Preveza – A seaside Gem famous for being Non-Pretentious
Preveza is one of those places in northwestern Greece, at the mouth of the Ambracian Gulf, where you can literally just switch off and unwind. It’s a serious bucket-list adventure and is one of Greece’s gems.
With a mix of fascinating history and cosmopolitan pavement cafes, Preveza is a favorite getaway for those who love the beaches, the crystalline water and the languid way of life. The warmest months to visit Preveza are July and August, with May and October promising some good weather too. The coolest month is January.
Discover Preveza, Greece
Getting to your ‘Island of Dreams’
It’s easy getting to this island of dreams because British Airways for instance, flies from London to Preveza twice a week, arriving at Aktion Airport, Preveza after a flight of just more than 3 hours. There there are a number of ways to reach your destination.
- The cheapest way to get to Preveza is by bus or car. You can look at rental cars and enjoy the freedom of exploring the town and surrounds in your own time. Some of the leading car hire companies in Preveza are Europcar, Hertz and Alamo, and you’ll find these car rentals available to you at Preveza Airport.
- When you jet into the Preveza-Lefkas Airport, which is also referred to as the Aktion Airport and which is 3km from Preveza, there is transport readily available. There are bus services that leave for Preveza and Lefkas as well as taxis to whisk you to your hotel. These door-to-door taxi services get you safely and swiftly to your destination without the stress of you navigating unfamiliar roads with a rental car.
- The bus service is operated by KTEL Prevezas and the bus will leave from the Athens station. You buy a ticket to the bus station and once at the bus station you buy your bus ticket to Preveza. Each bus-parking-space has a sign indicating the destination the bus is headed to. The bus journey from Athens to Preveza can last some 6 hours.
Did you know there is also an undersea tunnel? It was completed in 2002 and it connects an area known as Aktio to Preveza. The benefit of this Aktio–Preveza Undersea Tunnel is it’s a necessary bit of infrastructure that serves an underdeveloped area and shortens the travel distance between the two sides of the gulf. Up until the time the undersea tunnel was built, one had to rely on a ferry.
Preveza – your Gateway to Lefkada
Your adventure doesn’t end when you reach Preveza though because it is actually the gateway to the island of Lefkada. Lefkada is just 14km away from Preveza, but if you travel by road, the distance is just over 25km. Many travelers hire a car at the airport and drive from Preveza to Lefkáda which is a trip of about 25 minutes. The buses take slightly longer but they leave Preveza every 3 hours.
Being Connected in Preveza
Most people use cell phones in Preveza, but if you don’t have a cell phone or you’ve lost yours, you’ll still find a few public phones in areas such as plazas and the airport. If you need to use one of these phones, the area code – 26820 – must first be used to make a call.
In Greece, there are a number of mobile service providers with Vodafone, Wind, and Cosmote being the more familiar providers. They all offer 4G connectivity as well as pay-as-you-talk services. You can buy a rechargeable SIM card and get your own mobile number.
Preveza – It’s Seriously more Affordable
Preveza may not be the most developed tourist town in this region such as what Parga is, but it is quickly getting a name for itself. And the good news is that it is slightly cheaper than other cities, even Lefkada.
Preveza is regarded as a paradisiacal escape for people looking for a peaceful tropical Greek island experience but who want to escape the busier commercialized Greek resorts.
It’s got everything that tourists look for – those enchanting winding cobbled streets full of interesting shops as well as delightful cafes shaded by vines and taverns.
The Food – Interesting Ideas and Flavors for your Tastebuds
Of course, to say that Greek food is wonderful is an understatement, and the food in Preveza as well as anywhere else in Greece is known as some of the best food in the world, catering for all dietary requirements.
You’ll become familiar with the delicious Greek salad or choriatiki with just about every meal. Fresh tomatoes, cucumber, olives, and feta cheese are served and wherever you eat, restaurants will serve vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper with the salad.
There are fantastic fish dishes to be relished and you will certainly get to know Saganaki, an appetizer of fried cheese. Delicious Greek meatballs or keftethes served with creamy sauce will have you licking off your fingers and using your pita bread to wipe up every tasty morsel. These meatballs are served with basmati rice and Greek feta salad.
Rebetiko Steki – the best food in the region..
Rebetiko Steki is one of these wonderful cozy taverns tucked away in these narrow streets of Preveza. It’s a place where you can soak up the cultures and traditions of the Greek people. The owner Kostantinos is known for providing guests with a warm, welcoming experience and promises you authentic Greek cuisine in an informal, lighthearted atmosphere.
This delightful eating-place is well known and visitors and locals come to this most awesome place to enjoy a gastronomic getaway that’ll delight your taste buds. He and his team have always taken note of what people want to eat, and because of this, the place is a favorite with locals and visitors. You can sample some old favorite dishes or try some wonderful new creations.
The food is amazing and reasonably priced too. Rebetiko Steki is a must-visit, even on a rainy day because then there’s a welcoming fire to cheer and to warm.
Agios Haralambos Temple
Holidaymakers with an interest in things cultural will find something to suit their tastes. The beautiful temple of Agios Haralambos is one of the city’s most magnificent churches, built during the 18th century. Not only is the church impressive, but visitors, and particularly art lovers, will be able to admire the exceptional paintings inside.
