Preveza: the place with a long history and colorful travel images!
It is mysterious place that stirs the imagination like Necromenteio and Acheron. It is historical place that evokes the memory like the Old Nicopolis. Here you can find majestic things like the castle of Ali Pasha that proudly stands above the beautiful town of Parga. It is a place of colors that dominated and endless Ionian Sea!
All that you need to remember this beauty and unforgettable images is to discover and to “zoom” the map of the continent Epirus – and to visit this fascinating area because this is the excellent tourist infrastructure and you can get very easy there!
Also in Preveza is located the town Parga that is the classic destination where situated the best beaches during all the years.
Welcome to Preveza!
Watch TV SHOW: Preveza No 1
How can you get to Preveza
– Preveza has regular flights to Athens through Aktion airport. In the high tourist season there are charters.
Air Lines: From Athens to Aktion airport (1 hour and 5 minutes). The airport is 7 km from Preveza. The transportation is with the airplanes of Olympic Airways
By car: from Athens to Preveza (distance: 383 km)
– You can travel by bus from Athens, Thessaloniki, all cities of Epirus, Thessaly and Patra.
– The coastal highway Preveza – Igoumenitsa connects the two cities (distance 95 km), average of Igoumenitsa and Preveza connected with Italy and with the rest of Europe.
– There is also the main road Preveza – Ioannina.
– The underwater road crossing the channel Aktion – Preveza that provides the fastest connection of southern Greece and the coastal area of Preveza – Thesprotia and the port of Igoumenitsa.
– Form this area you can easily tour the neighboring counties and cruises that are located on the opposite Ionian Islands. Form Preveza you can visit Arta, Ioannina with its many attractions, Dodonis, the Gorge of Vikos, Zagoroxoria, Lefkada and islands Paxos.
More about Preveza
Preveza is the capital of the Prefecture of Preveza and one of the harbours of Epirus. Geographically, it is situated in a strategic position in the centre of the coastal region of northwestern Greece. It is known for Ancient Nicopolis, the Acheron River and the Necromanteion (Oracle of the Dead). It is on the southern tip of the prefecture which has a wedge-like shape and ends in a peninsula with two arms stretching across the entrance to the Ambracian Gulf. From the city one may reach coasts of the Ionian Sea and beaches which stretch to a total length of over 50 km just a short distance from the Preveza-Igoumenitsa motorway. Furthermore, one may reach the Ambracian Gulf with its numerous lagoons to its north side while the nearby estuaries of Louros and Arachthos are of exceptional ecological interest. South of Preveza is Aitoloacarnania and the island of Lefkada while to the northwest lie small seashore semi-mountainous settlements. The traditional summer resort of Parga is a one-hour drive away.
Preveza “breathes” thanks to the Ambracian Gulf, an ecosystem of exceptional biological, ecological and aesthetical value, the Ionian coasts, and the surrounding forests. In the picturesque streets of Preveza there are old mansions, gardens and flower-filled yards, while its surroundings offer olive groves, exquisite beaches, and archaeological sites. Somewhere in the area, Marcus Aurelius built his villa to dedicate himself to writing.
Today Preveza has an insular character, as three of its sides are surrounded by sea; sea that is said to still give off the perfume of Cleopatra who accompanied Marc Antony to the naval battle of Actium.
The coast of Preveza extends for 60 kilometres. Bays, peninsulas, gulfs, sandy beaches and rocks alternate harmoniously. Pine forests stretching down to the welcoming beaches provide the ideal combination of sun and shade. Unaffected by human intervention, the beaches are ready to welcome summer visitors, inspiring the respect to maintain this magnificent natural environment
All the beaches of Preveza are awarded with blue flags!
Choose one or more from the following destinations and enjoy the warm sun of the blue Ionian Sea there!
ALONAKI: Distance from Preveza: 33 km.
A small enclosed bay with crystal clear waters and surrounded by small pebbles at rocky landscape.
KASTROSIKIA: Distance from Preveza: 17 km.
The continuation of Kanali beach. Organized beach with facilities for water sports (small sailing, canoeing, parachuting, etc.). Very near is Zalogo, the ancient Kassopi
ARTOLITHIA: Distance from Preveza: 20 km.
