General Information for Parga
Sights: Opposite to the beach you can see the islet and the high bare rocks Kremyda and Skorda. You can visit the medieval fortress that stands on a rise at the west side of the town, whereas from the rises surrounding Parga you can enjoy the view of the town and of the indented beaches: Krioneri, Pisso Krioneri and Valtos. If you go to a boat-trip you will get to know the bewitching beauty and the peacefulness of the sea caves at Lichnos bay, Sarakiniko beach and Agios Sostis beach. Finally, you can visit the fortresses of Parga and Anthousa village.
Infrastructures: Parga has a health centre, banks (National Bank of Greece, Commercial Bank of Greece, Agricultural Bank of Greece), port terminal, fire station, police station, two dental surgeries, two pharmacies, three consulting rooms, a paediatrician etc. There are also dozens of shops where you can buy whatever you wish; travel agencies for your excursions to the nearby islands of Corfu, Paxi and Lefkada, as well as for you car and craft rentals; and what’s more, cafeterias, snack bars and restaurants with a big variety of dishes at reasonable prices. The most important thing is that Parga is situated in the centre of Epirus’ coastline and from here you can visit the beaches lying from Lefkada to Prevesa and up to Igoumenitsa and Sagiada.
Hiking: Parga is the hiker’s paradise. The Venetian olive grove, the surrounding hills and coasts are ideal for the hikers. It’s worth referring to the book of the British lance Chilton where are mentioned some walks in Parga under the title “Walks in Parga”. The Municipality of Parga has indicated only one walk: from Parga to Valtos Beach and from there to the old fortress of Ali Pasha at Anthousa village, but in the book we discovered really wonderful walks. The book is available in the bookstores of Parga.
Beaches:No comment about Parga’s beaches. They are just magnificent, good for all tastes.
Valtos beach: A huge beach, good for everybody: families, couples, individuals etc. It is situated next to the town of Parga and you can reach it by boat (we recommend it), on foot or by car. Note that you can enjoy all kinds of water sports here. We recommend a walk in the morning or at nightfall.
Sarakiniko beach: At 12 km from Parga after passing the village of Agia. You can reach it by boat, from the pier of Parga, or by car, from Anthousa village, but it’s a difficult drive, good only for those who love driving on earth roads. We recommend it only to the lovers of potholes and jeeps. The sunset is magnificent here. The beach is good for everybody: families, couples etc. It is also possible to practise water sports: water bike and canoe. The waters are good and only a small part of the beach is covered with pebbles. There is a car park so you don’t have to worry about it. It’s worth visiting the water source at «Baboulo». There are restaurants and cafeterias serving quite good food.
Agios Sostis beach: At 1 km to the south of Sarakiniko beach. It’s an isolated beach, so forget luxuries, such as restaurants, cafeterias, water sports, drinking water, people etc. Here you will discover what virgin nature means. If you own a jeep and you like driving at narrow and rough earth roads just take the map and a compass, go to Anthousa village and… good luck. If you meet anyone: a person, an animal (goat, donkey), any living creature, ask for directions, otherwise you will get lost!!! On the other way, if you want to be Indiana Jones take the jeep and continue to the south of Sarakiniko beach. However, if you don’t want to do “marzies”, that is to say follies in the local dialect, just take the boat from the pier and in 20 minutes you will be arriving at your destination. Joking apart, it’s a beautiful beach and is worthwhile visiting it, but only if you are well fitted out.up
Lichnos beach: You will come across it before arriving to Parga. It’s a beautiful beach provided with all the good things of civilization: water sports, cafeterias, restaurants etc. You can reach it by boat or by car. The waters are great and, of course, the beach is sandy for its most part and good for everybody.
Mprosta and Pisso Krioneri: Are the central beaches of the town of Parga.
