Kinidaros is located very close to the centre of Naxos island, about 15km east of main town Chora (Naxos town) nestled on a rocky hillside and about 400m above sea level. It is situated next to the island’s marble quarry surrounded by olive, plane and oak trees and has about 400 permanent inhabitants.
The village has a tumultuous piratical past and also a rich cultural heritage made of a vibrant musical tradition which is highlighted by the numerous events staged here. In fact, on Naxos, Kinidaros is known as the village of “the fun loving folk”, these folk party probably more frequently than in any other village of Naxos island.
According to historical accounts, a bloodthirsty pirate raid dated around the 15th century was the cause of the relocation of the village’s entire population (already heavily diminished by pirate attacks) towards the mountainous centre of the island, seeking for more security. Apparently pirates of the time were the coastal smash and grab type and trekking uphill was not their “thing”. The beggining of the ancient aqueduct of tyrant Lygdamis in the 6th century BC in Kioura, which lies in the picturesque valley of Chalandra, is in fact the village’s original position.
The remains of the ancient village and its dilapidated Byzantine churches of Agios Dimitrios and Agios Artemios, can still be seen in the valley. You will also find 3 small chapels in a row.
The village is surrounded by lush natural and cultivated greenery and in ancient times the area was known for its marble mines, the remains of which can be seen today only a couple of kilometers from the village. Today this is the area’s main activity connected with the marble industry and it has consequently been developed into a modern quarry, where the majority of the locals are occupied along with agriculture and livestock. From Kinidaros many trekking paths branch out from the village and among those you will find a fantastic hiking route leading to Kinidaros’ waterfalls and the medieval bridge.
The residents of Kinidaros are distinguished for their propensity toward music and dancing. The village’s rich music and dance tradition has been held almost unchanged over the centuries. Some of the most famous singers of traditional Greek island folk music, such as the Konitopoulos family which were a prevalent force in island folk music for many years, hail from the village. Dance also a holds a special spot in the hearts of locals, so much so that it is a commonly used phrase to say that “the village folk of Kinidaros learn to dance before they walk!” The sweet sounds of live traditional music at village tavernas regularly fill the summer evenings.
Celebrations of the parish church of Agios Georgios (St. George), stage a traditional feast in the spring. The date varies depending on Greek Orthodox Easter dates which are moving celebrations. The village’s other main traditional celebration dates are on July 26 for Agia Paraskevi, on October 20 for Agios Artemios, December 6 for Agios Nikolaos (St. Nicholas - patron saint of sailors) and May 5 Agia Irini (St. Irene).
Kinidaros is connected via the island’s main road network with the Naxos town, (Chora). One can also access most other villages via Eggares, Keramoti, and Moni from here.