Turquoise water, incredible unspoilt islands and amazing food is the recipe for a perfect holiday for me. I have just come back from two weeks in the town of Parga on the exquisite Greek Epirus coast and it’s safe to say that Greece has truly captured my heart – I’ve probably had my favourite two weeks of my life so far! This was my first visit to Greece and I don’t think I could have picked a better place to start exploring this incredible country from.
Parga is known as the jewel of the Epirus coast and it certainly lives up to its reputation… Winding streets bustling with people and shops criss cross the hill the Parga cascades down making for some pretty jaw dropping views. The harbour is a constant frenzy of small shuttle boats and fishing boats which are occasionally disturbed by the ripples of an incoming super yacht – you really couldn’t get better people watching if you tried!
We got into our heavenly routine of catching a boat from the beach outside our villa (separate blog post about this next week) to take us around the headland into town. In the distance you can spot the islands of Paxos, Anti-Paxos, Corfu and Lefkada glistening in the early morning rays. It’s too hot to wander too far so grab yourself a chair in any cafe that takes your fancy and order some iced coffee or perhaps a slice of baklava? Once you’ve recovered from your 30 meter walk from the boat to a cafe, why not explore some of the shady back streets which are bursting with hidden gems. (Recommendations at the bottom of this post) If you keep ambling up the hill far enough you will reach the castle which is well worth a visit purely for the view of the harbour from the cafe.
Afternoons were spent wallowing in the pool of our villa eating watermelon. After showering the day off, slathering on some body lotion and getting dressed up for the evening we would set off in search of a feast. The perfect day.
Eating: Sakis Restaurant (Family run – best authentic Greek food in Parga. No view, unlike the restaurants around it which are always quite empty, but it is always packed!), Ostria (Good Italian on the harbour if you fancy something different), Aegis (If your in search of somewhere slightly more refined this is the place for you), The Green Bakery Garden (You have to go here for lunch. A gorgeous terrace shaded by grape vines with simple but stunning food and lovely staff.), Taverna Stefanos (Expect to queue, the food is simple and fresh but the view is why you come here.), Brazilian Green Cup Espresso Bar (We found this on our last day as somewhere to have lunch. Lovely terraces, staff, coffee and food. We would have come a lot more if we had found it sooner.)
Excursions/Miscellaneous: Olive Oil Museum (Well worth a visit. Includes a tour and olive oil tasting. Definitely makes one appreciate what a special thing olive oil is.), Paxos and Anti – Paxos Boat Trip (You must do this if you are in Parga but do not go on one of the packed tourist boats. You won’t be guaranteed a seat and the boats are packed to breaking point. Much better option is to charter a small boat from Parga and go and explore. Unfortunately, we didn’t research this element of the trip and although we had an amazing day we definitely wouldn’t recommend any of the tourist scheduled boats.), Ali Pasha’s Castle (Amazing ruins and views – get a tour guide for the full history.)