Parga is a small, picturesque town located in the northwestern part of Greece. It is situated on the coast of the Ionian Sea and surrounded by lush green hills. Despite its beauty, Parga is not as well-known as some other Greek islands or cities, which makes it a perfect escape for travelers seeking a quieter and more laid-back vacation.
Exploring Parga is like taking a step back in time. The town has a rich history that can be traced all the way back to the ancient times. It was an important port throughout the centuries, and its strategic location has attracted several civilizations, from the Romans to the Ottoman Empire, leaving their mark on the town’s architecture, customs, and traditions.
One of the best things about Parga is its proximity to some of the most stunning beaches and coves in Greece. The town is surrounded by crystal clear waters and a coastline dotted with hidden bays and secluded coves that offer a perfect escape from the crowds.
Here is a guide to exploring the little-known Greek escape of Parga:
Getting to Parga:
Parga is easy to reach from most major Greek cities. The nearest airport is Preveza, which is about a 45-minute drive from Parga. The airport receives flights from Athens and other major European cities during the summer. Alternatively, visitors can also take a ferry from Corfu or other nearby islands, which is a great way to enjoy the beauty of the Ionian Sea.
Best time to visit:
The best time to visit Parga is from May to October. The weather is warm and sunny throughout the summer months, with temperatures ranging from 25-35C. The sea is also warm and perfect for swimming during this time.
Top 10 tourist attractions in Parga:
1. The Castle of Parga: The castle of Parga is located on a rocky hill at the entrance of the town. It was built in the 14th century and has seen many battles throughout the centuries. The castle offers panoramic views of the town and the sea, and it’s a great place to watch the sunset.
2. Valtos Beach: Valtos Beach is one of the most beautiful and popular beaches in Parga. It’s a long sandy beach with crystal clear waters and surrounded by lush green hills. The beach has plenty of sun loungers and umbrellas, as well as several tavernas and cafes.
3. Acheron River: The Acheron River is located about 30 minutes from Parga and is a must-visit destination for nature lovers. The river is believed to be the gateway to the underworld and is surrounded by dense forests, waterfalls, and crystal clear pools. Visitors can enjoy rafting, canoeing, or swimming in the river’s pristine waters.
4. Ali Pasha Castle: Ali Pasha Castle is located on a small island in the middle of Lake Vouliagmeni. It was built by the Ottoman ruler Ali Pasha in the 18th century and served as a military base. The castle can be reached by boat from Parga and offers remarkable views of the surrounding mountains and the lake.
5. Panagia Island: Panagia Island is a small islet located about 10 minutes by boat from Parga. It’s an uninhabited island with a small chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary, surrounded by turquoise waters and a rocky shoreline. Visitors can swim, snorkel, or simply relax on the beach.
6. Kryoneri Beach: Kryoneri Beach is located right in the center of Parga, and it’s the perfect place to spend a lazy afternoon. The beach has shallow waters, making it ideal for families with children. There are also several restaurants and cafes nearby.
7. Anthousa Castle: Anthousa Castle is a ruined fortress located on a hill above the village of Anthousa. It was built in the Byzantine period and later used as a military base by the Ottomans. The castle offers magnificent views of the surrounding countryside and the sea.
8. Agios Sostis Island: Agios Sostis Island is a small islet located just off the coast of Parga. It’s only accessible by boat or kayak and offers a secluded and peaceful retreat. The island has a small chapel and several picturesque bays perfect for swimming and sunbathing.
9. Lichnos Beach: Lichnos Beach is located about 3 km from Parga and is another popular beach in the area. It’s a long and sandy beach with calm and shallow waters, ideal for families with children. The beach has several tavernas and cafes, as well as sun loungers and umbrellas.
10. The House of Ali Pasha: The House of Ali Pasha is located in the center of Parga and was built in the 19th century for the Ottoman ruler Ali Pasha. The house has been converted into a museum and offers visitors a glimpse into the life and times of this influential figure in Greek history.
1. Is Parga a good destination for families with children?
Yes, Parga is an ideal destination for families with children. The town has several beaches with shallow and calm waters, plenty of restaurants and cafes, and a relaxed and family-friendly atmosphere.
2. Are there any hiking trails in Parga?
Yes, there are several hiking trails in Parga and the surrounding area. The hills and mountains around Parga offer breathtaking views of the sea and the countryside, and there are plenty of well-marked trails for hikers of all levels.
3. What are the best ways to explore the coastline around Parga?
The best ways to explore the coastline around Parga are by boat, kayak, or stand-up paddleboard. The area is dotted with hidden bays and secluded coves that can only be reached by boat or watercraft, making it an adventure to be had for travelers seeking to explore the area on their own.
4. What are the most popular water sports in Parga?
The most popular water sports in Parga are windsurfing, kiteboarding, kayaking, and snorkeling. The sea around Parga is perfect for these sports, and there are several rental companies that offer equipment and lessons.
5. What are some typical dishes to try in Parga?
Some typical dishes to try in Parga include saganaki, grilled octopus, fish soup, and moussaka. The town has several tavernas that serve traditional Greek cuisine, using local ingredients such as fresh fish, vegetables, and herbs.
In conclusion, Parga is a hidden gem that offers a unique and authentic Greek experience. With its beautiful beaches, rugged coastline, and rich history, Parga is a destination that should not be missed. It’s a perfect escape from the crowds and the hustle and bustle of some of Greece’s more tourist-packed destinations.