Kourounochori is a small village built on the slopes of a mountainside with much greenery around it, situated in the heart of Naxos. Time seems to have passed and left this village untouched. It is one of four beautiful villages in the Melanes valley. Because it has been built on the lush slope of a hill, it is well-protected from northerly winds and favored for its mild climate throughout the year. There are very nice tavernas to eat local products directly from the valley at very low rates. The village today numbers some 100 inhabitants who are noted for their hospitality and very friendly disposition.
Pretty one or two-storey houses with flowers adorning the windows and flower filled courtyards and gardens abound, which is why Kourounochori is also frequently referred to as the “Flower village”. There are several old mansions spread throughout the village and the circular marble plaque with an engraved inscription commemorating the visit of King Othon (Otto) in 1833. These landmarks are protected and provide ample reminders that the village was a popular destination for the wealthy, notable personalities of Naxos and royalty.
Several medieval and ancient sights are found in or close to Kourounochori, such as the tower of Della Rocca, also known as Frangopoulos Tower, one of the oldest towers on the island and the unfinished Kouros at the archeological site Flerio in the Melanes valley. There is also the museum which is housed in the villages’ old primary school which now hosts very interesting ancient finds from the Naxos aqueduct. The flora in the area is pristine and if you are a hiker, you can have daily excursions to various sites and surrounding villages because there are many trekking paths to choose from.
The village has two restaurants which double as café and both offer tasty dishes prepared with local products.
August 6 is the date of noted celebration for the church of the Savior, in the center of the village. After mass, the priest blesses the vineyards in prayer for a good crop and then shares their grapes to parishioners. This is then followed by the big feast, with live music, dancing, local delicacies and naturally local wine.
Kourounochori is on the road from Chora (Hora) to Kinidaros and a parking lot outside the village’s narrow streets is available. There are also regular public bus connections from Chora (Naxos town) from the morning till the early afternoon hours.