On the north-western side of the island, 7km away from the main town of Naxos, situated in a richly green valley, is the small village of Eggares (approx. 200 inhabitants), which combines the beauty of the valley, the mountains and the sea. Central spots in the village are the Church of Assumption and the big stone square right next to it. Walk though the village which is crossed by two rivers, with rich vegetation. Along one of these rivers you will come across the abandoned settlements of ‘Mesa Geitonia’ with the Tower of Foufopoulos and ‘Lagkada’, but also 7 well preserved watermills. Other preserved monuments are the old marble bridge and the chapel of Aghia Gennisi, a monastery in a cave, the ruins of which can be found at the top of the Gennisis mountain. The two renovated old olive oil mills are also worth a visit.
Gallini is one of Naxos’ small agricultural villages with just 192 inhabitants. It is just 6km away from the main town and is built amphitheatrically on the rocks situated on the western side of the Valley of Eggara. A significant monument is the monastery of Ipsilis (1660) which is well hidden away in a ravine, 500m outside the village’s main settlement. This is probably the best example Naxos has to offer of a fortified monastery, due to the peculiarity of its circular south-western tower.
A characteristic of this region is the orchard valley which protects itself form the gustily winds with natural reed windbreakers. In each orchard, visitors will find a well and a stone table, along with a tiny farmhouses next to a water reservoir under the shade of a fig or mulberry tree.