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Parga in Greece
Parga is often mentioned as the jewel among mainland Greek towns. And for many, that's exactly what Parga is, beautiful as a diamond and the ideal destination, a Greek idyll like no other. Some would probably like to add the word picturesque as well, and surely there are some who think that Parga is genuinely Greek.
Parga town with the castle Kastro to the left.
I can agree to some extent, Parga is an incredibly beautiful town, the ideal location along the water, the picturesque and amphitheater buildings, and the absolutely wonderful surroundings are qualities that are hard to ignore. I can even agree that Parga is the perfect destination, but the attribute "picturesque" I cannot subscribe to. In Parga, tourism dominates, Greek everyday life is barely noticeable and what might be perceived as picturesque is, in my eyes, a bit contrived. Still, I think Parga is the perfect destination.
The port promenade in Parga. Krioneri beach is on the right.
Don't miss an excursion to Meteora. It will be a memory for life.
Parga is located in Greece's westernmost province of Epirus, the town has a population of approximately 2,400 people. Along the long beautiful coast there are countless beaches, bays and small islands. Epirus also has a long and very interesting history, which makes the whole province fascinating to explore. Even Parga has had its fair share of fine beaches and historical sights. With Parga as a base and the whole of Epirus as an excursion destination, you have something to bite into, such as Metsovo, and Meteora.
The river Styx is a must when you are in Parga.
TRAVEL TO PARGA
The simplest way is off course to buy a package tour directly to Parga, but it is almost as smooth to fly there by yourself and sfind a place to stay - on the spot or by booking in advance. The plane lands at the airport called Aktion, located in Preveza 68 kilometres (42 miles) south of Parga. The transfer into town takes a little more than an hour.
The port promenade in cozy Sivota near Parga.
GETTING AROUND IN PARGA
If you stay near Parga town a beach boat will get you pretty far, but if you wish to experience the beautiful surroundings of Parga, a rental car is to prefer.
I can recommend you to join at least one organized excursion, especially the one to Zagoria, where the villages of Monodendri and Vitsa are located. Other excursion destinations that I am happy to recommend are the islands of Antipaxi and Paxi, the river Styx, Ali Pasha's fortress, the village of Agia and the Necromanteion. Something you absolutely must not miss is going to Meteora!
I can really recommend a boat trip to the neighboring islands Paxi and Antipaxi.
BEACHES IN PARGA
Almost everyone that travels to Parga prefer the close by beaches: Krioneri, Valtos and Lichnos, and quite understandably so since they all are good and within close reach.
Krioneri beach in Parga.
Krioneri beach, or the town beach as we Swedes say, lie in the middle of the village, just as its name implies. Very practical, you hardly have to change clothes. The tavernas are all near by and if you grow tired of swimming and sunshine just pick up your wallet and go for a round of shopping.
Valtos beach in Parga. Kastro to the right.
To the right of the Venetian fortress, Valtos beach spreads out as a necklace made of white coral. Valtos is in the eyes of many the best beach of Parga - it has beautiful surroundings, it is very long, there is room for everyone and it is within a walking distance.
From its spot on the rock between Parga town and Valtos beach the old Venetian fortress keep watch over the sea and the land. Today most of the houses lie in ruins, there is not much to see of the actual Kastro, but a visit is necessary -the magnificent view over Parga and the Valtos bay is enchanting.
Lichnos beach close to Parga.
The beautiful sand beach of Lichnos, 3.5 kilometres (2.2 miles) south of Parga, is my absolute favourite beach in the area. This long beach is mostly out of coarse-grained sand that shifts from shiny white to golden yellow. This perfect sand is soft, formable, and just coarse enough to lie still - it will not fly into your eyes.
To Lichnos beach you can hike from Parga through the beautiful olive tree forest.
The easiest way to get to Lichnos is by boat from Parga, or with your own vehicle. By far the nicest, and definitely the jokiest, approach is to walk through the olive tree forest that covers the mountains between Parga and Lichnos.
Karavostasi beach near Parga.
What many fail to notice however is that there are beautiful beaches not far from Parga, I am thinking firstly of Ammoudia (south of Parga) and Agia Paraskevi and Karavostasi (north of Parga), and the beaches Arilla, Piso Krioneri, Pogo, Agianakis, Sarakiniko and Sivota.
SIGHTS IN PARGA
In a verdant longish valley, about three kilometres (1.9 miles) north of Parga lie the little village Anthousa. To get to the fort you pass Anthousa and then turn left to the village Trikorfo. Forts like this are usually not much to see, the view is often more impressive than the building itself.
The fort of Ali Pasha. You see Parga to the left of the cannon.
The fort of Ali Pasha however, is an exception. Large parts of the interiors are in a surprisingly good shape, the solid walls are impressive and there are some remaining canons aiming for Parga town in the upper courtyard.
View of Parga town.
The picture above is taken from the little church of Agia Eleni, which is located in the olive groves, where the path to Lichnos beach goes. Behind the cliff with the Kastro you see Valtos beach.
ACCOMMODATION IN PARGA
If you are on a package holiday, which most people are, you will usually stay somewhere in the upper parts of the village, by Valtos beach or south of Krioneri beach. What suites you the best is a matter of taste. If you are travelling independently you will soon find out that there are fewer options than on the islands, the travel agencies have reserved a great deal of the rooms. Nevertheless, unless you come here in July or august it should not be a problem.