Parga Travel Guide – Town on the coast with the vibe of an island

ENG: Welcome to Parga. This small town by the Ionian sea, in the Greek province of Epir, is the proof that you do not need to go to some of the Greek islands to feel the real spirit of Greece. Parga is located 60 km from city of Ioannina, between Preveza and Igoumenitsa.

This town is not like other Greek seaside resort in the continental Greece. It has the atmosphere and beauty of world famous Greek islands. The first thing I thought when I saw this town, was that it reminds me a lot of Portofino and Amalfi coast. This city is the greatest proof of its turbulent history.  During its long history, the life of the locals was influenced by Venetians and Turks. Between the 15th century and 1913, there were numerous clashes between the two sides. The city of Parga was finally free after Balkan Wars in 1913, when Turks were defeated.

One of the attractions you should not miss is the Venetian Castles on the top of the hill beside the port. Sunsets from the top of the fortress are some of the most beautiful moments spent in Parga. The castle was built in 11th century by Pargians, to protect their city from pirates and Turks. From 13th century until the liberation of the city in 1913, the castle had been changing its owners very often. Turks demolished the castles several times, and Venetians rebuilt it.  The last famous resident of this castle was Ali Pasha. During his rule, Turks built were safe boxes for arms and guns, secret passages to the sea, jails, warehouses, two-block houses, Ali Pasha’s harem and Turkish bath. You can see the life path of the castle on the entrance. There you can find winged lion of St Mark, Ali Pasha’s emblems, the name ” Antonio Bervass 1764″ and two-headed eagles.

Beside Venetian fortress or castle, around Parga, on the hill above the city, you can see Ali Pasha’s fortress. This fortress is harder to rich and it’s not that preserved as Venetian one. If you are adventurous, you can take a longer walk to the hills or take a ride with a small train that drives tourist to the fortress. The price of the ride, in May, was 8 euros per person.

Parga is the city that has a lot of beautiful beaches. In the city you can find, the main town beach, Krioneri, and the smaller one beside it, Piso Krioneri. Across the Krioneri beach, there is a small island called, Panagia island, dedicated to Mother of God. You can swim to the island and visit two small churches that are settled there. My favorite beach is Valtos beach, but I will tell you little bit more about it on another blog post. Valtos beach deserves a special post, because of the beauty that surrounds the beach and so many amazing photos that I took there. So, keep following my blog in the next days to read more about it. Another beach that I would recommend to you is Lichnos beach. It is located 4 km from Parga. You can walk to the beach, but during hot summer days, I recommend you renting a car or motorcycle. Beside these easily accessible beaches, there are some amazing beaches that are little bit far from Parga, like Sarakiniko and Ai Giannaki beach. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a chance to visit these two beaches but I hope I will visit them on my next visit to Parga.

Parga is one f those town that you are never bored. During the day, you are enjoying amazing beaches, beautiful nature around you, sea and sun. During the night, this town turns into cosmopolitan town, full of life, full of restaurants, cafes, bars, clubs with live music. Therefore, Parga is considered to be a true elite resort on the Ionian coast.

During summer, there are numerous excursions organized from Praga. That way you can get to know the surroundings of this town. You can visit Corfu, Ionian island like Lefkada and Kefalonia, Paxos and Antipaxos, Sivota… One of the unusual excursions is the excursion to the Archeon river. This river is one of the most famous landmarks of the ancient world. Archeon river was the place were the souls of the dead were passing to the underworld, Hades. On the banks of the river, there is settled the ancient 5000 year-old temple, where ancient Greek priests communicated with the dead. Beside this one, you can enjoy the visit to the olive oil factory.

Parga is one of the destination that has been on my travel wishlist for such a long time. It got there thanks to the beautiful pictures I saw on the internet. But know, it’s on my list of the destinations I would love to visit again, the list of my favorite destinations in the world. It deserved that place, because of its beautiful nature, amazing atmosphere and the charm of the locals. There are so many places to visit in Parga, that I couldn’t visit during my stay, but I hope I will go there again soon. I’m already missing  the turquoise sea, golden sand and the smell of oranges, olives and bougainvilleas.

SRB: Dobrodošli u Pargu! Ovo malo mesto na Jonskom moru, u grčkoj oblasti Epir, dokaz je da ne morate otići na neko od grčkih ostrva kako bi osetili pravi duh Grčke i njenog naroda. Parga se nalazi na 60 km od grada Janine, između Preveze i Igumenice.

Ovaj primorski grad nije ni nalik letovalištima u Solunskoj regiji i na Halkidikiju na kakve je većina Srpskih turista navikla. Parga podseća svojim izgledom, šarmom i duhom stanovništva na Italijanske gradove poput Portofina i Amalfi obale. Grad je savršen prikaz njegove bogate istorije i uticaja Venecije i Otomaskog carstva na život lokalnog stanovništva. Položaj grada, danas donosi lokalnom stanovništvu veliki broj stranih turista i procvat u ekonomskom smislu ali u vekovima za nama donosio im je nemir i stalni sukob Venecije i Turske oko uprave nad njim. Ovaj neprestani sukob i borba trajala je od 15. veka do 1913. godine i Balkanskih ratova kada je konačno oslobođen.

