The wonders of Preveza

Preveza is a gem of a city, nestled in the crystal clear blue water of the Ionian Sea in north-west Greece. Relatively untouched by time, it has yet to be discovered by tourists, and is relatively calm even in the busy summer months.

The importance of Preveza’s location has not gone unnoticed, with regular tussles for control over the centuries, starting with the Battle of Actium in 31BC where the forces of Octavian defeated those of Marc Antony and Cleopatra, bringing an end to the Roman Republic and ushering in the start of a new era with the Roman Empire. After this, the Turks, Christians, French and Austrians all vied for control, and ultimately Preveza was annexed to Greece following the Greco- Balkan War of 1912.

With a wealth of history, Preveza is the ideal getaway for the traveller tired of over-crowded, over-priced tourist traps, offering up an array of different activities, including beaches, historical sites, museums, bars and restaurants, as well as an immersive experience in authentic Greek life.

How to get there

Regular charter flight from major European cities make getting to Preveza really easy. The airport is located just a few miles out of the city and car hire is easy and straightforward. For the more adventurous, the city is a couple of hundred miles from Athens, offering a glorious cross-country road trip.

One great way to navigate Greece is by boat. The topography of the country is such that it is possible to get from the Aegean Sea to the Ionian Sea going through Athens, and it is even possible to hire a yacht from Athens to explore.

Things to do

1- Explore the nearby islands

There are so many islands dotted around Preveza that it can be hard to know where to go. The easiest way to make the most of the time is to hire a yacht from Preveza to do some island hopping. From Preveza, you can visit the numerous bays and sandy beaches, from the enclosed, tranquil waters of Alonaki, to Ligia Bay, with the famous panoramic views of the Ionian Sea, and everything in between.

2- Visit the Nikopolis

The Nikopolis, meaning City of Victory, was built by Octavian following his victory at Actium. It includes Roman and Byzantine walls, Byzantine churches as well as a stadium and two theatres. The city is now in ruins, having being destroyed in the 12th Century, but visitors can immerse themselves in the history of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, and see remnants of a bygone era in the museum

3- Pay homage to the dead at the Nekromantio

One of the Gates of the Underworld leading to the Kingdom of Hades, the Nekromantio of Acheron has inspired generations of artists and writers, including Homer, and has been a place where the living and the dead meet, with people bringing offerings to those who have passed on.

4- Marvel at the beauty of the Holy Monastery of Agios Dimitrios in Zalongo

With a number of ancient monasteries dotted around the region, there is one for every day of the week and then some! The Holy monastery of Agios Dimitrios is one of the most complete, despite being over 300 years old. It is also next to the archaeological site of Kassopi offering a glimpse of one of the most populous and important cities in the region prior to the Roman Settlement at Nikopolis.

5- Enjoy a gastronomic experience like no other

There are many opportunities to savour local cuisine, primarily in the centre of Preveza. Hidden in the little cobbled streets, there are many unassuming local restaurants offering high quality and low cost options, as well as the fancier places catering to special occasions.

To Rempetiko Steki: Serving up traditional seafood and Mediterranean food, this is the top rated restaurant in the area. It is also one of the most affordable, proving that good food doesn’t need to cost the earth!

In a similar vein, Ventura Tavern is also a purveyor of fine seafood and Greek cuisine, with special mention going to their prawn dishes and wine pairings.

In nearby Parga, Agali Restaurant is famed for its unique position at the top of a cliff overlooking Sarakiniko beach, where the climb to the top is well worth it.

6- Visit a traditional Olive Oil Factory

Olive oil is one of the most basic building blocks of Greek food, from feta to hummus, baklava to dolmades, and a tour of this traditional factory gives visitors the opportunity to learn about the history of olive oil, the pressing process, and the different types of olive oil produced. Visitors are treated to a tasting tour of the different oils, and have the opportunity to purchase some locally pressed olive oil and other traditional produce at the end of the tour.

7- Dance the day away at the Sardine Festival

Once a year, the town pays homage to the humble sardine. This locally sourced fish is one of the traditional foods of the area, and each year around two tons of sardines is grilled and distributes for free (with wine, of course!) to celebrate this little fish. There is always a live band for entertainment, and other market stalls that come together to celebrate.

