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Parga iin May

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England
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Parga iin May

Hi

We are staying in Parga for a week at the end of May and I was hoping if people had any 'must do's' to fill our week, I intend to hire a car for 3 days so visits of interest within a couple of hours of Parga can be considered.

I understand the following our worth visits: castle of Ali-Pasha on the tourist train, island of Paxi and Antipaxi, Necromantion and the back streets of old Parga.

So any more suggestions would be gratefully received.

This would be our first holiday to mainland Greece, previously we have stayed on Thassos, Kefalonia and Crete, which all have given us the chance to do some countryside walks in the peace and quiet, will Parga be able to do this?........... I have come across very little (none) information about walking in the area on the Internet, so information regarding walks would also be useful.

Many Thanks

mulch

Parga, Greece
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1. Re: Parga iin May

Hi mulch,

The decision to hire a car is, in my opinion, a very good one and it will certainly enable you to achieve several things on your wish list. Baring in mind that any suggestions are subjective, most of the following are things which (after very many holidays in Parga and Epirus) still remain 'must do's' each time we visit.

Although I've never used the tourist train everyone speaks highly of the experience and Ali Pasha is so much part of the local history that a visit to the ruined castle is worthwhile.

A trip to the islands of Paxoi and Anti Paxoi is one of the things I would personally put towards the bottom of the list unless you're particularly fond of boat trips - a week in Parga is a relatively short time and there are many things to see in Epirus.

The back streets of the old town are worth seeing but these will, no doubt, be part of your 'entertainment' when you join others for an evening 'volta'.

The Nekromanteion of Ephyra is an important archaeological and historical site which is also a 'must see' but demands a fairly short period (perhaps an hour); I strongly recommend that this be included with a trip to the River Acheron (River Styx on mythology) and the monument to the Souliot Women at Zalongo. If you followed this itinerary you would have a 7 to 8 hour day without involving too much time in the car but including some good excercise.

The River Acheron at Gliki (the Springs of Achilleas) is definitely a must for my wife and I which we visit at least once every time we're in Parga. If you go mid week in May you'll have the place to yourself and be able to absorb the atmosphere of this beautiful and tranquil spot. Take some Gel Sandals or old trainers and swimming cozzies as this could be one of those walks you were looking for but with a difference. You can, if you wish, stay out of the river and follow the official hiking route up to, and beyond, the old pack horse bridge(this is quite a serious walk); or you can get into the river and attempt to paddle, wade and swim up to the bridge. This is the route chosen by most (certainly the Greeks who are perhaps seeking immortality?) and can take between 1½ and 2 hours return. In May, depending on the amount of rain, it could prove to be very difficult to negotiate some of the deeper, faster moving sections. BE WARNED, the water is icy cold for the first 300 metres and then warms slightly.

The monument to the Souliot Women is approximately 40 minutes from Gliki and rises above the ruins of ancient Kassope and a monastery. The Souliot monument is accessable by steps (when you've counted 400 you're almost at the top) and enjoys some incredible views but it is also a sombre place to visit due to it's historical significance.

Another excursion worth considering is the Zagori and Vikos Gorge. Now that two more sections of the Egnatia Odos (trans Northern Greece motorway) are open you can drive up to the Vikos Gorge at Monodendri in 2 hours without pushing it too hard. The Zagori is a stunningly beautiful region which is visited mainly by Greeks and organised walking tours - this is possibly number 1 on my must see list. The Vikos Gorge is the worlds deepest and the 03 National Path starts in Monodendri dropping down into the gorge and then follows the River Vikos. Obviously, this is not a suitable hike for a day trip from Parga but if you park in either of the two platias in Monodendri you can walk down to the monastery of Aghia Paraskevi. From this point you can follow the path (goat ledge!) on the side of the rock face (quite wide really but no good for vertigo sufferers) and take some excellent photos. After a leisurely lunch in Monodendri, a walk to the monastery (and beyond) then a stroll around the village and you should fill 3 or 4 hours quite easily. Although the journey from Parga is only a couple of hours I think you should be prepared for plenty of stop offs - the scenery is a bit special. As you might gather, we adore the Zagori and will be spending 2 nights there in late June - hopefully to do some walking.

There are also local walks in and around town. Hopefully, this gives you a bit of an insight and perhaps whets the appetite for Parga and it's environs - if you want any further info let me know.

England
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2. Re: Parga iin May

Thanks ConnySir

You have certainly given us a weeks worth of ideas there.

The drive up to Vikos Gorge at Monodendri sounds interesting, could you tell me if the driving is expected to be steady in terms of traffic volume, or manic with articulated wagons riding the rear bumper of your car, this I found to be true of Crete along the main highway on the North coast whilst we were there in March, which in turn makes 'taken in the vista's' a bit unnerving.

Also are you able to visit inside the monastery of Aghia Paraskevi as I'am aware some monasteries are not open to tourists/public.

You mentioned The River Acheron at Gliki, is this a good area to see examples of Flora & Fauna, ie Storks, birds of prey, etc

Thanks again for the help

mulch

liverpool
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3. Re: Parga iin May

Hi Mulch

We took Lance chilterns -walks around Parga book from marengo publishing.

