Great beaches, a lovely historic centre, great food with fresh fish and seafood, great prices for a wide range of accommodation options, among which the number of luxury hotels is steadily increasing. Just the above would be enough to make Preveza a top holiday destination, but the town is generous and has more to offer. It’s the where the unique Epirotic coastline is linked to island destinations like Lefkada and Paxi, but also the starting point or a stop for sailing holidays on the calm Ionian sea.


Its heart beats in the historic centre with the intricate network of narrow alleys, the countless ouzo taverns, the bars, the cafés and the restaurants. You’ll instantly fall for the irresistible smells of the fresh fish, the seafood, the famous Amvrakikos shrimp grilled everywhere, and the anise-y fragrance of ouzo in the air.

Go for relaxed walks among the imposing neoclassical buildings and the scenic folk architecture houses beneath the Venetian clock tower. The Venetian clock tower with the sundial was built in 1752 but the “hat” on top and the bell tower of the Agios Charalambos church were added later.

When you’re in Preveza, you must absolutely visit the church of Agios Charalambos, built in the 18th century. The interior decoration with the lovely paintings influenced by Venetian painting, the carved wooden, gold coated altar, and the 18th century icons, great examples of the Ionian Islands School, is very impressive.

The church of Agios Athanasios, built during the Venetian rule, also has amazing paintings, and it one of the oldest churches in town. It has stunning frescoes dating back to 1780, icons of the Ionian Islands School, and an incredibly impressive ceiling decorated with paintings.

As you continue your exploration of the historic centre, you’re bound to come across the bust of poet Kostas Karyotakis, who committed suicide, located in the small Dardanelia square. A major contemporary poet, tormented by syphilis, he shot himself, aged only 32 years old. He didn’t get to see his work being translated in over 30 languages. Near the square, on the most picturesque alley of the centre, Saitan Pazar, you’ll find his house.

According to legend the name of this lovely colourful downhill alley with the jasmine and bougainvillea trees originated in the Ottoman times – it derives from şeytan which means Satan in Turkish. Legend has it that a very harsh Turkish commander who had gone to collect taxes, fell off his horse to the stone ground that had been covered in soap by the residents, and as he fell he yelled şeytan Pazar, that is to say Satan’s bazar.

With the passage of time, small shops, printer’s, barbers, taverns, and music coffee shops opened on the street and the tradition is preserve today, as you can eat, drink and have fun in one of the many beautiful modern establishments.

Outside the historic centre

The old merchant shops


The history of Preveza was also written by its residents’ trades and businesses, some of which have been around for many decades. For example, you can’t come to town and not visit OUZO ROUMPOU on Andrianoupoleos street, in the centre. It’s one of the oldest distilleries in Greece that has been working without stop since 1949. Their products: of course, ouzo – the main spirit they drink in Preveza, with tsipouro (traditional pomace raki) coming second by far –, a lovely cinnamon liquor that comes from distilling cinnamon, a kind of brandy with subtle vanilla aromas etc. Neat, old-fashioned window displays with countless bottles, wooden floors, lace doilies, and, at the back of the store, hidden, the old alembic.

You must also make a stop at the age-old barbershop of Timoleon Veskas on Kontou Hristou street (Saitan Pazar). The window has a wooden frame painted a retro green-blue shade, inside you’ll see the classic barber’s chair, and an equally old-fashioned brown small sofa for the customers to sit on in the waiting area. The shop has been open since 1920, going from Timoleon Veskas’ father’s hands into the hands of another barber in 1946, and then into his hands in 1952, when he learned the trade. Today he also gives modern cuts and male visitors might want to be able to say they’ve had a haircut at the oldest barbershop in Greece.

Outside the limits of the historic centre, the Raptis Dimitrios restaurant on 51 Panagi Tsaldari street is a cook shop – patsatsidiko (a place that serves patsas – Greek tripe soup) that’s been open since 1933. The owner-cook, Dimitris Raptis, is a very tall biker who marvellously cooks all the traditional Greek dishes and many soups: patsas, meat soup, bean soup, yuvarlakia (Greek meatball soup) etc. The best soup among them is the one he makes with the cow head and feet. It’s a unique recipe, a balm for the stomach, a caress to the palate.

And since you’re already outside the historic centre, the road will lead you to the central square with the imposing statue of Odysseas Androutsos, the chieftain who played a crucial role in the end of the Siege of Missolonghi by Omer Vrioni in 1822, and who defeated the troops of Dramalis, and who was from Preveza. His fate was similar to many of the great Greeks: he was either killed by the government of the post-revolution Greece, or he died in prison in Preveza.

The Amvrakikos gulf is a sight in its own right, as it almost forms a lagoon within the Ionian sea with hundreds of species of flora and fauna, including dolphins, as well as monuments, towns and villages on its banks. It’s a stunning national park, a source of fresh fish and of the famous Amvrakikos shrimp. You can go on a mini sailboat cruise, starting from the port. From the village Agios Thomas, 5 km from town, you’ll get a great view of the whole Amvrakikos gulf and Preveza.

