Parga is a beautiful resort town in the north-western side of Greece. It is looked upon as an Epirus gem. It is situated in the Epirus province, and the town looks over the Ionian islands of Paxos and Antipaxos.
An introduction to Parga, Greece
A Heady Mix of History and Panoramic Views
If you have the privilege of spending a few days or weeks in Parga, you’ll find that it gives you the exact experience you want. Because it nestles between green hills with the Ionian Sea, there is every chance to get back to nature with some fantastic walking trails that take in some breathtaking scenery.
Many visitors to Parga don’t want to look at the usual attractions that beckon the crowds. If walking through hordes of people doesn’t rock your boat, Parga has many splendid lesser-known alternatives that appeal to both visitors and locals.
Most people agree that a Greek getaway is synonymous with beautiful beaches and Parga has many. The coast has an awesome amount of exquisite bays. Away from the beaches, there are gorgeous cobbled streets, promenades and so much to do that getting great holiday snaps is going to be a breeze.
But before we mention some must-sees for Parga, let’s just provide some simple tips and advice that can be helpful for getting the most from this dream destination.
Fantastic Greek Food
One of Parga’s top attractions is its delectable food, and Parga has many wonderful tavernas. Tzima is a cool, traditional Greek restaurant that offers delicious, authentic Greek dishes. Visitors to Parga love that the place doesn’t have any airs and graces but specializes in serving up super food and a fantastic atmosphere. Taverna Arkoudas located right on the harborfront serves a selection of fish and meat dishes, offering sweeping views of the Ionian Sea.
Currency in Praga is the Euro. Money can be exchanged at the banks in Parga.
Hairdryers and Electric shavers
The voltage is 220V and you will need a two-pin adapter.
There are buses. More information on the KTEL buses can be found here. There are also scooters to hire, taxis, car rentals, ferries and the popular open-air tourist train. With car and scooter rentals you will need a driver’s license.
Olive Oil and Wine Tasting
There is plenty of olive oil to be had in Parga and you can explore Parga’s olive oil factory and discover all you want about olive oil production and also sample some amazing olive oil products.
You can also immerse yourself into the world of Greek wines because Paragaea Wine Tasting is possible in a lovely atmosphere where you can sample the best wines of the season.
Best time to be in Praga
July and August are top getaway months but you can say that Parga’s high season stretches from June till September.
Oh yes. Parga is a cosmopolitan town and along its waterfront there are many taverns that turn into bars at night. Loud music and dancing will take you into the wee hours. There are also bars and clubs to be found in the inner streets too. For fantastic cocktails we recommend Geoker bar.
There are 3 chemists in Parga and they treat minor ailments. One such chemist is Dimitris Lenas at +30 26840.31635. The chemist opens at 9 in the morning. Emergency hours will be described on the door of the pharmacy.
The nearest is Preveza. There is also an emergency service at Parga’s Medical Center.
Getting to Parga
Corfu and Preveza Airport have major airlines arriving and departing. The airports have taxis as well as rental cars from companies such as Enterprise and Avis. Buses leave from Athens to Parga via Preveza.
The Pargina in August is a festival that is both religious and historical, taking place on the island of Panagia. People have a feast complete with traditional music, food and drinks. There are Venetian lanterns and plenty of festive celebrations and fireworks. The not-to-be-missed festival includes musical evenings, artworks and theatrical performances.
Some top things to do in and around Parga
- The Vikos Gorge
- Ovires – Papingo Rock Pools
- Valtos Beach, a beautiful blue flag shingle resort beach with a watersports center that rents out pedal boats and inflatable rafts. You’ll find sun loungers and umbrellas.
- Zavia Beach – a beautiful small beach in Sivota with lots of shady trees. Another fantastic beach is Bella Vraka, a beach on the island Mourtemeno. The little village of Sivota itself is considered a Greek gem and for some tourists who are sick of the crowds, its a little off the beaten track and can offer visitors an awesome, peaceful holiday. It’s on the mainland opposite Corfu, beautifully situated between green hills. From Corfu you can board a ferry to Sivota.
Day Trips from Parga
Day trip to Paxos and Antipaxos islands are an absolute must. Paxos is actually the biggest of the Paxi group of islands, while neighboring Antipaxos is tiny, measuring just 3 square kilometers.
On a beautiful Summer’s day, this thrilling cruising excursion will delight you every step of the way. Some highlights will include visiting the Blue Caves of Paxos and also taking in the white cliffs of Erimitis.
There’s always time to do some shopping in the Lakka and a highlight will be swimming and snorkeling in the exquisitely crystalline waters at Paradise Beach at Antipaxos. On Antipaxos, you’ll be spellbound by the almost unnatural color blue, clear water of Voutoumi beach. If your fellow-guests are snorkeling and scuba diving and you’re not, the Parga Diving Center offers courses for beginners. This day trip has to be a Parga highlight.
Parga Cruises has 2 boats – the Captain Hook and Gaius which is the only vessel that goes into the blue cave. Aboard the boats the interior are spacious and comfortable and there is a lounge, bar, sundeck and kitchen. For those who enjoy smaller group trips, this is not something that these boats offer.
The boat trip starts at 10am headed for Antipaxos where you enjoy scintillating swimming in breathtaking bays. When you do a boat trip like this you get to see the beauty from another angle. You can book online and escape to the ultimate getaway destination.
