Parga is a charming seaside resort with colourful houses located on the coast of the Epirus region, in western Greece. Built on a hilltop dominated by a 14th century Norman fortress, Parga has a vibrant atmosphere, excellent food and lush beaches. It is close to many of Greece’s interesting sites, which makes it the perfect place to settle and discover the west coast! In this travel guide, I’ll share with you everything there is to know about this magical destination as well as the best things to see and do in Parga, Greece.
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How to get to Parga, Greece
Parga is close to the airports of Preveza, Corfu and Ioannina. The easiest and fastest option is to land in Preveza, the nearest town (65 km). From Preveza airport, take the shuttle bus to the KTEL bus station in Preveza and then the bus from Preveza to Parga (several departures throughout the day). The journey takes about 2 hours, make sure to check the bus timetable before you leave! Taxis are also available directly from Preveza airport to take you to Parga.
The transportation company KTEL connects all major Greek cities by bus, so you can easily reach Parga from anywhere in Greece.
Getting around Parga
To visit the Epirus region and sites such as Sivota or the theatre of Dodona, the best solution is to rent a car. The platform RentalCars compares and offers the best rates in Greece, I am never disappointed with their service! There are also some KTEL buses and day cruises to discover the other beautiful destinations along the coast.
Where to stay in Parga?
Parga is a relatively small resort, so it’s easy to get around on foot wherever you stay. Choose your location according to what you plan to do there: do you plan on going swimming every day at the beach in the centre of Parga? Do you prefer to be on the move and discover a new destination in the area every day? Do you want a relatively quiet location with direct access to the beach? Find a strategic location! Here is a selection of hotels and campsites to guide you:
Hotels in Parga, Greece
Paradise Hotel: located in the centre of Parga, the Paradise Hotel offers a superb view of the village and its bay, in addition to a beautiful swimming pool and impeccable service.
Studios Spiros: very well located at the top of Parga’s centre and budget-friendly.
Hotel Maistrali: located just a few steps from Parga’s main beach, the hotel also offers private parking.
Camping in Parga
Camping Valtos: a simple but well-equipped campsite located less than 100 metres from Valtos beach and 15 minutes walk from the centre of Parga.
What to do in Parga, Greece?
Walk through the beautiful streets of Parga
Before you do anything else, explore the pretty streets of Parga! Ideally in the morning or at the end of the day as the village is built on a hill, making it difficult to climb the streets in the summer heat.
Stroll through the narrow streets, discover the tiny Orthodox churches and look for the most beautiful views of Parga!
Wander through the shops selling handmade leather shoes, soaps, wooden objects and stop at one of Parga’s bakeries to try some delicious local pastries.
Visit the Castle of Parga
Perched on the hill, the Castle of Parga dominates the city. Originally built in the 14th century by the Normans, the fortress has been through many changes: it was destroyed in 1537 by the Ottomans and then rebuilt a few decades later by the Venetians, before finally being restored by Ali Pasha in the early 19th century.
Today, only ruins remain, but one can imagine the history that took place here by walking through the impressive fortifications. The view of the coastline on either side of Parga from the top of the fortress is magnificent.
Beaches in Parga
With its turquoise sea and beautiful pebbles, the coastline along Parga calls for swimming! There are many beaches and coves along the coast, the best known being Krioneri, Piso Krioneri and Valtos, all three located in Parga itself. These can be reached on foot. Other beaches outside Parga are also worth a visit: Lichnos (4 kilometres away from Parga), Sarakiniko (12 kilometres) and Aï Giannakis (9 kilometres).
Swim to the islet of Panagia
Just across Krioneri beach is a charming little islet with a church. You can easily swim there and reach it in less than 10 minutes! The view of Parga and its pretty houses from there is worth it.
Ali Pasha’s Castle
Located a few kilometres above Parga, right outside the village of Anthoussa, Ali Pasha’s castle was built in 1814 with the aim of bombarding and then capturing Parga. Ali Pasha was then the governor of the Epirus region for the Ottoman Empire.
The view of the Ionian Sea from the castle is one of the most beautiful in the region, with a panorama of the islands of Paxi to the northwest and Lefkada to the southwest.
