1 An island in Greece, largest of the Cyclades.
Area: 171 sq mi (445 sq km)

2 Oldest Greek colony in Sicily; ruins southwest of Taormina.

Nodeshell liberated by the Nodeshell Liberation Armed Front
    Considered by many to be another overlooked gem in the Aegean, Naxos is big, green and may have the best beaches in Greece. It's close to the popular islands Mykonos, Ios, Paros and Santorini with frequent ferry connections. It has a lively harbor town with restaurants, cafes, clubs and shops. Rent a car, or even better, a motorscooter (papaki) and see the whole island. The valleys and ridges are beautiful and lush, particularly the area known as Tragaia, so hikers will have a ball. The best beach they say is at Plaka with other nice ones at Agios Yorgos, Agia Anna, Mikri Vigla, and Kastraki, any of which would be the prized beach on any other island. The fishing village of Apollon is a popular location for day trips, with good seafood restaurants and a giant unfinished statue of the god Apollo laying in the ancient marble quarries since 600bc. The ferry trip is about 8 hours from Athens and stops in Paros. There are daily connections to Mykonos, Ios and Santorini. There are also less frequent connections to Crete, the Dodekanese, Ikaria, Samos, Amorgos, the small Cyclades islands, Skiathos, Crete and Thessaloniki.

    Naxos is also appealing as the first view of the island is that of its most famous archeological site, the Portara, the doorway to the ancient Temple to Apollo which was built in 522 BC and never finished. That inof itself is kind of cool, as most ruins we see are ruins because of the passage of time, not becasue they were never finished. Above the town is the Venetian Kastro, where the famous Modern Greek author Nikos Kazantzakis went to school. Kazantzakis is famous for the films that have been made of his books (Zorba the Greek and The Last Temptation of Christ).

    Naxos is a bustling island, so you should just sit back and relax until you pick up the pace of things. As most people go on multiple island tours, they spend a few days in Naxos. I'd advise that you don't do those multiple islands in one day tours. You just get herded from one island to another. If you're short for time, visit one or two, and enjoy your stay. Naxos deserves a couple of days to really enjoy and explore.

--back to Greek Islands--
adapted with permission; see main node
Naxos is a record company, founded in 1987 by German businessman Klaus Heymann. The original aim was to sell budget-priced classical CDs to the South-East Asian market, but the company soon expanded and is today the leading distributor of classical music in the world. They also have some jazz and a large collection of early music in the catalogue.

The company policy is to offer a one-time only fee to its artists; there are no royalties and no promotion of individual artists. This has caused some debate business practices, but there are many good artists and ensembles (many based in Eastern Europe) who are more than happy to accept these conditions. For example, Maria Kliegel is the best-selling cellist in the world thanks to Naxos, but she's virtually unheard of since they don't promote their artists the way other companies do. On the other hand, this keeps costs down and where I live a Naxos CD is usually the same quality as a 'normal' one, but costs only a third of the price.

I like Naxos. When you're starting out listening to classical music you don't know what you're going to like and you certainly don't want to blow your hard-earned cash on expensive recordings. So this format suits me like a glove.

The record label Naxos is a strictly classical record label. It is huge. It is the Microsoft, the Penguin, the Manchester United, and the Wal-Mart of the classical recording industry all rolled into one. By far and away, Naxos releases more CDs than any other classical record label in the world. No contest. Hands down. Dammit, I'm not even going to Google that to check. (Yes I am). Populist though they may be, what seems to be their ethos is totally laudable: to bring classical music to the masses.

A Naxos CD will cost you £5 in Britain. Perhaps a penny less. And you'll usually get 5 for £20. Wow! you say, that is totally cheap. Yes, that is totally cheap. Totally cheap, but often totally not-very-good. Here's the thing. Because Naxos release CDs with titles like 'Blissful Bach: balm for the bantams' (perhaps I exaggerate a little) they sell alot of records. They package classical music, a daunting field at the best of times, in ways that are attractive and make the area less threatening. Fair enough. This is an important job. With the money they make on these, not only can they afford to buy in expensive artists like Nishizaki to release some records very well (and it is these £5 gems that make Naxos one of my favourite record labels) but they can also afford to release a huge range of music that would otherwise not be available at all. Thus they cater not only to the populists but to the wilfully obscure: a master stroke. Unfortunately, in order to afford this, they sometimes compromise on the quality of the performer. Hence the totally not-very-good-ness. Nonetheless, just looking through my Naxos records I can espy 'Swedish Orchestral Favourites' (I couldn't not: how many can you name me? ) and some great guitar music by some guys called Mompou and Brouwer. I'll be damned if I've ever heard of them, but they're fun, and big kudos to Naxos for releasing it.

On balance, by all means buy Naxos records, as there are many many high-class CDs out there, either packing heavyweight musicians or filling some odd niche. Just be aware that sometimes quality of the recordings does vary wildly. That's all. Thank you.

For more information, go here: http://www.naxos.com

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