Just north of Preveza and south of Igoumenitsa along the Ionian coast, lies the greek town of Parga. Nestled into rugged mountains surrounded by nature, this colourful and vibrant town has a lot to offer its visitors.
I visited here on my days off when I fancied a change of scenery away from the towns I was based (Sivota, Palairos or Vassiliki).
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Along the water front you should head to the board walk bay (south of the castle) to eat in one of its many restaurants. You are really spoilt for choice. It does get busy and for the best restaurants you will need to book ahead. Now this is what I'd call a busy town, so don't expect it to be quiet, but it does have a great atmosphere and it's a far cry from the the likes of crowds you would find on the islands of Santorini or Zante or cities.
Where to Eat?
You can't really go wrong but as I said you would need to book ahead for most of the water front restaurants especially if there is more than two of you.
My Favourite Greek Restaurants:
Petros Taverna for it's location just the street back from the sea, they also do a great steak.
If you have a car Panorama is fantastic and a little outside of the town but has amazing views like the name suggest.
I have to be honest here when I was working a season I would crave the odd non greek cuisine just for a change. So most of the time I would go for Shanghai for an awesome Chinese. This is on the water front as well (pictured above).
Top Things to Do In and Around Parga
Amazing Beaches & Waterfront of Parga
Visit the near by Piso Krioneri Beach
Aphrodites Cave - which can be accessed on many of the cruises and boat tours.
There is a sandy but busy beach called Paralia Valtos where most of the hotels are to the left of the castle. On our days off we spent a lot of days just relaxing in Tango Beach Bar for drinks by the pool. It is family friendly and if you head here early in the season or late it is a lot quieter.
Don't forget to look out for the island of Panagia just off the mainland. You can rent a boat or kayak and explore around here.
I visited here few times on my day off (#dayoffclub #myjobsbetterthanyourholiday) and it was so much fun. I should warn you the water is freezing. You can float down the river in a dingy, go horse back riding, hike or just enjoy the amazing scenery.
There is a full-day option to visit the Acheron springs and Acheron river, Ali Pasha Castle, and Sivota for about £130.00 with local guides via trip advisor.
More snaps from the bottom of the Acheron River on a clearer day
The Wildlife Around Parga
If you head north up the coast there are wild bears in the national parks that border Albania. There is a growing trend in tourism to support the protection of these animals by offering safe tours to the area.
History in Parga
Head up to Holy Church Of Agia Eleni for awesome views
Walk to the Venetian castle on the rock. This is viewable all along the waterfront and a well known landmark for visitors and local.
Explore Further Along the Ionian Coast
Many people visit Parga as part of a day trip from Sivota, Corfu or Nidri on coaches. However If you are based in Parga then Trip Advisor also has a great private day trips including this one from Parga to Bella Vraka Beach, Sivota and back with the entry to Kanali beach included for £88.07.
If you are limited for time then I would recommend this trip a lot of guests did it and some of the staff too who all had a lot of fun.
Island Hopping from Parga
If you are in Parga for a week or more I would definitely recommend trying to get to Paxos island.
Paxos is often nicknamed as the Caribbean of the Mediterranean and listed in the top greek islands by numerous magazines and bloggers for a reason.
I have covered this more in my article about the island (I went from Sivota on a private Yatch due to the company I worked for having these available for staff to skipper for the day when not in use) but there are trips available from Parga to this beautiful island for only £29.78 - Click Here to have a look.
Another option is for a cruise heading to Blue Caves on Corfu via Antipaxos with Get your Guide. A lot of staff from my work did this on their annual leave.
Lefkada isn't far from Parga and we would often drive on our days off in Sivota past Parga to Lekfada. The Island has so much to offer visitors and residents. From stunning beaches, waterfalls and mountains to shopping, nightlife and traditional greek communities in the towns.
The best part you can drive to Lefkada from the mainland, which makes it even better. If you like adventure like me why not:
Paraglide on Lefkada
Learn to Kitesurf on Lefkada
Learn to Windsurf
Check out my article on this amazing island here. I was lucky enough to be able to spend day's off here over a few seasons and do a several weeks covering holidays and injury on one of the resorts on the island.
Many people visit Parga as part of a day trip from Sivota or Nidri on coaches. You can also visit the sand spit at Sivota, blue lagoon and Parga on a full day boat trip. If you are limited for time then I would recommend this trip a lot of guests did it and some of the staff who had a lot of fun, however I would recommend seeing Parga and the surrounding areas more for many of the reasons I mentioned above.
Getting To and From Parga, Greece
Parga is on the mainland so easy accessible by car. I'd really recommend a car just because there is so much to see and do around Parga and along the whole coastline.
The nearest airport is in Preveza.
Before flying home from Preveza, go and relax at Kiani akti or check out Apollon restaurant just opposite the airport for a friendly welcome and homemade greek dishes.
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Check our other articles on Greece so far with more coming soon