The most peculiar and quiet beach and the upright rocks create a unique landscape.
AMMOUDIA: Distance from Preveza: 33 km.
The bay at the mouth of the river Acheron. Magnificent scenery with wide sandy beach and fine sand and rocks on the north side.
KANALI: Distance from Preveza: 8 km.
The beach stretches several kilometers along the homonymous forest, with deep water with large waves in the afternoon that gives the feeling of the ocean.
LIGIA: Distance from Preveza: 20 km.
Beautiful bays with rocks that stops the sand at the foot of the Lekatsa forest with the homonymous Byzantine church and the unique panoramic view to the Ionian Sea.
LOUTSA- VRAHOS: Distance from Preveza: 30 km.
Spectacular beach with crystal blue waters and fine sand and great length between green environments.
MITIKAS: Distance from Preveza: 5 km.
Beautiful beach in a cosmopolitan environment with a multitude of accommodation units (guest houses, hotels) and coastal or traditional tavernas, cafes and discos. Next to the village is the Ancient Nicopolis.
MONOLITHI: Distance from Preveza: 8 km.
The famous beach with blue waters of the Ionian Sea in which thousands of visitors come from everywhere. Organized beach with bars, lifeguards and all the infrastructure of a modern beach.
SARAKINIKO: Distance from Preveza: 60 km.
Beach in the northern part of the prefecture. Closed bay with blue shades and a pebble beach. You can reach by road and by sea by boat from the port of Parga.
Sightseeing in Preveza
– Zalogo is the historic place that was sacrifice in December 1803 by heroic Souli persecuted by men of Ali Pasha after the fall of Souli preferred to die falling from a cliff. Visit the monument of Souli and the rocks dropped the Souli.
– In the village of St. George is the Roman Aqueduct and the sources of St. George in a green environment.
– Visit also the ancient Nicopolis which stretches over area 9,000 acres on the peninsula of Preveza
– The cosmopolitan Parga with island color and the picturesque island of Virgin Mary.
– The Filippiada known as a city of storks because here the birds like nesting, also you can see here a lot of migrating birds.
– The Ziros lake is located in an area full of old growth trees.
– The Holy Monastery of Agios Dimitrios in Zalongo
– Cassope: In an ideal location for climate and safety, on a plateau on the southern slopes of Mount Zalongo, Cassope was founded in the first half the fourth century BC as the political centre of Cassopaea and to protect the fertile plain to the south from being taken by the Helian colonists.
– Don’t miss the Sardine Festival in Preveza that usually held in the first weekend of August.
Look for the excellent local products of Preveza which is primarily oil, olives, vegetables, citrus, honey, cheese and especially the fresh fish!
The history of Preveza
Preveza is directly opposite Actium where in 31 BC one of the greatest naval battles of antiquity took place. It was the battle that determined who would gain control over the Roman Empire: Octavian, consequently called Caesar Augustus, or Mark Antony. To commemorate his victory, Octavian built a new brilliant city called Nicopolis, which thrived in the following centuries with a population exceeding 300,000 inhabitants. The destruction of Nicopolis, almost 10 centuries later, brought to light the city of Preveza. In the fourteenth century, this historical succession was expressed when the area with the ruins of Nicopolis was already being referred to as Old Preveza.
The new city also constituted part of the famous Despotate of Epirus until its demise. Venice, as a sea-power, foreseeing the significance of Preveza took it from the Turks, and fortified it with their famous Venetian forts. Due to its position, the city also became the apple of discord between French and Ali Pasha of Ioannina. In 1912, it was liberated and became part of the Modern Greek state.
For those who have a passion for history and antiquity, Preveza offers the unique experience of a tour within Ancient Nicopolis with its basilicas, the famous mosaics which attest to the grandeur of a glorious city that thrived up to the tenth/eleventh century, the ancient theatre, the well-preserved stadium and the Monument of Augustus, while the new Archaeological Museum of Nicopolis hosts a fascinating treasure of archaeological finds. Other monuments of the city worth mentioning are, among others, the venetian fort of Agios Andreas (eighteenth century), and the castles of Agios Georgios and Pantocratoras, as well as the Vrysoula rampart, which were built in 1807 by Ali Pasha.
