Parga (Population: 11,866 (2011)) is a small town on the Ionian coast of mainland Greece, just between the cities of Igoumenitsa and Preveza, in the region of Epirus.
The main draws to Parga are the historical castle which overlooks the town (from a headland to the west of the town) and the beaches. Near the town centre is Krioneri beach, to the west of the town (beyond the castle) is Valtos beach, and 4km to the west of the town is Lichnos beach. Despite its scenic beauty, tourism is rather new here and the number of foreign tourists is small. People in Parga are friendly and the town still feels genuinely Greek. The majority of tourists frequenting Parga are Greeks, although it is gradually becoming more popular among foreign tourists, especially during peak holiday times (namely, July and August).
There are basically only two ways of getting to Parga, by car or bus , and by boat. There are several daily bus connections from both Preveza and Igoumenitsa, as well as boats from Corfu. Charter tourists arrive with buses from the airport close to Preveza.
Parga is a very small town, so there is really no need for transportation to get around, except from the boats leaving every now and then to the nearby beaches Lichnos and Valtos. It is possible to walk, though the trip can be very warm during the day. To get to the surrounding areas, there is a car and scooter rental in town.
- 1 Venetian castle. (dating back to the 14th century) perches on a headland separating Parga town centre and Valtos beach. Taking a walk around the area along the walls promises great views over Parga town to the east and to the beach on the western side. It is large parts a ruined castle, and as such there are many steep drops into the sea without any cordons or barriers whatsoever, so be careful when wandering around. There may also be some snakes around, but if you walk on the paths you shouldn't come across any.
- 2 Ali Pasha castle (is situated upon a hill to the west of Valtos beach). After buying a map of the local area from Parga, take a bus to the near by village of Anthousa. Ask the bus driver to drop you off at "Ali pasha" (he'll understand that if nothing else). A short walk will take you to the top of the hill where, if you need to, you can buy ice-cream or other refreshments. The castle or fortress is much in ruins, but it remains a nice place to visit anyway. From the top you can see other villages near Parga, Corfu on a clear day, and the fortress of Parga which Ali Pasha tried to shoot with his cannons. An old lady occasionally sells delicious herbs and spices (such as mint, herbal tea, oregano and different spice blends), so have some small change with you. She's very charming and likes to talk with you but not a word of English. From the fortress take a walk down to Parga through the orchards and forests of olive trees. The walk is a few kilometres long and walking downhill can be a strain to your knees. The map you bought from the town centre will help you find your way back to Parga. Alternatively, an easier visit would be to climb the hill aboard the tourist train, which departs every half an hour from the road in front of Krioneri Beach (Parga town centre). The same train will take you back down the hill, and the round-trip will not take more than 3 hours.
- Parga honey is a local speciality - it is sold by various merchants on the road just in front of Krioneri beach in the town centre.
- There are many interest curios shops on the narrow alley leading from the town centre up the hill towards the Greek Fortress.
- Castello Restaurant. International cuisine in a very romantic atmosphere, a must see. Great food and service.
- Zorba's Restaurant. Affordable local restaurant situated close to the harbor with beautiful views of the beach and the town. Traditional food as well as pizza. Open year-round.
- Kastro. Expensive restaurant up on the hills, very close to the fortress. Good food, with many international dishes. Usually very full in the evenings, waiting may be required.
- Sakis Restaurant. One family restaurant with traditional Greek kitchen, very good prices and one family atmosphere that makes you feel like home. Located near the gate of the Venecian Castle of Parga.
- Bachos. Excellent food, caring and nice servers. May be a bit crowded on the evenings and you might have to wait in a line to get in. They usually serve you some ouzo, beer or soda while you wait. The wait is well worth it. It is in the southern part of the pier, close to the krioneri beach.
There are other restaurants, including a Chinese, on the beachside.
- Byzantio Hotel Apartments (Valtos Beach). Family-run hotel, in business since 1987.
- Parga Princess Hotel (from the centre of Parga take the road to Valtos and at the cross-road of Valtos turn right), ☏ +30 2684032864. The hotel is over the beach of Valtos with views over the sea, Paxos and Antipaxos islands and the lighted castle of Anthousa.
- 1 Lichnos beach Hotel (4 km from the city centre on Lichnos Beach), ☏ +30 2684031257.
- La-Scala (600 meters from the city center), ☏ +30 2684032876. In a quiet olive grove. Beautiful view over Parga. 15 studios & apartments.
- 3 Sol Hotel, 1, Agiou Athanassiou & 2, Riga Fereou Str, ☏ +30 26840 32332, fax: +30 26840 31113. 4-star hotel built in 2009.
- Buses leave to both Preveza and Igoumenitsa several times a day. Please note that these are local buses, not driving directly between the towns. The trip may indeed take a few hours.
- There are many travel bureaus around the town, where boat trips to Corfu and Paxos and Antipaxos (Paxos' smaller neighbour to the south) can be booked.
- Many tour companies offer trips to Meteora, 2½ hr away by road, deep in the heart of the Greek mainland. Thanks to the construction of a motorway from EU funding, it is now possible to complete the trip in a day and it is no longer necessary to make a night-stop.