Did some lovely walks direct from parga. The walk to Lichnos bay through the olive groves is wonderful.

We use his books all the time and the directions never let us down.

Youll love the mainland - the food quality is so much better than on the islands.

the website is www.maregowalks.com

happy holidays

NittyNora

Parga, Greece
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4. Re: Parga iin May

Hi mulch,

At the Acheron you will see flora and fauna at the time you're going - plenty of late spring and early summer flowers and with it being quieter you should get a better chance at the wildlife; we've even seen water snakes darting across the river (non-venomous). We've seen kingfishers but not birds of prey although they're supposed to be quite common - if you want to see storks you are best making a trip to Filipiada on the Preveza / Ioannina road (E951) where there are many nests.

The traffic on the route (taken by me) to the Zagori is very light, even on the motorway sections which were deserted last October. You'll encounter very few other vehicles because effectively you are travelling cross country on minor (but excellent) roads. I travel from Parga to Ioannina via Morfio, Paramithia and the Egnatia Odos; from Ioannina I take the Konitsa road turning right at Metaforfosi and heading into the Zagori. The worst part of the journey is driving through the city of Ioannina but this is tolerable mid morning, if you decide to do this trip let me know as I can give you a few pointers for the route through Ioannina.

The monastery of Aghia Paraskevi at Monodendri is no longer inhabitated but remains open and you need to walk through if taking the path I mentioned previously.

I would strongly recommend that you buy a map by Road Editions 1:250,000 Epirus/Thessaly.

Manchester
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5. Re: Parga iin May

Hi mulch,

I actually recommend the trip to Paxos/Anti Paxos. We took the Captain Hook boat and had a great day. My most memorable part of the trip was when the boat docked in Anti Paxos and we could swim in the sea which was absolutely crystal clear. Next was a cave which you could swim through, then we spent a couple of hours on Paxos, where we had lunch and explored the back streets. Then it was back on the boat for the journey home. However, it is quite tiring as you are in the sun all day (although you can sit below deck) but if you like boat trips and swimming it’s a great day out.

However, as you are only in Parga for a week it would probably be better to explore area as you have a car and should take full advantage of it. I agree that the River Acheron is amazing! You can always visit Paxos when you return to Parga – which I’m sure you will.

Jess x

Shrewsbury
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6. Re: Parga iin May

Storks and birds of prey ... blimey, I'll need to put my thinking cap on.

I was in Parga in May '98.

Best places for birds were the Acheron "delta" and Amvrosian Gulf, the area around Ioannina (large lake with plenty of birds) and up in the Souliot Mountains.

Ten minutes later ...

I did a quick search for trip reports and was astonished to find this ...

birdtours.co.uk/tripreports/…index.htm

which is MY report from 1998! I didn't realise it was on-line. It isn't even on our own website. Anyway it's a bit more use on some of the birds you might see, and a few butterflies and the odd mammal too. It's probably a bit out of date but it covers some areas already mentioned by other posters, and at least if you get up into the mountains you will be on the look out for vultures. Hope this is of some help.

England
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7. Re: Parga iin May

Thanks everybody for the information, it's a shame we can only stay for the one week with all these suggestions.

It sounds like the wife won't have as much time to read as many books as usual!!

pandachris2........interesting report of yours back in 1998, I hope we can 'tick off' a few similar sightings.

NittyNora................I need to send a order off today for the Marengo Walks in Parga...................did'nt know there was any books available on Parga, so thanks for that.

Thanks again everybody

mulch

Parga, Greece
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8. Re: Parga iin May

Hi pandachris2,

Found your report of '98 very interesting, I'm more familiar with the fish from my snorkelling. The dog incident amused me, I had visions of the poor creature having it's space invaded by a six footer carrying large tripods and relevant paraphernalia. The soon to be completed tunnel under the Amvravikos Gulf took another five years but has been a vast improvement but in some ways I still miss the ferry culture (not particularly the danger to the car). I was a little perplexed by some of your geographical directions - especially the route to Gliki.

Manchester
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9. Re: Parga iin May

Hi nittynora,

Just bought a copy of Lance Chilterns book you recommended. It was only £7.50 including postage - bargain. . The walk to Lichnos bay through the olive groves does sound wonderful - we've never been to Lichnos - last year we were soooo lazy - this year I really want to explore more so cheers for the advice!

Jess x

liverpool
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10. Re: Parga iin May

Thanks Jess and mulch

The Lichnos walk is great and very shaded through the olive groves When we were there in may they still had all the nets up collecting olives , - you pass a lovely little chapel on the way and an amazing hollowed tree.

The tavernas in Lichnos are lovely - right on the beach , so reward yourself with lunch after the walk

We did walk back a few times but its much steeper on return - and if you hate steep walks id reccommend the water taxi back.

hot tip if walking back is -is to walk through the Lichnos campsite - no-one stopped us and they have a little shop to get water from -this is shorter route than the books and although initially very steep cuts a large chunk off the initial climb.

Have a great holiday

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