GETTING TO KNOW ATHENS

More or less most of us feel very confident when it comes to suggesting a place to a tourist or if it is just us or our family who are about to have lunch out or go for a drink with friends. I am sure that this is the case with most of you when we have to do with your place or hometown. But how about a whole different city or even country? Are you that familiar? So, in the lines to follow we will meet Athens, the Greek capital. We are going to talk about its restaurants and its cafes-bars.

THE BEST DINERS AROUND

To begin with, here are some of the top Athenian eateries. The first one which is recommended for its marvelous breakfast is Tudor Hall. It is famous all-around Greece for its location on the rooftop of King George hotel. The coffee, tea and the sweets offered there are of the highest possible quality so you have to give it a shot. Of course, most of the wine list is pretty pricey but you can just have your breakfast, enjoy the view to the Acropolis and leave the place more than satisfied.

Moving on with lunch, it is for sure that there are plenty of options and you will definitely find yourselves spoilt for choice. A rather stimulating choice could be Jaipur Palace. It is adjacent to the center of the city of Athens in a region called Neos Cosmos. It is open from 1pm through midnight so you will get a table at an hour of your selection. That diner serves Asian, Indian and vegetarian dishes so you had better be ready for a “trip” to new flavors and traditions. Its unique decoration and the vintage pans and plates which are used help you to immerse into it. The freshness and the uniqueness of the ingredients is amazing. A must-try!

Last but not least, one of the best restaurants in Athens, Greece. It is called Dinner in the Sky and if you have never had the fantastic chance to be there, I feel sorry for you. It offers an evening and a night choice of dinner depending on your preference. The first one takes place at 7.30pm and the other one at 9.30pm. The meal per person costs 135€ but the fantastic view, the friendliness of the staff and the stunning dishes will leave you speechless wondering where this had been all these years. Well, it is set quite high and you get even higher. That is, once everybody is tightened on their seats a mechanism moves all of you high above the ground so as to feel like flying while dining. There is nothing like this in Greece and only Athens offers you that option!

HOW ABOUT A COCKTAIL?

If you love beverages or alcoholic drinks, there are no worries. Let’s start immediately with an ideal place for your needs and taste. It is called Aethrion and it is located in Hilton Hotel. It is well known for its magnificent wine list as well as its cocktails. Make no mistake though-it is one of the most expensive in the city, but you get what you pay for, right?

Couleur locale is another exciting choice whose menu includes all kinds of wine and cocktails. The Acropolis is so close and in front of your eyes that you feel, you will touch it if you stretch a bit. You see it is located in Monastiraki so it cannot get closer than that.

If you are more old-school though, you will appreciate The Lazy Bulldog Pub. It is more like an English pub rather than a Greek café which is not bad at all. In fact, most of the meals served are pretty fatty but delicious, well prepared and carefully presented. Its dishes start from 5€ each so you will not have getting something suiting…your wallet and flavors.

Top Reasons to Plan a Visit to Mykonos

Greece has slowly, but surely become one of the world’s most popular destinations, and Mykonos is one of the largest reasons why. This island looks and feels like a slice of paradise, and its beauty is apparent in every nook and cranny. While Greece has thousands of islands, Mykonos is a destination that will always top the charts, and there are many reasons why.

Impeccable Beaches

The beaches in Mykonos feel like out of this world. They’re pristine to a fault, and their golden sands and azure waters continue to draw visitors on a daily basis. The best things about Mykonos beaches is that they’re so diverse. You can easily have family fun on a spot like Ornos beach, which is filled with restaurants and bars, or you can go to a beach like Paradise Beach and party from the afternoon till early morning. Also, the sheer amount of hidden beaches is staggering, and you can easily set out to explore them and have an adventure.

Quality Accommodations

Although most people tend to visit Mykonos for its activities and sights, one of the often underappreciated aspects of the island is its accommodations. On Mykonos you can find accommodations that will suit any budget. Every luxury hotel Mykonos has is a treat to stay in, as you’re bound to be treated with perfect respect, and you definitely won’t want to leave anytime soon.

