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The Cyclades Travel Guide


Naousa, impossibly pretty, long ago discovered the benefits of tourism. Its outskirts are mushrooming with villas and hotels that exploit it further. Along the harbor—which thankfully maintains its beauty and function as a fishing port—red and navy blue boats knock gently against one another as men repair their nets and foreigners relax in the ouzeri—Barbarossa being the traditional favorite—by the water's edge.

From here the pirate Hugue Crevelliers operated in the 1570s, and Byron turned him into the corsair. Navies of the ancient Persians, flotillas from medieval Venice, and the imperial Russian fleet have anchored in this harbor. The half-submerged ruins of the Venetian fortifications still remain; they are a pretty sight when lit up at night. Compared to Paros town, the scene in Naousa is somewhat more chic, with a more-intimate array of shops, bars, and restaurants, but in winter the town shuts down. The island's unobtrusive gay scene is here, if it is anywhere.

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