Although there were many oracles in ancient Greece, there is only one known oracle of the dead. It was an entryway to the underworld, and a place where the shades of the dead could – under special circumstances – reveal the future to the living!
The ancient oracle of Acheron is located in the village Mesopotamos in the prefecture of Preveza, at the meeting point of the rivers Acheron, Pyriphlegethon and Cocytus.
Homer provides the earliest reference to the nekromanteion of Acheron in his Odyssey, when Circe advises Ulysses to meet Teiresias, the blind seer, in the underworld in order to get an oracle for his return to Ithaka. Homer also gives a vivid account of the mortal Odysseus’s descent to Hades Other Greek heroes also attempted the descent into Hades: Orpheus seeking to bring back his beloved Eurydice, Hercules in his search for Cerberus, the tree-headed dog guarding the exit from Hades, whom King Eristheas had asked for, and Theseus with Peirithos in order to seize Persephone.
– Method of divination
The ancient Greeks believed that the dead (in Greek: “Nekys”, “Nekroi”) stayed in the earth as a perishable body while as a soul they were released and found their way to the Underworld through deep gorges, crevices and caves. The souls of the dead did not have ordinary consciousness but had other capabilities not possessed by the living such as the ability to know the future. For a certain period of time, and in total darkness, the pilgrim ate food appropriate for the dead such as broad beans, pork, barley bread and oysters and underwent purification by washing and prayers. The purpose of these procedures was presumably to strengthen the pilgrim’s defences against the psychologically powerful contact with the death experience. With yet more severe fasting and meditation the pilgrim would also stay in the northern room of the eastern corridor until the time of the oracle. Then, together with a priest, he would enter the eastern corridor, would sacrifice a sheep and then, holding bloodless offerings in his hand, he would follow a meandric corridor with three ironclad gates, as many as the gates of Hades. He would leave some of his offerings there, and would offer the rest in the central hall, which was the place where the souls of the dead would appear. The long preparation in such an imposing environment, and the special fasting together with the faith in the appearance of the dead would induce the pilgrim to see the shadows of the dead.
The city of Preveza
The visitor to the city of Preveza can stroll through the alleys of the historical center with their architectural diversity which constitutes a heritage of the city’s history over the centuries and bears the imprint of the various conquerors whose influence is apparent: narrow streets of another age, nineteenth century mansions with their remarkable architecture along with houses with insular features. The cobbled alley of Seitan Bazaar with its traditional “ouzeri” (ouzo serving places) is a famous area in the town. During the Turkish occupation, the inhabitants of the area would smear the alleyway with whatever fat they had so that the Turkish soldiers patrolling in their iron-nailed shoes would fall down. One Turkish officer who fell victim to the inhabitants’ trick shouted “Seitan Bazaar!” which means “Devil’s Bazaar!”, hence the name of the alley.
Preveza is adorned with significant Christian temples, such as the churches of Agios Nikolaos and Agios Athanasios, as well as the metropolitan temple of Agios Charalambos with its exceptional paintings and the wooden carved gold-plated iconostasis. Adjacent to the church is the Venetian Clock Tower, a landmark of the city, built in 1752.
Along the paved harbor, which affords a view of the Ambracian Gulf, and in the nearby narrow alleys there are excellent traditional taverns and ouzeris where the visitor can enjoy the local specialties and fresh fish, or simply have a coffee at one of the many tasteful cafes along the waterfront.
As for swimming, one can go on foot to Kyani Akti, the beach with tall shading trees located within the city of Preveza and below the Agios Georgios Castle, or drive some kilometers further to the incredible Monolithi beach which is alongside a lush green forest. A short distance from the city of Preveza is also the beach of Alonaki, not far from Pantokratoras Castle where cultural events are held in summer. The beaches of the area are ideal places for surfing or sailing, water skiing, sea parapenting, boat hiring, and fishing. Furthermore, there are facilities for tennis, basketball, volleyball and other sports as well as entertainment centers.
Hotels, rooms to rent of all classes and camping grounds offer the visitor the opportunity to enjoy comfortable service and accommodation.