To get there, take the train of Parga which offers a 2-hour tour including a stop at Anthoussa. Alternatively, you can also hike to Ali Pasha’s Castle, it takes about 1 hour 45 minutes from Parga (around 5 kilometres).
In Anthoussa, stop at the Watermill Museum and walk to the beautiful waterfall.
Rent a boat
To discover the coast around Parga, go on a boat trip! There are many tours to the nearby beaches, I like how when on the sea you can appreciate the coastline from a different perspective. You can book your boat trip directly at the port or online right here.
What we like to do is to rent a small motorboat during one afternoon, so we are free to discover the coast at our own pace (also available directly at the port).
The best restaurants, tavernas and bars in Parga
Here is a selection of places I particularly enjoy in Parga:
Med Parga: very nice place to have a drink or dinner at the end of the day, the view over the sea and the sunset is fantastic.
Sakis: ideal to discover traditional Greek dishes! The menu is pretty extensive.
Gyros bank: the best souvlaki & gyros in Parga!
Bacchos Restaurant: a great place for a meal by the sea.
Atrium Bar: a bar overlooking the bay of Piso Krioneri, very pleasant at the end of the day.
Veranda Cocktail Bar: a trendy place to enjoy excellent cocktails in the evening.
Avocado Cocktail Bar: rooftop with a beautiful view over the whole town.
Day trips ideas from Parga
Located only 27 kilometres away from Parga, this pretty resort is famous for its intense blue sea and small islands with emerald green vegetation. Don’t miss the Blue Lagoon and the Bella Vraka beach on the island of Megalo Mourtemeno! The latter can be reached on foot via a shallow sandbank connecting it to the coastline. When in Sivota, rent a boat! It is the best way to discover all the beaches.
The islands of Paxos and Antipaxos form the Paxi archipelago. It is a destination south of Corfu very popular for its crystal-clear sea and pretty fishing villages! How to get there: Parga Cruises organises day trips and takes you through the highlights of the archipelago.
When in Parga, you can also go on a day trip to the island of Corfu! The ferry leaves at 8.30 am and returns to Parga at 6.30 pm. The journey is quite long, about 2.5 hours each way. The port there is only a few minutes walk from the old town, but you can also take a taxi at the roundabout when going out of the port. There, you will have enough time to explore Corfu Town, wander through its pretty alleys and on the Liston, browse through its local, charming shops, discover the Old Fortress and maybe even swim at Faliraki, a beach in the heart of Corfu’s old town.
Read more about Corfu Town: 25 beautiful pictures to inspire you to visit Corfu Town
In Greek mythology, the Acheron is one of the rivers of the Underworld, and a branch of the underground river Styx. It is a place steeped in history, where you can enjoy swimming, walking (feet in the river), kayaking, horse riding… all in a magnificent natural setting. Don’t forget to bring a swimming suit and suitable shoes! The Acheron is 25 kilometres away from Parga and the best way to get there is by car. Alternatively, you can reach it with a boat called the “Lichnos Express”, which you will find in the port of Parga.
Dodoni Sanctuary and Theatre
If you’re a history buff, don’t miss the Dodoni Sanctuary near the town of Ioannina. The journey takes just over an hour (75 kilometres) but is well worth the trip: there is an ancient site dedicated to the cult of Zeus that includes a superb theatre.
The island of Lefkada has some of the most beautiful beaches in the Ionian Sea! The good thing about it? The island is so close to the mainland that it is connected by a bridge, so you can get there by car. The north of the island is 85 kilometres away from Parga, a little less than an hour and a half drive. There are some beautiful beaches in the north of the island, but if you want to discover Porto Katsiki, Lefkada’s most famous beach, it’s an extra hour’s drive.
If you want to know more about this beautiful destination, have a look at this weekend trip to Lefkada!
Best time to visit Parga in Greece: what’s the weather like?
Parga is lovely between April (after the Orthodox Easter) and October. Outside this period, you will find most activities closed. The area is still a pleasant place to hike, with mild temperatures in winter. The months of June till September are hot, with temperatures exceeding 30°C. Choose this period if you plan to spend your days at the beach, otherwise earlier or later in the season if you don’t want to be bothered by the heat.
Parga is one of my favourite destinations on Greece’s west coast, we always make a stop there on our way to Corfu. I hope you’ll enjoy it too! Have a great holiday in Greece ☀️.
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