In a few words: Before entering the built-up area of Agia Kiriaki at 5 km from Parga, a sloping road with turns on your left will lead you to Agios Giannakis, a small but beautiful beach with clear waters. When passing the built-up area of Agia Kyriaki and at 4 km from Parga on your left you will come across Lichnos beach. In the town and at the coastal road there are the beaches of Krioneri and Pisso Krioneri. At two kilometres to the NW of the town an asphalted road will lead you to the beautiful beach of Valtos. At twelve kilometres to the NW is situated Sarakiniko beach. Finally, for those who are looking for something absolutely different there are beaches truly unspoiled, such as Agios Sostis, Berenitiko, Starna Verna and Prata Mali (we haven’t given you any information about the last ones, but the roads leading to them are even more difficult that those leading to Agios Sostis).
Apart from these there are many more beaches out of the way good for those who love adventure and, since by asking you can find everything, just ask for directions.
How to reach Parga
Parga is situated in the NW Greece opposite from the island of Paxi to the south of Corfu. It is 38 km away from the port of Igoumenitsa, 70 km from the airport of Aktio, Prevesa and about 170 km from Ioannina. There are busses running daily to Parga from the bus station of the prefecture of Preveza in the city of Prevesa, from the bus station of the prefecture of Thesprotia in the city of Igoumenitsa and, in the summer, from the bus station of the prefecture of Ioannina in the city of Ioannina.
By boat from the port of Igoumenitsa.
By air from the three airports there are in the region:
the airport of Aktio, Prevesa and then from there by taxi or bus,
the airport of Corfu and then by ferry-boat to Igoumenitsa and from there by car to Parga,
the airport of Ioannina and then by bus to Preveza or Igoumenitsa (in both cases you have to change bus) or directly from Ioannina.
By boat from the ports of Italy to Igoumenitsa and then by bus or taxi.
By car or bus from:
Athens (by bus from Kifissos station),
Thessaloniki (by bus from Macedonia station through Prevesa or Igoumenitsa).
Useful telephone numbers:
Preveza bus station:
Prevesa 26820- 22213
Thesprotia bus station:
Athens 210-5125954, 5135379
Ioannina bus station:
History of Parga
The old city of Parga at the time of Plutarch and Ptolemy was the ancient Toryni, which was situated at the current location of the city and was destroyed in 168 BC by Emilios Pavlos. The isles and reefs which are in the sea infront of Parga, were created when the ancient city sunk. The ancient city had been the port of Epirus in antiquity -according to Meletios- and was known by the name Elaia. Based on the findings in the area it must have prospered both economically and culturally.
From the first village Agia Kyriaki till the location of Anthousa there are scattered: walls, polygonal stones and carved tombs. In Agia Paraskevi, a region of Anthousa, there must have been an entire ancient Cemetery according to the conclusions of archeologists following the discovery of a carved tomb with manyfuneralgifts,
Due to its exquisite location the city has been under constant occupation from the Mycenaean age till its incorporation in the Hellenic State. The existence of the first city appears for the first time in 1320 AD when it had been the object of transaction between the Venetians and the Despotat of Romania. According to a Byzantine historian - possibly loannis Katakouzinos - it is mentioned in 1337 that Parga was one of the fortified cities of Epirus. It was built on the hill named Pezovolos, where today are found scattered ruins called Paleopirgi. Its first name was Paragiros of Paragea from the Slav word Prag meaning port. In its current location it was built in 1365, as was the castle which had been under the protection of the Normans. Since that time the Pargians have been trying diplomatically and heroically to achieve protection from less stringent tyrants. In 1400 AD it is deserted by the Normans and it is conquered by the Albanian-Serb-Vlach Bogoi. Since then constant predatory raids weaken its defenses and it is obliged to ask for help from the Venetians. Thus on the 21 st of March of 1401, a treaty is signed in Corfu between Baylo Azarino and a committee of citizens of Parga led by Protopappas loannis Vasilas; the treaty lasted for approximately 400 years and offered many benefits to the protected. It was ruled by a general assembly of Patricians and by a Governor-administrator who exercised both administrative and judicial authority through the support and the protection of the Venetians.
