Parga and ionian islands
Author: Vesna Radakovic
This year’s adventure started on June 16, 2017. arriving in Parga. To visit this destination, we made decision last December, and we are still thrilled.
We will start with a few interesting facts.
Parga was given to Greece in 1913. It has about 3,000 inhabitants. It is located across from Corfu, 980km from Belgrade, 68km from Preveza, where is the nearest airport, and about 380km from Thessaloniki.
The city is in the shape of an amphitheater, and one of the most beautiful cities on a greek coast. While in Parga, you have to visit Ali Pasha’s fortress, which is 6 km away from Parga and you can catch the train to go there.
Also, there is the Venetian fortress, with 64 steps which you have to walk to get there, which separates the center of Parga and Valtos beach, which served residents to defend themselves from the Turks.
We were accommodated in villa Oasis (flat part of Parga, next to the beautiful Rezi hotel) and I would recommend this villa. Otherwise, as far as I understood, the accommodation in Parga is shared in three groups:
1. The flat part of Parga - at the entrance to the place next to the football stadium, some 200 meters from the beach Piso Krioneri.
2. The Parga Center, which is the most beautiful part of the city, but all the villas are on hill.
3. Valtos beach, this part is farthest, and in my opinion it is not for families with children, since there is a lot of hiking uphill and downhill.
Parga has three beaches:
- Krioneri is a beach in the center of Parga. In one part there is sand, and on the other side are stones. It’s interesting to me that from here you can walk through the water (if you are over 170cm tall, I had one part to swim), to the islan of the Holy Mary (I think that this island is also called Panagia). You should visit this island, it has a beautiful church where weddings take a place.
- Piso Krioneri is the smallest beach in Parga, the most beautiful for me. There are also two large rocks Skordas and Kremidas, and on the right side of the beach, there is a beautiful cafe on the hill (I think it’s called Atrium), you need to go upstairs, and the view from this cafe is amazing! Maybe some of you will not like big rocks on the beach, but for me was fine.
- Valtos is located at the exit of Parga, and you will need about 20 minutes walk to get there. It leads to the fortress, and from the fortress to the right, downhill. The beach is 2-3km long.
Two sunbeds and umbrella on this three beaches are 8 euros (without drinks).
To not forget, I was not there, but people who were there say that it is must to visit beach Sarakiniko, which is 12 km away from Parga, and the beach Lichnos, which is about 4-5 km away from Parga, and to them, the bravest can go there on foot.
About shopping, farmers market is open two days in week in morning. We were usually going for shopping in two small markets Proton and Carrefour Expres, which is, like most of the people say, the most afordable one and it is located in the entrance of Piso Krioneri beach.
The biggest impression on me left Taverna Krioneri, 20m from the beach Piso, which is always full and from where you can hear beautiful greek music. The food is delicious. A few meters away, Don Camillo’s pizzeria in a sabi style where pizza, greek salad and two drinks cost 15 euros.
I was specially impressed with the excursions to Paxos and Antipaxos, and the Ionian Islands (Lefkada, Cephalonia, Ithaca).
** Trip to Paxos and Antipaxos (also two Ionian Islands) **
They say Paxos according to the legend was created by the god Poseidon who have separated the island with the trident from Corfu. Paxos is a small island and capital is Gaios.
The trip started at 10 am when the Vicky 2 boat sailed from the dock in Parga. The first station is the Loggos town, but we only saw it from the coast. Both Paxos and Antipaxos remind me of Croatian coast, it’s beautiful!
The next stop is at Lakka Town, where we were swimming and chilling for an hour and a half, and then we continued to Vutumi Beach at Antipaxos (the entire island of Antipaxos was 5km2), and returned to Paxos to the capital Gaiso, which is very nice. The biggest impression on me left a jewelry store.
** Trip to Ionian Islands (Lefkada, Cephalonia, Ithaca) **
From Parga, we started at 6.30 am by bus to the port of Nidri in Lefkada, from where we departed at 10 am. What is interesting and what I did not know was that Lefkada with the mainland was connected by a pontoon bridge which is about 50 meters long (so we can say it is a peninsula). The first stations were the beaches Egremni and Porto Katsiki in Lefkada, which seem almost unreal. They say that these two beaches are among the top 10 in Greece. On both beaches there is white sand and turquoise blue water. It was like a dream!
The next stop was a town Fiskardo in Cephalonia. It’s beautiful! They say that Fiskardo is the only city in Cephalonia that was not hitted by the earthquake in 1953, and it became known for the movie “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin”. It is said that since then, the tourism in Fiskardo has begun to grow. I would like to go there again.
The next destination is the Golden Beach in Ithaka, where there were no swimmers, so only we, from the boat, were swimming there. This image has remained in my memory, as the best one from this vacation.
Then we passed the island of Scorpios where Onassis and Jackie Kennedy married. That island was sold by the Onassis’s descendants to the greek businessman (he bought it for his daughter for her birthday), a few years ago.
Then we went to the island of Meganisi, where the Papanikolis cave is located. The cave was named after the submarine Papanikolis, which was hidden there during the Second World War.
Accommodations in Parga you can check here., accommodations in all Epirus (Vrachos, Preveza, Kanali, Syvota) you can check here.