I did not go on this trip, but I was advised there were daily trips by coach to Albania pending enough passengers were booking the tour. Charter tourists were advised there was a weekly day tour. It probably doesn't allow you much more than a glimpse of southern Albania.
What is cited is:
Visit to the city of Butrint (archaeological interest) and the coastal city of Seranda.
Bus trip; departs Parga at 6:15am, arrives back in parga at 7pm.
Cost 50 EUR
Korfu is easily reached by way of Igoumenitsa, north of Parga.From Igoumenitsa there is a daily ferry.
From Parga there is a boat to Korfu city, Korfu every Thursday, 3 hrs travel each way. Starts at 8:30am; back at 6:30 pm. EUR 42 for the return trip.
These were heavily advertised, but I never went.
I had the feeling it wouldn't really do justice to visit these two nice islands on a daytrip only, so let me come back for a forthnight in Parga and do an overnight trip at least, to the two islands. There is a charter boat every Thursday that go from the Parga Pier to Paxos and Antipaxos.
Cost 25 EUR.
Travel time: 10 am dep, back in parga 6 pm.
more to come....
The fortress is a ruin, and not particularily well taken care of, but hey, Greece is full of ruins.This fortress is probably like an everyday-type-ruin. You can walk aroud unhindered, seeing the fortress fomr outside and inside. Trails are rough and partially steep, so it is not a good idea for somebody with inappropriate shoe wear of who is not a good walker.
There is a restaurant there, inside dining only, but has been receiving good reviews. i did not eat there.
Some cannons are left there, and some obviously newer parts of the fortress witness about a more recent war - the German occupation.
The top of the fortress as well as the Parga side entrance part give good views of the surroundings.
There are some information provided on plackards describing elements of the history, and of the building that currently houses the restaurant.
Just half an hour north of Parga town by speed boat is Sarakineko beach, a wonderful, rather large cove with a very nice beach, two tavernas and one bar, one small hotel right on the beach and one "rooms for rent" among the cliffs above the beach, sunbeds and kayaks for rent and no other disturbances. You can reach Sarakineko by road as well, but the right approach is by boat. Return ticket is 10 EUR.
For variations of the sandy beach, there are cliffs and islets at both sides, a good swim out from the middle of the beach, or walk to either end.
Just north of Parga is a series of small beaches inbetween cliffs and jumbled rocks. These are perfect picnic, sunning, swimming and relaxation spots where you can spend an entire day. Bring your lunch and plenty to drink. Bring fins, snorkel and mask to explore the underwater landscape.
You get here by timed small boats that drop people off here during the morning and pick them up again in the afternoon. You find the boatmen at the Parga harbour. It is not so good for elderly and less mobile people as there are no proper ramp or quay at these tiny beaches and you have to jump from the boat and climb back in again unaided.
Update 2011: there are no more regular small boats going to these (in particular two) small beaches, however, the 9:30 and 11:00 boats to Sarakiniko beach will drop you off there if you ask and pick you up again on the 5pm return. the beaches are also accessible from land, however, you need a car and it is a rough hike to get there from the road.
Take time to walk up to the castle (there's no charge to get in) - you can get some brilliant views of the harbour and the little island from there. There is a little coffee shop where you can get a frappe and some cake or snacks. I liked to go there first thing in the morning, when it's peaceful and before all the other tourists arrive.
Where some decent flat shoes - it will help with the steps up through the village and with walking around the castle where there can be quite a lot of ants in the summer.
we took a taxi boat from the harbour to visit other beaches - we liked Sarakiniko in particular - the waves there were very choppy making getting back in the boat for the journey back a bit of a challenge.
You can be dropped off at numerous beaches - Lichnos is also worth a visit.
One of the several times we were in Parga, there was this religious ceremony at the bottom of the old town, near the harbor. I do not know what it was about.
In August, there is a big festival, the Kanaria that celebrates emigrants from the city that come back for vacations. It celebrates also the burning of the Turkish frigate from Kanaris. However, it seems that it occurs earlier in August.
Then ,what are these priest doing, I do not know.
Parga is 11 km outside the main road from Preveza to Igoumenitsa. A secondary road leads to Parga. It is a dead end a little further than the village. You cannot drive into the city center that has very narrow streets, sometimes passages or even scales. You must then park on top of the city. This photo was taken from this road.
You can walk to the fortress, but it's quite a distance from Parga.
There's a little tourist train which departs from the beach in town. Otherwise, drive up by car or scooter.
The fortress itself is of course a ruin, but the views from there, especially looking down on Parga are magnificent.
Make a point of visiting the castle. It's a long walk up past the shops or even better via the narrow streets from the church in the center of Parga.
It's worth the climb though. Sit down to a well earned coffee or frape while you enjoy the view of the bay.
As Parga, besides Athens is one of the most visited location in Greece, no wonder that there are many shops for tourists. They alley that leads to the castle is framed on both sides by shops. They sell the usual stuff of tunics, dresses, shirts, etc… Most of it is imported from China but can be nice if the price is low enough. This is not in Parga that you will get good bargains.
In Parga as well as in the Ionian island, the color that dominates is white. There is not the blue and white pattern that is mostly found in the Sporades for example. Most houses are freshly painted in white but occasionally, when going in the smallest alleys, their can be a house that has not yet been fixed and painted (second photo). There are not many!
Most of Parga is forbidden to alien cars and anyway, there are not many streets where locals can drive. Most of them are steep alleys, arranged as stairs. This is especially the case with the ones that lead to the castle.