A pan-European escape affordable on any budget
A three and a half hour flight lands you in northwest Greece, where the small town of Parga has taken influences from nearby Albania and Italy across the water. Just off the coast is Corfu, boat trips to this historic and laid-back island are a cinch.
The picturesque bay of Parga houses a small and pretty town beach, with quaint buildings backing up the hillside beyond. A white church marks the mouth of the port, where locals fishing boats and coastal tours regularly set off. The plentiful Self Catering hotels in Parga allow you to have a cheap break and afford you the opportunity to try out some local recipes from restaurants, many of which are situated around the bay.
Parga’s climate reaches its peak in July and August, with the mercury regularly rising above 30°C. May, June and October all nestle around the more comfortable 20 to 25°C mark, a slightly cooler temperature for those trying to avoid the school holiday rush for the sun.
Cheap days out in Parga
As well as its city beach, Parga has many excellent beaches a short distance away, such as Valtos, backed by greenery and Lichnos with lots of facilities and watersports. Leaving on a boat from Lichnos Beach, you can head to Aphrodite’s Cave, where it’s said the Greek Goddess used to bathe, and try out the waters for yourself. Another option for cooling down is heading inland to the Acheron River for paddling, kayaking, horse riding and even ziplining through the trees.
Up on a hillside, you can’t miss Parga castle. Walk up to what remains of it – the cannons and stone walls -and you’ll get outstanding views across Parga. You’ll also be treated with some excellent waffles if you take a trip to the cafe at the base of the castle. Or go on a do-it-yourself tour around the Necromanteion of Acheron, a 30-minute drive from Parga. With a bit of online research in advance you’ll find hidden meanings from the ruins – believed to sit on the entrance to Hades – and underground catacombs.
Parga doesn’t have too many modern attractions, aside from watersports – that’s its charm – but it does have a 12-hole mini golf course with a cafe.
Other popular destinations in Greece
Beyond Parga, cheap holidays are easily found in Greece. In fact, the town’s right by Corfu, which may surprise you with its Italian influences. Another affordable place to let in some sunshine is relaxed Kefalonia. Back on the mainland, sleepy Halkidiki is a distinctive three-pronged peninsula that’s as friendly to your budget as to your photo album, thanks to its ancient ruins and stirring sunsets.
To find out more about Parga, check out our travel guide, that’s full of details on what to do here. You can also gain some inspiration from our favourite cheap Parga hotels, listed for you below.
Maria Studios offers so much more than a place to rest your head on a tighter budget. Hiding a 15-minute walk away from the main town centre and beaches, this quietly private spot will impress with its shared ocean view balconies and pool surrounded by a sun terrace where the sun is trapped all day. While a snack bar is available to guests, each room comes fitted with cooking appliances to enable even more money saving opportunities while you rustle up delicious dishes using locally sourced, fresh ingredients. Once it's time to go home, you'll feel like a true local.
Aristides Gardens will make you look twice, and when combined with their official 3* status you'd find it difficult to find a better deal for your more affordable trip to Parga. Located a 15-minute, tree-shaded stroll from the nearest beach, Aristides Gardens provides everything your heart might desire. The olive trees that line the edge of the complex bring welcome dappled shade from the strong Ionian sun, while poolside sunloungers await. Private balconies and a small, open-plan kitchen mean your stay can be entirely Self Catering, whether that means bacon sandwiches and mugs of tea or trying out some homemade local cuisine. Or, if you prefer being catered to, the pool bar ensures you'll be kept topped up.
Bella Vista Apartments are in the nearby town of Linchos, a 20-minute walk from the main strip of bars and restaurants at Parga's centre. Linchos itself is a beautiful beachfront town with many eateries both beachside and centrally. The recently renovated Bella Vista Apartments offer rooms with views of both mountainous olive groves and the nearby ocean. Lazy days around the pool are improved by the poolside bar offering both snacks and drinks. A mini bus service runs to Parga and back four times a day, so shopping trips and meals out don't have to cost an arm and a leg. Bella Vista Apartments ensures a quiet option for those who wish to stay away from town and sample a calm pace of Greek life.