As the largest wetlands area in Greece, the Amvrakikos or Ambracian Gulf supports a diverse eco-system that supports over 290 different species of birds, 75 of which are considered endangered. While several of these live year-round within the marshes of the gulf, the majority spend their winters here or come to mate and raise their offspring.
The region of Zalongou has long tradition of making the strong distilled drink known as “tsipouro”. It tastes a little like ouzo and is made from the grape skins left over from wine production. During the first week in November, the small village of Kryopigi hosts this event where spectators can watch as tsipouro is made and later, can enjoy the drink free accompanied by grilled meat and live music.
As the central beach of Parga, it’s no wonder that sun loungers fill up quickly here. Thankfully, the beach is large enough for everyone to have some space and admire the natural beauty of Parga’s second bay. The island of Panagia is adjacent to the beach and is an easy swim for explorers. From the beach you can also see the Venetian Castle of Parga overlooking the harbour. Kryoneri lays mere footsteps from the town, but if you’re staying somewhere else, buses make a stop here on the way to the city centre. Families love the convenience of the beach here, but the water becomes deep quickly, so parents should keep an eye out for little ones.
Preveza prefecture is one of the most suitable and enjoyable places to explore by canoe. Due to its beauty and tranquillity, Lake Ziros is a top destination for avid canoers. It can also be a great way to get up and close and personal with the birds and other creatures in the Amvrakikos Gulf. For those who enjoy trills, the Acherontas River offers a faster pace. There are many places along the sea near Parga to canoe, including the beaches of Lichnos and Valtos. Due to the pollution of the Louros River, canoeing and other forms of navigation here are unfortunately forbidden.
Vrahos beach is one of the best along the coast stretching from Preveza to Parga. The soft golden sand and shallow turquoise water make it popular with just about everyone, though not too popular. Sun loungers and umbrellas exist in some sections but it’s unorganized for the most part.
The beautiful shades of blue displayed within the waters at Sarakiniko have swimmers returning year after year. The beach itself is both sandy and pebbly in different areas and the water is shallow. A snack bar and showers are available at the back of the beach. Unfortunately, the roads leading to the beach are not maintained well, so you may want to look into arriving by boat.
The large beach of Lichnos is one of three bays that surround the beautiful seaside town of Parga. Lichnos is the first of Parga’s beaches coming from Preveza and buses from town make frequent stops here. Sun beds and umbrellas line the beach which does fill up quickly in summer. Explorers can check out the Cave of Aphrodite to the left of the beach. A boat is needed to reach there but once you arrive you can enjoy swimming in the same waters that Aphrodite supposedly bathed.
The beach of Kastrosykia lies near the mountain of Zalongo and the site of Ancient Kassopi, so it’s a great option for cooling off after some hiking in the area. The water is deep just like the surrounding beaches though without the big waves. Changing rooms, showers and snack bars are on site and it can be reached by boat or vehicle. Buses stop here as well.
One of the best opportunities to experience authentic Preveza is by attending this food festival that takes place in the village of Valanidorrachi. The local women give demonstrations and offer regional culinary staples such as bean soup, black-eyed pea salad and a variety of pies, all made using locally produced agricultural products.
Info: Katerina Dassi 6939-193-946
This large strip of sand is popular with all age groups, though the water becomes deep abruptly, so families with small children should keep this in mind when visiting. The beach itself is lovely, but it’s actually the tavernas which back the beach that Loutsa gets its fame from. Here, visitors can savour some of the freshest fish in the region. The bus makes a stop here and it’s also possible to arrive by boat.
This enclosed bay is popular with the younger crowd and has an almost exotic feel to it. The light blue water and white rocks provide a beautiful contrast and the fact that it’s unorganized keeps the noise levels down. There is no bus service here, but if you have your own vehicle, parking is available. You can also arrive by boat.
With the Forest of Lekatsa and the Castle of Riniasis behind it, Lygia beach is a great option for those in search of some peace and quiet. The water here is crystal clear and the sand is fine and golden. The beach isn’t organised though changing rooms are available and snack bars lie just a few meters from the beach. It’s along the Preveza – Parga bus route and travellers can also arrive by boat.
The beaches of Kiani Akti or “blue coast” stretch along the tip of the peninsula on which the city of Preveza is located. Despite its close proximity to the port (5klm), the area is surprisingly serene in many areas. The coast is made up of several small beaches, some sandy, others rocky. The water is shallow and the trees behind the beach provide a welcome breeze in summer. You can arrive by boat, on foot or by bus and parking is available for those with their own vehicle. Showers and snack bars are also available throughout.
This quiet rocky beach is great for those looking to relax under the sun but what makes it unique are the strange rock formations located here. It’s serviced by bus and you can also reach it by boat. Make sure to bring provisions if you plan on staying long, since there are no snack bars on site.
