Halki (Chalkio or Chalki) Naxos: The village of Halki is located in the central area of the region of Tragea which is the biggest olive cultivation area of the Cyclades, 16 km from Hora, or Naxos Town. Halki has a long history and was once the capital of Naxos as well as its main administrative and trade centre. The many Neoclassical houses and buildings testify about the past wealth and power of the village.
Many well-preserved Venetian Towers and fine Byzantine churches can be found in the area such as the 9th century Church of Panagia which is one of Naxos oldest churches and houses some beautiful Byzantine and post-Byzantine frescoes.
Parking up or arriving by bus on the main street you can make the short journey to St Georges church which is a great example of Byzantine design. On the path there you will notice the olive groves on either side, something the area is famous for. Going back into the main village notice the architecture and the handsome villas.
Gratsia Pyrgos is well signposted and is an excellent example of a tower house. Built by an aristocratic family (notice the coat of arms) it was used as a lookout in the days of pirate raids. Unfortunately you can’t enter the tower but it can be admired close up.
The Vallindra Kitron distillery is in the heart of the village and can be entered for free. You are given a tour of the site where the famous Kitron of the area is made. It is interesting to see the workings up close and the tour gives plenty of interesting facts, not least that the liquid is actually made from Citron leaves. The tour ends, naturally, with some sampling of the product as well as Ouzo which is also made here.