On the route to the Apiranthos, about 16km east of Naxos Town, is the village of Halki or Chalki. The village has a reputation for its handsome houses, Byzantine churches with 12th century murals and several fine Venetian pyrgi or tower houses.
The village itself is a dusty, lifeless little place and somehow fails to live up to its reputation as one of the richest villages on the island. Guide descriptions such as 'attractive', 'quaint' and 'lovely' are hard to justify on the ground, among the dust and litter.
Chalki has many crumbling old mansion houses, recalling its more prosperous days and there are several old towers nearby such as Gratsias (or Barotsis), Papadakis at nearby Akademi and of Marcopolites at neighbouring Kerami.
Also of note is the old 19th century distillery where the 'Citrus of Naxos' liquor was famous not only on Naxos but the whole of Greece. Today they sell ouzo in the centre of the village.
The local churches are also worth a visit, notably Panaghia Protothrone, dating from the 9th century and the religious museum beside it with ritual relics as well as icons. Panagia Drossiani, one of the oldest and most important, is found on the right on the steep hill as you head towards the mountain village of Moni. Built between the 6th and 10th centuries BC it has rare wall paintings from the 9th century and wonderful views over the fertile Tragea valley.
Tragea is one of the most fertile parts of Naxos, full of olive trees and citrus orchards that produce the largest amount of the island's agricultural products. Across the rolling hills are not only Halki but also the villages of Acadimi, Chimarros, Kaloxilos, Damalas, Damarionas and Tsilikario.