Preveza is a coastal prefecture in northwestern Greece that's full of splendor, bordering the Ionian Sea and the Ambracian Gulf. It covers an area of 1,036 square kilometers and has a population of about 57,000 people. The region is home to diverse natural habitats, such as wetlands, forests, mountains, islands and beaches. It has four protected areas under the Natura 2000 network, which aim to conserve the biodiversity and ecosystems of the region. It is worth noting that Preveza hosts a rich variety of flora and fauna, including rare and endangered species, such as the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), the Dalmatian pelican (Pelecanus crispus), the brown bear (Ursus arctos) and the orchid Ophrys prevezana, which is endemic to Preveza and named after it.
Equally impressive, Preveza has a long and fascinating history, dating back to ancient times. It was the site of important battles, such as the naval battle of Actium in 31 BC, where Octavian defeated Antony and Cleopatra and became the sole ruler of the Roman Empire. The battle is commemorated by a monument called the Nicopolis Actia. Overall, Preveza preserves its cultural heritage through its monuments, museums, festivals and traditions. Some of the highlights are the ancient city of Nicopolis, which was founded by Octavian after his victory at Actium; the castle of Pantokrator, which was built by Ottoman ruler Ali Pasha in the 19th century; the archaeological museum of Nikopolis, which displays artifacts from various periods; and the sardine festival, which celebrates the local cuisine and music every August.
If you love nature, adventure and culture, you will be thrilled by the ecotourism activities that you can enjoy in the region of Preveza. Here are ten specific ecotourism activities that we suggest:
- Explore the ancient ruins of Nikopolis, the city founded by Octavian after his victory over Antony and Cleopatra at the naval battle of Actium in 31 BC. You can admire the impressive walls, gates, monuments, mosaics and theater of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Sail along the Ionian Sea and discover the hidden gems of the coastline, such as secluded beaches, caves, islands and fishing villages. You can rent a boat or join a guided tour and enjoy the crystal-clear waters and the stunning scenery.
- Dive into the underwater world of Preveza and marvel at the rich marine life, coral reefs, shipwrecks and archaeological sites. You can choose from various diving spots and levels of difficulty, or take a diving course if you are a beginner.
- Hike through the lush forests, valleys and mountains of Preveza and breathe in the fresh air and the aromas of wild herbs and flowers. You can follow marked trails or join organized hikes and discover hidden waterfalls, springs, lakes and panoramic views.
- Cycle along the scenic routes of Preveza and experience the beauty and diversity of the landscape. You can rent a bike or join a guided tour and pedal through olive groves, vineyards, rivers, beaches and villages.
- Horseback ride through the countryside of Preveza and feel the connection with nature and the majestic animals. You can join a riding club or a farm and enjoy a relaxing or adventurous ride, depending on your preference and skill level. Ensure that the horses are well treated!
- Rock climb on the limestone cliffs and crags of Preveza and challenge yourself with overhands, slabs and formations. You can find climbing routes for all levels of difficulty and enjoy the thrill and the views from above.
- Paraglide over Preveza and soar like a bird in the blue sky. You can join a paragliding club or school and experience the freedom and excitement of flying over the sea, mountains and villages.
- Raft on the rapids of Acheron river, one of the most famous rivers in Greek mythology, where the souls of the dead crossed to reach Hades. You can join a rafting tour and enjoy an exhilarating ride along the crystal-clear water and the rocky gorge.
- Birdwatch in Amvrakikos Gulf, one of the most important wetlands in Europe, where more than 250 species of birds live or migrate. You can observe flamingos, pelicans, herons, egrets, ducks, geese, eagles, falcons and many more in their natural habitat.