General Ambiance

From the famous whitewashed Greek villas, to the beautiful waterfront, the entire island of Mykonos is filled with an amazing atmosphere. These whitewashed houses are all built similar to how they were built ages ago, with the white color being used to reflect the heat of the sun. Little Venice, a part of Mykonos that bears a striking resemblance to Venice, Italy, and its charms are known worldwide. The local ambiance is alluring to both locals and worldwide travelers, and is a place that you can enjoy from early mornings to late nights.

Idyllic Beauty

Besides the ambiance that’s already perfect, the natural beauty of Mykonos is breathtaking. It’s a destination that feels made to be a spot perfect for taking photos of. Its idyllic beauty is one of its strongest points, as each sight can easily double down as an amazing photograph. Exploring Mykonos with a camera is one of the best activities on the island, and it’s entirely free, too. Don’t forget to take lots of photos of the famous Mykonos windmills.

Delightful Food

Greek food is one of the world’s finest cuisines. Mykonos has a long standing tradition when it comes to making local Greek recipes, so you can expect to find a treat in any restaurant on the island. Things like moussaka and gyro are always delicious, and some local foods like kopanisti, and freshly caught seafood are a must to try out.

Mykonos is a destination that’s worth visiting any time of the year. There are so many things to see and do, and with a great variety, that you’re definitely going to have an amazing time on the island.

GREECES ISLAND SMALL JEMS

Greece has more than 2500 islands and 165 of them are inhabited. Summer in Greece is warm to hot and this makes the islands a perfect destination for summer holidays.

Some of the islands are more touristic and others are quieter, so the visitor can choose from a big range according to his needs. No matter which one you choose, you will enjoy the pleasant weather, the transparent waters and Greek hospitality.

Among the plethora of Greek islands, there are 3 of them that could be described as small gems: Mykonos, Paros and Santorini. Each one has its own beauty and character but they all are chosen by thousands of visitors each year.

Mykonos: sandy beaches and luxury accommodation

Mykonos is the favorite Greek island of international celebrities. Not long ago, it was just another fishermen island in the Aegean Sea – until rich and famous travellers discovered its natural beauties. Today, Mykonos has become one of the most luxurious summer destinations.

Mykonos has more than 30 beaches and most of them have golden sand and are well protected from the winds. The famous southern party beaches – Paradise, Super Paradise, Paraga and Psarou – are all very organized but sometimes they get overcrowded.

Other beaches like Elia or Panormos are also sandy and partly organized but accept fewer visitors and are more suitable for guests who prefer a more serene beach.

Luxury accommodation has become a part of Mykonos lifestyle. Mykonos Luxury Villas are the most lavish places to stay and they offer a lot of amenities and privacy. VIPs usually choose a Mykonos Villa by MLV, the leading villa company in the island for their accommodation.

High level luxury can also be found in one of the many 5 star hotels of the island. The bigger ones have their own restaurants, beach bars, private beaches, boutiques and spas, so that their guests can find anything near them.

Paros: sandy beaches / Naoussa + Parikia

Another very touristic island in Cyclades is Paros. It also has many beautiful sandy beaches, warm climate, beautiful whitewashed houses and great nightlife.

Paros best beaches are:

  • Kolymbithres, where white rocks create unique tiny bays
  • Chrissi Akti, a perfect sandy beach for windsurf lovers. Its name means “golden beach” in Greek
  • Ai Yannis or Monastiri, a lounge, organized beach with a lot of events taking place during the whole summer
  • Piperi, a beautiful long beach in a very convenient location near Naoussa
  • Ambelas, the beach that many locals prefer, with a lot of taverns

The two most visited areas in Paros are Parikia, the capital and main port of the island, and Naoussa or Agoussa. They both are built at the seafront, have a good nightlife and a lot of places to see.

At Naoussa don’t miss the Venetian castle, built during the 13th century, and the Aqua Park, accessible only by boat leaving from Naoussa every hour. Naoussa is the center of nightlife in Paros with a lot of clubs, bars, restaurants and cafes.

