Naxos is one of the oldest of the Greek colonies on Sicily. It sits on the north of the eastern shore of Sicily, near Mount Etna. The ancient sources agree that the city was founded at least in part, by settlers from Chalcis on Euboea but disagree on details. While Thucydides (6.3.1) states: “Of the Hellenes, the first to arrive were Chalcidians from Euboea with Thucles, their founder. They founded Naxos and built the altar to Apollo Archegetes, which now stands outside the town, and upon which the deputies for the games sacrifice before sailing from Sicily.” Ephoros of Kyme, a slightly later historian writing in the fourth century BC, (Check G.L. Barber The Historian Ephoros 1935) says that it was founded at the same time as Megara Hyblaea (FGrHist 70 F 137). Strabo (6.2.2) following Ephoros, also agrees this is one of the earliest colonies. The were founded at much the same time. The authors all agree that the inhabitants came from Chalcis, a polis in the north of the island of Euboea. The one dissenting opinon is that of Hellanicos, an author contemporaneous with Thucydides, records that it was co-founded not only by settlers from Euboea, but also from Naxos in the Cyclades (FGrH, 4 F 82).
Why the site was chosen is a difficult argument to reconstruct. Pliny the Elder (Nat. Hist. III 14) mentions it (in the form of Tauromenium, Naxos itself had been abandoned at this stage) at the city closest to Mount Etna which he notes is “wondrous for the flames which it emits by night.” It is tempting to argue that the site occupies the best beach close to the mountain and so is an easy point to aim for when navigating. This would not necessarily make it the first place to be settled, but it might make it conceptually the first place in Sicily.