Hiking Mt Zeus

November 10, 2016   Greece, Naxos

Mt Zeus, on Naxos, isn't quite as I imagined. Zeus was ancient Greece's king of the gods, as well as the god of the sub-specialties sky and thunder, so a mountain called Mt Zeus makes me think it should contain a hilltop fortress encircled by thunder and lightening. Well the real Mt Zeus, aka Mt Zas, turned out to be nothing like that, no scary bits at all, just a steady hike with panoramic views all the way to the top. And while an elevation of 1,000 m doesn't sound impressive, it is the highest point on Naxos as well as the neighboring islands.

Mt Zeus and Filoti      
It is October 14, the weather is perfect for a hike. The peak on the right is Mt Zeus, aka Mt Zas. In the foreground is Filoti where we stopped for coffee.
Church of Agia Marina      

The Mt Zas trail head is about an hour's drive from Naxos town via a twisty, narrow road. The road passes white chapels and through picturesque villages. The trail starts next to a chapel which is not particularly notable since Naxos is heavily peppered with chapels: on hilltops, on cliff-sides, by the road, in valleys, accompanying trails. And every chapel is the same colour scheme, bright white with a dash of deep blue. It's a chapel-palooza.

The trail to the top of Mt Zeus      
Trail to the top of Mt Zeus      
Trail to the top of Mt Zeus      
It's a comfortable incline to the top, a bit rocky in places but not hard, and of course I stopped for lots of photos.
Naxos town, seen from trail to Mt Zeus      
The town in the distance is Naxos and the island furthur out is Paros.
Islands in the Cyclades from Mt Zas      
From the top of Mt Zeus we could see inland Naxos, the neighboring island of Paros, as well as the Aegean sea and several of the other Cycladic islands.
View from trail to Mt Zas      
I think that's the village of Danakos
Looking NE towards Filoti and Naxos      
We're at the top, what else to do?      
From the chapel trailhead to the top of Mt Zas took us about two hours, though it was a leisurely pace with plenty of stopping to take in the views.
View from the top of Mt Zas      
From the top of Mt Zeus we saw neighboring islands.
Stone walls make long-standing fences      
Tiny Village seen from the trail to Mt Zas      
Cafe in Filoti      
After hiking Mr Zeus we stopped for coffee and dessert at a cafe in the charming town of Filoti. The proprietor was welcoming and also comfortable speaking English, the pastries delicious. Along with a cappuccino I ate several frozen treats, like frozen gelatos. Prices are very reasonable.
Filoti Village square      

The hike is over and we're in the nearby town of Filoti for coffee, after which we walk around the town. We encounter this square a couple blocks off the road up narrow marble walkways and stairs. There are lots of stairs in Greece.

The most common pavement material in Greece seems to be marble. It's beautiful, light in color, it reflects the light at night giving a town a glow, and it really glistens in the rain. But you quickly learn marble is slippery esp when wet.

From Filoti we drove the hour back to Naxos, left our car in a free city lot, then walked a few blocks to the hotel.