At Parikia you can visit the Archeological Museum of Paros, the Castle and the Church of Panagia Ekatontapiliani, one of the most famous Greek churches. The main seaside road has a lot of traditional taverns with fresh fish and nice views, while the central market road has many small or bigger shops with traditional products and souvenirs.

Santorini –  amazing views/ volcano

Santorini is rich in different landscapes and full of colors. Fira, the capital, and other villages are built on the top of steep cliffs, offering astonishing views to the Ocean. Nightlife is intense with many clubs and bars and the island accepts thousands of young visitors every year.

The reason for Santorini’s special geography is the active volcano located on the islet of Nea Kameni, which had its last eruption in 1950. At Palia Kameni the sea waters are warmed by the volcano and you can have a natural spa just by swimming there.

Santorini beaches are either sandy or rocky in different colors and they easily get overcrowded as tourists seem to love the island. Some of its most famous beaches are the Red Beach, the White Beach, Vlychada, Perivolos, Kamari and Perissa.

Oia is said to have the most spectacular sunset and Foinikia is a colorful village with blue, pink and green houses.

5 of the Most Breathtaking Beaches in Paros

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Paros is a gorgeous island set in the Aegean Sea. Paros is just one of the islands of the Cyclades region. It serves as the transportation center for the region and thus it sees quite a bit of boat traffic throughout the year.

Paros is also home to the gorgeous 4th-century Byzantine church, Panagia Ekagtontapiliani. However, Paros is best known for its beaches and quaint villages. The island is about 75 square miles and is approximately 13 miles long, giving visitors plenty of coastline and beach access.

When it comes to Paros, the beaches are numerous and it is difficult to choose exactly what beaches to hit on your visit to this incredible island. We’ve narrowed down the list to 5 beaches you simply must visit in Paros.

The best way to visit Paros is to book your very own villa. When booking a luxury Paros villa, you will find an option to fit every budget and accommodations for both small and large parties. Private villas offer you the option of staying onsite at the villa for peace and seclusion or venture out to the local beaches if desired.

Here are our best picks for top beaches in Paros:

Chryssi Akti

The beach at Chryssi Akti has incredible golden sand which speaks to the beach’s name, which translates to Golden Coast or Golden Beach. This beach is close to Chania city and can easily be accessed via a short walk from the city limits. Chryssi Akti is a great choice for travellers with children. Not only is there a playground close to the beach, but there are several parks in the area. Windsurfing activities are available and, in fact, Chryssi Akti was home to the windsurfing championships in the past.

Santa Maria

Santa Maria draws the young and adventurous. Plenty of water sport activities are available and a number of beach bars and restaurants can be found nearby. It also has a picturesque view of the nearby Naxos Island.

July and August can be quite crowded with tourists. Located close to Naoussa, the beach can be accessed via local roads by bus or by boat.

Monastiri (Agios Ioannis)

Monastiri can be found in western Naoussa. It is located near the Monastery of Agios Ioannis and the beach is referred to by either name. You can actually see the monastery from the beach.

If you visit between June and September, you will be treated to the events of the local festival that takes place during the summer. The festival offers outdoor concerts and cinema showings as well as a number of beach parties and other fun social events. The area is also known as a popular yacht mooring spot for a little taste of the rich and famous life.

Kolimbithres

Kolimbithres is hands down the most popular beach on Paros. Even if you wish to avoid the crowds, you cannot visit Paros without a trip to Kolimbithres. The beach is revered for its geological granite rock formations that cover the beach area. If you are fortunate enough, you can even score a private bay for as part of your own personal paradise. Kolimbithres offers a wide array of water activities including windsurfing which is a popular feature at most of the beaches in Paros (as mentioned earlier).

Ambelas

Ambelas is the opposite of Kolimbithres. It is primarily a fishing village located off the beaten path and is not considered an organized beach. The beach is small and you can watch the fishing boats traveling in and out of port. This is a favorite of the locals and offers the best fish cuisine on the entire island.

There you have it! Your must-see beaches of Paros. After you’ve taken a vist, be sure to let us know which was your favorite!