Apeiranthos (Local idiom: Aperathou) is a village in mountainous Naxos. It is 28 kilometers from the capital of the island, built at an altitude between 570 and 640 meters on the eastern foothills of Mount Fanari.

Apeiranthos has a population of 904 inhabitants together with the inhabitants of the coastal settlements Moutsouna, Ligaridia, Kanaki, Kleidos, Panermos (according to the 2011 census). It is the second largest village of the island, after Filoti.

Apeiranthos is a traditional stone-built village. Regarding the origin of its inhabitants there are many versions. Due to the similarity of culture, dialect, morals and customs, ability in poetry and music with Crete, specifically Sfakia and Anogeia, it is probable that a large percentage of the population of Epiranthos originates from there. However, there is also the version that the inhabitants of the village come from the coasts of Asia Minor. It is mentioned in 1413 by the traveler Christopher Buondelmonti as a remarkable village. Its inhabitants are engaged in animal husbandry, emery mines, and after the 80s also in tourism.


The first historical mention of the village was made in 1420, when the Italian traveler Cristoforo Buondelmonti mentions it in his book “Liber insularum archipelago”. The name Apeiranthos is considered a newer name of the village. The name was given a few years before the Revolution of 1821. According to others, it comes from Perinthos, Constantinople, from which it is proven that the inhabitants of the village who fled here to avoid the persecutions of the Turks came from. Because its name is pronounced in popular texts always in the general case, “Aperathou”, it is said that the owner of the area was a Peranthos or was a Frank by origin and who had this area as a fief during the Middle Ages and had the name Aperanthos.

Apeiranthos is the birthplace of the former Prime Minister Petros Protopapadakis, the father of later politicians Aristidis Protopapadakis and Mikis Protopapadakis, the left-wing National Resistance MP and fighter Manolis Glezos, the University of Modern History professor Vassilis Sfyroeras and his brother the writer Nikos Sfyroeras activist against the 1967-1974 dictatorship of general Michalis Vardanis, the painter and sculptor Giorgos Polykratis, Nikos, Florios and Antonis Katsouros, the resistance researcher and educator Georgios D. Zeugolis, the fighter of the National Resistance Yiannis Kateinas, the poet Dialechtis Zeugolis-Glezou and her husband, the speech artist of Petro Glezou, of the scientist and resistance fighter Michalis Bardanis (inspirer and main creator of the Archaeological Museum), of the cardiologist-researcher Nikolaos I. Protonotarios, of NTUA Professors Emeritus Antonis Z. Franciskos (former NTUA Dean), Emmanuel N. Protonotariou and Emmanuel N. Zeugolis, supreme judges such as Mich. Alis D. Detsis, as well as other important personalities of letters and sciences.

The Apeiranthos Massacre of 1917:

During the years of the National Divide, on December 2, 1916, the Venezuelan lieutenant Nikolaos Roussakis landed on the island with 80 men in order to convince the island’s inhabitants to join the National Defense Movement of the Thessaloniki government of Venizelos and recruit them to fight on the side of the Entente. The inhabitants of the island reluctantly joined the movement with the exception of the inhabitants of Moni and Epiranthos. The majority of the inhabitants of Epiranthos remained loyal to King Constantine and the government of Athens, counter-proposing to hand over the local production of emery to the Movement, which Rousakis did not accept.

Because of the refusal of the unruly inhabitants to agree, the military commander of the Aegean Nikostratos Kalomenopoulos sent to Naxos a detachment of the Gendarmerie of 250 men with many Cretans among them, who on January 2, 1917 under the orders of Lieutenant Dimitrios Samartzis invaded Apeiranthos, and among other barbarities, shot against the gathered crowd with machine guns and killed 32 residents (23 of whom were elderly and women and children), wounded 44 (15 of whom were disabled), arrested 120 men who forced them to bury the victims in a mass grave and conscripted those of suitable age, and finally martial law was declared in the village. A month later, on February 5, the municipal council capitulated and signed a declaration of accession to the government of Thessaloniki, at which point Lieutenant Rousakis lifted martial law.

Three years later, when the incident became known, the Venizelos government introduced a bill to compensate the affected residents. The massacre of Apirantho is considered the greatest crime of the National Defense Movement, while it determined the electoral preferences of the Apirantites for several decades


In modern times, Apeiranthos has a Primary school with 45 students, a Kindergarten with 15 students, a women’s weaving art cooperative and five museums: the Archaeological Museum of Apeiranthos, the Folklore Museum, the Geological Museum, the Museum of Natural History and the Museum of Visual Arts. In the Archaeological Museum there are mainly findings from the Cycladic era, i.e. from the 3rd millennium BC. Among them the striking slabs of Korfi t’Aroni. The holy church of the village is dedicated to the Dormition of the Virgin. The village’s library has been operating since 1964, with approximately 26,000 titles, (making it one of the largest in Greece) dedicated to the memory of Nikos Glezou who was executed by the Nazis on 10-5-44.

About 35 shops serve the locals as well as the visitors who exceed 20,000 in the summer months of the year.

The president of the local council is Manolis G.Augerinos, a retired businessman, who lives permanently in the village (and his father had been President), who succeeded Georgios Bakalos.

Aperathou, as the village is usually called, is connected by road to the coastal Moutsuna Naxos which is the terminus of the aerial cableway of the Naxos emery mines and the port of the village, as well as to the other coastal settlements of the SE. Naxos. It is located on the eastern road axis Chora Naxos – Filoti – Apeiranthos – Stavros Keramotis.


The village has been characterized as a traditional settlement since 1978.[20] The village is developed around two 17th century Towers, which once belonged to Frankish landowners. One of them is the tower of Zeugolis. The settlement still preserves its Venetian architecture, with narrow cobblestones with arches. Every corner of it is a unique creation of popular architecture, even the variety in the forms of the anephanes (chimneys) constitutes a “valley of the anephanes”. The economic and artistic flourishing in the Byzantine years is evidenced by churches with overlapping layers of frescoes from the era of Iconoclasm until the 13th century. In one of them, Agia Kyriaki, the performances are non-figurative and depict birds with ribbons around their necks.


Idiom – Customs:

The Aperathian language idiom that preserves ancient Greek and Byzantine elements, the oldest customs such as the Koudounatis at Halloween, the weaving tradition and above all the Aperathian song, the ability of men and women to “speak” in verse – Aperathou is “the village that writes poetry” – make Aperathou a special place among the special ones throughout the Aegean. It is a tradition that goes back to the Byzantine years and antiquity, as evidenced by the surviving monuments.