During this period of 400 years the city is in constant tumult which never lasts for long. We will mention the following events:
In 1452, Hatzi Bey with 12,000 soldiers conquers Parga along with the Venetian possessions, despite attempts of Parga to resist. Two years later, the Venetians assisted by the Corfiots re-conquer it and raise the flag of St. Mark at the fortress. During the conflict between Venetians and Turks, in Parga operated a shipyard where were built ships for the Venetians. In 1475 a second attack by the Turks is repelled with the help of the Venetians and the Corfiots.
In 1500 Vayazit the Second attacks the Venetian possessions and takes as a prisoner the son of Yannis Mikegos, afisherman of Parga, who, the legend says, became the Vizier Ibrahim Pasha by marrying the sister of Suleiman the Magnificent.
In 1537 Harientin Barbarossa takes hold of Parga, tears down the fortress and leaves the city desolate. Later Parga is rebuilt with the help of the Venetians.
In 1571 the first admiral of the High Gate, All Pasha, lays siege to Parga, sets it on fire and tears down its fortress once again. In the same year afterthe naval battle of Nafpaktos, the Venetians conquer Parga, rebuild the fortress and the city and make it the most important port in Epirus, through which will pass all commercial transport of the region and of other Hellenic cities.
From 1571 to April 15,1819, despite continuous tumult, Parga is not conquered and being afree city it prospers and evolves. The Ottomans, fearing the Pargians, fortified Margariti and built a solid fortress. Venieros - General of Venice - sent Paolo Orsino who conquers Margariti and destroys the fortress. During this period the greatest adventure of Parga happened in 1657, when Ottomans Imam Pasha and Beiko along with 4000 soldiers take possession of the mount Lithitsa and lay siege to Parga. The next year they endeavor again the siege with stronger forces - 6,000 soldiers and pickrnen - again unsuccessfully.
On July 21 st, 1718, with the Pasarovitz treaty, Parga is put under the protection of the Venetians and becomes the refuge of all fugitive Greeks, as well as a supply center for the captains of the revolution. Lambros Katsonis, Boukouvalas and Androutsos found refuge here. This infuriates Ali Pasha who attempts with all possible means to conquer Parga, but he does not succeed, because the Pargians together with the Souliotes repei all his attacks.
In 1797 with the treaty of Campo Formio, France, as the ultimate power of the time, becomes the new protector of Parga.
Ali Pasha and 6,000 soldiers launch an attack against Parga, and the Pargians askforthe protection of the Russo-Turkish navy which is under the command of the Russian Admiral Ouzakof and the Turk Kandir Bey, and they raise theflags of their countries. The Russian Admiral sends a Russo-Turkish Guard which takes charge of the city's protection.
In 1800 with the treaty between Russia and Turkey, with which the Ionian Islands are declared free, Parga also is declared afree state. This treaty is acknowledged by the treaty of Amiens in 1802, as well as by England that guarantees its validity, Ali Pasha accepts to sign the treaty as well, on the condition that they give him Parga. The governor of Corfu Abdoulah Bey and his representative Ali Aga refuse to satisfy |the demands of All Pasha concerning the delivery of Parga to his rule.
During the Russo-Turkish War in 1806, Ali Pasha sends his son Ali to Parga with tempting propos tions, and asks the Pargians to surrender the city to him, but they proudly recline his offers. In 1807, tr infuriated Ali Pasha and 20.000 Albanians lay siege to Parga, but he does not succeed in conquering because with the treaty of Tilsit, the Ionian Islands and Parga are put under the protection of France. / Pasha asks for the consent of the Governor of Corfu, General Caesar Bertiet - a Frenchman - who turn notifies accordingly Napoleon and asks him to refuse the demands of Ali Pasha. Napoleon tf Great refuses the demands of Ali Pasha and his reply can be read on an inscription at Mikro Kastra "Defence tie la patrie".