There are numerous shops around Parga that rent kayaks and kayaking equipment. Some of the most popular places to kayak are the beaches of Lichnos and Krioneri. Assuming the waves aren’t too high, a trip along the coast from Parga northward is an excellent way to discover all of the small coves and hidden beaches in the area.
Considered a delicacy to foodies and fine diners, this appetizer is made from dried and salted fish roe which is preserved in wax casing and shaped into cylinders. Known as “Caviar of the Amvrakikos Gulf”, Avgotaraho from Preveza is made from the eggs of the Grey Mullet fish. Prices can reach up to 600 Euros per kilo, making it the most expensive food product and export of the country.
This unique celebration is usually held during the first week of August as part of the larger cultural festivities of the ‘Nikopolia’. It generally takes place in the courtyard of St. Andreas Castle where more than 15,000 people have gathered in recent years. More than two tons of Sardines and wine are served free to the public, who can also enjoy live music and dancing.
Info: 26820-25325, 26820-29917
The Acheron River Delta is included in the Natura 2000 program and is an area frequented by more than 100 different species of birds. It’s a wonderful place to encounter the natural habitat of these creatures, and if you’re lucky enough, you’ll spot one of the many raptors such as spotted eagles and hawks that frequent river banks.
The incredible beauty of Lake Ziros is an ideal backdrop for bird watching throughout the area. The large variety of plants, fish and small animals provide an ecosystem which supports a large and diverse population of birds. Throughout the year, spectators may encounter Little Grebes, Night Herons, Cormorants, Gulls and many more species that nest and feed throughout the lake.
A great option for selective swimmers is the Beach of Kerentza, which offers clean shallow water and greenery all around. It’s a sheltered bay, so even on windy days the sea here remains relatively calm. The absence of a decent road leading to the bay means bathers can only reach it on foot or by boat, another plus to those looking to avoid the crowds!
Enjoy the waves and windsurfing without the crowds at Kanali. It’s virtually a continuation of Monolithi without all of the development and people. Though you won’t be alone, it’s a great place to go if you’re looking for some room to stretch out on the sand. There are a few snack bars along the beach as well as showers and changing rooms.
Located just 8 kilometres from Preveza lay this immense stretch of beach that stretches 5 kilometres until the settlement of Kanali. It’s very popular with sports enthusiasts and windsurfers, as the water here is deep and large waves are a frequent occurrence. The presence of beach bars and tavernas as well as several hotels gives it a similar feel to Alonaki. Changing rooms, showers and parking is available and buses from Preveza make a stop here as well.
The pebble beach of Ammoudia lies in a small, shallow bay not far from the village with the same name. The beach itself isn’t so spectacular but it’s close to here that the Acherontas River spills into the Ionian Sea. This is where boats carrying visitors to the “Oracle of the dead” enter the river and the beach is a welcome sight to hikers who have followed the river down from Glyki on foot. Snack bars and showers are available and a bus service from both Preveza and Parga stops here as well. You may also arrive by boat or on foot and parking is available to those with cars.
Situated on a small hill within walking distance of the eponymous village, the observatory features a telescope allowing visitors to spot one of the many species of birds in the area. Common species here include the Sardinian and sub-alpine Warbler as well as the Roufus Bush Robin. Larger raptors such as the Lesser Spotted Eagle and Marsh Harrier are seen less frequently.
The sandy beach of Valtos features emerald water and various water sports to those who visit. It’s the last and largest of Parga’s beaches and less visited than the previous beaches of Lichnos and Krioneri. It’s popular with windsurfers and the younger crowd. Here bathers can enjoy views of the islands of Paxos and Antipaxos in the distance. In the summer a daily boat service is offered to those islands as well. Snack bars and showers are available and sun loungers can be found along different areas of the beach. The buses from Parga make stops here and parking is available for those who come by car.
This incredible marsh lies in the northernmost section of the prefecture and spills into part of neighbouring Ioannina region as well. Despite the fact that it occupies a space between 100 -150 meters (depending on which season it is) the Kalodiki Marsh is an invaluable ecosystem with over 300 types of plants, 120 species of birds, 20 different mammals, 11 reptiles, 5 kinds of amphibians and several fish species. Kalodiki Marsh is part of the Natura 2000 initiative designed to protect such important ecological environments. The marsh presents an excellent stage for bird watching in an area that contains undeniable beauty. Observers have the opportunity of witnessing Night Herons, Black Herons, Golden Eagles, Vultures, Little Grebes, wild ducks, turtle doves, blackbirds, magpies and starlings.
If you’re looking to mingle, the sandy beach of Alonaki is the place to be during the warm months. It’s the first beach along the Ionian coast from the west side of the peninsula and close to both the city and the site of Nikopolis.Backed by hotels and tavernas, there are several sections that offer sun beds and umbrellas. Changing rooms and showers are also available, as are concession stands and beach bars. Being a mere 2 kilometres from the city centre means that the place can get crowded quickly, so if you’re looking for some relaxation its best to head out in the morning.