After long working days, the only thing you want to do is relax in your own space. However, sometimes it’s nice to get away from home (I always chose weekend tours, like a Pena Palace tour out of Lisbon when I lived in this vibrant city) and experience something new, relaxing in new “homes” you’re creating everywhere you go. My temporary home was Parga, Greece.
I always write about how traveling can significantly rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul. It can help you learn new things about the world whilst learning more about yourself.
When you’re in a different environment, you must adapt and determine how to make the most of your situation. This can be a great learning experience and can help you grow as a person.
One such destination that proved to be a turning point in how I enjoy my life was a small coastal location in Greece called Parga Town. When you think of Greece, you might think about Athens, the Greek Islands, or other mainland destinations.
However, I’m here to show you this lovely beach town through my eyes and words. It gave me more perspective on my long travels, and alongside journaling and self-care planning, it helped me experience a fulfilling, balanced break.
Parga is a beautiful seaside town in western Greece that is teeming with lush greenery, olive groves, stunning hotels, and picturesque restaurants.
More on Greek travels: 5 luxury Greek hotels for the best wellness escape
This idyllic destination is perfect for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and relax in nature. The town is situated on a hillside, so there are plenty of great spots to take in the stunning views.
Is Parga Greece worth visiting?
Even though Parga is not the most popular holiday destination in Greece, it is still worth a visit. People often extend their stays here (like I did) because of the calm and serene vibe.
Parga is also home to some amazing beaches where you can soak up the sun and enjoy crystal-clear waters. With so much to see and do, Parga is definitely a place worth visiting.
Not many advertisements or blogs highlight this town; thus, you might think it is not worth visiting. However, you might change this perspective after reading some of my experiences below.
Which airport do you fly to for Parga Greece?
There are a few airports you can fly into, depending on your location. If you’re coming from the United States, you can fly to Athens or Thessaloniki.
If you’re coming from the United Kingdom, you can fly through the Aktion national airport in Preveza. The closest airport to Parga is the Aktion national airport, and it will be pretty feasible for you.
No matter where you’re coming from, an airport will work for you as the location is accessible.
Is Parga Greece expensive?
There is no definitive answer to this question, as it will depend on your own personal spending habits. However, I would say that Parga is not as expensive as some of the other tourist destinations in Greece.
There is a range of accommodation options available in Parga, from camping to luxurious hotels. You can also find a variety of restaurants catering to different budgets. So, whether you’re on a tight budget or you’re looking to splash out, you’ll be able to find something suitable in Parga.
Overall, after going through my experiences below, you would find that it wasn’t as expensive for me as some of the other destinations I’ve been to.
Is Parga town lively?
Parga town is not as lively as some of the other tourist destinations in Greece. However, there are still plenty of things to do and see in the town.
Parga is not a party destination; it is where I came to have a break from that sort of thing. However, the town still through a lot of surprises at me.
The friendly people do have adventurous natures, and the nights can get pretty crazy. The nature exploration, the food scene, and the people make it a positive and rejuvenating experience.
The 15 best things to do in Parga, Greece:
Visit Parga old town and its colorful winding streets
The old town of Parga is a must-see for anyone visiting the town. It’s home to meandering streets and colorful buildings that are sure to enchant visitors.
The old town is on a hill overlooking many hotels, a sandy beach, and exotic waters, so there are plenty of great spots to take in the stunning views. If you’re looking for a charming and picturesque place to explore, visit the old town of Parga.
Try a local dish with a sea view at the town port
The town port in Parga is the perfect spot to enjoy a delicious local dish with a stunning sea view. The port is situated on a hillside, so you can take in the Ionian Sea’s stunning views while eating.
Countless restaurants are serving up both local and international cuisines in Greece. However, seafood is my personal favorite, as it can’t get fresher than it was in Parga.
Even if you are a first-timer to seafood or dislike the idea of eating it, you should give the Calamari and fried Cod a shot in this hill town. There are also plenty of cafes and bakeries where you can enjoy a sweet treat or refreshing cup of coffee.
Enjoy the natural beauty of the lush greenery scenery
There are plenty of trails and nature walks that allow visitors to explore the natural beauty of Parga.
I took one of these trails near my hotel, leading me to spectacular views around the town.
I later found out that there are a couple of these trails, so make sure to ask the locals for these trails.
Visit ali pasha castle
Ali pasha castle is a popular tourist destination in Parga but to know more about the place, I recommend buying a guided tour or going with a local.
My experience was much more fruitful because I had a local with me to explain some of the site’s significance.
Try scuba diving at the bottom of the Ionian sea
The exotic waters of the sea in Parga are clear and teeming with marine life, so it’s an excellent opportunity to see the underwater world.
There are several diving schools in Parga, so you can find one that suits your needs and experience level.
There are a lot of spots for first-timers at the Ionian islands to dive off from.
Don’t miss the Venetian castle
The Venetian castle in Parga is a beautiful and imposing structure that’s well worth a visit.
