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Naoussa, Paros Island

Naoussa, an important town of the island of Paros, is situated at a distance of approximately 10 kilometers northeastern to the town of Paros (Paroikia), at the northern coast of the island within the homonymous large bay. In the past it was only a small cute village of fishermen. Now, that it has been considerably developed, only the small scenic and safe port recalls this modest past. According to the visitors, the port is one of the most beautiful and scenic in the Aegean. Today, Naoussa offers a lot of facilities, tourist as well as various others and attracts thousands of tourists, Greek and from abroad.

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Due to its dominant place within the homonymous cove, the well protected port of Naoussa held a strategic role throughout history. Archaeologists have brought to light the most ancient settlement in this area, dated in the 3rd millennium b.C., along with a settlement which flourished from the Mycenaean times up to the Archaic period. At the nearby site of Plastiras it has been discovered a cemetery of the Early Cycladic period, containing a great number of the characteristic Cycladic statuettes, made of marble. On the small islet of Oikonomos, within the cove of Langeri, there have been detected the ruins of a fortified settlement dated in the Archaic period. In more recent times, during the turbulent period of the Ottoman domination, the pirates preying the Aegean islands very often, either found shelter in the port of Naoussa or they pillaged the town as they also did with the rest of the island. In 1770s’, during the period of the war between Russians and the Ottomans, the port of Naoussa served as the base of the Russian fleet; the Russian admiral had established his headquarters on the small islet of Aghia Kali, at the center of the bay of Naoussa.

Of course, the town, the neighboring beaches and the area around offer plenty of accommodation facilities of any kind.

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Every hour of the day gives the possibility of a nice stroll about the town and of sightseeing. The evening is dedicated to the port, where the numerous bars, the fish taverns, the scenic ouzo bars and the traditional taverns are ready to satisfy any taste of nightlife, gorgeous food, music and fun. Here, at the port you will see how the old storeys of the fishermen have been transformed to cute stores, fascinating the visitors, both Greeks and from abroad. You will also have the unique experience of the famous wines and drinks and of the local dishes, coming directly from the traditional cooking of the island, well known for its taste and variety.

In the afternoon it is time for a walk in the narrow streets of the town, where you will be charmed from the simple architecture of the houses and churches, from the pure white color of the buildings, decorated with multi -color flowers found every where. It is worth visiting the small, but very interesting Folk Collection, housed in the traditional house of Roussos family, which belongs to the Music and Dance Band of Naoussa. The collection contains a lot of local sets of clothes. Don’t miss to visit the Historical and Folk Museum of Othon Kaparis with exhibits dated from antiquity up to nowadays, and the Collection of Byzantine and Post-Byzantine artworks, mainly icons. The collection is housed in halls of the church of Aghios Athanasios, at the entrance of the town.

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At the entrance of the small port the visitor can see the ruins of the small Venetian castle, the “Kastelli” as the locals call it. During the Venetian domination of the island, this castle protected the town of Naoussa and overlooked the bay in front of it. You will see, just sank in the sea, the old break waters protecting the castle from the rough waves from the North; you will also see the fortress that ended up to the round tower, built on a reef within the sea. The castle was constructed in the 14th century.

Naoussa has a lot of churches: in the town, upon a hillock you may see the cathedral of the town, constructed in the 19th century and dedicated to the Assumption of Virgin Mary; you may also visit Aghios Athanasios, a church dated in the 17th century situated at the entrance of the town, the church of Aghios Nicolaos, the protector of fishermen and seamen, obviously at the port, the churches of Aghios Ioannis Theologos (St. John), of Metamorphosis (Transfiguration of Jesus Christ), of Aghios Nicolaos Mostratos, of Aghios Gerorgios (St. George) of the Catholics, of Aghia Paraskevi and the small church called “Taxiarchaki”. The church of Aghios Georgios, built in the 17th century has wonderful icons and a nice icon screen and offers to the visitor a fascinating view of the open sea and the town of Naoussa. In the area around the town you may visit at least six monasteries, the most important of them being the Monastery of Longovarda. Finally, at the site of Protoria, southern to the sea are situated the ruins of a small church, whose excellent frescoes dated in the 12th and 13th century have been removed and are now displayed in the Museum of Byzantine Art of Naoussa.

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Next to the quarter of the castle it is situated the scenic quarter of Aghios Demetrios with its houses built and the edge of the sea. You will also see the old windmills, standing proudly and still, like thinking of their past glory gone for ever.

If you stay at Naoussa you have several choices for swimming at various popular beaches, closer or farer away, as Mikro and Megalo Piperi (“small” and “big pepper”), Aghioi Anargyri, Langeri, Santa Maria and of course the famous beach of Kolymbithres. But, of course, you may enjoy swimming at the cute and scenic beach in front of the town.

As it happens with all the locals, the people of Naoussa like music and feasts and would never forfeit the chance to have fun.

The first feast of the year is the local feast (“panighyri”) of Pantanassa, on the 2nd of February and continues with the religious events of Easter.

On the first Sunday of July it is organized the festival of wine and fish. On the 23rd of August on the feast of the novena of Virgin Mary, it takes place the representation of the repulse of the invasion of the pirates in the island. The event is followed by a great feast and the bad memories of the hard times of the past fade out with the sounds of music and the wine.

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During summer there are also organized various cultural activities as theater and dance performances, music concerts, artistic exhibitions, happenings etc.

And the end of summer is marked by the local religious feast (“ panighyri ”) in honor of Aghios Ioannis (St. John), on the 29th of August.

In case of emergence, a local Medical Center, a pharmacy, a Police Station and other useful services are available in the town.

Access to Naoussa is easy by rented or private car and motorbikes. The town is also connected by bus, running frequently, with the town of Paros (Paroikia) and with other settlements of the island. If you wish to arrive to Naoussa by yacht, the port of the settlement is available for mooring.
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