Picturesque Parga, lying northwest of Preveza in Epirus, is an ideal place to visit during a late spring or summertime exploration of the entire beautiful region, or as a sole destination. In this new miniguide, you’ll find all the best places to stay at, eat, swim and shop.
Richly verdant, with emerald waters and colourful mansions, amphitheatrically built Parga also offers close access to Paxos and Antipaxos islands in the Ionian, known for their gorgeous crystalline turquoise waters and scenic villages.
In Parga, you’re likely to feel a carefree island vibe and enjoy admiring lovely Venetian architecture – including an archaic castle at its top. There are plenty of things to see, do and taste to keep you busy, whether you’re going for two days or two weeks.
Most popular – and busy of Parga’s beaches is the long, sandy Kryoneri coastline, with Piso (back) Kryoneri at its end and Valtos beach interconnecting on the other end.
From Kryoneri beach you can rent a pedalo (or swim) to reach the Panagia islet, where two churches stand and with surrounding rocks perfect for snorkelling around.
Ai Yiannaki and Lichno on the south side are also great places to swim.
On the path to Syvota, you’ll find the beaches of Sarakiniko, Karavostasi and Arilla.
Valtos is popular for watersports enthusiasts.
Along the Promenade
A perfect seafront walkway for sunset strolls where you can stop for an ouzo and meze by the water.
Visit the Olive Oil Factory
Learn all about local olive oil production and how it has helped shape the culture and culinary profile of Parga and book an olive oil tasting session. (Paragaea, K. Tzavella 19, Parga +30 2684 032889)
The Venetian Castle
The 13th Century castle has sturdily remained in place despite being knocked down by both Ottoman occupiers and pirates before being rebuilt by the Venetians in 1572. Head up to see spellbinding 360-degree views.
Journey to the Underworld
Visit the springs of the Acheron River, in a beautiful natural landscape near Glyki village. According to Greek mythology, the river was one of the five rivers of the underworld. On the banks of Acheron is the Nekromanteion, where the dead were said to begin their descent to the underworld accompanied by a blind ferryman.
Villa Rossa Area Boutique Beach Resort
The historic red villa is a Parga landmark and the only building standing on Parga’s main beach. It offers a private beach area and uninterrupted sea views. Having starred in several international films, the hotel blends old-world charm with innovative design in addition to hosting an Interactive Museum, a Gallery and a Gift Shop. It also boasts a direct sunset location, ideal for sundowners! (Agiou Athanasiou 4, +26840 31237)
This recently renovated hotel is a good option for those who want to be within close walking distance to two beautiful beaches and a hotel pool. There is also a good restaurant with al fresco dining (Agiou Athanasiou 51, +26840 32111)
For those preferring to be a little further from town, Lichnos Beach is a large luxury hotel with spacious rooms and good family options. (Lichnos beach, +2684031257)
Villa Rossa Restaurant is an award-winning farm-to-table Greek and Mediterranean restaurant with top-quality locally sourced options. It offers exceptional quality fish and seafood and is famed for its oysters. Other signature dishes include gambares, delicacy shrimp from nearby Preveza, and beef fillet with fresh Greek truffles. (Agiou Athanasiou 4, +26840 31532)
Aegis Dine & Drink offers good, creative Mediterranean dishes and is ideal for people watching on the main promenade overlooking the sea ( Grigoriou Lampraki 17, + 693 724 1479)
Tourkopazaro is Greek for Turkish Bazaar. This is a picturesque area near the Venetian Castle full of popular tavernas that seem to blend into one, and all serve good quality Greek traditional fare.
Pargas Distillery, Amicos Food and Bar is an old distillery where traditional liqueurs are still served along with creative cocktails and small bites in a pleasant setting ( Patatoukou 26, + 694 700 9151)
Sail In Cocktail Bar– is in a beautiful building on the steps leading to the castle. It offers great views and signature cocktails (G. Gaki 1, +2684032097)
Atrium– Perched on a hill overlooking Pisso Kryoneri beach this is a great place to unwind during the day and have a cold beer in the early evening. Options are limited but the trek is well worth the view (Agiou Athanassiou 28, +26840 31600)
The Venetian Castle also has a café/bar. It is a spectacular location to be enjoyed at all times of the day.
Kendra is a treasure trove of interesting kaftans, beach dresses, and jewellery for affordable prices on the promenade.
Mandalaki– easy-to-wear summer clothing by mostly Greek brands, includes interesting sandals, purses and jewellery. (Frouriou 13, +2684 031630)
Papaya– good, curated, designer options (Riga Feraiou 50, + 6947054086)
There are many souvenir shops on the promenade and Parga’s quaint alleyways, all worth exploring.
On August 14th, visit the Panigyri on the Panagia islet. The next day join the festivities of Dekapendavgoustos at Varkarola, a festival commemorating the homecoming of Parga’s locals after they had been made to leave their home by the English, who sold Parga to Ali Pasha of Ioannina.