The town’s new face

Heading down towards the sea, you can walk on the pedestrian seaside promenade, next to the new Preveza marina with the sailboats, for a romantic walk. Two years ago, there was nothing in the location where the Preveza marina was built, and when night fell, everything was covered in darkness. The marina offers safe mooring and every amenity and service for the boats, including a restaurant, a café as well as organised trips to the many sights in the area.

The marina first opened in 2020, right before the lockdown, but as Mr Giannis Tefas, the owner of the construction company “Tefa Group’ explains, despite the severe decrease in tourism, the Preveza marina has managed to get high numbers of visitors, both from the wider Epirus area and from the rest of Greece and the Balkans, as it is an area that is in the process of dynamic development. The location of Preveza between the gorgeous Epirotic riviera, Paxi, and Lefkada has created a whole league of sailing boat companies in town, for anyone who wants to spend their holidays in a more adventurous and independent way. The Preveza marina is the starting point as well as stop for wealthy boat owners who are cruising the calm Ionian sea.

What are the expectations going forth? Mr Tefas is optimistic: “We think that the sea tourism season can last eight months – at the moment it lasts six months – and this will influence the town’s land tourism as well, that at the moment lasts barely three months.”  The cruising sector has also developed lately, and Preveza businesspeople are relying on the many archaeological sites and the great food to attract a particular audience, like the so-called “silver tourism”, that is the older public.

The fact that you can go directly from the airport of a European city to the beach or get on a sailboat has strengthened the town’s tourist profile, and as a result the number of visitors has increased. The increase of charter flights into Aktion airport has also played a role in this – perhaps due to the airport of Corfu reaching its capacity. This year they are building a second runway, something that will support tourism further, while there are already direct flights to/from Milan, Paris, London.

The best of the best all year round

The archaeological site of Nikopolis is very close to town. It’s a huge space with impressive walls – the main gate has been reconstructed – while the marvellous theatre is also being reconstructed. You need to use your imagination to see how the public buildings, spread in the valley, looked like: the theatre, the conservatory, the early Christian churches. Nikopolis was built by the Roman emperor Caesar Augustus to commemorate his victory over Antony and Cleopatra in the battle of Actium in 31 BC.

The archaeological museum of Nikopolis (tel.: 0030 2682 041336) is located near the site and houses findings from the majestic Roman Nikopolis, as well as from Nikopolis of the early Byzantine times. Hall B, where scenes of everyday life of the citizens of Nikopolis are displayed, in a sort of “walk” from the port to the workshops, houses and cemeteries of town, is very touching and interesting.

The Pantokratoras castle, also known as Uc Kale, has an amazing view and is located very close to the beach Kiani Akti. The castle is part of the town fortress built by Ali Pasha in the early 19th century, while in the 1940s it was used as a prison by the Greek state. It has high perimeter walls, shaped as a pentagon, with a sea bastion and a large internal yard.

Visiting the Nekromanteion of Acheron (tel.: 0030 26840 41206 – 0030 26820 89890) in the village Mesopotamos, on top of hill where the, now dried, lake Acherousia used to be, is a unique experience. The basement (with no acoustics) where the visitors went, after cleanses and sacrifices, to communicate with the dead is quite something. A bit further down, at the village Amoudia, at the mouth of river Acheron, you can take a boat on the river, recreating the route ancient visitors took.

Around 45 km away, the legendary Souli maintains its austere warlike atmosphere and is bound to impress you. You can visit the masterfully restored house of chieftain Lambros Tzavellas and “Guesthouse Souli” is great for a meal or to spend the night (tel. 0030 698 787 8251).

The Monument of Zalongo, a monumental sculpture by George Zongolopoulos, is located 29 km from Preveza, near Souli, on the top of Mount Zalongo at 786 m altitude, to honour the women of Souli who, trapped there, in December 1803, fell off the cliff with their children, so as to avoid capture by the army of Ali Pasha. Near Filippiada, the stunning lake Ziros, surrounded by the forest, creates an idyllic serene landscape where you can enjoy the peace, go hiking, cycling and, in the summer, canoeing. Not far from the lake, the Agios Varnavas’ forest is another spot of peace and quiet. Birds chirping, plane trees, white poplars, alders and on a clearing, the deserted church of Agios Varnavas that was first built in 1149, was destroyed, and then rebuilt.

With endless sapphire beaches, the lacy coastline of Preveza becomes everyone’s paradise, no matter what sea they dream of. Monolithi with its aesthetic forest, Kanali, Kastrosykia, all of them organised, the cosmopolitan Mytikas, Kiani Akti with the shallow waters, Artolithia with the impressive waters, the bays of Ligia, Vrahos, Loutsa, the bays Alonaki and Odysseus’ Ormos, even within the town, just a stone’s throw from the centre.

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