The village of Danakos is a small picturesque village situated deep in a gorge at the foot of Mt. Zas, on Naxos’s eastern side. It is one of the island’s oldest settlements, with references by Homer and ancient historians Thucydides and Polybius, but this is also attested by the numerous remains of ancient cemetery, wells and Byzantine chapels in the area.
The name Danakos is thought to derive either from Danaoi –an early Greek tribe- or from “danax” –the ancient word for cane, which is considered to have proliferated in the area.
The village of Danakos is well-known for its plentiful and clear water springs which used to power a number of mills. The remnants of seven of these mills can still be seen in the lush gorge today, where plane trees and oleanders predominate. Its main feature is the water spring on its western side.
Cultural events, such as kouzinomagiremata (cookery contest) and concerts by well-known Greek artists are held at the plateau under the centenarian plane tree by the water spring every summer. But the spot is worth seeing regardless of the timing.
Danakos today has some 160 permanent residents, the majority of whom are animal farmers, stone masons and millers.
Naxos’ oldest monastery, Photodotis, located at a short distance from the village, is also a must for visitors.
Zoodochos Pigi (“The Spring of Eternal Life”) is the holy patron of the village. The church is located next to the fountainhead. Vespers are held on the eve and mass in the morning on the annual Zoodochos Pigi Day, which is always on the Friday after Easter. The holy icon is then paraded around the village. Feasting follows in the local tavernas.
|Directions for access||Danakos is connected by road with Chora and by farm dirt road with the settlement of Moutsouna and Lygaridia.|
|Parking||There is adequate parking space at the entry points to the village.|