05-19 Sangri Tempel

19.May, Sangri Demeter Temple and Aliko Beach


That was the theme for this day. Depending on which weather app you checked, the afternoon temperature hit 33, 34, or 37. And all the while we were marching in full, blistering sunlight down farm roads, through dry stream beds and across open fields.

But first: a morning visit to Demeter Temple, in the fertile valley running south from the village of Sangria on Naxos. Demeter is the ancient Greek goddess of grain, agriculture and harvests. And her shrine stands atop a hillside with 360 degree views of this extremely green area. The temple, built around 530 BC, is one of the earliestIonictemples. It was built completely from Naxos marble – perhaps from the antique quarry we visited the following day?

After admiring the temple and its lush surroundings, we set off for our reward – bathing at the kilometer long beach of Aliko (also spelled Alyko). The three-and-a-half hour walk from Demeter Temple to Aliko wound past many farms, often with sheep, goats, donkeys, chickens – and through many gates. Until we finally reached a gate that could not be opened. The way was blocked by padlocked fences and huge slabs of marble. Two young men braved the obstacles and managed to find a way around, permitting us to move seawards.

Finally we reached the taverna where we would eat dinner. Fluids were consumed liter-wise, before participants headed down to the wonderful beach, relaxed at the adjoining swimming pool, or hung out.

The beach was extraordinary. Wonderful soft sands, glistening clear water – even tamarisk trees (part of a nature reserve) for shade. There was hardly anyone else there. Perhaps because one had to hike about 100 meters through the sand to reach the beach, there were no bars or sunbeds to disturb the atmosphere.

So you could decide whether you wanted to go swimming with your bathing suit or without. Just arriving at this beach made the whole hot day in the sun worthwhile. Definitely a highlight of this trip.

A lovely dinner and bus ride back to our hotel completed this satisfying day.


Hiking in Switzerland and around the world