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The town is situated on the north-western coast of Epirus, in Greece and is the region’s most popular summer holiday destination, located in a secluded bay, overlooking the Ionian Sea. It is framed by imposing mountains and provides access to some of Greece’s best beaches, also serving as a good base to explore some of the other Ionian islands by boat.
Parga has a hot climate, complete with warm sunny summers and mild winters. The best time to visit is between June and August when the temperatures regularly sit in the mid-twenties and the seas are warm and refreshing. Parga also has decent spring weather between late-March and May, the ideal time for people who want a slightly more active holiday to visit. Parga’s summers can last long into the autumn, with hot temperatures often remaining until late October, making it a good all-year-round holiday destination.
In antiquity it was a small town and really came onto the map in later times, when the Roman general Aemilius Paul burnt the cities of Epirus in 168 BC. The settlement was officially established in 1360 as residents of nearby locations fled to the coast to avoid the marauding Ottomans. By 1401 the settlement had come under Venetian rule, which made it a fairly rich seaport. This meant that it attracted Ottoman attention and was burnt by the pirate Barbarossa. It was rebuilt and spent time under French and Ottoman rule, before being gifted to the English under the terms of the treaty that happened after Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo. The British then sold Parga back to the Ottomans, in 1817, leading to 100 years more oppression until they finally joined the Greek mainland in 1917.
Combining Eastern and Western influences, the locals create a delicious cuisine that is sure to appeal to all tastes. There are numerous variations on pasta, thanks to the Venetian occupation of the city, along with a range of Greek classics, including delicious salads, gyros and kebabs. The seafood is also excellent in the city, thanks to its coastal location.
Considered a great family location, it is safe and secure with an array of great activities. Foremost of these are the many golden beaches that populate its shores, ideal for sun-bathing and aquatic fun amongst gorgeous natural scenery. There are also a number of boat tours, which leave the harbour each day, allowing children to have some fun and even offering the chance to see dolphins on their family holiday.
Offering spectacular natural scenery and many beaches, it is ideal for anyone looking to enjoy nature and its landscape. This blends with other exciting opportunities, like the chance to see the Acheron River, a beautiful place, which Greek myth believed was one of the routes into the underworld. Foodies may also want to check out the olive oil factory, which offers tours and a fascinating insight into how Greeks make one of their most famous products. Aphrodite’s cave is also a beautiful sight, which should not be missed by nature lovers.
The Kanaria Festival is the most important celebration in the region, when the people of Parga, celebrate the return of residents who had fled to Corfu, when the British sold the area to the Turks in the 19th century. It takes place on the 14th of August and involves locals arriving in small boats and then having a large feast, with traditional music and dancing.
With its chic waterfront bars, Parga’s nightlife is more refined and sophisticated, with the bars usually staying open to one or two in the morning and providing delicious cocktails, that can be enjoyed alongside stunning sea views. Parga is also a place that is ideal for whiling away long summer evenings with friends and family in local tavernas. Its nightlife is quiet, relaxed and cool, ideal for people who love to talk and drink.