Pretty & Perfect Parga

Sarah Smith on 18 December 2018
This relatively unknown corner of the Greek Mainland had been on my radar for a while as it's a firm favourite of my fellow Travel Counsellor colleagues. It's one of those places that you could go back to time and time again (as many Parga-fans do) and never eat in the same restaurant twice!

With accommodation to fit all budgets and tastes from luxury boutique hotels to quaint, typically Greek self-catering units, it really is a destination which appeals to most markets.

Two stunning bays with sand and shingle beaches, plus local beaches and the main 'town' beach to choose from, you can find a spot for you to enjoy the sunshine and warm Mediterranean Sea. There's even a couple of trendy "Beach Clubs" for that relaxed 'Marbella' feel at one end of Valtos beach.

For me the main appeal is Parga Town itself. By day it’s a myriad of cobbled streets with a wide range of tourist shops and ice-cream parlours leading to the main harbour, but by night the place comes alive with twinkly lights, busy tavernas, street artists, buzzing bars and Greek music, and the wonderful smell of home-cooked Greek cuisine.... Loved it. Honest, welcoming, Greek hospitality at its best!

Drop the map, and lose yourself in one of the back streets, you'll come across some fabulous places to eat and drink, pass the time of day, and some amazing views over the roof-tops towards the castle. Try Helloniki behind the main harbour for authentic Greek fare.

The other reason for wanting to return are the stunning views. There is something quite magical about the backdrop of green hills, a mish-mash of old town buildings all leading down to the port, the colour of the sea against the red-roofs and the constantly changing vista of fishing boats and luxury yachts in the bay. I'm ready to return!

Top tips:

Book on self-catering or bed and breakfast, as there is so much choice for eating out!

If you struggle with walking up hills, it’s not the place for you! However, there is a set fee of 5 Euro taxi fare for anywhere in Parga district so walk down for dinner and grab a taxi back!

My favourite restaurants: Med Bar (for the views over Valtos beach), Sakis - large portions, great value, authentic home-cooked Greek food.

My favourite bars: Avo Cado - modern design, great views over the castle and Old Town, trendy cocktails. Gin Distillery - quaint stone bar with swings attached, amazing views over Valtos beach at sunset.

Explore: Greek mythology - find the entrance to the underworld, white water raft, horse ride or dip your heel in the freezing waters of the gorge at River Styx like Achilles.