It is one of the oldest villages of the island, at a distance of 8km from the port of Naxos. Its name comes from the ancient times and proofs of the settlement’s long history are the ancient Sculpture Schools and the gigantic Kouros of Melanes (archaic marble statue) of 6th century B.C. In the region you can also meet the ancient Roman aqueduct of Flerio which used to supply with water the town of Naxos, Chora. Some of its parts are still visible and you can see them on the way to the port.
Its active residents are in the construction industry and they are widely famous for it in the whole island. They also deal with agriculture and livestock farming. The village is amphitheatrically built on a gorge side, rich in vegetation which can be easily verified by the old watermills that adorn the landscape. The visitor’s look is magnetized by the green fruit and olive trees.
In Melanes you will find restaurants with excellent food; you should not omit to taste cock cooked in wine, a delicious local specialty! There are also traditional cafιs to drink your coffee or a glass of raki or even taste some local sweets. There you can also meet its open-hearted and hospitable residents.
A very important monument of the area and one of the most special in the whole Mediterranean Sea is the Palace of Jesuits. It is located in the region of Kalamitsia really close to the village. It was the countryside residence of the Jesuits monks that acted on the island during the rule of the Franks (Francocracy). It is a building of 17th century that despite of not being a tower, it has defensive battlements. Walking inside the palace you will meet the kitchen, the guest rooms, the cellars, the livestock houses and a marvellous pigeon house located in a different building.
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