Ideas for Greek souvenirs
Beautiful soft and shaggy Flokati rugs, lovely olive oil soap for sensitive skin as well as olive oil beauty products. Evil eye jewelry – beautiful, colorful charms, earrings and bracelets will be a reminder of the intriguing cultures of the Mediterranean. Greek sweets are tantalizingly mouth-watering and you’ll find nuts covered in honey syrup, Ion chocolate, nougat and sugar-coated almonds.
Where to Stay in Parga
If you fancy a stylish hotel-stay right in the heart of Parga, you’ll love the gorgeous Villa Rossa Hotel on Kryoneri Beach. The air-conditioned units have lots of luxuries such as underfloor heating and private bathrooms with rain showers. There is also free wifi access.
For sweeping infinity pool views and elegant accommodation we recommend Irida Boutique Hotel. Offering 9 luxury suites, each one with its on distinct character and style inspired by the treasures of the Mediterranean.
Lovers of minimalistic chic will enjoy the peaceful surroundings of the Racconto Boutique Design Hotel, surrounded by lush gardens of olive and pine trees.
Then again, if you want something far more homely but every bit as delightful you’ll fall in love with the stylish Dimitra’s Garden Apartments. Each unit is named after flowers or trees and each one with its own kitchen for self-catering. For a bit more affordability, you won’t go wrong with this awesome accommodation.
Other Top Attractions in Praga
The River Acheron
A favorite outing for most travelers to Parga is to the River Acheron at Glyki, and well worth a visit. The river is 52 km long and is found 25km from Parga. It’s an area of exceptional beauty. The springs are known worldwide for their mythological connections, with the river being one of the 5 rivers of the Greek underworld. It is believed that Zeus condemned the river to remain under the earth indefinitely.
In some parts of the river there are lakes. Some parts of the river are calm while other parts the river flows more impetuously through steep cliffs. The river flows from the mountains and reaches the Ionian Sea in Ammoudia beach. Before entering the sea, the river’s delta is formed as well as the wetlands of Valanidorachi and Splantza. Small wonder that this beautiful blue-green river is recognized and protected.
It is such an awesome place to revel in nature and you can start the day with a wake-up-call by canoeing the river. The water is crystal clear and chilly, and many people don waterproof walking shoes and walk parts of the river where some parts require a swim. Whether you’re a novice rider or veteran you can also do some horseriding through the water.
The Necromanteion in Greece
Speaking of the underworld, are you up to a visit to the Oracle of the Dead? The Necromanteion is an eerie, mystical, ancient temple that the ancient Greeks thought to be the entrance to the Underworld, Hades. It was inhabited from Mycenaean times but unbelievably was only recently discovered by archaeologists in 1958. It’s a place where offerings were made so as to conjure the spirits of the departed.
Pilgrims were placed in windowless cells to await their trip to the Underworld, having to first undergo tests. After the pilgrims were interrogated by the priests, they were led down labyrinth-like corridors to the gateway to Hades, one of which was the swamp lake of Acheroussia.They believed that the apparitions of the dead would appear to them.
Essentially the living would come into contact with the souls of the deceased. The deceased who weren’t buried were doomed to wander eternally in the swamp. If you want to enter the dark palace of Hades, the Necromanteion is open from November to March every day. Guided tours by bus also operate from Parga.
Venetian Castle of Parga
There’s a storybook castle that every traveler to Greece should visit at least once on their visit. The Venetian Castle of Parga is found on the top of a hill and has an illustrious history. The castle with its turbulent- but somewhat romantic history was built way back in the 11th century and was used to protect the town from the mainland and the sea.
There was a time when the castle was partly destroyed but in the 13th century, the Venetians rebuilt it, and in fact it has been partly destroyed and rebuilt several times by the Venetians. Today the splendid-looking castle has some fascinating detail, not to mention its history. Its magnificent location provides exceptional views over Parga.
There are walks and a cafeteria inside the castle where you can enjoy coffee and kourabiedes to refresh yourself. This castle that solemnly watches over Parga to this day is well worth a visit.
Ali Pascha Castle near Parga
Another wonderful castle to visit and which is actually on the outskirts of Parga is the Ali Pascha Castle, a hilltop fortress. It also offers breathtaking views. The village of Anthousa is just a short distance away from this particular castle. Built in the shape of a polygon, the castle was built by Ali Pasch in 1814. It is set high on a hilltop allowing people to watch over the town of Parga and keep it protected from those who wished to take it over.
The castle is essentially a ruin, but the long fairly steep walk to it will be worth it if you like the idea of keeping fit. However there is also a train from Parga that goes all the way there and then brings you back. You could say that its the spectacular views which are the drawcard with this castle.
Parga is the perfect getaway destination where you can take a break in nature but where you don’t have to sacrifice comfort and luxury either. You can plan on having plenty of fun on the beaches, in the bars, on boats, exploring historical sights or wandering through fascinating streets glittering with shops, cafes, bars, clubs and restaurants.
It’s going to be a long, hot Summer but this travel guide has selected some favorite activities to keep you busy in Parga. If you’ve dreamt it, Parga has it. There is also every kind of accommodation up for grabs that caters to the extravagant- and budget spender. It’s why Parga is a top tourist attraction and bucket-list adventure for so many visitors to Greece.