Parga is a hidden travel treasure on the Ionian sea not known by many. You are in luck because I experienced Parga at first hand one year ago, and I can say to you one thing – the most beautiful, affordable and hidden vacation spot in Greece. Yeah, Santorini is fantastic, and all, and I wrote about my experience a couple of weeks ago, but if you want beautiful beaches, bright and beautiful water, cheap and tasty food, and the best experience in Ionian sea, then Parga is the place to visit.
What to do in Parga?
Parga is an old city. Once upon a time, they were prosperous. And for that reason attacked by pirates and the ottomans. In the 11th century, the locals built the castle to protect themselves. However, in the 13th and 17th century, the Venetians were the rulers of Parga, and they modified the castle (as we know it today) to fight off Ottoman attacks.
If you are visiting Parga, visiting the castle is a must, because the view there is fantastic – you can see Corfu island and both Paxos and Antipox from there.
As you climb towards the castle, there are shops, cafes and taverns along the way. Also, on the top near and at the castle, you can find excellent cafes, so you can enjoy the view and drink a good coffee.
If you want to relax and have the time of your life, the beaches of Parga will offer that to you. The main beach is named Krioneri, and it is very close to the centre of the city. It is a sandy beach that stretches for kilometres. After you reach the end of Krioneri, behind the big rock, there is a hidden beach named Piso-Krioneri. It is smaller than Krioenri, and stones are everywhere. The stones, do not stop tourist going there; in fact, in July and August, it is swarming with tourists.
The longest beach in Parga is Valtos. It is located behind the castle and getting there will require a lot of strength – walking on a long hill. On the other hand, if you want to get there quicker, faster and save up your energy, you can always take a boat taxi. It is only 4 euros to get there and get back to shore.
Parga has the best climate if you want to get your perfect body tan. Additionally, it is an excellent place to swim, windsurfing or go snorkelling.
Like everywhere in Greece, along the beaches there are tavernas and bars all around. When you get hungry or thirsty, they really come in hand.
Greeks have one of the most astonishing mythologies in the world. And Parga is part of that world. There you can find the mythical river of the Underworld – Acheron river. Archeron is just 20 km from Parga. Getting there will be comfortable with renting a bike or a car. Archeron is not so scary as the mythology say. In reality, the river is striking and winding. The waters are pure and very transparent, while the eco-system is untouched by humans due to the inclusion of EU’s eco-protection laws. Whether you like to hike, swim or picnic, you can do that there. We highly recommend visiting this mythic river.
The Walk On Water Path to the Virgin Mary Church
Not everybody knows about this secret pathway to the small island and its church, unless you are a local guide. However, even they do not share this information with all tourists. As I said before, getting there can be done in two ways. You start from the Krioneri beach and move towards the island. You can either walk on the hidden water path(5-minute walk) or if you are unlucky finding the right guide, you have to swim there. It is a fantastic church filled with so much history about Parga.
I continue with the exploration of the Parga region in the next article.
Clothes: Summers are warmer than your local weather. Take light clothes and beachwear, because you will spend most of your time on the beach.
Hotels: Prices are high, even compared to some Corfu hotels. They are small and usually offer only breakfast. However, there are good ones as well, but you have to open your wallet for them.
Food and Drink: Greek traditional seafood can be found everywhere near Parga. Also, traditional food Gyro is one of the tastiest delicates I’ve ever tried. It comes in two types of meat – chicken and pork. I prefer the chicken one because in my mouth it tastes like heaven!
Nightlife: Living the beach nightlife is just beautiful. Parga is no exception. It has incredible parties, lasting till dawn usually. Bars can also be found near the path to the castle. A Nextravel tip is to visit Blue Bar – a place to have fun, drink good drinks and find good people.