The Venetians built the Venetian castle in Parga in the 15th century as part of their defensive system against the Ottomans. The castle is perched on a hill overlooking the town and the sea. It is one of Parga’s most photographed landmarks.
The castle’s interior is home to several interesting exhibits that tell the story of Parga’s history. As a keen admirer of traditional architecture and history, I was thoroughly surprised by this visit.
Experience the orthodox religion at the virgin mary chapel
The chapel is located in the old town of Parga, and it’s home to an interesting exhibition about the history of the orthodox religion.
It gave me a new perspective on how people view religion in this part of the world.
The chapel is also a popular spot for weddings, so if you’re lucky, you might witness a beautiful ceremony while you’re there.
Try hiking at the springs of the Acheron river
This activity is perhaps the most interesting for nature lovers. The hike is easy to moderate, and it’s well worth seeing the stunning natural landscape.
The hike will take you through a lush green forest, and you’ll get to see the river’s clear waters up close. Make sure to bring plenty of water and snacks, as it can be a long hike.
This is the best-guided jeep tour you can find online. They can pick you up from Parga, Ioannina, or Preveza.
Visit Parga’s wonderful beaches
Parga is home to some of the most stunning beaches in Greece. From rocky coves to long stretches of sand, you just wish you could swim forever in these turquoise waters.
My personal favorite is Valtos Beach. It’s a bit of a hike to get to Valtos beach, but it’s well worth it.
High cliffs surround Valtos beach, so you feel like you have the whole beach to yourself. Make sure to bring plenty of sunscreens, as there’s no shade on this beach.
The Piso Krioneri beach is also a close second for me in this region.
Visit Parga by night and have dinner at one of the many traditional taverns
I also enjoyed dining at a traditional tavern in Parga during my stay. The tavern was situated in a quiet corner of the old town, and it was full of locals and tourists alike.
I sampled various dishes, all of which were made with fresh local ingredients. The wine was also excellent, and it went perfectly with the food.
It’s not for everyone, but I hope everyone does it once to experience the local culture.
Check the panoramic views of Parga town from one of the viewpoints
The entire town is very scenic, and the hilly landscape gives you a view from almost anywhere. Make sure to make a lot of memories by clicking iconic photographs here.
Take a neighboring tour to Meteora, the most stunning monastery in Greece
I highly recommend visiting Meteora. It’s one of the most stunning monasteries in Greece, and it’s well worth a visit.
The monastery is located on a rock formation over 600 meters high and is home to many beautiful churches.
If you’re a fan of traditional houses and architecture, you cannot miss this place, which is a short drive from Parga.
Locals or tour guides can show you all the hidden gems that most tourists don’t get to see in this monastery.
Here is the go-to daily tour I recommend for visiting Meteora from Parga.
Enjoy the turquoise waters of the beautiful beaches through various water sports
There are plenty of water sports to enjoy on Parga’s stunning beaches. I personally like kayaking and snorkeling.
The kayaks are located on various beaches (like Valtos beach, Piso Krioneri beach, or Lichnos beach), so getting started is effortless. Get comfortable with the equipment and explore the best parts of Parga.
Snorkeling is also excellent on these beaches. The water is crystal clear, and you can see all sorts of sea life while you’re swimming. The availability of snorkeling equipment for rent (on Krioneri and other beaches) is uncertain, as sometimes you have to bring your own gear.
I recommend (and tried) this kayaking tour—best choice if you want to explore the most secluded areas.
Choose one of the various boat trips to the secluded beaches
I have a particular spot for river cruises and boat trips, so whether in a city like Singapore or Paris, I always love this type of getaway. So imagine taking one of the boat trips to the secluded beaches around Parga, where the crowds are less. The boats usually leave from the port in Parga town, taking you to some of the area’s most beautiful and unspoiled beaches.
The trip lasts around half a day, and you get to stop at three different beaches. The ocean views are all very picturesque, and you can swim, sunbathe, or snorkel if you like.
Rent a small boat to the neighboring islands of Syvota or Paxos
Renting a small boat to the neighboring islands of Syvota, Paxos or Corfu is also an option if you want to explore more of the stunning Ionian region.
Paxos is a fantastic small island within the Ionian islands group, together with Antipaxos, and Syvota is also similarly located.
Both islands are unique, and the villages are charming.
I personally prefer Paxos and Antipaxos for the picturesque little fish villages and the fantastic turquoise waters, so if you have to choose between Syvota and Paxos-Antipaxos, choose the latter.
Here’s an affordable full-day option for a tour that will take you to Paxos, Antipaxos and Blue Caves.
Takeaway – Why is Parga the perfect holiday destination?
There are plenty of reasons why Parga is the perfect summer holiday destination. The beautiful beaches (Valtos beach and Krioneri beach are great examples), the stunning scenery (the Venetian castle provides a spectacular view), and the delicious food are all top reasons to explore this charming town.
Apart from all the different attractions, the slow rhythm of the locals’ way of life was very alluring to me as it gave me an enhanced perspective on the seaside lifestyle and how a mingle of Venetian and Greek cultures coexist so stunningly.
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