View of Parga from the Water
(since: January 1, 2011)
|Population statistics (as of 2011)|
|- Area:||276.5 km2 (107 sq mi)|
|- Density:||43 /km2 (111 /sq mi)|
|Time zone:||EET/EEST (UTC+2/3)|
|Elevation (min-max):||0–910 m (0–2986 ft)|
|Postal code:||480 60|
Parga (Greek: Πάργα [ˈpaɾɣa]) is a town and municipality located in the northwestern part of the regional unit of Preveza in Epirus, northwestern Greece. The seat of the municipality is the village Kanallaki. Parga lies on the Ionian coast between the cities of Preveza and Igoumenitsa. It is a resort town known for its scenic beauty.
The present municipality Parga was formed at the 2011 local government reform by the merger of the following 2 former municipalities, that became municipal units:
In antiquity the area was inhabited the Greek tribe of the Thesprotians. The ancient town Toryne was probably located here. The village of Parga stands from the early 13th century. It was originally built on top of the mountain "Pezovolo". In 1360 the Pargians in order to avoid the attacks of the Magrebins transferred the village to its present location. During that period, with the help of the Normans who held the island of Corfu, the fortress of Parga was built. In 1401 a treaty was signed with the Venetians, and the rule of Ionian Islands passed to them. The Venetians respected the lifestyle of Pargians who provided in turn, invaluable assistance to the fleet of the Venetians. At the same time Pargians fought by the side of their compatriots to throw off Ottoman rule. As Parga was the only free Christian village of Epirus, it was a perfect refuge for persecuted fighters and their families. In 1797 the area, along with the Ionian Islands and Parga, fell into the hands of the French, and in 1800 proclaimed free city status with broad authority under the protection of the Sublime Porte. In 1815, with the fortunes of the French failing, the citizens of Parga revolted against French rule and sought the protection of the British.
In 1817, following a treaty between Britain and the Ottoman Empire, the British granted Parga to the Ottomans. This resulted in the Good Friday of 1819 where 4,000 Pargians having with them the ashes of the bones of their ancestors, their sacred images, flags and a handful of soil from their homeland, exiled themselves in the British protecturate of Corfu where they settled. The former citizens of Parga never ceased to dream of returning to a free country and to participate actively in the struggle for liberation. But they had to wait almost 100 years for this. Parga and the rest of Epirus was liberated from the Ottoman rule on 1913 following the victory of Greece in the Balkan Wars.
Castle of Parga
The Castle is found on the top of a hill overlooking the town and was used to protect the town from the mainland and the sea. It was initially built in the 11th century by the residents of Parga to protect their town from the pirates and the Turks. In the 13th century, as their control of the region increased, the Venetians rebuilt the castle to fortify the area. In 1452, Parga and the castle was occupied by the Ottomans for two years during which time part of the castle was demolished.. 1537, Ottoman admiral Hayreddin Barbarossa burnt and destroyed the fortress and the houses within.
Before the reconstruction of the castle in 1572 by Venetians, the Turkish demolished it once again. The Venetians rebuilt for third and last time a perfect strong fortress that stayed impregnable until 1819, despite the attacks especially of Ali Pasa of Ioannina, who besieges them from the castle of Agia-Anthousa. Venetians created a perfect defence plan, which in combination with the natural fortification made the fortress. Outside the castle, eight towers placed in different positions completed the defence. Inside the narrow space of citadel there were 400 houses, located in a way so that they occupied only a little room, far away from the seaside. On this castle the free-besieged population of Parga and Souli fought epic battles and kept their freedom for centuries. From the faucet “Kremasma” the tanks of the castle and the houses were provided with water. The castle for its provision used the two bays: of Valtos and Pogonia. When Parga was sold to the Ottomans, Ali Pasha enhanced it even more and put on its top its harem and its Turkish bath, improving radically the rooms of the castle. On the arched gate of entrance, on the wall, you can see the winged lion of Agios Markos, the name “ANTONIO BERVASS 1764”, emblems of Ali Pasha, two-headed eagles and relative inscriptions. Archways, gun emplacement rooms, supplies lodges, strong bastions with gun safe boxes, safe boxes of small arms, secret passage to the sea, barracks, jails, warehouses and two block-houses at the last defense line: prove the perfection of the defense plan, which along with the natural fortification made the fortress unconquered.
City amphitheatrically built, Parga is a picturesque resort situated between the coastal region of Preveza and Igoumenitsa and combines uniquely mountain and sea. One of the most picturesque and cosmopolitan places in northwestern Greece, the “Bride of Epirus”, the beautiful Parga challenges you to experience up close its long history, its diverse natural beauty and hospitality of its inhabitants. Parga is at a distance of 65 km. from the airport of Aktion – Preveza and the summer months is connected with the surrounding islands (Paxos – Antipaxos – Corfu).
Parga rightfully attracts thousands of tourists every summer, not only because of its natural beauties, but also because of its beautiful beaches. Swimmers can enjoy the calm and warm waters, and a wide variety of sea sports or games are also available. The coasts of Parga are probably the best part by the beaches of Ionian Sea. The most popular and most visited beaches are: Valtos, Kryoneri, Piso Kryoneri, Lichnos, Sarakiniko, Ai Giannakis and other steep but also of rare beauty beaches.
Lichnos Beach is one of the most beautiful beach of Parga and is located in a green and verdant landscape. It is at a distance of 4 km. away from Parga. It is surrounded by the green of the mountain and by the olive groves of Parga and in combination with the blue and crystal waters is about one of the most special and adorable beaches of Parga. The visitor can enjoy many sea sports (such as water skiing, sea gliding, diving, fishing, jet skiing, wind surfing) while around it he can find hotel complexes, variety of units with rental rooms, picturesque taverns and mini markets.
Krioneri Beach is the main beach of Parga and is located within the bounds of the community in a distance only a few meters away from the centre and quay. Just a short distance across the bay is the magnificent and picturesque small island of Virgin Mary, which can be accessed by swimming or by sea bike.
Valtos Beach is one of the longest beaches of Parga with a coastline that approaches (3 km) km. It is located just under the impressive rock on which is built the castle of Parga.. Because of its clear and calm waters and its distance from Parga gathers large crowd of beach users. It is covered by sand and pebbles, is quite safe as it is surrounded by the bay of the castle of Parga, and by the bay of Vlacherna, whereas the length of coastline allows the natural renewal of the water without the strong streams. Finally, the visitor can also enjoy a variety of sea sports, while around the beach there are complexes and hotels, many units with rental rooms, picturesque taverns and mini markets. You can visit the beach by car, with small boats that set off from the port of Parga but also by foot or even by renting a motorbike or a bike.
The town of Parga is linked with direct suburban buses (KTEL) to other Greek cities and towns such Igoumenitsa and Preveza. There are also non-direct connections to and from Athens, Thessaloniki and Ioannina although during July and August there is a daily direct bus connection to Ioannina.
The closest airports to Parga are located at Aktio (65 km) with seasonal direct flights to and from Athens and Thessaloniki and other domestic destinations and is also served by charter flights from abroad, at Ioannina (105 km) with regular flights to and from Athens, and at Corfu (46 km + car-ferry from Igoumenitsa) with regular flights to and from Athens, Thessaloniki, European destinations and the Ioanian Islands.
Entertainment and Activities
Parga and the surrounding areas have many restaurants and seaside taverns serving fresh fish and unique local recipes. The character of the city is lively and modern but also with intense elements of the past. Place for daily meetings is the main road in front of the port, where every evening you can enjoy the sunset, while the sun disappears in the Ionian Sea, between the Castle and the Island of Virgin Mary. The entertainment in Parga begins early in the morning and never stops. With idyllic walks and tours, with small stoned paths and traditional good food. Even when the daylight doesn’t reflect in the Ionian sea, Parga has many surprises for you and as long as the night is coming around the city reveals to you picturesque taverns by the sea or inside the small paths, tranquil and lounge places for your drink, but also and vigorous and entertaining rhythms for those who seek this kind of entertainment. In Parga and the wider region you could enjoy many sports, marine and other, since there are facilities for diving, water skiing, fishing, wind – surfing, hiking, bird watching, rafting, mountain biking, paragliding and horse riding.
- Agia (Agia, Sarakiniko)
- Anthousa (Anthousa, Trikorfo)
- Livadari (Livadari, Vryses)
- Parga (Parga, Agia Kyriaki, Agios Georgios, Maras, Chrysogiali)
People from Parga
- Pargali Ibrahim Pasha, a grand vizier in the Ottoman Empire
- Andreas Idromenos (1764–1843), scholar
- Panagiotis Aravantinos (1811–1870), historian and scholar
- Dimoulitsas family, fighters of Greek War of Independence
- Detailed census results 2011 (Greek)
- Kallikratis law Greece Ministry of Interior (Greek)
- Smith, William, ed. (1854–1857). "Toryne". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography. London: John Murray.
- http://www.parga.gr/site/?page_id=20&lang=en Official webpage of Municipality of Parga - History
- http://www.parga.gr/site/?page_id=28&lang=en Official webpage of the Municipality of Parga - Castle of Parga
- http://www.parga.gr/site/?page_id=65&lang=en Official webpage of the Municipality of Parga - The region
- http://www.parga.gr/site/?page_id=44&lang=en Official webpage of the Municipality of Parga - Beaches of Parga
- http://www.parga.gr/site/?page_id=48&lang=en Official webpage of the Municipality of Parga - Lichnos beach
- http://www.parga.gr/site/?page_id=50&lang=en Official webpage of the Municipality of Parga - Krioneri beach
- http://www.parga.gr/site/?page_id=46&lang=en Official webpage of the Municipality of Parga - Valtos beach
- http://www.ktel-thesprotias.gr/?module=default&pages_id=18&lang=el ΚΤΕΛ ΘΕΣΠΡΩΤΙΑΣ Α.Ε. / Suburban buses of Igoumenitsa
- http://www.ktelprevezas.gr/?module=default&pages_id=1&lang=el ΚΤΕΛ ΠΡΕΒΕΖΑΣ Α.Ε.
- http://www.ktelprevezas.gr/?module=default&pages_id=1&lang=el ΚΤΕΛ ΠΡΕΒΕΖΑΣ Α.Ε. / Suburban buses of Preveza
- http://www.ktelioannina.gr/ ΚΤΕΛ ΙΩΑΝΝΙΝΩΝ Α.Ε. / Suburban buses of Ioannina
- http://www.hcaa-eleng.gr/kerk.htm Corfu International Airport Official Website
- http://www.parga.gr/site/?page_id=1320&lang=en Official webpage of the Municipality of Parga - Entertainment - Activities
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