A far cry from the water sports resort towns, picturesque Parga showcases natural beauty in abundance and features some of Europe’s most awe-inspiring views. Witness them on a holiday to Greece with Monarch – with the character of an idyllic island in spite of its location on the mainland, it has a unique charm and personality that is simply impossible to locate elsewhere. But while she certainly has an element of timelessness about her, Parga is also equipped with modern hotels and conveniences, striking the perfect balance between the worlds of yesterday and today.
Carved chalk hills, honey-coloured cliffs and mountains topped with emerald green grass. This is all before we mention the sea, which in itself resembles that of a fairytale. Sharp rays of sun shimmer down, bouncing off the waves and turning the perfect turquoise into a refracted light show.
This gratuitous display of adoration towards Parga’s coastline brings us to the first point of interest about this superb location – the beaches. You’d have to be extremely short-sighted not to notice the stunning white sands that greet you, with the translucent waters gently lapping at the shore. Parga is, in many places, the perfect beach destination, but make sure you check local guidelines on the day before letting the children go paddling. For the more adventurous, it’s not all about perfect sandy beaches and there are plenty of rugged stretches of coastline up for a bit of exploration. Be sure to bring a camera.
But perhaps the main draw for many will be the relaxed attitude to life that Parga has to offer. The white-washed buildings are quintessentially Greek, as is the gorgeous harbour. Balconies, boats and orange terracotta roofs, even the more urban areas represent a little slice of paradise. Stroll along the intricately decorated plazas beneath palm trees and intermingle with the locals at the markets. Quite simply, there’s just nothing like it.
Of the specific attractions you can expect to see, perhaps the 14th century Venetian castle is the biggest draw. Wandering around, it’s easy to recall a bygone age of crenellations, drawbridges and dastardly misdeeds. Smashing stuff. And even if you don’t venture up to the castle itself, you can be just as appreciative from afar if you have dinner in the harbour at dusk and watch as it comes to life in a splendid light display.
For all its history, markets and stunning landscape, Parga would not be half as enjoyable if not for its temperate weather and sky-high mercury. No matter how impossibly a monastery is perched atop a clifftop, it’s simply not going to be attractive to view if it’s shrouded in mist and rainclouds. Fortunately, Parga benefits from the Mediterranean climate, so rain will be the last thing on your mind most days. Bear in mind – though it rains rarely, when it does, it pours! And sometimes for hours at a time. Keep a few indoor activities held back for when the beach is out of bounds, just in case disaster strikes.