Najbolji dokaz istorije Parge jeste Venecijanska tvrđava na brdu pored luke. Ovo mesto ne možete i ne smete zaobići. Zalasci sunca sa vrha tvrđave predstavljaju jedne od najlepših trenutaka koje sam provela u ovom predivnom gradiću. Tvrđava je sagrađena u 11. veku od strane lokalnog stanovništva kako bi se odbranili od pirata i Turaka.  Od 13. veka do oslobođenja, tvrđava je menjala svoje vlasnike. Venecija je obnavljala tvrđavu kad god bi je Turci porušili, a činili su to nekoliko puta. Poslednji poznati stanovnik ili bolje rečeno “okupator” tvrđave bio je Ali Paša od Janine, koji je ostao u jako lošem sećanju stanovnicima Parge. Turci su tvrđavu kupili od Mlečana i tu izgradili brojne arsenale, skladišta, tajne prolaze do mora, ali i kuće dvospratnice, harem Ali Paše i tursko kupatilo. Burni život ove građevine najbolje se može videti na samom ulazu, na kapiji. Tu možete pronaći, krilatog lava Svetog Marka ( obeležje Mletačke Republike), ime “Antonio Bervass 1764”, obeležje Ali Paše, dvoglavog orla…

Pored Venecijanske tvrđave, u blizini Parge na brdu iznad grada, nalazi se Ali Pašina tvrđava. Ova tvrđava nije toliko pristupačna i uređena kao Venecijanska ali ukoliko želite do nje možete doći vozićem koji svakoga dana vozi turiste. Cena vožnje, u maju, kada sam ja bila u Pargi, bila je 8 eura po osobi, što ne znači da u sezoni cena neće biti i veća.

Parga je grad koji obiluje divnim plažama. U samom gradu i njegovoj bližoj okolini možete obići 4 predivne plaže. U gradu se nalaze plaže Krioneri i Piso Krioneri. Krioneri se nalazi odmah pored šetališta i luke, a Piso Krioneri je manja plaža koje se nalazi u uvali pored.  Kada dođete do Krioneri plaže preko puta plaže ugledaćete ostrvo Bogorodice ( Panagia ). Na njemu se nalaze dve crkve i do njega možete doplivati. Moja omiljena plaža je Valtos plaža ali njoj ću posvetiti ceo post jer lepota vode i okoline kao i veliki broj fantastičnih fotografija to zaslužuju. Lihnos plaža nalazi se na 4 km od Parge. Do nje možete doći i pešice ali je po velikoj vrućini tokom letnjih meseci bolje iznajmiti automobil ili skuter. Pored ovih plaža koje su blizu i lako dostupne turistima, u okolini Parge nalaze se i plaže Sarakiniko i Ai Giannaki. Nažalost nisam imala prilike da posetim i ove plaže ali eto zadatka za sledeću posetu.

Parga je grad u kome vam zasigurno neće biti dosadno. Tokom dana moćićete da uživate u fantastičnoj prirodi, okruženi šumama i maslinjacima a uveče u kosmopolitskom duhu, restoranima, barovima, kafićima i živoj muzici. Upravo zbog toga, Parga ima sve odlike pravog mondenskog letovališta.

Iz Parge se tokom leta organizuje veliki broj izleta kao što su izlet do Krfa, Jonskih ostrva (Lefkade i Kefalonije) , Paksosa i Antipaksosa sa posetom prelepom gradiću Gaiosu i Sivote.  Jedan od izleta koji nije klasični izlet brodićem je izlet do reke Aheron. Kratkom vožnjom vozićem doćićete do čuvene reke iz grčke mitologije. Aheron je reka gde su po grčkoj mitologiji, duše mrtvih prelazile sa ovog u podzemni svet, Had. Na obali reke nalazi se arheološko nalazište svetilišta starog 5000 godina, u kome su antički sveštenici komunicirali sa mrtvima. Pored ovih izleta turistima je dostupna i poseta fabrici maslinovog ulja.

Parga je jedno od mesta koje je dugo bilo na mojoj listi želja. Svoje mesto na ovoj listi dobila je samo na osnovu fantastičnih fotografija koje sam videla na internetu. Sada je svojim izgledom, atmosferom, šarmom stanovništva i duhom zaslužila mesto na listi mojih omiljenih destinacija, destinacija kojima ću se uvek rado vraćati. Ostalo je još toliko toga da obiđem i iskreno se nadam da ću se uskoro ponovo vratiti u ovaj raj na Jonskom moru. Već mi nedostaje tirkizno plavo more, zlatan pesak, miris pomorandži, bugenvila i maslina.

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