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The Hidden Secrets of Preveza

15 Jun 2021
If it’s not already on your bucket list it should be! Preveza is an untouched, unpretentious gem, nestled in north-western Greece, surrounded by the blue waters of the Ionian Sea, with a wealth of history, beautiful cobbled streets and excellent restaurants.

Steeped in history, the importance of Preveza dates all the way back to antiquity. It is the site of the battle of Actium, a naval battle in the last war of the Roman Republic. It was here that Octavian, later Augustus and the first Roman Emperor, defeated Marc Antony and Cleopatra, bringing an end to the Roman Republic.
Hidden Secrets of Prevaza Greece, Lefkada © sophie-dale-unsplash
The island of Lefkada - and it's world famous beaches - are just a short sail from Preveza © Sophie Dale, Unsplash

Its location as a gateway to northern Greece and into the continent has made it a valuable stronghold, and throughout the centuries has been hotly contested by many, including the Turks, Christians (in the Crusades), the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the French, before being annexed to Greece in the Greco-Balkan Wars in 1912.

For visitors, its exclusive locations offers a world of possibilities to go island hopping, with Lefkada, the biggest of the neighbouring islands a short distance away. The easiest way to visit the neighbouring islands is by boat, and there are a number of options for a Yacht Charter in Preveza, taking you to places like Kefalonia, Ithaki, Maganisi and Kalamos, all offering a taste of authentic Greek life, as well as opportunities to visit world heritage sites like Nikopolis and the Holy monastery of Agios Dimitios.

Getting to Preveza

Hidden Secrets of Prevaza Greece © Dimitris Vetsikas, Pixabay
There's not better means of transport in Greece than a private yacht © Dimitris Vetsikas, Pixabay

Preveza is served by Aktion Airport, just a few miles outside the city. The easiest way to get about is by car, and there are many hire car companies operating that are safe to use. Public transport does exist, but the schedule can be somewhat sporadic. For those with more time on their hands, Preveza is around 300 miles from Athens, providing a fun and exciting road trip through the country, with many opportunities for stops along the way.

There is also an underwater crossing linking Preveza with Aktium in central Greece. This is an important piece of infrastructure linking the two sides of the gulf, where previously only a ferry crossing was possible. This link also gives additional opportunity to explore other areas of the country, including the beautiful island of Mykonos, across the other side of the country nestled in the Aegean Sea. Like in Preveza, doing a boat hire in Mykonos is a popular way to get around and explore.

Things to do in Preveza

Hidden Secrets of Prevaza Greece, Lefkada © nikos-zacharoulis-unsplash
A little slice of paradise © Nikos Zacharoulis, Unsplash

Beaches near Preveza

No trip to the Mediterranean paradise that is Preveza would be complete without a trip (or two!) to the beach. With 60 kilometres of coastline, and access to numerous islands, there is undoubtedly a beach to suit everyone. All the beaches in the area have been awarded with blue flags, ensuring harmony with the environment.

1. Alonaki
Around 25 miles from Preveza, this is a small enclosed bay, with little pebbles providing the perfect picturesque surroundings for a family outing. The calm waters and crystal clear waters offer the perfect environment for children.

2. Kastrosikia
Slightly closer to Preveza, this beach is a must go for any thrill-seekers and water sports fans. This beach has sun loungers and bars serving drinks and snacks on the beach, as well as sailing, canoeing and parachuting.

3. Mitikas and Monolithi
Both these beaches are within a few miles of Preveza, and offer a variety of amenities to visitors, including food and drink, lifeguards and nearby guesthouses and hotels.

Sightseeing in Preveza

Hidden Secrets of Prevaza Greece © Ελευθέριος Μπέτσης, Pixabay
Most people come to Greece for views like this, but there are plenty of non-aquatic sights too © Ελευθέριος Μπέτσης, Pixabay
1. Nikopolis
Commemorating Octavian’s victory at the Battle of Actium, the Nikopolis, meaning City of Victory, is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. There are Roman and Byzantine walls, Byzantine churches, a stadium and two theatres. Although much was destroyed in the 11th Century, with a little imagination (and perhaps a trip to the museum first) visitors can really imagine what life would have been like over two thousand years ago.

2. Holy Monastery of Agios Dimitrios in Zalongo
The monastery was built over 300 years ago by the Byzantine Emperor Michael Angelo (not that Michelangelo!) and is in surprisingly good condition. Visitors can marvel at the beautiful artwork, and once finished, it is just a short trip to the archaeological site of Kassopi.

3. Nekromantio
This is the most important and oldest Oracle of the Dead of Antiquity, the Nekromantio is where the ancients identified the Gates of the Underworld, which led to the kingdom of Hades. This place has inspired generations of artists and writers, including Homer, and has been a place where the living and the dead meet, with people bringing offerings to those who have passed on.

Food and Drink in Preveza

Hidden Secrets of Prevaza Greece © andreas-weilguny-unsplash
An olive oil tour is a must in Greece © Andreas Weilguny, Unsplash
1. Rebetiki Steki
Perhaps some of the best food in the region, this is a small and unassuming restaurant tucked away in the narrow cobbled streets of the city, offering authentic Greek fayre with a smile.

2. Paragaea Olive Oil Factory
The most basic building block of Greek food: the humble olive oil. From dolmades to feta, from hummus to baklava, Greek food would simply not be the same without olive oil. This tour will tell visitors about the process, the different types of oil, as well as tasting along the way and a shop selling home-made produce.

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