Following the defeat of Napoleon the Great during the expedition to Russia in 1812, Ali Pasha senc his son Muhtar, Omer Vryonis and Agos Vasiaris and 6000 Albanians to lay siege to Agia, they conqui it, they destroy it and they build a fortress high up over Anthousa in order to use it as a base of open tions against Parga.
Ali Pasha lays siege to Parga by land and by sea - with afleet coming from Preveza - but the Pargiar - as other Maniates - crush the invader and deliver a hard blow to his fame.
The French, having lost from the English, cede their possessions in the Ionian Islands and the coa of Epirus to the English. Thus in 1815, the English rule the Ionian Islands, apart from Corfu, whic remains in the possession of the French. Ali Pasha promises to help the English if they cede to hii Lefkada and Parga.
In 1816 a treaty is signed between England and Russia with which the English become rulers of tr Ionian Islands. Ali Pasha accuses Parga to the Sultan and to the English, saying that it is a nest i malefactors and that the Pargians and the Souliotes are a danger for the High Gate. The accusations i Ali Pasha are supported by the English Governor of Corfu Thomas Mightland, whom due to his pn Turk policy they called Sultan Thomas.
On May 17,1817 at loannina, is signed a treaty between the English, represented by the EngliE Consul of Morias, John Cartright, and the Turks, represented by the Vizier Hamit Bey, with which Pare is ceded to the Turks and Turkey rests its claims in the Ionian Islands. According to the treaty, Ali PasF would guarantee the life, the security and the property of the Pargians. Each Pargian who leaves Pare would receive a compensation that was set by the treaty atthe amount of 150,000 pounds. On April 1! 1819 the Pargians leave their home and take to the sea in search for a new land. IVlightland received tf compensation of 620 thousand talira and 20 thousand gold Rubiedes and left with the sh "Ganymides" for Corfu without ever giving the money to the Pargians. Their conduct, in respect 1 Parga was condemned by the English themselves. Lord Lanter Dalet and General Richard Georc wrote: "It was a crime to sell the Pargians to the Turks", The famous Italian poet Tyrteos glorified tF fugitives and condemned the actions of the English in his poem "the refugees of Parga". The authi lieutenant Krapsitis from Epirus wrote: "A people who made an immortal symbol out of bravery an patriotism is sold by the English to the Turks", The popular muse deplores the selling of Parga.
Following the beheading of Ali Pasha in 1821, in the beginning of July, 250 Pargians with Captair Dimoulitsas, Desyllas and Tsoukos and Commander Riniassas Peraivos, assisted by 50 Souliote; disembarked at Pagonia, secretly ascended to Agia Eleni - Makrynoros - and early in the mornir entered into the city without encountering any resistance. The Turks laid siege to the city by land and t sea and would have slaughtered them, if 200 Souliotes with Captains Fotomaras, Zervas and Dagl hadn't launched a surprise attackallowing the others to escape to Corfu.
The Maniates were moved by the desperate fight of the few Pargians. Kyriakoulis Mavromihalis ar approximately 800 warriors disembarked at Splantza in order to connect with the Souliotes and attac the Turks by the rear. In one of the attacks on the hill of Agia Eleni, Kyriakoulis was killed - June 1822 and the friendly and kind action of the Maniatesfailed.
In 1831 Resit Mehmet Pasha invited the Pargians back to their homeland, but only 100 familic-came back and so, he relocated ottoman families from the surrounding regions.
In 1847 Parga was sold to Resit Pasha and Refat Pasha and they leased the land at a high price I the Pargians.
In 1913 Tselio Moulazimi - the Turkish Governor of Parga - delivers the city to Lieutenant Angelc Fetsis,onthe22March.
In 1930 with the escort of the entire Hellenic Navy the holy relics, the bones of the ancestors and th flag of Parga are returned to the city from Corfu.