The Archaeological Site of Nikopolis
Spanning over the area of 900 acres, the Archaeological site of Nikopolis is located 10 kilometres from Preveza. One of the greatest naval battles took place at the Amvrakikos gulf in 31 B.C which put an end to the roman civil war, changing the course of history of the Roman Empire. In commemoration of his victory, Octavian Augustus founded the city of Nikopoli which became the centre of Greek civilisation as well as the meeting point between the eastern and western world.
It is here that the local games of Acarnanians took place, the Aktia Festival took place every four years and was equivalent to the Olympic Games.
The Paragaea Olive Oil Factory
Who doesn’t love the good wines, feta cheese and olive oil from Greece? It is why you see so many Greek homes built around olive trees. Olive oil is part of Greek culture and the extra virgin olive oil is harvested at the end of October. You can be part of a guided tour of the Paragaea Olive oil factory where you can sample the oil and also buy a bottle or two. The excellent staff are clued up about all the different oils and will answer all your questions.
Preveza has much to offer the tourist looking for a fun-filled time. Many visitors head to the beautiful Acheron River. What a spectacular piece of nature this is, with the river covering a distance of 64 km and flowing through a narrow canyon.
Have your camera ready because of the sheer beauty of the place. The mouth of the river is in the village of Ammoudia and there are chances for boat cruises. You can also wear some sturdy rubber shoes and hike-cum-swim up the river. What nicer way to experience the outdoors than to eat fresh fish from the river? This you can do when you sit outside at one of the many inviting taverns alongside the river.
Preveza prefecture is the ideal place to take in different aspects of nature. Look at Lake Ziros for instance, a sought after destination for those who love the outdoors.The beauty of the place attracts many birds and small animals. This major attraction offers much for the kayaking enthusiast and this is a splendid way to take in the beauty of the place. The lake is about 1000 m, it’s width is about 500 m wide and its depth more than 25 m. You can’t find a more lovely place for relaxing walks.
Experience Wild Dolphins
During the Summer months, the Ambracian Gulf on the Ionian Coast can be entered through the narrow channel leading up to Preveza and into the gulf. Not only does the area have interesting history, but as you move into the wetland of Amvrakikos Gulf, a national park and ecosystem, you come into the territory of exquisite bottlenose dolphins. What fun it can be when they playfully come right up to the boat. You’re also likely to see turtles as well as many bird species and get the chance to swim and snorkel.
The Beaches of Preveza
Preveza has wonderful stretches of beach which are popular with sun-worshippers, swimmers and those interested in water sports. All the beaches of Preveza are awarded with blue flags! There are also coves and caves to explore and wonderful places to stop and take in the wonderful views of the sea.
Vrachos – Loutsa Beach
In season, Vrachos – Loutsa Beach is a buzz of activity and beachgoers love that the sunbeds and parasols can be used free of charge. Also, there are waiters that come onto the beach and you can order snacks and drinks. It’s an attractive beach and the paved road that runs along the beach is lined with restaurants, hotels and cafes.
Monolithi Beach feels like it’s a place where the fun never sets. It is just 8km from Preveza and is known for its sparkling blue water, inviting you to dive right in. There are plenty of beach bars, plenty of amenities and modern infrastructure to ensure beachgoers can be comfortable and happy the entire day. The beach is long and it also has a road running next to it with bars, restaurants and cafes. There are certain areas of the beach that have lifeguards on duty.
Colorful Festivals of Preveza
The people of Preveza have an interesting tradition – this sardine festival takes place each year – usually during the first week of August as part of the different cultural festivities of the Nikopolia. Thousands of people flock to the Agios Andreas Castle where you can get the chance to have free helpings of grilled sardines and wine. If that’s not reason for much rejoicing, there is also live music and dancing. This event is a highlight on the Preveza calendar.
Lovers of jazz music will be blown away with the highly professional jazz music played by selected guests from other European countries. The festival, held during the last days of May and into the first few days of June promises a few days of jazz music magic. It started out in 2003 and over the years, the high-quality jazz music has just been getting better and better. Some of the names that have featured include Cristina Villalonga, Eric Burdon, Goran Bregovic, Wim Mertens, Stranglers, Marina Satti and many others.
Where to Stay in Preveza
Preveza is chock full of amazing accommodation options and visitors will be spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing a stylish place to stay.
Dioni Boutique Hotel
Stylish and comfortable, well-positioned in the historic center of Preveza and close to Kyani Akti beach, the 4-star Dioni Boutique Hotel is full of delights for you. The hotel’s luxurious rooms and suites are guaranteed to please. For starters, it’s an environmentally-friendly hotel and it is also certified by ‘Greek Breakfast’ for its nutritious breakfasts. The hotel comes packed with a host of useful features, facilities and services.
Preveza is a great stop-over for the throngs of travelers heading to the Ionian island of Lefkada, but it also has its own unique magic. There are so many wonderful activities and sights to see, so small wonder it is the first top on people’s ‘Greek travel itinerary’. Be warned – Preveza has so much to offer, that you’ll find yourself making a ‘not to be missed list’ for your soon-to-be return visit.