmth and hospitality through the village’s customs and traditions. The culinary delights of Filoti, born from its fertile soils and profound history, are a treat for the taste buds. Filoti doesn’t just appeal to your senses; it captures your heart, compelling you to return time and time again. So, why wait any longer? Plan your visit to Filoti now, and unveil the splendid secret that Naxos holds!

Share the Post:

Related Posts: