Summer Road Trip: Preveza

Low-key and unpretentious, Preveza and the surrounding Ambracian Gulf region in northwest Greece offers a host of interesting experiences for discerning travellers.


Preveza has been shaking off its old-fashioned image in recent years, offering a host of interesting experiences for visitors and making the most of its natural beauty and historical landmarks.

Easily accessible due to the new and improved road networks, both from the Ionian islands and the modern Egnatia Motorway, it is an affordable destination, especially when compared to the neighboring islands. Accommodation options are increasing, and Preveza itself serves as an ideal base to explore the wider Ambracian Gulf region, as well as short trips to Parga and Lefkada.

Endless sandy beaches

From Preveza to the coastal resort town of Parga, there are approximately 45km of coastline filled with sandy beaches. Monolithi is one of the largest in Greece, stretching for several kilometers, with deep waters and big waves, especially in the afternoon. Loutsa is beloved by the locals, thanks to its crystal-clear waters and fine white sand, while the rocky formations in the sea at Artolithia are also impressive.

Entranceway to the Underworld

Hermes had to cross the Acheron River to deliver the souls of the dead to Charon the ferryman, who took them to the kingdom of Hades. You can explore the narrow passages of Acheron at Glyki and, if you’re daring enough, take a plunge into the frigid waters of the river. Alternatively, you can rent a canoe or walk along the paths that run along both sides of the riverbed.

 

Visit the archaeological site of the Necromanteion in the village of Mesopotamos and see the river flowing into the Ionian Sea at the nearby village of Ammoudia.

Dolphin watching in the Ambracian Gulf

Approximately 150 dolphins live within the Ambracian Gulf, and the traditional boats departing from the port of Preveza every morning offer excursions in search of these highly intelligent marine mammals. There is a good chance of seeing them up close, as dolphins are social animals, and as soon as they sense human presence they approach and swim alongside the small boat. En route, you’ll also likely encounter pelicans, possibly sea turtles, and enjoy beautiful dips in the sea.

The family-owned business Amvrakikos Cruises (Preveza, tel. 6949-353576, amvrakikoscruises.gr), has two traditional boats, and its members have extensive knowledge of the area.

Roman aqueduct

Epirus is filled with waters, springs, rivers, and lakes, and the broader area of Preveza is no exception. Located 43km from the city is Lake Ziros, which is perfect for canoeing and kayaking.

Just 7km outside the village of Aghios Georgios you should visit the Roman Aqueduct of Nikopolis. The aqueduct was situated approximately 50km from the ancient city, and water was transported over such a long distance via bridges, tunnels, and pipes. A few meters below, at the traditional water mill and water press, locals use the waters of the Louros River to wash carpets and traditional “flokati” (woven wool) rugs.

Culinary treasures from the sea

You must try the seafood and fish in Preveza, a city renowned for its fresh seafood. It’s most associated with sardines, and the annual Sardine Festival takes place at the end of August, highlighting Preveza’s fishing tradition. This is where they also cook“petali,” grilled fish split in half. As for the restaurant menus, they usually include shrimp, anchovies, mullets, as well as sea bream and octopus.

At Alati (Tel. (+30) 26820.271.45), located on the beachfront in the city center, enjoy creatively inspired seafood dishes such as the delicious orzo risotto with Ambracian shrimp and Lemnos Muscat wine. In the narrow streets of the old town, Treli Garida (Tel. (+30) 26820.256.91) is a good spot to try petali and, of course, shrimp. Outside the city, near the beaches on the way to Parga, you will find Skaloma (Limanaki Lygias, Tel. (+30) 26820.562.40) for fresh shrimp, sand smelt, sardines, and whatever else the fishing boats have brought in.



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